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Palms and Cycads: Bismarckia nobilis

Botanical name: Bismarckia nobilis

Common name: silver Bismarck palm

also known as (Bismark Palm)

Average rating: 5.0

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Silver Bismarck Palm
Photo credit: Barry Landry, Landscape Architect
Palms and Cycads: Bismarckia nobilis
created by:

Austin, Tx

at a glance

Soil: dry, alkaline, sand
Zones: 9b thru 11a

drought tolerant

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description for "Palms and Cycads: Bismarckia nobilis"

The silver-blue fronds of the Bismarck palm thrive in hot, well-drained soils. A massive tropical palm that commands attention and inspires awe wherever it is grown. Stout trunk and symmetry of the huge crown lends formality to this plant. Has a single trunk that is smooth on mature specimens; young individuals retain old leaf bases. May reach an ultimate height of 50-60 ft (15-18m) with a spread of 20 ft (6m) or more. Even young specimens that have yet to form a trunk sport full crowns of about 25 leaves with the maximum spread! The huge palmate leaves are bright light blue, waxy and are up to 10 ft (3m) across. They are supported on 6 ft (1.8 m) stems that can be 10 in (25cm) in diameter. The leaf bases split where they attach to the trunk (like those of Sabal palmetto) and the leaf stems are armed with small sharp teeth. These specimens were photographed in a very protected garden in Austin, Texas (zone 8b). Although usually recommended for USDA growing zones 9 and greater, if the right micro-climate conditions are provided, this plant will bound and be happy. Because of its huge ultimate size and mass, the Bismarck palm is not recommended for small yards as it dominates its space, dwarfing and obscuring adjacent structures. This palm is best planted where it can serve as a focal point. Planted against a dark backdrop of foliage, it serves as living sculpture adding drama and interest to the landscape. [Source:] --edited by dtd siegelgirl


Native to Madagascar, off the coast of Africa.

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I don't think this palm would make it through my winters here in Seattle... but I love it!

This is my son's absolute favorite palm, and I'm hoping to buy him one (or two) for his new house. They are so expensive here in Central Florida!

Fantastic Palm! Beautiful in any garden...lovely color and interest!