Rhapidophyllum hystrix (Pursh) H. Wendl. & Drude ex Drude
Needle Palm, Blue Palmetto
Arecaceae (Palm Family)
USDA Symbol: RHHY
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: 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 ConditionsLight 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.
PropagationCommercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording 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
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 78 - Missouriplants.com (2020) Missouri Native Plant Society
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Rhapidophyllum hystrix in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Rhapidophyllum hystrix in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Rhapidophyllum hystrix
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-24
Research By: TWC Staff