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Needle Palm

The Needle Palm is a very hardy palm to zone 8.  While it grows natively in the understory of rich hardwood forests, it can be adapted to full sun and makes an interesting specimen plant.  The Needle Palm is native to the Southeastern United States.  Of the tribe Corypheae, and subfamily Coryphoideae it is also known by the botanic name Rhapidophyllum hystrix.

Needle Palm

Plant Facts:

Common Name:  Needle Palm

Botanical Name:  Rhapidophyllum hystrix

Subfamily:  Coryphoideae

Plant Type:  Clustering, trunkless palm tree

Origin:  Southeastern United States

Zones: 8 - 10

Height:  5'

Rate of Growth: Slow, slowest in the northern end of it range.

Salt Tolerance: Moderate

Soil Requirements:  Widely adaptable

Water Requirements: High drought tolerance after establishment.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate

Light Requirements: Moderate, High

Form:  Clustering, trunkless palm

Leaves:  Palmate, induplicate, divided deeply into 15-20 blunt and jagged tipped segments.

Inflorescence: 1' long, held among the crown fibers and leaves.

Fruits: Purple-brown, wooly

Pests or diseases:  None

Uses:  Accent palm

Bad Habits: Spiny trunk from needle-like fibers from decayed leaf base, seed slow and unreliable in germination.

Cost:  $$ - $$$ -- reasonable to expensive

Propagation:  Seed, germinates in 6 months or more; division (more reliable).

Sources:   betrocks.gif (9648 bytes) Betrock's Guide to Landscape Palms

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Last updated 06/03/08