Livistona chinensis (Chinese Fan Palm)
Livistona chinensis (Arecaceae) is commonly known as the Chinese fan palm or fountain palm. There are some synonyms of Livistona Chinensis such as, Livistona japonica, Livistona subglobosa, Livistona oliviformis, Latania chinensis and Saribus chinensis. It is widely cultivated in tropical America and West Indies as an ornamental plant.is native to Eastern Asia including, Japan, China and Taiwan.
- Habitat: The specie grows in coastal and secondary moist forests at an elevations up to 600 m.
- Height: The tree can reach up to 15 m tall and 20-30 cm in diameter that comprises closely space rings of leaf scars.
- Stem: The stem is solitary, erect, gray or brown in colour.
- Leaves: The leaves are fan-shape, palmate, green, large, glossy and spiny on margins. They form a dense canopy on a solitary trunk. The tips of leaves gracefully droops and therefore, sometimes it is also known as “Fountain palm”.
- Petioles: The petioles are arm with marginal teeth which grows towards the base. Moreover, young petioles are spiny but have no spines when get mature.
- Inflorescence: The inflorescence is branch, 1 m long and consists of hermaphrodite flowers which borne in clusters of 4-7.
- Flowers: The colour of flowers are white or yellow and each flower is about 2-2.5 mm long.
- Fruit: The fruits are blue-green and pear-shape or globose to ellipsoid. These fruits are consume and disperse by birds and small mammals. It may be confused with other species of Livistona chinenses as it has same appearance but can be differentiated by its blue-green fruit colour.
Landscaping ideas of Livistona chinensis
Livistona chinensis is becoming popular for landscaping. As it is an attractive palm and common specimen of indoor and outdoor landscapes. However, it is use in masses as ground cover for outdoors and interior capes such as shopping malls for indoors. Hence, it is a wonderful container plant and a perfect choice for small yards.
Livistona chinensis Growth Rate
Livistona chinensis is relatively slow growing plant and can reach up to 30 feet in height. Young plants are slow to form a trunk therefore, practicing of planting these palms close together in a ground cover should be remove.
How to Grow Livistona chinensis
Livistona chinensis can be propagate through seeds. For propagation, dry seeds are soak in warm water for 1-3 days. Then, they are sow in peat soil. The soil mixture should be keep moist. The media is place into a clear plastic bag and seal as it require no light for germination. Then, the seeds will germinate anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 years. However, most of them will germinate within 4-6 weeks. Lastly, after the sprouting of seedlings, they should be place in a separate pot in ample light.
How to take care of Livistona chinensis
- Elevation: Livistona chinensis can grow in any moist area at elevations below 600 m.
- Soil: It is adoptable to a wide range of soils but prefer well-drain soil conditions.
- Watering: The plant needs adequate amount of water for rapid growth.
- Exposure: The plant can thrives in open sunny areas as well as dense shady forests.
- USDA Hardiness Zone: The suitable USDA hardiness zones ranges from 9-11.
- Tolerance: The plant forms long root and can survive a long period of droughts. Hence require limited care when grow fully.
- Use of Fertilizer: This palm is susceptible to potassium deficiencies which causes leave necrosis and orange-yellow discoloration of central portion of leaves. However, this problem can be eliminate by the use of proper slow release fertilizer twice a year during spring and summer.
- Pruning: Only dead leaves should be remove completely while the half dead leaves should be remove.
- Diseases and Pests: Livistona chinenesis is prone to “Ganoderma Butt Rot” and “Trunk Rot” diseases. These diseases should be must treat immediately as it makes the tree unstable and causes wilting.