The Palm Society--Northern California Chapter

Northern California Chapter
Palm Society
Lakeside Palmetum
Species List
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Syagrus romanzoffiana
Syagrus sancona
Syagrus sp
Syagrus x Butia

Syagrus sancona

Common name: Columbian Foxtail
Native to: Columbia
Mature height: 80 ft
Mature spread: 18 ft
Growth Habit: solitary
Leaf type: pinnate plumose
Syagrus sancona

photo by: Dennis Valdez
Jim Denz Garden
Los Altos


Syagrus sancona is also known as the "Columbian Foxtail" and are native to the widespread rain forests of Northern South America; Peru, Columbia, Ecuador, and Venezuela. Lives at high elevation in the Andes. Considered the most attractive of the species. Cold hardy to about 26 degrees and can grow to about 80 feet tall and is the tallest of all Syagrus species. The trunks are about 8 to12 inches in diameter which is very thin for such tall trees growing to an average of 80 feet tall, but some in habitat are as tall as 100 feet tall. The leaves are about 11 feet long and there are usually 8 to 16 per tree with very plumose and somewhat recurved in habit. The shape of the leaflets is known as lancelote which is the shape of a spearhead. Rich well draining soil will result in best growing conditions. Syagrus sancona should be planted in full sun, but should have some protection in high heat inland locations. Local nurseries do not usually stock this one, but are available by special order. The bloom stocks number from between 100 to 200 branches with yellowish orange fruit that is not edible. Juvenile plants have a characteristic marked bulge at the base of the trunk which easily identifies them among other Syagrus. Very attractive in groups. Young trees make very nice houseplants.

This species in the garden:
Growth rate: fast
Sunlight: full sun
Water: regular
Cold Tolerance: 26 F
Seed or plant availability: scarce

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© 2004 by the Palm Society, Northern California Chapter