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Rhapidophyllum hystrix (Needle palm) | NPIN

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Rhapidophyllum hystrix (Needle palm)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Rhapidophyllum hystrix

Rhapidophyllum hystrix (Pursh) H. Wendl. & Drude ex Drude

Needle palm, Blue palmetto

Arecaceae (Palm Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Needle palm is an armed shrub, rarely more than 6 ft. tall, with erect or spreading stems from a short trunk. The leaf sheaths have long, needle-like, stiff and sharp spines. The fruit, a red drupe, is preceded by a short, dense inflorescence.


Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AL , FL , GA , MS , SC
Native Distribution: C. GA, s. to c. FL, AL & MS
Native Habitat: Swamps; wet to mesic woods & hammocks; dry rocks

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Various wet to dry soils.
Conditions Comments: Needle palm is slow growing and adaptable. It can be used as a ground cover or ornamental specimen, and has proven tolerant of parking lot conditions.


Description: Not Available
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Native Plant Nursery - Sanibel, FL

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Georgia Native Plant Society - Atlanta, GA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski

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Recommended Species Lists

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Additional resources

USDA: Find Rhapidophyllum hystrix in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Rhapidophyllum hystrix in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Rhapidophyllum hystrix


Record Modified: 2013-09-08
Research By: TWC Staff

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