I remember seeing pictures of needle palms with a vertical solitary trunk and no lower fronds a long time ago. People were calling it a Bull needle. I’ve always been familiar with the “normal” clumping form which seems to grow wider with offsets as fast as it grows tall. I have one that’s been slow to grow period and only has a few small pups, but I don’t think is a “bull”. One normal clumping form and a small new clumping form. What’s everyone’s experience with the 2 different types? Let’s see them!!!
Walking around the yard weeding and watering and thought I would share some of what I have growing. Needle palms, sabal minor mccurtain, sabal minor, sabal Birmingham, various opuntias, yucca rostratas.
As I am presently living in Nashville, I wanted to get the scoop on palms in the area. On a FB palm group (NAPA I believe) I found a guy who lived in Henderson (20 minutes north of East Nashville) Tennessee who offered to show me some of the palms in the area. I was very surprised that there were any unprotected palms besides Needles and Sabal minor, and was more surprised at how many I saw in a relatively small area. Ill add he knew of more but It had gotten late, and we plan on doing another palm "hunt" in the future.
First this large windmill palm near Old Hickory Lake. According to the owner he bought two windmill palms about 15 - 17 years ago (this being one) while in Orlando around a 5 gallon size after asking about palms to grow in cold hardy climates. Sadly the other one died (visible in photo) a few years ago after a winter, it simply declined and died. The guy who was showing me around was pretty sure it wasn't cold damage as it was apparently a mild winter. This palm has never been protected, and the trunk was about 17 feet tall.
Notice all these volunteers too.
he also had a smaller one he planted around 8 years ago. very fat trunk. More volunteers too.
Few other Windmills around the area. This one on a property right on the lake.
Two more by a pool.
The guy who I went with also had a very impressive garden. He had some non palms that were still impressive But i will add those at the bottom of this post.
Sabal palmetto, never protected, under a small roof area, planted 15 years ago.
Another palmetto, this one's first winter. Not bad damage considering this winter was colder then most, apparently duration wise.
Needle clump around 20 years old.
Not sure the age on this one.
Lots of nice Sabal Minor, some of these he believes aren't fully sabal because they have outgrown some other Sabal Minor he planted much earlier. Either way he has around 20 - 25 planted around and had a literal bucket full of fresh seeds.
These some of the self ID'd Lousiana, sold as Minor. He also said these would sometimes get very mild burn while the full minor didn't. All were purchased as minor.
One in back right is Sabal Birmingham. Two others are minor.
These are apparently full Sabal Minor. These were older then the others.
Windmills too, planted around 8 years ago dont fully remember. None of these palms have ever been protected I should add.
Back near the lake, We also stopped at a place with two Sabal Palmetto palms. He apparently had never stopped here to ask so we did. The owner said he dug up the "palm" in Jacksonville around 15 years ago. He did not think It was a palmetto, though when we looked we decided it was, and told him as such. apparently its slower then usual growth rate is due to the owner having a habit of cutting off all fronds with noticeable burn, and ice damage. We also figured he thought it was a single palm and probably dug up several of them in the same place at once. Also never protected.
At the Henderson Memorial park, apparently there used to be a Sabal Minor and Birmingham (the latter donated by my "guide"). The Birmingham died somehow, and the Minor was pulled out after over a decade to put in a trash can (yeah I know). But down the peninsula, into the woods a little, were many Sabal Minor naturalizing littering the ground, near some swampy areas. There was easily over 100 mixed in spread out over 100/100 feet
There were some other houses we passed by with palms, he knew a person who owned this place, and apparently this a Sabal Birmingham. No other palms on the property
Another windmill. Some of the plants looked like they had been wrapped including this, so we assume some fronds were cooked by Christmas lights. He intends to going back to warn them about it.
also a needle at the same place.
Another home with large Sabal Minor.
They also had a needle and a smaller Minor too.
Now for some of his other rare non palms. Yucca aloifolia for starters. This area really seems like a 7b despite its zone designation.
Sago Cycads, been there at least 5 years, come back every year as perenials. both have green here,
Two live oaks laden with Spanish Moss.
Some kind of Eucalyptus I forgot which one.
I ended up getting one of the Large Windmill palms offspring while we visited. I have since cleaned it and potted it better, this was the only photo I have.
So I have a place in my yard protected area zone 7A Hendersonville Tennessee. After a heavy rain there is sometimes standing water. Takes it a little longer to drain, but a palm would look good there so I was wondering about the various cultivars of dwarf palmetto and needle. Which one is tolerant of wet conditions and cold hardy?
Here is a small update on some of my palms that I have been growing here in Cincinnati ( zone 6b) WITHOUT any protection whatsoever. Unlike parts of Texas that saw below zero temperatures, We in Cincinnati experienced a low of 3 degrees Fahrenheit. These are just some of my palms as of yesterday now that the thaw has begun. The large needle palm was a palm that I salvaged from a restaurant along the Ohio river just outside of downtown Cincinnati last September that had been growing in a median in the parking lot totally unprotected and fully exposed to the elements since 2009. I will be posting more updates on my other palms and exotica later.