Scientific: Phoenix roebelenii
Common: pigmy date palm
Pronounciation: FEE-nix row-be-LEN-ee-i
Sunset 13, 16-24
USDA 9 (with some protection), 10-11
Landscape Use: Specimen for large entryways, container plant, large naturally-lighted indoor mall atriums (like this one in Cleveland, Ohio), outdoor entryway tropical effect (like this one at a 5-star hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand) and mesic landscapes.
Form & Character: Small, clumping spreading, graceful, lacey, refined, tropical.
Growth Habit: Evergreen, perennial monocot, slow growing, heavily branched basally, 6- to 20-feet tall, often forming a dense canopy under ideal conditions.
Foliage/Texture: Feather palm, pinnately compound fronds to 3- to 4-feet long with narrow (1/4- to 3/8-inch wide) somewhat pendulous, soft pinnae, 10- to 12-inches long, prominent yellowish to grayish white scales on central ridges beneath. Pinnae paired to 50 per frond; medium fine texture.
Flowers & Fruits: Axillary yellow inflorescence in panicles to 18-inches long followed by panicled clusters of oblong-ellipsoid, black fruits. Pigmy date palms (as are all Phoenix palms) are dioecious.
Seasonal Color: None
Temperature: Hardy to 30oF.
Light: In Phoenix, partial shade to full eastern sun is best; has difficulty tolerating full western summer sun exposures in Phoenix.
Soil: Tolerant, but soils with some organic matter are best.
Watering: Apply regular water especially in summer.
Pruning: Remove dead fronds, and selectively prune to remove basal branches as desired.
Disease and Pests: None
Additional comments: This is a classy, small palm for partial to full shade areas in close proximity to human traffic. It grows surprisingly well in Phoenix.