“Three Leaf Palm”
Natural Habitat: Naturally found throughout low land rainforest in Thailand, peninsular Malaysia and western Borneo.
Description: A small solitary understory palm that can reach heights around 4-5 foot tall. Even as a mature palm, the L. triphylla remain short, in part to its subterranean stem that does not develop into a true above ground trunk. Once mature, all of the L. triphylla’s leaves emerge in set s of three, hence the common name. The three leaflets consist of one large fishtail shaped center leaflet with two smaller leaflets on each side of the center. The leaflets are dark green and can have a mottled pattern to them.
There have been a few palms brought into the country under the name Licuala triphylla. A easy way to tell if you have the correct L. triphylla is to count the leaflets. If there are any more than 3 leaflets it is not a true L. triphylla.
The Licuala triphylla is a great small palm for patio or potted use. It can also be used as a indoor potted palm if the humidity levels can be kept up. They are also a great palm to grow in small colonies under other large palms or trees.
Environment: The L. triphylla enjoys a shady moist, and well drained area where it can avoid any direct sunlight during the day. As a seedling is should be kept in a humid shady area where it will get watered regularly. Not a cold hardy palm, the triphylla should be kept out of temperatures under 40, and should be protected if grow outside during sub 40 temperatures. Zones 10-11