Scientific: Beaucarnea recurvata (also known as Nolina recurvata or Dasylirion recurvatum)
Common: pony tail palm, elephant's foot palm, bottle palm
Family: Asparagaceae
Origin: Scrub and semi-desert areas in southeastern Mexico in the states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz and San Luis Potosi.

Pronounciation: Be-a-CAR-ne-a re-cur-VA-ta

Hardiness zones
13, 16-24
USDA 9-12

Landscape Use: Specimen, atriums, courtyards, shade gardens, container plant, house plant. It's amazing how resilient pony tail palm is to a range of environmental light levels (from indoor indirect light to full sun); however, usually after a while it's use as an indoor container house plant turns south.....

Form & Character: Arborescent, stiff and upright, weird, palm-like with a greatly expanded base and a single trunk with a rosette of long, strap-like leaves that arch and droop, tropical.

Growth Habit: Evergreen woody perennial, moderately upright to 10 to 15 feet with less than equal spread, occassionally branched. Can attain greater heights up to 30 feet in tropical climates becoming strongly arborescent. The trunk at its base becomes swollen with age (caudexes), and the trunk phellum is surprisingly roughened with age also.

Foliage/Texture: Tough, finely serrated and recurved leaves to 5 feet long and 1 inch wide. Leaves are aggregated toward the plant apex making for a pony-tail top effect; medium fine texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Flowers are produced only on large specimens and are rarely seen in Arizona, but are common on older specimens in southern California. They are creamy white and in large showy upright clusters that extend above the leaves. Fruit are unseen in Arizona

Seasonal Color: Creamy white flower stalks during June and July.

Temperature: Freeze intolerant, can be damaged severely below 20oF. Also, has trouble with high summer heat when temperatures exceed 110oF. Best planted in Phoenix in protected microclimate sites.

Light: Partial sun to full shade, no western or southern sun in Phoenix. In contrast, full sun is fine in coastal southern California and in southern Florida.

Soil: Pony tail palm MUST have good soil drainage and is salt sensitive.

Watering: In Phoenix, regular deep summer irrigation is required. Be careful to not overwater at other times of the year.

Pruning: Little to non required except to only removal of dead leaves.

Propagation: Offsets (suckers) can be separated and started as new plants in spring. For sexual propagation, seeds must be soaked overnight and planted in a moist sand medium.

Disease and pests: None

Additional comments: Ponytail palm is generally a landscape oddity and is used as a container houseplant in colder climates. It is often sold as a potted plant for the interesting appearance of its swollen base, which is in fact an adaptation for storing water during times of drought. A foliar variegated cultivar does exist, but I do not recommend it for landscape use in Phoenix. Ponytail palms are closely related to Yucca.