Livistona chinensis, Chinese Fan, Chinese Fountain Palm

Livistona chinensis

Chinese Fan, Chinese Fountain Palm
Family: Arecaceae / Palmae
Origin: China, Southern Japan, Taiwan
USDA Zone: 9-11?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapSmall tree 10-20 ftSemi-shadeFull sunModerate waterPalm or palm-like plant

A popular container palm which can also be used as an attractive landscape tree. Younger plants require partial shading.

The large bright green fan-shaped leaves are deeply divided into about 75 segments that droop downward to give a gracefully fountain-like aspect inspiring its common name Chinese fountain palm. These leaves may grow up to 5 ft in diameter and form a dense canopy on a solitary brown trunk that bleaches to gray on older specimens. Trunks grow to about 18" in diameter and are wider at the base. This palm is occasionally seen in Florida, slowly growing to a height of 30 ft. Flowers are borne on 6 ft inflorescences hidden within the crown and are followed by oval or round seeds that turn dark blue to blue-gray when ripe.

This palm is increasingly popular for use in landscapes in Florida, California and other warm temperate climates.

Chinese fan palm is not particular about soil. Fertilize twice a year in spring and summer with a good quality slow release fertilizer that contains micro-nutrients.

Likes direct sun and bright situations. Young plants look better when grown in part shade.

This palm forms a long tap root and can survive extended periods of drought. Provide adequate moisture for more rapid growth.

Hardiness: USDA Zones 9 - 11. Sheltered under live oak trees, these specimens routinely survive temperatures in the mid twenties with no ill effect. They have survived temperatures as low as 15 degrees which burnt the leaves but they recovered. They also seem resistant to the fungus diseases that attacked other "semi-hardy" palms after sustaining cold damage.

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