Fouquieria columnaris (Boojum Tree)
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Fouquieria columnaris (Boojum Tree)

Boojum Tree, Cirio


Often considered to be the strangest tree on earth, Fouquieria columnaris (Boojum Tree) is a magnificent treelike succulent boasting a single, conical stem with numerous small twigs and creamy yellow tubular flowers in mid to late summer. When young, Boojum Tree is bushy, with numerous lateral branches covered with thorns. Once mature, the trunk becomes columnar, straight, and tapering, resembling an upside-down carrot. The deciduous, ovate leaves are yellow-green to blue-green, fleshy, and occur in bunches along the stem. At the base of each leaf cluster are many yellowish brown or greenish slender thorns, 1-2 in. long (2-5 cm). Borne in large spike-like clusters, 15-20 in. (37-50 cm), near the tops of the tree, the flowers, 1 in. long (2.5 cm), give way to 3-valved, light brown fruits, which resemble a 3-petaled dry flower once open. Long-lived (several centuries), very slow growing (10-20 years to reach 12 in. height or 30 cm), Boojums are iconic plants that grow naturally in the Sonoran desert on the Baja peninsula, some of the gulf islands and a small population on the coast of Sonora. Boojum trees are protected in their natural habitat, and wild harvesting is forbidden by the Mexican government.

  • Grows up to 40-70 ft. tall (12-21 m) and up to 5 ft. wide (150 cm).
  • Easily grown in sandy, well-drained soils in full sun. Young Boojum Tree should be given partial shade to protect its delicate new growth. Requires very little water once established. Water once a week during the winter growing season, and reduce or limit irrigation in the dormant summer period. Drought tolerant.
  • Great for desert gardens, Mediterranean gardens.
  • Virtually disease free and pest free. Deer resistant.
  • Boojum Tree can only be propagated through seed, however, seeds are often difficult to find, and germination rates are inconsistent.
  • Native to Baja California.

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Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Cactus - Succulents, Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 40' – 70' (12m – 21m)
Spread 1' – 5' (30cm – 150cm)
Spacing 60" (150cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

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c) Gerhard Bock, SucculentsandMore.com

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Cactus - Succulents, Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 40' – 70' (12m – 21m)
Spread 1' – 5' (30cm – 150cm)
Spacing 60" (150cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

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