Dec 2012 – Livistona Chinensis

Livistona Chinensis

Livistona Chinensis
(Chinese Fan Palm, 蒲葵)

This fan palm has prominently drooping tips which adorn the broad, glossy leaves of all but very young plants. The leaves often have a fresh, green lustre and this together with the weeping segment tips, provides a decorative combination.

The fruit are an attractive bluish colour and hang in dense clusters. The Chinese Fan Palm is hardy and is a popular subject for cultivation in tropical and temperate regions. It makes an excellent tub plant and when young is very useful indoors, even tolerating dark positions.

It tends to be slow growing in temperate regions where plants rarely reach 4 meter tall. The plants are tolerant of poor soil but respond to application of fertilizer. They will grow in full sun or semi-shade and may flower while quite small. The species is native to Japan, Ryukyu Island and Taiwan. A variety of this palm from the Bonin Islands has unusual, pear-shaped fruit which narrow to the base.

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