A new, rare species described in 2001 from the Istmo de Tehuantepec in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. It grows into a small, much branched, shrubby tree with many dense crowns of narrow, lax, green leaves and a large, bulbous base. While generally similar to Beaucarnea recurvata and the rare Beaucarnea hiriartiae, it is readily recognized by its smaller flowers and fruits. It has smaller trunk bases without buttresses and shorter leaves than B. recurvata and differs from B. hiriartiae by its widely conical trunk bases, the rough bark, smooth leaf surface and larger inflorescence stalks with shorter branches. It is virtually unknown in cultivation but would thrive under the same conditions as B. recurvata.