The Sylvester Palm is commonly known by many names, such as the Silver Date Palm, Sugar Date Palm and Wild Date Palm. This popular landscaping palm works well for lining avenues, around pools and as accent trees. As a slow grower, Sylvesters get to be just the right size for most home landscapes. It has been gaining popularity as a cost-effective substitution to the Medijool Date Palm.
Sylvester Palms have many silvery blue-green fronds that rise directly from the trunk. The leaflets are arranged opposite to one another producing a nice, sleek appearance. If left untouched, Sylvester trunks have “boots” where old leaflets once were. These boots can be cut off and shaped into straight or diamond cut for a more polished and sleek look.
Creamy white to pale yellow flowers appear on stalks up to three feet long below the crown. The flowers mature into small, single-seeded, edible dates that are a purplish-black when ripe. The seeds are often dried, juiced or made into jams and jellies.
This palm is very hardy. Sylvesters are cold hardy, drought tolerant and moderately salt tolerant. They have a slow growth rate, ultimately reaching a height of 50 feet. They grow well in almost any well-drained soil, including sand. Sylvesters grow best in direct sunlight with room to grow.
Sugar Date Palm, Sylvester Date Palm, India Date Palm, Silver Date Palm and Wild Date Palm
Hardy Range: 8B – 11
Mature Height: 40 – 50’
Mature Spread: 10 – 15’
Growth Rate: Slow
Sylvester Palms have a hefty central trunk that is noticeably swollen at the base. The leaves are pinnate and up to 10 – 15 feet long. They are a silver-green color and have spines towards the petioles. Small white branching inflorescence form along the leaves. Following the flowers is oval fruit that is 3/4 of an inch in diameter. The fruit turns purple-black when ripe.
Soil: Moist, well drained soil
Drought Tolerance: Moderate
Exposure: Full sun or partial shade