“White Elephant Palm”
Natural Habitat: Naturally found in the low mountainous / wet forest of the west coast of peninsular Thailand.
Description: A solitary palm fan palm that can reach heights around 15 feet tall. The palm will develop a short stout trunk which can grow to 4-5 feet, and is covered in tightly packed rings left by the old leaf bases which will fall off in time. On younger trees, the old leaf bases will remain on the palm and have to be trimmed off. The rest of the palms total height is due to the long dark black petioles and large almost completely circular leaves that can reach 6-8 feet wide. The leaves emerge from the crownshaft and ascend straight upwards. The leaves have dark green topsides and bright white undersides, along with the black petioles (branches), giving this palm a very unique and beautiful appearance.
Environment: The elegans enjoys a shady/sunny, moist, and well drained area where they can get a good mix of sun and shade during the day. As a seedling, they enjoy a shady area where they will get watered regularly. This palm is cold hardy to the low 30’s, and can handle mild frost. These palms have handled temperatures into the high 20’s and at least 3-4 mild frosts this winter and are in great health. Zones 9b-11.
This palm is also very adaptable at being a potted or patio plant, while younger and manageable in size