Would you like to know about a beautiful, winter-hardy and drought-tolerant palm? We are introducing one of the most famous palm trees, the Sylvester Palm. The silvery-green fronds with typical spiny appearance make it look nothing lesser than an exotic beauty.
These trees can get about 40 feet tall with spiny canopies spreading around 20 feet wide. The Sylvestris Palms are native to Asian countries Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. However, they are extensively grown in European region typically in USDA growth zone 8 to 11. You can grow them both indoors and outdoors without many demands from these low-maintenance friends. Still with us? Let us know more about the Phoenix Sylvester Palm trees along with their care and maintenance.
Sylvester Palm Classification
Botanical Name: Phoenix sylvestris.
Let us have a little knowhow about the basic features of the genus. We hope this helps to understand the Slyvestris palm better.
This is a genus of about 14 palm species. They belong to areas including the Canary Islands, areas of north and South Africa, Europe and South Asia. These palms come from diverse growing habitats including swamps, sea coasts and deserts.
Structure of The Sylvester Palm Tree
The Phoenix palms show a range of heights including tallies, mediums and even some dwarf varieties.
One of the common and most prominent features is their foliage. The leaves are 1 to 6 meter long and pinnate with shorter or no petioles at all. They have the unique V-shaped leaflets, making them different from other palms. Moreover, they have the lower leaf metamorphosed into long and sharp spines know as acanthophylls.
Flowers and Fruit of the Sylvester palm tree
These palms produce annual flowers and fruit regularly. Moreover, they reproduce by seeds and vegetative multiplication. The dioecious flowers grow gender-specific on different trees. In addition, air and insects come forward to help in pollination.
- These exotic-looking trees are widely grown for ornamental purposes.
- Extensive hybridization is done to make different varieties with unique and useful features.
- The dates are processed and used in cuisines and making wine, jelly, sap and sugar. Moreover, these are also used for feeding cattle.
Sylvester Palm Common Names
- Indian Date.
- Indian Toddy Palm.
- Silver Date Palm.
- Sugar Date Palm.
- Wild Date Palm.
Features of the Sylvester Palm Tree
Height and Spread
- Height of a grown up tree ranges from 4 to 15 meter.
- The trunk is swollen from the base with an average diameter of about 30 to 40 cm.
- Length of a mature palm leaf is between 2 to 3 meters. These leaves grow on about 1-meter tall petioles having spines at the base.
- Each semi-curved leaf grows on a petiole of about 1m length. Moreover, there is an acanthophylls near the base.
- The leaf crown is usually 7 to 10m long with a spread of about 10m. Each crown or canopy contains more than 100 leaves.
- White to off-white unisexual flowers grow on the inflorescence. These combine to form large in infructescence somewhat resembling a pendant in shape. Final days of spring and beginning of the summer are the season to see these creamy flowers on the tree.
- Flowers of female tree get pollinated by a male tree in vicinity. This converts the flowers into single-seeded and purplish-red edible fruit.
Diamond-Cut Sylvester Palm
We commonly see these trees cut in a specific manner to enhance the beauty. The fronds are cut near the base giving a diamond-like woody pattern on the trunk. It is up to you if you let it grow normally or decide to keep the Sylvester Palm Tree Diamond Cut.
Sylvester Palm Tree Care
These Silver Date palms are pretty easy going. Let us have a look at the basic necessities of these trees.
Established Sylvester Palms get high drought tolerance. The adult trees can stand happy and healthy in tough water shortages. However, in their early days, the plant needs water about two to three times a week.
Now, the question arises about how to water the Indian Palm? Water the soil thoroughly wetting at least upper 6 inches of the soil. Water again when the upper 2 to 3 inches of the soil get dry.
Over-watering is always harmful to the plants. Thus, make sure you avoid keeping the soil soggy.
These palms need full to partial sun exposure for at least 6 hours. Before planting the tree it is important to select the right place. Make sure you remove the unwanted plantations to avoid the sunlight blockage.
These are cold hardy trees with a survival temperature as low as 10 °F.
However, the optimum temperature range is 50 to 70 °F.
Just like other palms, these trees are adaptable towards a range of humidity. However, good moisture in the air shows good results on the health and look of the foliage.
Just like humidity, the Sylvester Date Palms are adaptable towards different types of soils. Nevertheless, rich soil with good drainage capacity is good to go with these trees.
These trees have medium nutritional requirements. They would prefer a slow-release fertilizer. Fertilizers like 15-15-15 and 12-4-12 are good options. We recommend some high quality balanced product preferably with a good amount of microelements like iron and magnesium.
Spread the granules evenly around the base of the trunk. Make sure you keep the distance of the spread of the canopy. Water the soil to ensure the proper absorption of the nutrients.
The frequency of fertilizer depends upon the type of product you are using. It could be once, twice or even thrice a year. See the package details or get expert advice to fertilize accordingly.
An annual pruning, ideally in the early fall will enhance the health and appearance of the tree. Remove the dead, brown and yellowish leaves which are closer to the tree trunk. You will need strong and sharp sheers to do the job.
Be careful and be safe folks! Avoid the sharp spines on the lowers fronds.
An ideal distance of growing palms in rows is about 6 feet. The wide canopies and spiky foliage needs proper space to dwell.
The Phoenix Sylvester Palm trees are hardy in USDA growth zones 8b to 11.
Sylvester Palm Propagation
You can easily get baby plants from the markets and plant them in your desired place. This is the easiest way to get these beauties around you.
Seeds are also used to grow these palms. However, this is a time taking procedure and better for experienced growers.
Sylvester Palm Uses
These Indian Palms are useful in a number of ways. Let us have a look at the common uses;
The Sylvesters are loved for their exotic look. You can plant them to form beautiful centres of your garden or corner stand-alone trees. Moreover, they are nice options for the drive through, fence making or grouped growths. Moreover, the Diamond Cut Sylvester Palms grab all the attention and are nothing lesser than eye-candies of the plant world.
These trees are like the shorter forms of the famous Canary Island Date Palms. Thus, if you are a fan of Canary Palms and have a smaller space, just get your hands on these beautiful Sylvestris Palm Trees.
The fruit of these beautiful palms is edible and loved for its sweetness. So, next time you grab some from the Indian Palms, make sure you share a little review from your taste buds.
The sap of the creamy Toddy palm flowers is processed to make a kind of alcohol. This drink is quite famous in India. I hope you got the clue of the common name now!
Sylvester Palms are one of the most famous, low-maintenance and cold hardy palms. Growing up to around 40 feet tall, these palms can withstand a temperature as low as about 10 °F.Moreover, the foliage forms an umbrella-like appearance with a spread of about 12 feet.
The basic care of these drought-tolerant palms after establishment includes a slow-release palm fertilizer and annual pruning. Apart from getting the limelight as exotic beauties, their fruit and flowers are used in foods and alcohol making.
Ouch! The fronds have sharp spikes at their base! So be careful and handle these eye-candies carefully!