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Plants of the UNF Campus

Rhapis excelsa - Lady palm
Family Arecaceae


About twelve species of Rhapis are native to Asia. All are relatively small, clustering palms with fan-shaped leaves. The lady palm spreads slowly by rhizomes, developing into a dense bamboo-like clump. It grows best in a shady site. Because of its shade tolerance, it is used as a house plant. 


See this plant in the Founders Plaza on the north side of building 2.


A large, shrubby clump of unbranched stems to about eight to ten feet tall.

Care Instructions:

Light: part shade to shade

Water: drought tolerant when established, responds well to irrigation

Soil: adaptable, no special requirements

Lady palm is near its northern limit in northeast Florida. Various sources report its cold hardiness at the low to mid-20’s F. This reflects stem cold hardiness. The underground stems can survive and resprout after temperatures in the teens.