Pronounciation: SAY-bal mex-i-KAY-na
Landscape Use: Vertical accent, either singly or in groups, mesic and oasis landscape design themes only, great for use around pools or landscape water features.
Form & Character: Upright, boisterous, stately, robust, very clean.
Growth Habit: Evergreen perennial, monocot, single trunk, not self shedding, moderately slow to 60 feet, though rarely above 30 feet in Phoenix.
Foliage/texture: Large costapalmately compound fronds, 4 feet wide, glaucous green with sometimes filamentous margins, long slender petioles to 4 feet long, petioles unarmed; medium coarse texture.
Flowers & fruits: Dense clusters of cream white-colored flowers on 6 foot long stalks, bisexual, followed by clusters of small, black drupes (rounded fruit), edible.
Seasonal color: Creamy white flowers in spring followed by hanging fruit clusters during fall.
Temperature: Tolerant of Phoenix heat and cold so long as there is sufficient surrounding vegetation.
Light: Full sun to partial shade.
Soil: Will need applications of a balanced, controlled-release, "palm" fertilizer containing higher amounts of potassium and magnesium during the summer for best performance.
Watering: Needs supplemental water especially during summer.
Pruning: Little needed, only to remove dead fronds.
Disease and pests: None
Additional comments: Rio Grande palmetto is a very clean looking fan palm with little litter. Not for use in xeric or desert landscapes in Phoenix. Sadly, this excellent fan palm is not commonly seen in Phoenix landscapes.