A triangle palm is a type of palm tree that features leaves that sprout from three specific locations on the trunk. It is classified within the Arecaceae plant family. Landscapers utilize this tree in various regions because of its distinctly tropical appearance. It is commonly used as a container plant on patios or in courtyards. The triangle palm is relatively maintenance free and is adaptable to most types of soil.
Scientifically, the triangle palm is known as Dypsis decaryi. It is named after Raymond Decary, a plant collector. The tree is also classified as Neodypsis decaryi by some botanists. The triangle palm is often referred to as the three sided palm because of its leaf arrangement.
The triangle palm is native to the southern part of Madagascar. It grows in dry forests at high and low elevation. The natural range of this tree is very small, and most of the seeds it produces are collected and exported. This is gradually reducing the native population.
Generally, the tree grows 10-20 feet (3 to 6 m) in height and spreads a similar length. The gray-green leaves are feather-shaped and reach a length of 12 feet (3.6 m). They sprout from three spots around the trunk, forming a triangular shape.
The tree produces yellow or green flowers that emerge from the lower leaves. After the flowers drop from the stalk, round black fruits develop. They are generally 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter.
To grow the triangle palm successfully, it is recommended to plant it in well-draining soil. It is usually adaptable to most soil types. The area in which this tree is planted should be open so that the unique shape of the palm is unhindered. Full sunlight is better than partial shade for this tree.
Seeds usually germinate within one month of sowing. As the tree grows, it is recommended to water it regularly for optimum growth. Adding fertilizer to the soil can improve the foliage of the tree.
This palm tree can thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones 10B-11. Once established, the tree can tolerate a temperature as low as 29°F (-2°C). As a result, it is considered one of the more cold resistant palm trees.
The unique shape of the tree makes it a perfect specimen for a landscape. It can also be placed at entryways to create a tropical setting. The palm leaves usually require a little pruning to maintain a uniform shape.