In Praise of the King Palm.


Well-Known Member
I know that palm specialists in soucal always say "so common" or "I cut my down for Dypsis"..and the photo shows a palm not as nice as a King,and fewer fronds.Its like a smaller King!
Its time to admit we are lucky to have the King. Its time to admit the hardest core palm lovers homes canopy has tall,tall,King palms. You see that over and over. Maybe Queens too if its a large lot.
After a while,you want what looks good,not looks good at just the end of summer or looks good to an expert and to everybody else is yellows and browns.
In norcal? Nobody see's a King as common. And surrounded by Redwoods in the background bring more tropical look than other palms can do in a few years. Kings here might not tower..but tall enough for a tract home or cottage ranch. McMansions always can fit them in.
Here's a couple flowering or post flowering in the coldest time of the year. 10a (32-35f lows every winter 42f low average) climate and summers are people pleasant..73-75f on average..80 in the high of summer...55-65f the rest of the year. Not the Maldives.


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This human thing about wanting what is rare is inescapable. There is an avid old time gardener here who always recommends King palms to people - citing the lavender inflorescences and red seed. And since he lives up where it is a bit cooler, they grow really well for him. But I have never seen any others in Hawaii other than in his neighborhood. So here they are rare.

But if you throw Alexanders into the mix, there are places where there are forests of them naturalized. And they make quite a statement - so much so that even non-plant people take notice.

The only negative I can see is that to look their best, they need more water than many other trees. But their root area is so much smaller than your average tree, that isn't really a valid downside - IMO. Between Kings and Queens, a person can get the tropical feel in their garden in no time.