Natural Habitat: The palm is thought to be endemic to limestone hills and cliffs in Southern China and Taiwan. Some research on the excelsa indicates that this palm has never been found in the wild, and all species are from cultivation in China dating back many years. This theory is sometimes argued.
Description: A naturally clumping palm that forms dense communities of trees with over 100 trees growing in a single area. It can over take other vegetation as it grows, spreading outside of a normal palm clump size. The new off shoots usually emerge with leaves on the outside of the clump, giving the clump a full appearance with leaves from the ground to the top of the clumps. This characteristic makes it an excellent barrier or hedge plant.
The excelsa has a skinny trunk, which is covered in a thin brown/black net of fibers. As the tree ages the fibers can fall off revealing a dark green ringed trunk similar in appearance to bamboo. The trunk can also keep its old leaves as new leaves emerge giving the palm leaves from top to bottom. The leaves emerge from the branch in a palmate (Pinwheel) pattern and are a dark glossy green color with a stiff hardy texture.
The excelsa make a great potted indoor out door plant. It can grow outside during the summer and inside during the winter with no problem.
Environment: This palm is hardy to wide range of climates. It can take tropical, subtropical and even temperate areas, withstanding temperatures down into the low 20’s with minimal damage. Zones 9-11. It can also handle a wide range of soil types, handling many soil types as long as it is well draining. It enjoys a shady area, where it will get a few hours of full sun a day, but can handle plenty of sun. As a seedling keep it in a shady area where it gets watered regularly.