WE BRING THE TROPICS TO YOU!
PLANT PHOTOS & DESCRIPTIONS
NOTES ABOUT COLD HARDINESS RATINGS:
We try to be conservative in our cold hardy ratings listed here with these plants. The temperatures listed are taken from reports from nurseries, amateur and professional experimenters willing to push the limits, and many from our own experiences with the plants. These ratings are for some of the lowest temps that these plants have been able to survive with minimal or no protection. Usually, these are brief periods at these extremes, with mature, or established plants. One should never leave a small plant or un-established plant to experience the full brunt of winter, without protection for the first few winters until the plants have rooted in, and are healthy. Some extreme climates will require that these hardy subtropicals be protected by some method EVERY winter. There are many protection methods available to us, many of which are listed on the webpages on our links page, and also in our PLANT CARE Page. Don't forget to check out DR. DAVID A. FRANCKO'S book; PALMS WON'T GROW HERE, and other myths. TIMBER PRESS, 2003. ISBN 0-88192-575-6.
NOTE: IF YOU CAN'T FIND THE PHOTOS OR PALMS YOU ARE LOOKING FOR; try this link: THE VIRTUAL PALM ENCYCLOPEDIA
ACOELORRHAPHE WRIGHTII ( ah-ko-lo-ray-fee rye-tee-eye ) EVERGLADES PALM , PAUROTIS PALM, SAW CABBAGE PALM Cold hardy to 15 °F. / SUN - Native to moist sites in S. Florida and the Caribbean, where it forms large clumps in flooded areas. The multiple arborescent trunks grow 15-40 ft. with diameters of 3-5 feet. These trunks are thatched with a very nice brown fiber, which is tightly woven from base to top. The rigid palmate, almost circular leaves are light green, having leaf stems armed with orange colored teeth. Truly architectural, one of my favorites, a very attractive plant, it is used extensively for landscape subjects. It can also be grown successfully in containers. It likes black humus or muck- type soils, but will tolerate some variation of soils. Prefers damp conditions
ARENGA ENGLERI (ah-reen-ga en-gler-eye ) DWARF SUGAR PALM Cold hardy to 18°F. / SUN OR FILTERED LIGHT - It is a smaller Arenga, having a max. height of about 10 ft. The leaves are pinnate, long and mostly ascending. The leaflets are dark green above, silvery beneath, and arranged lattice-like, with a wedge-shape. Very attractive, not common in most collections. Can tolerate frosts, and larger plants have about the same degree cold hardiness as Livistona chinensis. Can be grown in a tub for years as a patio plant. Has been grown in northwest Florida successfully. VERY ATTRACTIVE.
ARENGA MICRANTHA ( ah-reen-gah my-kran-thuh ) BHUTAN ARENGA, HIMALAYAN ARENGA Cold hardy to teens ° F. to ? SUN/SHADE
- This beauty comes from the foothills of the eastern Himalayas, in N.E.
India, and Bhutan. It is also known from Tibet. It grows at 6500 to 7000 ft.
el. where it regularly endures very heavy frosts and winter snows. This
fishtailed palm is a multiple stemmed palm which grows to over 20 ft. with
elegant large, flat, evenly pinnate leaves with bright white undersides. This
with the black fiber on the trunks makes for a stunning plant. It resembles a
large coconut, and is used by the natives for brooms and thatching.
BISMARCKIA NOBILIS ( Bis-mark-ee-uh no-bill-is )
BISMARCK PALM Cold hardy to low teens ° F. with some foliar damage / SUN
- A native of Madagascar, this massive, fan palm can grow to a height of
nearly 70 ft in nature. The large fan leaf is up to 10 ft. across! The trunk is very
thick and impressive with silver-gray persistent leaf bases. The leaves in
this variety are a
striking silvery-blue, contrasting strongly with the average green colors of
most plants. These palms have a surprising degree of cold hardiness, too.
Recent trials in zone 9 have been successful. Even if you are not fortunate
enough to be able to grow this one outside all year, it makes for an
interesting patio palm, but likes lots of light and room!
BUTIA CAPITATA (boo-tee-uh kap-ee-tah-tuh ) JELLY PALM, PINDO PALM
Cold hardy to 15°F. survives to 0 °F. with damage / SUN -
The jelly palm is native to southern Brazil. It has been cultivated in gardens
around the world for years. One of the easiest to grow palms for container, or
landscape. This palm has been a favorite around the Southeastern US for many
years. The thick trunk is smooth to a few ft. below the leaves, where old leaf
bases persist. It will grow to 30 ft., but mostly to 15 ft. The pinnate leaves
are arching, gray-green, with a twist on the ends. The large clusters of
orange fruits are ornamental, as well as edible. A delicious jelly is made
from the ripe fruit. Wine has even been made with the fermented fruits. A
necessary addition to the palm collection. VERY EASY TO GROW, AND FAST!
BUTIA ERIOSPATHA ( boo-tee-uh air-ee-oh-spay-thuh ) WOOLY BUTIA
Cold hardy low teens to single digits °F. maybe lower with foliar damage.
/ SUN / SEMI-SHADE -
A very nice feather-leaved palm, not common in nurseries, but easy to grow. It
is very similar in most respects to B. capitata, but it has a striking
brownish-red fuzz on the flowering spike (inflorescence spathe). The leaflets
are thinner, and more delicate looking, arching up and then cascading down
with a slight twist in some. These trees grow up to an elevation of 4,000 ft.
in extreme southern Brazil in open, grassy areas where seasonal fires occur.
These palms grow 10 to 20 ft. in height with a thick trunk covered in
persistent leaf bases. Very rugged and yet also delicate in appearance too.
BUTIA YATAY ( boo-tee-uh yah-tay ) YATAY PALM Cold hardy to single digits ° F. when well established. / SUN / SEMI-SHADE - The Yatay palm is native to Extreme southern Brazil, Paraguay, and northern Argentina in open grasslands, and wooded areas. It is readily distinguishable from the other Butia species, by it's darker leaf bases. These palms grow to 25 ft. and sometimes to 32 ft. They have beautiful, stiff, v-shaped bluish colored fronds, which are upright and arching. The trunks tend to be taller than most Butias, and robust. Fruits are yellow, and reportedly edible. Hard to find, but well worth it, and extremely cold hardy, too!
BRAHEA ARMATA (bra-hee-uh ar-mah-tah ) BLUE HESPER PALM Cold hardy to 10°F, maybe lower./ SUN
- This palmate leaved palm is so blue that it is arresting. It is widely planted
in California, and has found its way to many other gardens in Europe. This
palm has a single thick trunk with a dense crown of spreading, pastel blue
leaves, growing to a total height of 30 ft. Coming from Baja California, it
loves dry conditions, although it can be grown in many wetter tropical areas
as well, specimens in Miami having achieved maturity over many years. As a
container patio plant, will do well for years if given a well drained soil and
not exposed to prolonged periods of below freezing weather. It also can stand
frost quite well. If you can grow a Washingtonia filifera, you should grow
this one well. Fairly easy to grow.
CARYOTA URENS "HIMALAYANA" ( kar-ee-yo-tuh you-renz ) HIMALAYAN FISHTAIL PALM Cold hardy to 25 F., maybe lower? / SUN OR SHADE
The most cold hardy of the Caryota palms, growing in the foothills of the central and eastern Himalayas up to 7500 ft. above sea level. It comes from a mountainous area of northern India, which receives cooler nightly temperatures, and regular winter frosts, and snows. It is a large single-trunked palm, fairly large, vigorous and extremely fast growing tree with a dense crown. The fishtail shaped leaflets are an eye-catcher, together with the olive colored stem. Can be grown in a container for years as an interesting patio plant or as an indoor plant (give plenty of room and a sunny as
CHAMAEDOREA METALLICA (kam-ee-dor-ee-uh me-tal-i-kah ) MINIATURE FISHTAIL PALM Cold hardy to 20's F., briefly. / SHADE
This small palm comes from Mexico. These palms have a solitary stem, very slender, to a max. height of 4 ft. The fishtail leaves can range in color from dark green to almost black with a metallic sheen. This palm is perfectly happy indoors, tolerant of lower light, likes a well drained, moist potting soil. Very unique appearance, with a moderate cold hardiness. PRETTY PLANTS
CHAMAEDOREA MICROSPADIX ( kam-ee-dor-ee-uh mike-ro-spa-diks ) BAMBOO PALM Cold hardy to 10° F., maybe lower. / FILTERED SUN OR SHADE
This small palm is native to high altitudes in central Mexico, where it grows as an under story tree. It has multiple arching stems to 8 ft. . The leaves are pinnate, with multiple leaflets. Fruits are orange rather than the more usual black. They should get more attention in temperate gardens, because they are so hardy. It grows fast, and will thrive in a variety of soils. As container plants, they make trouble free house or patio palms. Very fast, and EASY TO GROW !
CHAMAEDOREA RADICALIS (kam-ee-dor-ee-uh rad-ee-kal-is ) DWARF BAMBOO PALM Cold hardy to 10°F., maybe lower. / SUN OR SHADE
This small palm is native to limestone cliffs in Mexico, where it grows in full sun. Plants are single stemmed, trunk less, overall height is about 3 ft. On one variety, the plants can produce stems up to 6-8 ft in height. S tems have a gray-green color. Fruits are orange on a single stalk originating at the base. They make nice container plants, but can be used outdoors in protected locations north.
CHAMAEROPS HUMILIS ( kam-er-ops hyoo-mill-is) EUROPEAN FAN PALM, MEDITERRANEAN FAN, Cold hardy to 5° F. / SUN OR SHADE
The European fan palm is from north Africa and the southern European continent in the Mediterranean area. A popular garden plant for years , both as a container plant, and in the landscape. It has multiple stems with an average height of 6 ft. to 8 ft., but can reach 20 ft. The palmate leaves are held in a flat plane, approx. 1 ft. wide, with armed leaf stems. The trunks have persistent leaf bases intertwined in an attractive brown fiber. These plants are extremely variable, with several named varieties. Some of the interesting forms have silvery, white leaves, some have twisted leaflets. Is very tolerant of varying soil types. Plants can be grown outdoors in a protected area in zone 8 if given extra cover during extreme cold spells. Will usually defoliate in the mid- to upper-teens F. Very easy to grow.
CHAMAEROPS HUMILIS var. CERIFERA (ka-mare-ops hyoo-mill-is sur-if-er-uh) SILVER EUROPEAN FAN PALM Cold hardy 15° to ? / SUN OR SEMI-SHADE
If you like silvery blue leaves, this one is for you. With it's rigid, deeply divided, round leaves, this robust palm is really a show stopper. It comes from the Atlas mountains in Morocco, up to 1700 m. where it endures extremes of weather. Quite adaptable, it tolerates extremes of cold and damp as well as heat and drought, full sun or shade. This clustering palm is like its green cousin, growing to the same heights, 8 to 10 ft. in some cultivated specimens. Grows rather fast, to
COPERNICIA ALBA (ko-per-nee-cee-uh al-buh) CARANDAY PALM Cold hardy upper teens / SUN
Native to Argentina, eastern Bolivia, N. Brazil, and Paraguay, this large palm forms large colonies on seasonally flooded savannahs. It is the fastest growing in it's genus, and in nature can grow to 100ft. The thick trunk is smooth to within a few feet of the crown where old leafbases persist in a spiral pattern. The fan shaped leaves are 3 to 4 ft diameter, gray green above, and silvery beneath. These palms are the most cold hardy in the genus, growing into USDA zone 9-A. An added bonus, they are not picky about soils, growing in clay soils, as well as limestone soils and sandy soils. Loves a sunny position. Plant in groups for a pleasing landscape effect.
DYPSIS DECIPIENS ( dip-sis dee-sip-ee-ens ) MADAGASCAR FOXTAIL PALM Cold hardy to upper 20's ° F. / SUN OR SHADE
An imposing, handsome, palm from the plateaus and mountains of interior Madagascar. This palm resembles a bushy topped royal palm. In habitat, they grow in rocky places in plateau forests or near streams. The trunks grow from 18 ft. to 60 ft. tall with a "belly" in the middle of a thick stem. The crown shaft is a pale, waxy gray-green color. The leaves are stiff and plumose. Young plants have a pink new emergent leaf in some varieties. These palms have proven to be quite tolerant of cold from an early age. They don't seem to enjoy year-round heat, instead thriving in sub tropical climates with warm summers, cooler nights and cool winters. Grow like a Butia.
GUIHAIA ARGYRATA ( gwee-hy-ah ar-jee-rot-uh ) CHINESE NEEDLE PALM Cold hardy to low 20's° F. , or lower ./ SUN- SHADE
From southern China, this small, often trunk less palm grows on cliff faces in cracks and crevices. This small palm superficially may resemble a needle palm. It has, however some distinguishing features. The fan-shaped leaves have wider leaflets, with reduplicate leaves (roof-shaped creases as opposed to valley shaped leaves. The most attractive feature is the leaves bright, silvery undersides. The stem is covered in a black, woven fiber, sort of resembling the American needle palm. Very attractive in a container, or as a border plant in warm-temperate or subtropical areas.
HOWEA FORSTERIANA / BELMOREANA ( how-ee-uh for-stir-ee-ah-nuh )
KENTIA, PARLOR PALM Cold hardy to 32°F? / SHADE
This popular palm has been in cultivation since Victorian
times. In its native Lord Howe Island habitat, it attains a mature height of
50 ft. The single trunk is slender, green, with prominent rings. The
attractive dark green pinnate leaves arching, feather-shaped with a rubbery
These plants are very durable, making excellent patio or indoor container plants for many years. They tolerate low light and abuse. Likes lots of water with a well drained loamy soil.
JUBAEA CHILENSIS ( joo-bee-uh chill-en-sis ) CHILEAN WINE PALM, COQUITO PALM Cold hardy to single digits ° F. / SUN OR FILTERED SUN
This large palm has the thickest trunk of any palm (up to 6 ft.!). Growing to 70 ft., it is topped by tough, feather-shaped fronds, similar to Butia. It is native to Chile, where its sap is used to make an alcoholic drink. The walnut-sized seeds are sold as "coquitos", or little coconuts, as they are edible, and taste just like coconut. Besides the commercial value, this palm is extremely cold hardy for a feather-leaved palm, and is stunning for it's massive proportions. Many of these palms have been cultivated in such places as Italy, France, England, California, etc. Lately, palm fanciers have been growing it in the Piedmont area of the southern U.S. with some success.
LICUALA SPINOSA ( lick-wall-uh spin-o-suh ) SPINY PINWHEEL PALM Cold hardy to mid- 20's °F. to ? / SUN OR SHADE
A smallish palm from southern Thailand to Malaysia. This pinwheel-leafed palm has multiple slender, stems.To a max of 15 ft. The leaf stems are armed with recurved black teeth, hence the name; spiny pinwheel.
This is a rather attractive palm in a container, as well as in the garden. This palm tolerates lower light and indoor atmosphere quite well. It makes an interesting houseplant or patio palm. Not widely grown as a houseplant yet. It is not as fussy as other licualas, it can take cold spells better than most. Larger plants are amazingly cold hardy, into the 20's ° F.
LIVISTONA AUSTRALIS ( liv-i-stone-uh aw-straw-lis ) AUSTRALIAN CABBAGE PALM Cold hardy to 15°F. / SUN
From southeastern Australia, this is Australia's most southerly growing of all native palms. This makes it perhaps the most cold hardy of the Australian palms. It has a trunk to 12" thick, and up to 50 ft. in habitat. The trunk is self-cleaning, dark and attractively marked. The leaves are fan-shaped with drooping leaf tips. Widely grown in subtropical and warm temperate areas of the world. Many can be seen in the central Florida area. Grown similar to Chinese fan palm.
LIVISTONA CHINENSIS ( liv-i-stone-uh chin-en-sis ) CHINESE FAN, FOUNTAIN PALM Cold hardy to teens °F. / SUN & SHADE
The Chinese fan palm has been planted outdoors throughout south and central Florida, and has been a favorite container palm for the house and patio. It is characterized by it's large, glossy, green leaves, with drooping tips. The leaf stems are armed with teeth, as all of the Livistona genus. The long hanging leaf tips are what gives it the common name of the fountain palm. The trunk is single, and self cleaning , and can grow to 30 ft tall outdoors. If grown indoors, give the palm a sunny position. A very easy palm to grow!
LIVISTONA DECIPIENS ( liv-i-stone-uh dee-sip-ee-enz ) RIBBON FAN PALM, WEEPING CABBAGE PALM Cold hardy from 12°F.- lower / SUN
Endemic to Queensland, Australia, arguably, one of the most interesting of the Livistonas. This palm has a single, thick trunk to 30 ft. tall. Topped by a crown of fan shaped leaves, the outstanding feature of this palm is the pendulous, weeping leaf tips. This is the weeping willow of the palm world. This species can take a good amount of cold and frost. It has been successfully grown in the Jacksonville, Florida area, south Alabama, and Georgia. Sunny positions are best.
LIVISTONA NITIDA ( liv-i-stone-uh nit-i-duh ) CARNARVON CABBAGE PALM Cold hardy to 10 - 15 °F. / SUN OR SHADE
A beautiful fan-leaved palm from the Carnarvon Gorge National Park in Queensland, Aust. It forms large colonies along stream banks. This Australian native resembles Livistona australis. The trunk is solitary, naked, gray, and has leaf scar rings to about 40 ft. The leaves are wide, long petioles, with deeply divided leaflets with lax tips. Recent trials in central and north Florida, and South Georgia, have shown this palm to be very hardy to cold spells below freezing. In one trial, it has out performed L.australis, a considerably hardy Livistona.
LIVISTONA SARIBUS ( liv-i-stone-uh sah-ree-bus ) TARAW PALM Cold hardy low 20s° F . to ? / SUN OR SHADE
This is a large, tall, single-trunked fan palm. The trunk is brown, self cleaning, ringed with old leaf-scars, The crown is made up of very large, mildly folded fans with petioles (leaf-stems) armed with large, black, backwardly curving teeth. These are reminiscent of sharks teeth. It has clusters of brilliant blue fruits. Although this palm comes from the forests and mountains of Southeast Asia, it will endure about the same amount of cold as Livistona chinensis or L.australis.
NANNORRHOPS RITCHIANA ( nan-o-rops rich-ee-an-uh ) MAZARI PALM Cold hardy from single digits, to ? / FULL SUN OR FILTERED SHADE
Green, or blue-leaved fan palm from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, where it grows in incredibly arid conditions. Our seed comes from plants in Northern Pakistan, or Iran. Also known to be extremely hardy. Until recently, almost unknown in cultivation. It grows to max of 6 to 10 ft, multiple stems, and beautiful,green or blue-gray stems and leaves. Can be container grown or planted out. Grow it in a deep pot because of the long taproot, and keep it a little on the dry side. Water well in summer, give full sun, and just an occasional fertilizing -- it seems to need to struggle to perform well, so avoid the temptation to give it too much TLC! Prone to get red spider mite, so watch for them. When large enough, plant in a well-drained soil, a sunny location.
PHOENIX CANARIENSIS ( fee-nix canary-en-sis ) CANARY ISLAND DATE PALM Cold hardy to low teens °F. briefly with some foliar damage. / SUN
MASSIVE!! This palm is the date which gives the Mediterranean look to so many waterfront resorts. It has long been a popular palm in places such as the French Riviera, New Orleans, Los Angeles, etc.
This massive, single-trunked palm can withstand heavy frosts, and has recovered from well below freezing cold spells. It can be grown in a container for the patio, or in zone 8b can be grown outdoors. It enjoys full sun. One of the most cold hardy Phoenix palms.
PHOENIX LOUREIRII (fee-nix lor-ear-ee-eye ) MOUNTAIN DATE PALM Cold hardy to mid-teens ° F. with some foliar burn / SUN OR SHADE
A species with a very wide distribution ranging from India , China and the Philippines. This small palm is a very attractive member of the phoenix palms. Ours is from the Himalayan foothills where it experiences hard frosts. It does not sucker, has stiff arching leaves and a spiky habit. Average height is about 6 ft of trunk. Even if you can't grow it all year outdoors in the open, it grows well as a container palm for the patio!
PHOENIX ROEBELENII ( fee-nix row-bell-ee-nee ) PYGMY DATE PALM Cold hardy to mid-teens ° F. / sun or shade
This small palm has been a favorite in the foliage trade for years. As its name suggests, it is a small palm, with a short trunk, often with knobby protrusions which spiral up the trunk from old leaf bases. It has much softer leaflets than most of the date palms, and lends a conservatory appearance. It is tolerant of medium light conditions, and will grow happily for years as an indoor plant, or as a summer patio plant in a container. Not demanding of special treatment, it is easy to grow, and responds well in cultivation. Can tolerate moderate frosts and occasional temps below freezing, but not prolonged cold. It is grown outdoors in Florida as a landscape palm. Some palm enthusiasts have grown it outside of Florida outdoors, with protection from severe freezes. An easy palm to grow!
PHOENIX RUPICOLA ( fee-nix roo-pik-uh-la ) CLIFF DATE PALM Cold hardy to mid-teens ° F. / SUN OR SHADE
These attractive palms are from India, where they grow in nature on cliffs and rocky outcrops. It has very fine, glossy green leaves, without the stiff, spikey habit of most Phoenix palms. This is known as the "softest" of all the date palms. It has a mature height of 25 ft., with slender, solitary trunks marked attractively by old leaf scars. Fast growing, it will even tolerate moderate frosts. Gorgeous as a container subject too! It will grow for years in a container. These plants were grown from seed obtained in habitat, so unlikely to be hybrid.
PHOENIX SYLVESTRIS ( fee-nix SILL-VES-TRISS ) SILVER DATE PALM Cold hardy to low 20'S °F. to teens? / SUN
This palm comes from South Pakistan and Northern India, where it experiences cool drought conditions. One of the larger single-trunked palms, it is sometimes confused with the Canary date palm. Where It defers is in it's smaller thickness trunk, and the tight, plumose, silvery-gray leaves. It makes a stunning specimen palm in contrast to solid green canopy. The stiff, tight round crown is architectural as well. It can withstand heavy frosts, and has recovered from well below freezing cold spells. Site them in a well drained full sun area with room around it. One of the most cold hardy Phoenix palms.
PHOENIX THEOPHRASTII ( fee-nix thee-oh-frass-tee-eye ) CRETAN DATE PALM Cold hardy to single digits ° F. / SUN
Possibly, the most cold hardy of all the date palms! One of the two endemic palms to Europe, this palm is from the island of Crete, and a narrow range in Turkey. It is threatened in both places by development. A very attractive clumping palm, it has the typical feathery leaves of a Phoenix palm, with a silvery-gray, spikey leaves. In its natural range, it grows along moist valley floors, stream banks by springs, on coastal rocks and cliffs by the sea. It has the appearance of the commercial date palm, P. dactylifera, but there are differences. The Cretan date has smaller, shorter, sharper, leaves. The fruit is smaller, inedible, and the fruiting clusters are upright. In cultivation, this palm has proven to be extremely cold tolerant, perhaps even more so than P. canariensis. This palm has the rustic appearance of wild date palms at desert oases. RARE & LIMITED!!
RHAPIDOPHYLLUM HYSTRIX , ( rap-i-doh-fill-um his-trix ) NEEDLE PALM Cold hardy to -10 °F. or lower. / SUN OR SHADE
THE MOST COLD HARDY PALM KNOWN !!
This rare, small native palm to the S.E. U.S. In low, damp shady , ravines, or wooded swampy areas. Plants are dioecious, so need both sexes for viable seed. This small palm is almost trunk-less; 3-5ft. with multiple stems, sometimes only one stem. The stems are wrapped in black fiber with needles interwoven in the fibers. eaves are palmate, a dark green above, silvery-gray below. The leaf stems are un-armed with leaves being 1.5 to 2ft wide. This palm is ideal for colder climates with warm summers. Plant in full sun, or in full shade. Water well. They do well in containers, and will grow in a wide variety of soils. These palms are being grown in colder areas of the world where no other palm can grow.
RHAPIS EXCELSA ( ray-pis ek-sell-suh) LADY PALM Cold hardy to 18 °F., or lower / SUN OR SHADE
Cultivated for centuries, from southern China, this small palm has multiple, slim stems, covered in dark, woven fibers, forming a dense clump. The leaves are attractive, fan shaped, deeply divided, with cut ends. Wonderful as an indoor plant, it will grow in sunny or shaded locations. It is very tolerant of low humidity and low light. Slow growing, this palm can tolerate some cold too. If severely damaged, this palm sprouts up again from underground rhyzomes. Well worth trying. VERY ATTRACTIVE IN A POT!!
RHOPALOSTYLIS SAPIDA ( rop-uh-lo-sty-liss sap-ee-duh ) FEATHER DUSTER, NIKAU PALM Cold hardy to upper 20s °F. / SHADE OR SUN
Native to New Zealand, this palm and it's many varieties is the most southerly occurring of all palms. These palms have a solitary stem about 8" diameter, with an overall height of about 25 ft. The swollen crownshaft and stiff, erect, pinnate leaves give the palm a distinct "shuttlecock" or "feather duster" shape. Not many of these Kiwi palms are to be found in cultivation here in the southeast U.S.. They require a cooler atmosphere than many palms.
SABAL BERMUDANA ( say-bull ber-mu-donna ) BERMUDA CABBAGE PALM Cold hardy to 5 °F. or ? / SUN
This Sabal ought to be at least as cold hardy as S. palmetto. Solitary trunks are about 15-20 ft. in height, with a thickness of about 1 to 1.5 feet. Leaves are prominently costapalmate, rigid, and multi-planed , with numerous threads, with a slightly blue shade. A rather large palm that enjoys sun. It is one of the fastest growing that I have tried. My tests have shown a good cold tolerance after sufficient winter hardening. EASY TO GROW
SABAL DOMINGENSIS ( say-bull do-min-jen-sis ) DOMINICAN CABBAGE PALM Cold hardy to 5 °F. or lower / SUN
A more massive sabal than S.palmetto, with larger leaves, this palmetto is native to the island of Hispaniola. It grows from 300 to 3000 ft. elev. there, and is used for thatch, hats, baskets and other items. It can be the most dominant species in some areas forming impressive stands. Similar in appearance to S.palmetto, having folded, fan-shaped leaves and persistent old leaf bases called "boot-jacks" all the way up the fat trunk. This beautiful palmetto grows up to 30 ft. tall, is similar to S. causiarum, but has pear-shaped fruits. It has proven to be very cold tolerant in zones 8a and 8b. It should be more common.
SABAL ETONIA ( say-bull ee-tone-ya ) CORKSCREW, SCRUB PALMETTO Cold hardy low-teens °F. maybe lower. Sun /shade
This small Sabal is distinctive in that it has an underground stem. The green costapalmate leaves have many threads, and a lighter color, almost yellowish. Occasionally, the trunks are emergent up to about 6 ft. tall. This palm is native to the mid-ridge of Florida, USA. in sandy soils in pine-oak woodlands. Should be given more trial in warm temperate areas. My 36" tall plants have weathered 14°F. with little to no damage. A good border "filler plant", if you like using native plants for that rustic Old Florida look. Contrast these plants with darker greens for effect.
SABAL CAUSIARUM (say-bull kaw-see-ar-um ) PUERTO RICAN HAT PALM Cold hardy to 15°F. or lower / SUN
From Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and surrounding islands, this is a MASSIVE fan palm! The single trunk grows to about 30 ft with a girth of about 2-3 ft! The leaves are arching, costapalmate, with many threads. Containerized plants in my nursery were mildly damaged by temps dipping below freezing. Established plants have proven hardy to the upper teens F. with no damage.
If you like massive palms, this one is for you. EASY TO GROW.
SABAL MEXICANA (say-bull mex-ee-canna ) TEXAS PALMETTO Cold hardy to 5° F. or ? / SUN
Sabal mexicana is native from Guatamala, north through Mexico into southern Texas. It grows in large colonies in its range, much as S. palmetto does. It has thick, solitary trunks often covered bottom to crown with old leaf bases called "bootjacks," giving it an architectural look. Palms grow to 30 ft. tall, with a dense crown of strongly costapalmate leaves with lots of thread. Quite cold hardy, this palm awaits further trial by palm enthusiasts. There are thriving plants growing outdoors at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Mature palms are to be found outdoors in Dallas, Texas, northern Louisiana and perhaps many other places even further north.
SABAL MINOR ( say-bull my-ner ) BLUE BUSH PALMETTO , DWARF PALMETTO Cold hardy to -10° F. or lower. / SUN OR SHADE
This is the NEXT MOST COLD HARDY native palm. Possibly, in some areas more cold-hardy than the needle palm because of its deeply buried bud. This small trunk- less palm comes from the Southern U.S., where it grows in moist woods to drier fields from north Florida to coastal North Carolina, and west to Texas and Oklahoma. There are several varieties of this diminutive palm. Var. louisiana can grow an emergent trunk up to about 5 ft. Plants have single short stems, with wide, flat, green palmate leaves, 3-5 ft. wide. In the case of the Louisiana varieties, the leaf color can be a blue-green! The overall height of plants is about 5ft. Fruits are black, shiny, ¼-1/2 in.
Plants grow reasonably fast, tolerate a wide variety of soils, and are ideal for small garden locations. With their blue-green leaves, the contrast to normal green garden subjects is striking. Can also be grown in a container.
SABAL PALMETTO ( say-bull pal-mett-oh ) CABBAGE PALMETTO Cold hardy to 0° F. / SUN
This is the state tree of South Carolina and Florida. It is native to coastal and inland areas of Florida, to North Carolina. The palmetto has a single trunk, 15 ft. to 90 ft. with trunk dia. of 12 to 20 in. The old leaf bases or "boot-jacks" often persist all the way up the trunk, giving an interesting cross-hatching pattern to the tree. The costapalmate leaves are 5 to 7 ft. wide, green with threads, and unarmed leaf stems. Sabal palmetto looks best, I think, when planted in groups, although a single specimen is attention grabbing. It tolerates several different soils, and transplants easily when mature. There are many palmettos growing successfully in the piedmont areas of the southeastern U.S., some achieving massive stature! FAST GROWING, EASY TO GROW.
SABAL "riverside" RIVERSIDE CABBAGE PALMETTO Cold hardy to teens- single digits ° F. / SUN
massive large leaves! Give this one some room, and stand back! Sabal "riverside" is so named from a cultivated tree at Riverside California. The single massive trunks can be 24 inches thick. The costapalmate leaves are larger than S. palmetto, and more blue green in color. Not picky about soils, but needs adequate water and good drainage. It reportedly is extremely fast growing. FAST GROWING, EASY TO GROW.
SABAL XTEXENSIS ( say-bull ex-tex-en-sis ) BRAZORIA PALM Cold hardy to 0° F. / SUN
These palms are believed to be a hybrid between S.minor, and S. mexicana (S. texana). An authority on these palms, Landon Lockett of Texas, has written articles on them for Principes, the Palm Society journal. Vol. 35: no. 2, 64-71, (1991). A very interesting palm, these were found in Brazoria County, Texas. The palms are very variable, having aspects of both S.minor and S.mexicana, many of them growing to 20 ft. in height. The tallest measured was 27 ft. Very attractive, these palms are also extremely cold hardy. Imagine a trunked palmetto with the wide flat leaves of Sabal minor! Easy to grow, and not demanding of damp conditions for growth.
SERENOA REPENS ( sarah- no-ah reh- pens ) SAW PALMETTO Cold hardy 10 °F. and lower, / SUN OR FILTERED SHADE
Native to s.e. U.S. from Florida through Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and into South Carolina, Serenoa forms dense clumps in pinelands, usually dry sandy soils, but in wetlands as well. Extremely variable, it has multiple, branching trunks that hug the ground, but occasionally canting upward to 20 ft. Trunks are up to 12 in. thick. Clumps are usually 3 to 5 ft. tall, however. The leaves are palmate, 1 ½ to 3 ft. wide, with armed leaf stems. The most variable feature is the color and form of the leaves. They range from green, blue, to a silvery-white. The leaves can be diminutive, appearing as evenly round, rigid leaflets, to twisted, or folded and lax and drooping. The oval fruits are ¾ in. to 1½ in., purple-black, with a cheese like odor. There has been much interest in these plants in latter years because of the medicinal use of the fruit . Tests in our area of the piedmont with healthy, well established plants, have been successful.
TRACHYCARPUS FORTUNEI (trak-ee-kar-pus for-toon-eye ) CHINESE WINDMILL PALM Cold hardiness varies 0°F. to -10°F. or lower! / SUN OR SHADE
Also known as Fortune's palm, or Chusan palm, named for the discoverer; Robert Fortune. A native of Chusan, China, this is the second MOST COLD HARDY TRUNKED PALM known so far. The single Trunks can be 40 ft. tall, more often 20- 25 ft., slender, they are covered in a persistent black fiber with old leaf bases within. The leaves are palmate, glossy green , 2 - 3 ft. wide. There is some variability in the leaves on different individuals, as some have more lax leaves, an others more stiff and ascending. Can be planted in most soils, thrives even in red clay. As a container palm, given sun, will do well for years. EASY TO GROW
TRACHYCARPUS FORTUNEI var. "Naini Tal" Cold hardiness varies 0°F. to -10°F. or lower! / SUN OR SHADE
This variety of T. fortunei, has been recently sold under the name "Trachycarpus takil" due to a very old mistake. This windmill comes from the Indian town of Naini Tal, where it was planted and cultivated for many years. It is a very attractive variety, which is larger than the standard T. fortunei, with a very dense crown of leaves. Leaves have a very glossy green color. They are great for lining streets, or other areas where uniformity is needed. From seed, all show the same characteristic as the parents. This variety is also very hardy. In our tests with young plants, most if not all weathered temperatures in the single digits F. quite well in an open situation. AS EASY TO GROW AS THE STANDARD T. FORTUNEI.
TRACHYCARPUS LATISECTUS ( trak-ee-kar-pus lat-i-sek- tus )
SIKKIM WINDMILL PALM, WINDAMERE PALM Cold hardy to 5°F. to ?? / SUN OR SHADE
Only recently described scientifically & RARE. This relative of the windmill palms is going to be a fantastic addition to the collection! It has a thick, bare, ringed trunk, big leathery fan-shaped leaves with a unique silhouette. Similar in some respects to T. martianus, but with the robustness of T. fortunei. It is fast growing, extremely hardy, tolerant of frost and snow. Like the chinese windmill, wind is it's worst enemy, so plant it out when big enough in a sheltered, wind-free location. Young plants less than 3 gal. size should not be set out in areas where prolonged freezing occurs.
TRACHYCARPUS MARTIANUS ( trak-ee-kar-pus mart-ee-ah-nus )
KHASIA or NEPAL WINDMILL PALM Cold hardy to 20°F. - ?/SUN OR SHADE
Quite different from the Chinese windmill, This elegant palm tree comes from northeast India where it grows on rock faces. Finer, and more sophisticated than the Chinese windmill, it is not quite as hardy, but will grow well, though slowly, in the sheltered garden. With a bare trunk, and regularly split leaves, more lighter on underside, it looks too delicate to be so tough. It likes plenty of water, it will enjoy shade as well as sun. If you keep it indoors in the Florida room, watch for spider mites & white scale.
TRACHYCARPUS NANUS ( trak-ee-kar-pus nan-us ) YUNNAN DWARF PALM Cold hardy to below 0 F.- ? more testing required / SUN / SEMI SHADE
This small, trunk less palm is from the same area of China where T. fortunei can be found growing. It superficially might resemble Serenoa. Variable, the leaves can be green, blue or silvery. Some grow a very short, emergent trunk, while most are trunk- less, which further increases the cold hardiness for this species. The leaves are very stiff, with numerous, divided segments. It grows at about 7000 ft. elevation in dense evergreen growth forests, with rhododendrons, pines and oaks in reddish clay. It also grows in grassy pastures in stony, sandy soil. My own experiences with this small palm is that although they grow slowly, they are fairly easy to cultivate, and very cold hardy. RARE AND LIMITED
TRACHYCARPUS TAKIL ( trak-ee-kar-pus tah-kill ) KUMAON WINDMILL PALM Cold hardy at least to 15 F. and lower? / SUN OR SHADE
For years this elusive palm was thought to be extinct in the wild. Recently re-discovered by M.Gibbons, T.Spanner, and B.S. Kholia. They grow at around 7800 ft. elev. in Northern India. The major identifying characteristics are that the papery sheaths called ligules are very different from T. fortunei, as well as a thinner leaf crown, with approx. 20 leaves as opposed to up to 100 or more on T.fortunei. T. takil is more closely similar to T. 0reophilus. The seed are said to be much slower about germinating than T. fortunei.
TRITHRINAX BIFLABELLATA ( try-thry-naks by-flab-eh-lotta )
"BURITI PALM " Cold hardy from teens° F. to ? / SUN / PARTIAL SHADE
If you like spikey, this is it! These hardy palms are native to northern Argentina, paraguay, and Bolivia . They grow along rivers in dry brushy thorn forests. This palm has stiff, spikey, deeply divided, blueish-green, fan shaped leaves on multiple trunks which have spines interwoven into the fiber on the trunks. These have persistent dead leaves which when left, form skirts much like the Washingtonia. They can grow to 20 ft., but slowly. These palms are rare in cultivation. These palms have been added to synonomy with Trithrinax Schizzophylla by Henderson, et.al. This geographically separated population is more slender and smaller than the original T. Schizzophylla. Many still claim it to be a separate species. Certainly our seeds were different!
RARE AND LIMITED
TRITHRINAX BRASILIENSIS (try-thry-naks bra-sil-ee-en-sis )
SPINY FIBER PALM Cold hardy from mid 20's° F. to ? / SUN / PARTIAL SHADE
Also known as T. acanthocoma, this Trithrinax is from Brazil. It has been cultivated for years in California and other Mediterranean type climates. Although not real fast, this palm grows much faster than the others of it's genus, and has quite a bit of cold hardiness coming from where it does. I have seen healthy trees in Augusta, Ga. and in Gainesville, Fl. In habitat, it grows on dry savannahs, where it likes a sunny location and well drained soils. It will grow to about 20 ft. in cultivation. The spiny, fibrous sheath on the thick, single trunk is interesting, and the wide fan leaves are numerous giving it a rounded head.
TRITHRINAX CAMPESTRIS ( try-thry-naks cam-pes-tris )
BLUE NEEDLE PALM Cold hardy from 0° F. to lower / SUN
Absolutely fabulous! These very cold hardy palms are tolerant of snow and ice. They are native to the mountains in north central Argentina. This palm has stiff, gray-blue, fan shaped leaves on multiple trunks which have spines interwoven into the fiber on the trunks. These have persistent dead leaves which when left, form skirts much like the Washingtonia. They can grow to 30 ft., but slowly. These palms are rare in cultivation because of their slow growth, but well worth the trouble to grow.
RARE AND LIMITED
TRITHRINAX SCHIZZOPHYLLA ( try-thry-naks skit-so-fy-la )
"CARANDILLO PALM" Cold hardy from teens° F. to ? / SUN / PARTIAL SHADE
These palms have imposing spikes up to 18 inches long below their stiff, pointed leaves. This is the more robust form from northern Argentina. They grow along rivers in dry deciduous brushy, thorn forest at lower altitudes. This palm has stiff, spikey, deeply divided, blueish-green, fan shaped leaves on single or multiple trunks which have spines interwoven into the fiber on the trunks. These have persistent dead leaves which when left, form skirts much like the Washingtonia. They can grow to 20 ft., but slowly. These palms are rare in cultivation.
RARE AND LIMITED
WASHINGTONIA FILIFERA (wash- eng-tone-ya fill-iff-er-uh )
CALIFORNIA COTTON PALM Cold hardy to 0° F. with defoliation / SUN
Native to California, Arizona, and extending into Mexico, this large, robust palm is deserving of much wider planting. Palms grow to about 50 ft., with single trunks up to 3ft wide. These palms have wide fan shaped leaves with "cottony" threads abundant in the crown. These trees have a smooth, gray, trunk, and if left alone, a large skirt of dead leaves below the crown. They are fast growing, and prized all over the world in areas where they can be grown. As for hardiness, they can withstand extreme heat, drought, and have withstood cold of -11°F where palms were well established. In local tests of young palms here in the s. e ., they have successfully over wintered in the ground, even with our winter wet. Wonderful palms!
CYCAS PANZIHUAENSIS ( sy-kas pan-zee-hwa-en-sis ) CHINESE SAGO, " PANZI " Cold hardy to 0° F. with defoliation / SUN
Probably the THE MOST COLD HARDY CYCAS in the genus, this one is native to one of the colder areas of China, in Szechwan. This new cycad has greater potential than even C. revoluta or C. taitungensis for growers in colder areas. It grows very fast, has an appearance similar to C. revoluta, but color can range to blue. RARE!! VERY LIMITED
CYCAS REVOLUTA ( sy-kas rev-o-loo-tah )KING SAGO Cold hardy to mid teens's° F. ? / SUN OR SEMI SHADE
This is a very popular palm look-alike in the southeastern U.S. It is native to Japan, Taiwan, and Korea, and has been cultivated for hundreds of years. The trunk (or caudex) is pineapple shaped, with stiff, fern-like leaves radiating from the center in whorls. One of the most ancient orders of plants, common during the dinosaur era. It tolerates a lot of abuse and has a fair degree of cold hardiness. I have seen large old ones in Macon, Georgia, outdoors in the ground. A very easy cycad to grow, in a container as a patio plant, or try one in the ground. Many are being tried in the Atlanta area with amazing results!
CYCAS TAITUNGENSIS ( sy-kas ty-tun-jen-sis ) EMPORER SAGO Cold hardy to mid, low teen's ° F.? / SUN OR SEMI SHADE
A cycad similar to C. revoluta, but with more open crown. It's fast growth, toleration of a wide range of growing conditions makes it a very popular plant in the foliage industry. Easy to grow in a container as a patio plant. Recent tests during freezes in the southeast U.S. , have shown it to be just as tough as Cycas revoluta. It recovers much quicker, however, and has more growth flushes than C. revoluta. The main noticeable differences between the two, is that the emperor sago has an attractive brown fuzz on the crown, a single stem, and longer leaves nearly 6 ft. long. This is in my opinion, a VERY attractive cycad. Well worth growing and trying outdoors.
WE RECOMMEND THIS CYCAD FOR BEGINNERS.
DIOON EDULE ( die-oon ed-yool ) MEXICAN CYCAD Cold hardy to teens F °-? Lower with defoliation / SUN OR SEMI SHADE
One of the most cold hardy cycads, this sun loving Mexican cycad has a large caudex with blue-green, ascending leaves.The species is extremely variable with several varieties extending over a large geographical area. The leaves resemble large feathers, or herring bones. Plants have been successfully grown in warm-temperate climates. The leaves can often defoliate, and refoliate when the weather warms. Easy to grow in well-drained soil mixes.
ZAMIA INTEGRIFOLIA ( zay-mee-uh in-teg-ri-fo-lee-uh ) FLORIDA COONTIE Cold hardy to single digits °F. if planted, lower w/ defoliation / SUN OR SHADE
This is the only U.S. native cycad. It is very variable, with leaves which can be short and brushy, or long and fern-like. It ranges all the way into Georgia in the southeast U.S. Many enthusiasts have tried this one in the piedmont, and have been successful. This small stature cycad has an underground caudex, or swollen stem, which sends up the fern-like foliage. Cones are attractive, fist-sized covered in brown fuzz. The fruit is cherry red when ripe. Remember that cycads need good drainage, and must be protected from excess water during the cool periods.
ZAMIA FISCHERI ( zay-mee-uh fish-er-eye ) FISCHER'S ZAMIA Cold hardy 32°F.- ? / SUN OR SHADE
A small and pretty member of the cycad family. Fairly easy to grow in a well drained soil mix, it is best Suited as a greenhouse plant, it is happiest in bright, indirect light. It is best described as having a fist-sized caudex (swollen semi-subterranean stem) topped by a bright green fern-like foliage with, in some plants, bronze-colored new fronds. Some hobbyists have been able to over-winter these cycads with a covering of mulch in some of the gulf states. The plants go deciduous, and new leaves emerge in spring, same as with Florida coontie.
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