Neither ferns nor palms, these evergreen plants are primitive, cone-bearing relatives of conifers, excellent for tropical effects. A rosette of dark green, feathery leaves grows from a central point at the top of a single trunk (sometimes several trunks). Eventually as wide as tall. Female plants bear conspicuous, egg- shaped, red-to-orange seeds. Plants can be propagated (best done in spring) either from seed or by separating offsets that sprout near the base.
- Zones TS; USDA 10-11.
- Native to Old World tropics.
- Beautiful specimen plant to 20 feet tall, 1020 feet wide.
- Graceful, drooping leaves to 8 feet long atop unbranching trunk.
- Protect from frost.
- Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11; or indoors.
- Hardy to 15F.
- Native to Japan.
- In youth, reaches 23 feet tall and wide and has an airy, lacy, fernlike appearance; with age (grows very slowly to 10 feet.), looks more like a palm.
- Leaves are 23 feet long (larger on very old plants) and divided into many narrow, leathery segments.
- Tough, tolerant patio plant; good in foundation or entry planting.
- Leaf spot disease is a problem in high-rainfall areas.
- Makes an outstanding large houseplant in bright indirect light.
- Needs only occasional watering (less in winter) and takes many years to outgrow its container.