~ Rhopalostylis sapida ~
Nikau Palm, Shaving Brush Palm


Height: 30' Growth Rate: slow Climate Zones: 15-24 to 25 degrees Origin: New Zealand


Canary Island Date Palm Trees

Rhopalostylis sapida is a feather type, self cleaning, ringed trunk palm from the cool islands of New Zealand. Its fronds are held at a nearly 45 degree upright angle from the vertical trunk giving the tree its unique shaving brush look, thus the common name. Its fronds are medium green and are supported by an enlarged, bulbous, compact crownshaft. The flowers are ivory white with abundant, small red seeds to follow. It is a rather slow grower but is the most cold hardy of all the crownshaft palms making it very valuable for use in Northern California. This palm will tolerate the low temperatures of our inland locations but dislikes hot, blasting sun exposure. It will keep a big smile on its face and happily grow if it is given some protection from the wind and hot,blasting inland sun. The Nikau Palm makes a fine potted plant when it is younger. And because of its extremely upright growth habit, the palm can be utilized in tight locations such as along paths where spreading palms would form a visual and physical blockage. R. sapida is striking when lit up or back silouetted. Beautiful, full grown specimens can be seen at the "Palmetum" at Lake Merrit's Garden Center in Oakland. Interstingly, Rhopalostylis is the most Southerly occurring palm in the world naturally growing at 42 degrees South lattitude- not terribly far from the Antarctic! BURRRRR! The Northerly equivalant to 42 degrees South latitude would be somewhere slightly South of Medford, Oregon. Look for Rhopalostylis baueri at our nusery as well. It is similar to the above but with more lax fronds.

Click any photo to view an enlarged, printable cutsheet


Palm Society