MORE COLD HARDY THAN ITS SISTER, THE BOTTLE PALM
Most of us are familiar with the more common Bottle Palm, Hyophorbe lagenicaulis. Here I’m showing you a better palm for us – the Spindle Palm, Hyophorbe verschafeltii. This species gets a bit taller than the Bottle Palm but still loves full sun and heat. Bottle Palms suffer when they see temperatures of about 38 degrees or lower. I only know of one or two specimens here that have made it to any mature size. In contrast, the Spindle Palm tolerates temperatures almost down to a freeze. Mature heights are about 15 feet or a bit more and there are quite a few mature trees in the San Diego area. Looking at the palm, the best way to tell them apart is “where is the bulge in the trunk?” Bottle palms swell at the very base of the trunk. Above this swollen base they can taper in upwards on the trunk.
The Spindle Palm swells in the mid-trunk as shown below. They are small at the base of the trunk. Also, the Spindle has more yellow overtones to the leaves and stems. The Bottle is more red. Once acclimated to your locality, they usually want full sun. They don’t do well in shade. We have both 15 and 5 gallon plants at the nursery and are putting our 5 gallon size on sale for ten days.
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