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Bigfish

Single-Trunked Rhapidophyllum hystrix pictures

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Bigfish

So in another thread, some were wondering what a single-trunked Needle Palm would look like. There are many, many examples out there. Some people call this form a "Bull Needle," but that is usually referring to a large, single-trunked male with large leaves and a rather sparse crown. I have seen single-trunked female Needle Palms also. Often times single-trunked Needles can be observed in habitat. It's not clear why some have no pups. It's possible that some Needles in landscapes have their suckers pruned on a regular basis, but that would be some dedicated maintenance.

It would be nice to find a seed source of needle Palms where they produced only single-trunked specimens, but I don't think that's likely. Anyways, here's a few pictures that I have.

These were taken in Gainesville a couple of weeks ago in a landscape. The two biggest ones were females.

Rhapidophyllumhystrix4_zpsfa34c9ea.jpg

Rhapidophyllumhystrix2_zpsbbdafd4e.jpg

Rhapidophyllumhystrix3_zps0217c95e.jpg

Rhapidophyllumhystrix1_zps4e086534.jpg

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Bigfish

Here's a few at Leu Gardens in Orlando that are from 2004. If I remember Eric correctly, he said these Needles were growing on the property before it was a botanic gardens!

needle4_zps6e6734ee.jpg

needle3_zpsd2e429a8.jpg

needle2_zps0a254991.jpg

needle1_zps0b905140.jpg

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Bigfish

Here's a few smaller ones planted at the home of Mr. Charles Cole, Tennessee's hardy palms pioneer. He has some old Needles on his property that were planted in 1966! These are not those, obviously. The first one pictured actually had a few fat clusters of seeds on it.

MrColesPalms021_zpsa5507251.jpg

needleinshade_zpsbf2774de.jpg

MrColesPalms003_zps3a7e484e.jpg

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sashaeffer

Seeing all these beautiful pictures makes me wonder if anyone has tried to cross this species with some other species to have yet another cold hardy cross.

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sashaeffer

Needle5_op_800x600.jpg

Courtesy of Chilly Palm Tree company

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Bigfish

Here's a massive single-trunked Needle in habitat in a flood plain near Macon, GA.

img_0298.jpg

Another one with me in the background. I am 6'7" for scale. This one was a behemoth! The bottom foot or so of trunk was underwater.

img_0303.jpg

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Bigfish

This one could be another Leu Gardens Needle...I am not sure. Wherever it is, it is a beauty!

117_1760_zps0d007631.jpg

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Alicehunter2000

Nice, always thought needles looked better in habitat .... probably more of a water thing....last pic shows they like their water.

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Alberto

Thnks for sharing this photos. It´s a little palm I like very much! I have 11 growing happily here!

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Palm crazy

Frank great examples of some very awesome single trunk needle palms. I like the look of this palm very much, sadly I don’t even have one…LOL!

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Bigfish

Nice, always thought needles looked better in habitat .... probably more of a water thing....last pic shows they like their water.

David, they do indeed like their water! They can take being at least partially submerged for weeks or maybe even months.

Thnks for sharing this photos. It´s a little palm I like very much! I have 11 growing happily here!

Alberto, you can never have too many. Glad you enjoyed!

Frank great examples of some very awesome single trunk needle palms. I like the look of this palm very much, sadly I don’t even have one…LOL!

Needle Palms grow extremely slowly in your part of the country. They really need summer heat to grow well.

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WestCoastGal

I was considering adding one to our landscape a while back. Yard is just starting out and we didn't have much shade. Had read about them doing better in shade so have held off. Maybe when we get some more canopy going. We do have hot summers and get all our rain during the winter so hoped it would be happy otherwise.

Those are nice examples of single-trunked needles. What attracts me to the palm is the deep cut fronds. And when provided with shade the coloring is super nice.

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Bigfish

I was considering adding one to our landscape a while back. Yard is just starting out and we didn't have much shade. Had read about them doing better in shade so have held off. Maybe when we get some more canopy going. We do have hot summers and get all our rain during the winter so hoped it would be happy otherwise.

Those are nice examples of single-trunked needles. What attracts me to the palm is the deep cut fronds. And when provided with shade the coloring is super nice.

They don't need shade. They grow fine in full sun also. But I do think that they look better in some shade. They take on a more compact appearance in full sun. As long as you have heat and water, they will be happy,

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smithgn

Wow! I can't say I've ever seen one in this variety. All of the needles I've seen are the "bush" type lol

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Bigfish

I found this ancient beast today in Gainesville! The trunk was several feet tall, and on the other side of the palm from this picture, there is a foot or more of trunk lying on the ground. This magnificent palm could be upwards of 75 years old or more.

Singletrunkancientneedle_zps5be4b473.jpg

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CumberlandPlants

That Needle is Awesome! Wish mine would hurry up and at least hit knee height. It is

Frustrating how slow they can be!

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Bigfish

There are definitely at least 2 distinct forms of Needle Palms. One, like this one, has a single trunk or maybe forms one or two offsets. The other forms many offsets. I think another form has offsets and doesn't ever really develop much of an above-ground trunk. I found a real oddball today and took some pictures, but will have to wait until I get home to download them from my camera. It had one trunk but the trunk was mostly below ground, with maybe an inch or two above-ground. The palm was mature, as I could see an old inflorescence on it. It also had 360° leaves! That is the first Rhapidophyllum I have ever seen with 360° leaves.

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CumberlandPlants

That needle does sound like an oddball. Cannot wait to see the photos of it!

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Alicehunter2000

Picked up a blue pot half price bargain today $33 no holla

post-97-0-01387500-1419822776_thumb.jpg

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Bigfish

That's a good price! No suckers on that one either. I have never been able to grow one from seed that didn't end up having suckers. If anyone ever identified a Needle Palm that produced seeds that only produced single-trunk palms, well seems like that would be interesting.

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Bigfish

Picked up a blue pot half price bargain today $33 no holla

attachicon.gif20141228_154334.jpg

BTW, you will obviously have no problems with cold-hardiness because you live in Florida, but those blue pot palms reputation for not being as cold hardy as other palms of the same species is well-deserved! I know a guy that live about 2-3 miles from me that had several different species of palms planted in his yard that he acquired from one of the big box stores in blue pots. He had them in the ground for over three years before last winter, when Smyrna, TN hit 0F or below. I know he had a couple of very nice-sized Chamaerops, some Butia, and a bunch of Rhapidophyllum planted out. The only palms left in his yard this spring were the Needles, which was to be expected with no protection. What was rather surprising though, is that most of his Needles lost their main trunk and suffered massive cold damage, while other Needle Palms in the area and in TN suffered no damage at all. This was after already being in the ground for 3 years! They are growing back nicely and should fill out well in a few years, but I just wonder how long the blue pot Needles have to be in the ground in zone 7 before they stop being wimps! LOL!

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Alicehunter2000

Interesting observation....maybe just being grown in a pot in general makes them less able to adapt. Pretty sure that even the cold hardy stuff is being grown somewhere relatively warm.

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905palms

Blue potted palms generally are over-fertilized with quick release for rapid growth and for the sake of retail sales. I've read more than once, that palms that are over-fertilized do poorly. If it's Monrovia, enough said. If they are fertilized with a slow release, they'll be fine within their species capabilities. For that price, u can't go wrong and a pretty good pick-up.

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Alicehunter2000

How easy are Needles to transplant.....The State has bought up a bunch of land to do a big Hwy overpass. They have been tearing down all the businesses along the path....there are two large clumps of R. hystrix that have been growing for a really long time. I would like to maybe try and dig them out....but didn't know if they would survive. Would love to pay the land clearing guys to just dig it with heavy backhoe and put it in the back of my truck....wonder if they would do it for $40?

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Bigfish

Interesting observation....maybe just being grown in a pot in general makes them less able to adapt. Pretty sure that even the cold hardy stuff is being grown somewhere relatively warm.

I think all of the blue pot palms are grown somewhere in FL. I've grown Needle Palms in pots, then planted them out in the ground and never seen a bit of damage from them. Needles I got from a grower in NC that I planted in Knoxville have done very well also. It's just that these guys that supply the blue pot palms must push them ridiculously hard with ferts to get them to be so damn wimpy, LOL.

How easy are Needles to transplant.....The State has bought up a bunch of land to do a big Hwy overpass. They have been tearing down all the businesses along the path....there are two large clumps of R. hystrix that have been growing for a really long time. I would like to maybe try and dig them out....but didn't know if they would survive. Would love to pay the land clearing guys to just dig it with heavy backhoe and put it in the back of my truck....wonder if they would do it for $40?

Well, Needles re-grow roots pretty easily, unlike Sabal minor or Serenoa repens. You shouldn't have any problems there. I have a friend that transplanted 2 large pups with no roots directly into his yard in TN and they have re-grown roots and are growing again. Now...handling the palm is another issue! WEAR GLOVES!!! By all means, go for it. If you can get them back home, you shouldn't have a problem getting them to live.

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CumberlandPlants

Interesting observation....maybe just being grown in a pot in general makes them less able to adapt. Pretty sure that even the cold hardy stuff is being grown somewhere relatively warm.

I think all of the blue pot palms are grown somewhere in FL. I've grown Needle Palms in pots, then planted them out in the ground and never seen a bit of damage from them. Needles I got from a grower in NC that I planted in Knoxville have done very well also. It's just that these guys that supply the blue pot palms must push them ridiculously hard with ferts to get them to be so damn wimpy, LOL.

How easy are Needles to transplant.....The State has bought up a bunch of land to do a big Hwy overpass. They have been tearing down all the businesses along the path....there are two large clumps of R. hystrix that have been growing for a really long time. I would like to maybe try and dig them out....but didn't know if they would survive. Would love to pay the land clearing guys to just dig it with heavy backhoe and put it in the back of my truck....wonder if they would do it for $40?

Well, Needles re-grow roots pretty easily, unlike Sabal minor or Serenoa repens. You shouldn't have any problems there. I have a friend that transplanted 2 large pups with no roots directly into his yard in TN and they have re-grown roots and are growing again. Now...handling the palm is another issue! WEAR GLOVES!!! By all means, go for it. If you can get them back home, you shouldn't have a problem getting them to live.

My experience with blue pot needles has been pretty negative. I have done ok with the 7gal size blue pot needle, but had 3gal size for Rhapidophyllum, Trachys, Butia, and Chamaerops in blue pots have all been disappointing here. My belief is to concur with Alicehunter2000, and a local Palm grower that is a friend Franks and mine. He has been growing palms for 20 years. Here is what he had to say about blue pot palms:

Have not tried needles from central or south Florida. My sources have always been in east Georgia but needles from south Florida would probably still be better than blue pots. The hormone and excessive fertilizer issue is now widely suspected from them. Lowes won't even carry them anymore. People throughout zone 8 have even lost them. Sometimes even at 20 degrees which should not happen with a needle.

I personally was shocked at the news that people living in zone 8 were losing blue pot Needles due to cold weather. That is so sickening especially with knowing how much the needles in Knoxville have went through. Thanks again Frank for providing so much info. on the Knoxville Needles.

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Bigfish

Well there are several different growers of the "blue pot" palms. Morningstar Nursery is one, located in Palm Beach, FL. Acosta Farms in Miami, FL, and Costa Farms of Miami as well, are two others. There may be more, I'm not sure. Who knows what the practices are exactly, but you can be sure that these palms are pushed quite a bit. Having 3 or more growers would help to explain why some people have had no problems at all with their blue pot palms, while others have seen Needles defoliate and lose trunks at temperatures that wouldn't injure an established Trachycarpus.

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PalmatierMeg

I see blue pot needles at BB sometimes and I wonder: have they been grown from seeds or did someone dig them up from the wild? I hope not because this relict palm might not be able to deal with this added pressure of poaching.But they are so slow that is it economically feasible for a nursery to grow from seed. I have two small ones under mostly shade in different parts of my yard, as I don't think they are native this far south.

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Ben in Norcal

I have never seen a blue pot anywhere. Is it an east coast thing?

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PalmatierMeg

Probably. Blue pots tip off buyers that plants might be hardy in their zone. Often, blue pots sport labels that read "Cold Hardy".

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CumberlandPlants

Pretty sure east coast. All the blue pot palm nurseries are in Florida.

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Tropicdoc

Sorry need to rotate

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Bigfish

That looks like a single-trunked Chamaerops to me. Definitely not a Rhapidophyllum.

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Tropicdoc

My bad. I like the palm though.

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tjwalters

Here's a small "single-trunk" needle of mine. It does produce the occasional offset, which I remove. I've potted up a few of them and will plant them out to see if they also remain relatively offset-free.

R.hystrix.bull.20141214-01.jpg

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