Saribus rotundifolius (Round-leaf Fountain Palm, Fan/Footstool Palm, Table Palm, Java Fan Palm, Anahaw Palm)
A common landscaping palm species in Malaysia that flowers and fruits all year long in the tropics.
It is also known as Anahaw Palm which is the national leaf of the Philippines.
Plant Profile, Culture and Propagation :
- Botanical Name:
Saribus rotundifolius (syn.: Corypha rotundifolia, Livistona rotundifolia).
- Common Name: Round-leaf Fountain Palm, Footstool/Fan Palm, Table Palm, Java Fan Palm, Anahaw Palm.
- Family name: Arecaceae.
- Etymology: The genus Saribus is from the Maluku vernacular name, sariboe.
The specific epithet rotundifolius is a combination of Latin words, rotundus meaning rounded and folium meaning leaf, referring to the almost rounded palmate leaves.
- Origin: Native to Southeast Asia that includes Malaysia, Indonesia, Java, Moluccas, Philippines, Sulawesi and Lesser Sunda Islands. It is widely cultivated elsewhere around the world in tropical and subtropical countries.
- Plant type: An ornamental and perennial palm.
Saribus rotundifolius is from the genus Saribus that consists of about 28 known species of plants.
It is a moderate-growing, tall palm with an obvious solitary trunk that can reach between 18-27 m tall. However, it is much shorter as a garden palm. The trunk is up to about 20-25 cm in diameter.
Its smooth and brown trunk will be covered with rings of reddish leaf scars of the foliar petioles and clothed with captivating greyish woven fibres in the upper part below the crown.
An attractive palm when young due to its large, round, glossy, green and shallowly divided leaves. These are held on 2 m long and spiny petioles.
As it gets older, the leaves become more divided.
Its 1.5 m wide and circular or round, long-stalked and spirally arranged palmate leaves have leaf blades that are divided to about half of its length with rigid and stiff segments. Their ends are variously pendulous or outstretched. The leaves display a prominent 2.54 cm high hastula.
A palm that produces yellow hermaphroditic flowers that are located axillary. They are borne on a long-stalked 0.9-1.2 m inflorescence that divides into 3 main axis, bearing up to 4 orders of branching.
Inflorescence does not extend beyond the fronds.
The 3-petaled flowers appear in bunches only when the tree is very old.
Its flowers are pollinated by bees.
Flowers are eventually followed by small, round and fleshy drupes that are about 1.5-2 cm across, ripening from orange-red to red and then to black. Its fruits are eaten by frugivorous birds.
- Culture (Care): Saribus rotundifolius or Fan Palm can be grown easily with least maintenance.
Full sun or partial shade. Young plants prefer some shade but mature ones just love full sun. Indoors, it needs to be located where there is bright light.
Moisture: Medium water need. Water the plant enough so that the soil is kept moist at all times. care should be taken that the soil is not soggy. It prefer a high humid environment.
Soil: Humus-enriched, loamy and well-drained soils. However, it is adaptable to a wide range of soil types.
Others: This beauty does not require any pruning.
Nevertheless, trim off withered fronds once every two or three months to keep it tidy and aesthetically pleasing. Once every quarter, feed the palm with a slow-release granular fertiliser formulated for palms that has nitrogen, phosphate and potash. Generally, it is free from serious diseases and pests. Nevertheless, watch out for tar spot, butt rot, bud rot, scale insects and spider mites.
For subtropical and temperate regions: Hardiness: USDA Zone 10-11.
Although Saribus rotundifolius or Footstool Palm is from the tropics, it has been grown successfully in subtropical climates, humid and even warm temperate areas.
It tolerates a minimum temp of 15°C and maximum temp of 40°C. It does not tolerate temperatures close to zero but for a very short period. A young plants is often grown in a pot for decorating indoors. It blooms from spring to summer, For non-hardy regions, best to grow in a pot to overwinter easily indoors as a housplant. Alternatively, grow in a cool and warm greenhouse with favourable growing conditions. Water freely during the growing season but sparingly in winter. Sow seeds in spring at 23°C.
- Propagation: Easily propagated from seeds that germinate in about two months.
- Usage: Saribus rotundifolius or Fan Palm with its ornamental foliage and fruits is ideal for growing along streetscapes, roadside and meridian strips.
Also, excellent to be planted in public parks and gardens to showcase its beauty.
If you desire a tropical theme, grow it as a specimen or accent palm in your garden.
An excellent landscaping tree with its very attractive fan-shaped leaves.
The leaves are used for thatching and wrapping foods.
A magnet to attract birds.
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