Distribution of the Needle Palm, Rhapidophyllum hystrix


Keith E. Clancy

Additional Authors:

Micheal J. Sullivan


March – 1990


Palm, Rhapidophyllum hystrix

The results of an investigation into the distribution of the needle palm, <em>Rhapidophyllum hystrix</em> (Pursh) H. Wendl. & Drude, are presented here. This distinctive palm occurs sporadically in the southeastern United States and ranges from southcentral Florida to southern South Carolina, central Georgia, Alabama, and central Mississippi. Of the possibly 107 counties from which it is known, approximately one-half consist of a single population. Population sizes vary considerably and range from a single individual (either consisting of a single axis or multiple axes) to well over 1,000 individuals. Possibly up to 46 counties containing the needle palm have been added since the most recent treatment of <em>Rhapidophyllum</em> (22 counties are based on sight records or from the literature and hence are not documented with herbarium specimens); seven of these new county records were recently discovered by the senior author.