Calibanus hookeri – various sizes available
Calibanus hookeri is also known as the Mexican Boulder Plant because of the rock-like appearance of its caudex. Leaves emerge from the top and resemble the texture of fescue grass except they remain neat and tidy atop the caudex. Makes an excellent container plant on display with its caudex raised up about halfway above the soil. Lives to great age and attains a diameter of over three feet. Photo here shows a nice 3 inch caudex well developed with a healthy root system.
Calibanus hookeri also makes an interesting specimen plant in the landscape. In mass plantings, it is reminiscent of a coarse blue fescue grass. Useful as a softening design element in cactus, succulent and xeriscape gardens. Calibanus hookeri is prized by collectors. Deer and rodent resistant.
Calibanus hookeri is an evergreen succulent from north central Mexico that has clumps of long thin leaves that emerge from a large swollen caudex which reaches 1 to 2 feet in diameter when mature. The stiff blue-gray green leaves are held upright in center of the plant and arch down as they mature. These grassy leaves are tough but not stiff or pointed. They rise from a large rock shaped caudex, often raised above the ground, where the plant stores water. The dioecious flowers are small and hidden in the foliage and borne on foot long spikes in spring. Female plants eventually get brownish-red berries.
The genus is named for Shakespeare’s monster in The Tempest – Caliban. Although this plant was long considered the only species in a monotypic genus, a second species, Calibanus glassianus, with longer and broader blue leaves and a much larger inflorescence bearing bigger flowers was discovered in 1995 in Guanajuato.
Names and Synonyms: Beaucarnea hookeri, Calibanus caespitosus, Dasylirion caespitosum, Dasylirion hookeri
Common Names: Mexican Boulder Plant
Family: Agavaceae; Nolinaceae
Origin: Grows in rocky grit on the tops of mountains in San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Mature Size: Caudex with leaves
Cold Tolerance: 15 to 20°F, -9.4 to -6.7°C
Heat Tolerance: Extreme
Light Requirement: Full sun
Water needs: Very drought tolerant
Maintenance: Remove dried leaves as desired. Young plants grow with most of the caudex buried and should be allowed to remain this way for many years if your interest is in having a large plant. If lifted early, the caudex will grow very slowly, but will early on develop the bark fissures that make this species so appealing.
Uses: Excellent in containers to show off its caudiciform base. C. hookeri also makes an interesting specimen plant in the landscape. In mass plantings it is reminiscent of a coarse blue fescue grass. Useful in cactus, succulent and xeriscape gardens or caudiciform collections. Deer and rodent resistant.
Propagation: Can be propagated by seed. There are separate male and female plants.
There is a minimum purchase of any 4 plants for online orders. All plants shipped bare root. Other sizes may be available for pick up from our growing grounds in Fallbrook, CA. For more information, give us a call at 760-990-4762.
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