(Cycad, Virgin Palm)
Virgin palm is a very slow-growing cycad with stiff, fern-like leaves radiating outward from a central, trunk-like stem. A native of southeastern Mexico, this cone-bearing plant is not a real palm, but is more ancient: growing around the time of the dinosaurs. Its fronds are covered with stiff, haired or smooth bluish green or dark green leaflets held perpendicularly to the leaf stem, which is lighter green. As the plant gets older and grows a clump of taller trunk-stems, the leaf fronds are held...
(Chiapas Church Steeple Cycad, Cycad, Golden Dioon)
Pointy, plastic-like leaves stiff, sharp-tipped leaflets radiate outward and upward from a central, trunk-like stem on the golden dioon. Native to and endangered in the Mexican state of Chiapas, this cone-bearing plant is neither a fern nor palm, but is a more ancient cycad that existed around the time of the dinosaurs. It grows slowly, eventually developing an upright or leaning trunk-like stem.
New fronds emerge in the heat of summer. They arise from the growing tip on the stem, unfurling with...
Carol Cloud Bailey
(Gum Palm, Spiny Dioon)
The gum palm is a slow growing cycad with stiff, fern-like leaves radiating outwards from a central, trunk-like stem. A native of southern Mexico, this cone-bearing plant is not a real palm, but is more ancient: recorded in fossilized rock along with dinosaur bones. Its fronds are covered with smooth, stiff, dark green leaflets held almost perpendicular to the leaf stem, and have occasional little spines. The fronds are held upright but gracefully curve or droop to make a lovely silhouette. Male...
Grown for its ornamental trunks and large lacy leaves, this medium-sized palm was once native to Madagascar but is now found only on the Comoros Islands. It was first described from cultivated plants in Cuba.
The slender, multiple trunks of Cabada palm are light olive green, ringed at regular intervals with gray leaf scars. Each trunk is topped by a long smooth silvery green crownshaft, formed by the clasping leaf stems ("petioles"). The six to ten magnificent, erect to horizontal, pinnate (feather-like)...
Forest & Kim Starr
Named for its three vertical ranks of pinnate (feather-like), gracefully arching, blue-green fronds, this amazingly beautiful and interesting single-trunked palm is native only to the southeastern part of Madagascar. Branching clusters of yellow flowers arise from the lower leaf bases throughout the year, followed by small green fruit that ripen to black.
Triangle palm thrives in sun, well-drained soil that is not highly alkaline, and mild climates. Although drought tolerant, it responds favorably...
(Redneck Palm, Teddy Bear Palm)
Named for the unique color and texture of its clasping leaf stems, teddy bear palm is widely grown in gardens, but unknown in the wild. It probably originated in Madagascar. Medium-sized and single-trunked, it bears magnificent long pinnate (feather-like) leaves in feather-duster fashion, giving it the appearance of a straight-trunked coconut palm.
The waxy silver-gray trunk is ringed at regular intervals with red-brown leaf scars. The trunk is topped by a fuzzy, reddish-brown crownshaft, formed...
Carol Cloud Bailey
(Areca Palm, Golden Cane Palm, Yellow Bamboo Palm, Yellow Butterfly Palm)
Areca palm is a popular tropical plant that is native to Madagascar. It has glossy, graceful, feathery compound leaves that have long, narrow, bright green leaflets along a yellow frond stem. In summer it produces small yellow flowers followed by yellow to purple fruits.
This pleasing palm forms multiple trunks and large clumps. It is used extensively as a landscape palm in frost-free locations and an interior specimen where not hardy. Outside, it prefers full sun to partial shade and very...
Gerald L. Klingaman
Medium-sized palms that bear immense feathery leaves and highly prized oil-rich fruits, the two species in the genus Elaeis have both ornamental and agricultural value. They are native to the tropics of Africa and America.
These palms bear 20 to 40 huge, plumy, evergreen leaves atop a massive solitary trunk. Each frond has hundreds of narrowly lance-shaped, dark green leaflets, arranged in several planes along a stout midrib. The fronds are held on sturdy fibrous stems (petioles) that...
(African Oil Palm)
Bearing immense feathery leaves and highly prized oil-rich fruits, this medium-sized palm from tropical Africa has both ornamental and agricultural value.
Plants bear 20 to 40 huge, plumy, evergreen leaves atop a massive solitary trunk. Each frond has 200 to 300 narrowly lance-shaped, dark green leaflets, arranged in several planes along a stout midrib. The fronds are held on sturdy fibrous stems (petioles) that are heavily armed with tooth-like spines and long spine-like filaments. The woody...
(Bread Cycad, Cycad)
The slow-growing Encephalartos cycads comprise around 60 species with sharp, pointed fronds. All are native to the southern half of Africa with the greatest diversity in South Africa. The Greek name, Encephalartos, translates to “in head bread,” referring to the flour native African peoples make from the plant stems. Cycads are ancient, cone-producing, vascular plants that are closely related to conifers, such as firs, cypresses and junipers. Despite their appearance, they are...