Well known by now for its large, circular, simple, undivided, and closely pleated leaves, this Licuala makes a magnificent plant for indoors or out. The seed germinates readily and grows slowly but steadily in the tropical or warm subtropical garden, producing a slender trunk in the process. In the tropics it can be planted in sun or full shade but should be out of the wind. In hot, dry regions a shaded spot is best. It is originally native to disturbed or secondary forests on San Cristobal and the Santa Cruz Islands (part of the Solomon Islands) and throughout most of Vanuatu the South West Pacific, and not, as older publications erroneously state, to the Island of New Britain.
Ruffled fan palm is perhaps one of the most interesting and elegant of all small palms. Its glossy, pleated, fan-like fronds are fantastic as are its drooping cluster of red fruits that mature late in the season. This evergreen, frost-tender palm is native to the wet, humid rainforests of the Republic of Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands east of Australia. It’s a small understory palm that’s ideal for small, tropical landscapes as well as interiorscapes.
Atop the thin, fiber covered trunk of this palm is a crown of twelve to twenty beautiful leaves. Each glossy, deep green frond is wedge-shaped and looks as if it’s been pleated. The frond stems (petioles) are long and have sharp, curved teeth at the base. Most are held upright but the oldest arch gracefully. In early or midsummer, a cluster of yellowish white blossoms appear. These develop into small, round, red fruits by autumn.
Licuala grandis likes moist soil and – when mature – is comfortable in full sun as long as the humidity is high. In the sub-tropics, where there are longer periods without rain this palm requires some shade and regular watering. Although there are Licuala grandis known to have survived temperatures of -1.5° C. it is advisable to plant this palm in regions only where temperatures do not fall below 3 degrees C.
Partial shade or dappled sun when small and young. Older specimens will tolerate more sun if humidity is high and summer temperatures not too scorching. For good health plant in a fast-draining soil that’s fertile and evenly moist. Sandy soil amended with lots of humus is ideal. For dramatic landscape effect, cluster ruffled fan palm beneath a tall shade tree or shaded building foundation. Indoors it will become a nice container specimen as long as it receives very bright light, warmth and its soil never becomes dry. This palm responds favorably to frequent, light fertilization.
The Licuala grandis is a truly out of the ordinary palm.It’s beauty is deraigned from it’s magnificient fan-like fronds, which dominate the palm at it’s early age.
Well known by now for its large, circular, simple, undivided and closely pleated leaves, this Licuala makes an unusual plant for indoors or out. The seed germinates readily and grows slowly but steadily in the tropical or warm subtropical garden, producing a slim trunk in the process. It can be planted in sun or full shade but should be out of the wind.