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Rhapidophyllum hystrix

Needle Palm

Considered to be the most cold-hardy of all palms, withstanding temperatures down to -23°C (-10°F), Rhapidophyllum is suprisingly rare in cultivation. One of the reasons may be that seeds are almost never available and plants are difficult to come by. A well grown specimen, with its dark green, glossy leaves, is a handsome palm, and well worth the trouble of obtaining or growing it, despite the fierce armament of its short, fibrous trunk.

 
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germination comments by our visitors
For general germination instructions click here.

Also see plant cultivation comments below.

Seeds from this species ...

... are easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Recieved sampler packet of R. hystix from rarepalmseeds on 11/4/08. Soaked seeds in warm water for 3 days with changes of water each day. Placed seeds in moist vermiculite inside flip-top sandwich bag and then inside a larger ziplock Kept seeds at constant 28 C. One seed germinated on day 8, 2 seeds germinated on day 11, 2 seeds germinated on day 13. No germination of remaining 5 seeds by day 17... will continue warmth and observation.
Submitted on 24/11/2008 by one of our visitors

... are not rated.
I'm looking foward to the germination of the seeds my needle palms produced. The info from your site will be very helpfull. I have two plants, one about 36" tall, blooms every spring. The other only 12"and it blooms for the first time last year. So I got involed with a Q-tip, just to see. Now I have a hand full of seeds. From the smaller palm. I'm so proud!
Submitted on 02/10/2007 by virgil smart virgilsmart@bellsouth.net

...easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I had trouble growing these seeds using normal palm seed growing methods. I had no germination after a couple of months with 9 of my 10 seeds using moist soiless mix placed into a plastic zip-lock bag. These 9 seeds had the hard outer seed coat broken by hand and removed and were soaked for 2 days prior to putting them in the plastic bag.I kept one seed to try something different. I broke the hard coating with my fingers thereby removing all of it and soaked the seed for 2 days. I then placed the seed between folded paper towels that were moistened. This was then placed into a plastic zip-lock bag and put on top of my refrigerator. I opened the bag once a week to check for germination. On the 3rd week I saw a small button (about 1mm)sticking out of the seed so I planted the germinating seed into a very small pot. It grew 1 leaf in the next month, but I did not place it in a pot with good drainage and it rotted. The paper towel baggy method seemed to work really well for this species of palm.
Submitted on 18/08/2005 by one of our visitors

...very easy to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
Seeds purchased in november 2004 were subjected to cold stratification in peat or perlite, outdoors, down to -13 degC for a month, then kept in a closed balcony. Temperatures varied between 2-15 degC and germination occured in April, when the sun heated the balcony- especially the seedbag- to 35 degC. I strongly suspect that this "difficult to germinate" palmtree in the past is, in fact, easy, if the natural cycles are respected and not kept permanently warm.
Submitted on 13/04/2005 by Fabian Vanghele fabian_vanghele@yahoo.com

...very difficult to germinate and need more than 1 year to sprout.
very easy to grow and needs more than a year
Submitted on 26/01/2005 by m_88888@hotmail.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
bought fresh seeds from rarepalmseeds and immediately sowed it in sphagnum, kept at temperature around 90°F (30°C)and humidity was ca. 90%. First seed germinated after 137 days. The moss was kept moist all the time.
Submitted on 27/08/2004 by Jon Agust Erlingsson johnny13@torg.is

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I placed the seeds 2" deep in a well draining soiless mix, that was kept just moist. The seeds were kept at 75*F at night and between 85-90*Fduring the day . I started them on July 12and noticed the first ones starting to sprouton Aug. 10, so approximately one month!And they continue to germinate.I tried many other methods previously, including cracking the outer shell and presoaking, and found these not to work.The best way to get success with these is tokeep them just moist and very warm.
Submitted on 25/08/2004 by Chris Wolfe wolfecbr@mail.ocis.net

...very easy to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
This species I have no proble with germinating just a problem getting seeds. It is very slow to develope but, not slow to germinate. I get a 90% success rate. It literally grows as fast as concrete.
Submitted on 11/08/2004 by snakeman thegreenplantmarket@charter.net

...easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Easy to germinate. Remove embryo cap (bump on the side of the seed) and germinate in a sterile soiless medium at 30 degrees cel.
Submitted on 08/08/2004 by Doug rogers dkrogers@shaw.ca

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
very easy seed to germinate only takes around 3 months to germinate and the methode i use is damp compost then place the seeds in a zip lock bag and put under growing lights and only water seeds when nearly dry just keep moist got over 50% to germinate
Submitted on 04/01/2004 by lee rodgers kingpalm@blueyonder.co.uk

...very difficult to germinate and need more than 1 year to sprout.
Slow to germinate, need to keep somewhat dry during germination, additional bottom heat may help. Using warm water did not do well for us over the past few years. Better to have the dormancy break naturally.
Submitted on 14/10/2003 by one of our visitors

...difficult to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
I did not have good luck with this one, 25% germination, using bottom heat, and very slow.
Submitted on 23/12/2002 by Van vandringar@hotmail.com

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
Also see germination commnets above.

Plants from this species ...

... are of high ornamental value
In Sharptown, Maryland in USA they need very little care and grow very slow.
I have 4 plants in my zone 7A yard. Three of them were started from seed and are suckering type. One I purchased from a nursery when it was 1 meter tall. The plants have been in my yard for 5 years experiencing down to 0°F(-18°C) almost every year. I have had dieback on the smaller plants but they come back each year developing more cold hardiness. The large one, in the open area of my yard, has had no problems. Highly recommend for colder climes.
Submitted on 22/10/2011 by Mark Bebee

win € 75 worth of seeds
by writing a plant cultivation comment about how to cultivate the plants of this species. Click here!

If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

 
       
 
We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches


Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.


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