En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Which native palms survived severe cold from Las Cruces NM

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - June 12, 2011

From: Las Cruces, NM
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Which native palms survived severe cold from Las Cruces NM
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can you tell me which of the north American native palms survived the severe cold last year that hit El Paso and Las Cruces?

ANSWER:

We are sorry, there are no such statistics available to us. That would require knocking on doors, asking if they ever had certain palms, and did they freeze? The fact that palms are frequently damaged or killed by freezing weather is an outstanding argument for our contention that plants should be native to the area in which they are being grown. Both El Paso and Las Cruces are in USDA Hardiness Zone 8b; we will try to find out the hardiness zones of these palms, and also something about their growing conditions.

There are 8 palms or palmettos (both in Areaceae or Palm family) native to North America:

Coccothrinax argentata (Florida silver palm) - endemic to Florida, 4 counties in southern tip, Zones 9b to 11, likes warm, humid climate.

Rhapidophyllum hystrix (Needle palm) - native to Southeast, native habitat wet, grows natively from South Carolina to Alabama, Zones 8 to 10

Roystonea elata (Florida royal palm) - endemic to South Florida, 4 counties in southern tip, native to cypress swamps, Zones 10 to 11

Sabal mexicana (Mexican palm) - endemic to Texas, along Rio Grande River, Zones 8 to 11

Sabal minor (Dwarf palmetto) - likes damp, shaded places, native to Texas, Oklahoma and several southeastern states, especially cold hardy, has been know to grow as far north as Zone 7

Sabal palmetto (Cabbage palmetto) - Florida and southeast, not known to occur naturally over 75 miles from coast.

Serenoa repens (Saw palmetto) - Texas to southeast states, hardy Zones 8 to 10

Washingtonia filifera (California fan palm) - Arizona, California, Nevada and Florida, moist, alkaline soils, Zones 8b to 11

It would appear, if you can satisfy their moist soil needs, that Sabal mexicana (Mexican palm), Sabal minor (Dwarf palmetto)Serenoa repens (Saw palmetto) and Washingtonia filifera (California fan palm) could all withstand cold temperatures in Las Cruces and El Paso.

 

From the Image Gallery


Dwarf palmetto
Sabal minor

Saw palmetto
Serenoa repens

California fan palm
Washingtonia filifera

Mexican palm
Sabal mexicana

More Trees Questions

Solution for wet area near fence
April 07, 2010 - I just moved into a house that is 10 years old on the north side of Houston, Texas. When it rains the water pools about 1 to 3 inches deep around the beds with trees (pine, sweet gum and chinaberry) ...
view the full question and answer

Ensuring survival of wax myrtle in Wilmington, NC
July 29, 2009 - I just transplanted some wax myrtle bushes. What do I need to do to insure they live?
view the full question and answer

Pruning a Wafer Ash to make it upright
February 11, 2005 - How do I trim a Wafer Ash? It lays on the ground. Is that normal? Does it need to be upright?
view the full question and answer

Trees Planted Over Underground Parking Garage
July 13, 2014 - I live in an apartment complex. We have trees planted over an underground parking lot. I know the names of all the trees and I want to know how much soil they should be planted in to NOT cause damage ...
view the full question and answer

Care of Styphnolobium affine, Eves necklace
October 05, 2007 - I have an 18 yr old Eve's Necklace tree that is dying from the "bottom up". It has only a few leaves at the very top of the tree. I have, connected to the gutter, a rain barrel from which the exc...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center