Washington Palm: Soaring to over 100', this skyscraper of the palm world is a striking sight when planted at equal intervals along a boulevard or when snuggled up in groups against high rise buildings. The gray trunk is ringed with closely set leaf scars although usually at least part of the trunk remains covered with old leaf stem "boots." The solitary trunk bulges at the ground and becomes slender as it approaches a crown of large palmate leaves with gracefully drooping tips. These are glossy rich green and grow to about 5' long and 4' wide and are borne on 3' orange stems that are edged with saw-tooth spines. As the leaves die, they fall against the trunk to create the "hula skirt" effect for which this palm is famous. In early summer large branched inflorescences extend past the leaves and bear bunches of small whitish flowers. These mature into 1/2" black berries that are easy (for a palm) to germinate. This palm is native to the desert mountain valleys and canyons of Sonora and Baja Mexico. It is a popular landscape plant in Florida, California and Arizona and in areas where it is hardy throughout the world. Washington palm prefers a moderately rich well-drained soil but can survive on poor soils, even sand. It does best in bright sunny conditions but Washington palm will tolerate some shade. Moisture: Washington palm is very drought resistant when established, but looks better and grows faster when given adequate moisture.
Washington palm is hardy down to about 20 F but foliage will be damaged at that temperature. Young plants can be grown in containers and give a tropical look to patios and decks. They can be grown indoors in a sunny window.
Hardiness USDA Zones 9-11