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A picture of a Needle Palm

Needle Palm

Rhapidophyllum hystrix

Also known as

Blue Palmetto, Porcupine Palm

Rhapidophyllum hystrix 004 by Scott Zona by scott.zona (CC BY 2.0)

Full Sun
Light watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Needle Palm

Some green leaved Rhapidophyllum hystrix growing in the wild
A green Rhapidophyllum hystrix plant in a garden
A close up of a green Rhapidophyllum hystrix plant in the wild
A green Rhapidophyllum hystrix plant
A photo of Needle Palm

Needle Palm Overview

Rhapidophyllum hystrix is the sole species in the genus Rhapidophyllum. This plant resides in the Arecaceae family of palms and it is commonly known by the name Needle Palm. It is native to parts of the subtropical Southeastern North America, where it can be found growing along coastal margins and into temperate regions. It has a clumping, shrubby habit where several spiny stems grow out of a single base and are topped with divided fan-shaped leaves. As it is relatively cold-tolerant it is a popular palm to grow as a specimen plant in cooler, temperate regions. Small, yellow-brown flowers may be produced in the summer, they are 3-petalled and produced densely in clusters amongst the leaves, leading onto red-brown drupes. The flowers are generally hidden by the foliage.

Special features of Needle Palm

Attractive leaves