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Rhapidophyllum hystrix

needle palm

A bushy, slow-growing palm, with several stems coming from the single stem, to a height of usually no more than 1.5m with glossy, fan-shaped leaves that are deep green and silvery grey beneath. The stems are very spiny, with spines up to 25cm in length. The sporadically produced flowers are purplish-brown and hidden by spines, followed by roundish, red to brown seeds on hermaphrodite and female plants

Other common names
blue palmetto
porcupine palm

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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
1–1.5 metres
Growing conditions
Sand
Loam
Chalk
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained, Poorly–drained
pH
Neutral, Alkaline, Acid
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Yellow Brown Green Grey Silver
Summer Yellow Brown Green Grey Silver Red Brown
Autumn Green Grey Silver Red Brown
Winter Green Grey Silver
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
  • Full shade
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing or North–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Drought resistance
Yes
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Arecaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Clump forming
Name status

Correct

Plant range
SE USA

How to grow

Cultivation

Grows in a wide range of conditions, liking damp soil as well as tolerating some degree of drought. Shelter from cold winds and plant in part-shade or even full shade

Propagation

Propagate by seed or by removing and potting up suckers

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Gravel garden
  • Patio and container plants
  • Sub-tropical
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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