The palms that grow in our New Zealand climate are those rare species that can tolerate colder climates. The Cotton palm, Jelly palm, Date palm and Fan palm are all able to manage not only the cooler climes but can also handle the stormy coastal winds and even light frosts.
Palm leaves can be long and divided, like giant fern leaves – called ‘feather palms, or they can be rounded and fan shaped – called ‘fan palms’. Palms are exceptional specimens to use in the landscape design when desiring to create a ‘tropical’ feeling in the garden – that relaxed and ‘beachy’ look that gives the illusion that you are living on a desert island. Sit on a lounger under the palm and call for a Pina Colada!
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And then there are the Cycads. These prehistoric plants are thought to have been a delicacy of the Dinosaurs! Imagine a creature eating a Cycad. Sounds like sacrilege. But these wonderful, ancient and slow growing gymnosperms are well worth including in the landscape design or in containers if you are a patient sort.
An unusual 'Palm' with a fat swollen base that increases with age. This base is topped off with a mop of branched green foliage that curves backwards reminiscent of a pony tail. Can be grown outdoors but must be protected from all frost. Good drainage is also essential. Evergreen.
Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.2m x 1m
This close cousin of our native 'Cabbage Tree' hails from Australia where it grows in sub-tropical, moist shady conditions. The long dark green leaves tend to droop downwards making this a nice plant for a tall pot. Panicles of purplish flowers appear in late spring followed by berries. Evergreen.
Colour: Purple Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 3m x 0.6m
Commonly known as the Japanese Sago Palm but not recommended for making a Sago pudding! Slow growing and evergreen this Cycad has dark green, spine tipped leaves with rolled back margins hence the name 'revoluta'. Plant in sun or shade and protect from harsh frost. Will do well in a container.
Colour: Assorted Habit: Arching Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2m x 1m
A medium to large cycad that matures to form an erect trunk suited to subtropical and temperate climates. Prefers a shady spot in the garden. Great for adding a subtropical look to your garden or equally at home in a feature pot. Tolerates light frosts.
Colour: Assorted Habit: Arching Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 6m x 4m