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Products > Chamaerops humilis var. argentea
Chamaerops humilis var. argentea - Atlas Mountain Palm

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Palm
Family: Arecaceae (Palmae) (Palms)
Origin: Africa, North (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Not Significant
Synonyms: [Chamaerops humilis var. cerifera]
Height: 8-12 feet
Width: 10-15 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 10-15° F
Chamaerops humilis var. argentea (Atlas Mountain Palm) - A beautiful silver palm from Northwest Africa that can occur up to 5,000 feet in elevation in the Atlas mountains of Morocco and east through Algeria. It has intense silver-blue color on the upper and lower surface of the leaves, looking similar to the Blue Hesper Palm, Brahea armata. It is as robust and adaptable as the species Chamaerops humilis, growing in a wide range of conditions and tolerating temperature extremes (cold and heat) as well as wet or dry conditions. Plant in full sun to light shade. The name for the genus was one given by Linnaeus in 1753 and was derived from the Greek words 'chamai' meaning "dwarf" and 'rhops' meaning "bush" in reference to the bush nature of the one species in this monotypic genus. When we first started growing this silver form of the species the generally accepted name was Chamaerops humilis var. cerifera as described in 1920 by the Italian botanist Odoardo Beccari (1843-1920) whose list of Asiatic Palms, published posthumously in 1933, included 8 other Chamaerops humilis varieties. This specific epithet comes from the Latin word 'humus' meaning "ground" in reference to this palm being low-growing compared to other palms. The varietal name 'cera', meaning "wax" and 'fero' meaning "to bare" or "to carry", is in reference to the leaves of this variety having a waxy coating that gives it the gray coloration. The current name now ascribed for this plant is Chamaerops humilis var. argentea as described in 1895 by the French landscape designer, horticultural explorer Édouard François André (1840 – 1911). This varietal name means "silver" and again is in reference to the color of the leaves - both names aptly describe the beautiful silver leaves of this plant. Our thanks go out to Texas nurseryman Pat McNeal who first provided us with seed of our first crops (purchased from RarePalmSeeds) and to Geoff Stein for alerting us of the name change.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We have also incorporated comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing  Chamaerops humilis var. argentea.