SYLVESTER DATE PALM
(PHOENIX SYLVESTRIS)

Phoenix sylvestris is a moderate growing palm that can get up to an overall height of 30-40ft and trunk measuring 13-18 inches wide. It has a lot of similar characteristics with True Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera). It has a solitary robust trunk, with interesting diamond pattern created by leaf scars. The Sylvester Date Palm requires some maintenance trimming old dead leaves that tend to make "skirt". It is also by far the most popular palm used for pool landscapes.

 

Also known as the "silver" or 'wild" Date Palm, Phoenix sylvestris, is a beautiful accent palm that blends well into many landscape themes. The trunks are robust and the canopies average 18' across at maturity. Sylvestris are all grown from seed and so its normal to see some variations in appearance across a group. With canopies that tend to vary in color from deep green to a golden hue and with fronds that vary a bit in length and structure, the use of this species in groups brings d a powerful degree of tropical diversity to the site. Sylvestris is relatively fast growing as Date palms go. This species, once established will grow at a rate of about 1.5 feet per year so starting a little smaller than might be ideal for the scale of the site is a good idea. The species is cold hardy down into the high teens and the canopy will show moderate to severe freeze damage after such freeze events but she recovers nicely and regenerates a new canopy during a single growing season. This spectacular palm is often used on luxury properties, golf courses or for avenue plantings.

 

Habitat
A native to India, Sylvestris have been utilized with great success in Southern Texas, Louisiana, all over Florida and throughout the Caribbean. Just like other varieties of date palms, this species requires a lot of water during the first 60 days onsite and good drainage at the surface (upper 18-20 inches of soil layer). Once established, it is fairly drought tolerant and is moderately salt tolerant. 

 

Culture
Sylvestris grows best in rich but sandy soils and thrives in full sun and partial shade.

 

Hardiness Zones
8b-11 This species will survive winter freezes down to the high teens provided the freeze durations are fairly short. Freeze damage to the fronds will grow out during a single season. This species will display little or no freeze damage in 26 degree freeze events provided the durations are not prolonged.

 

Soil Moisture
This species does very well in semi wet conditions as well as in drier scenarios. The rule is that the upper 18" of top soil must be able to cycle wet to dry on a regular basis.

 

Soil
Wide soil range, very adaptable.

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