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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.
Common Name: Needle Palm
Botanical Name: Rhapidophyllum hystrix
Plant Type: Clustering, trunkless palm tree
Origin: Southeastern United States
Zones: 8 - 10
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: Betrock's Guide to Landscape Palms
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Last updated 06/03/08