Rhapidophyllum hystrix

needle palm

Arecaceae (Palmae)


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Use this link to get more info about this plant from the USF Institute for Systematic Botany

Plant Specifics

Form: shrub
Life Span: long-lived perennial
Size: Height: 6 ft    Width: 6 ft
Flower Color: flower color      white
Phenology: evergreen
Noted for: Thorns, interesting foliage


Recommended Uses: Specimen plant, edge, understory shrub. Can be grown in a large container.
Considerations: Old leaf bases form long stiff spines.
Propagation: Seed or by division of clumps. It takes determination to dig and divide a large needle palm, but it is relatively easy to transplant the suckers. Seeds germinate in about 6 to 12 months
Availability: Native nurseries
Light: light requirement   light requirement  
Moisture Tolerance:
Salt Tolerance: Not salt tolerant
Soil or other substrate: Sand, clay, loam


Native Habitats: Moist-wet sites. Seep slope forests, regularly but shallowly inundated floodplains, seepage swamps especially associated with springs, hydric seepage slopes, and at times, some of the adjacent non-hydric slope, hydric hammock, moist upland bluffs adjacent to rivers.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida

USDA Zones:

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures

Suitable to grow in: