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Products > Trevesia palmata
 
Trevesia palmata - Snowflake Aralia
   

 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Araliaceae (Ginsengs)
Origin: Viet Nam (Asia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Spring
Height: 15-20 feet
Width: 8-12 feet
Exposure: Light Shade/Part Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Trevesia palmata (Snowflake Aralia) - An evergreen tree to 15-20 feet tall with few or no side branches and topped with a crown of long stalked 1-2 foot wide leaves that are deeply lobed with each lobe deeply cut, giving the leaf a lacy snowflake look. Plant in coastal full sun, filtered light or part day sun and irrigate regularly to occasionally. Established plants are suprisingly drought resistant considering this plant's tropical origins but grows best with at least occasional irrigation. Hardy to 25-30 F. This species is indigenous to northern India, southern China, Vietnam and Thailand. In its native habitat this plant can be found growing to 30 feet tall but likely no more than 20 feet in cultivation and more often it is grown as a large shrub. It is sparsely branched with white pubescent stems and a loose broad canopy of oddly shaped leaves with small yellow flowers that are followed by 1/2 inch fruit in tight ball-like clusters. The most attractive aspect of this plant is its 2 to 2 1/2 foot wide, rounded in outline, leaves of a type called pseudocompound, meaning that they look compound but actually are not. The lobes (false leaflets) are attached to a rounded plate-like area at the base of the leaf that attaches to the 2 to 3 foot long prickly petioles. These lobes themselves are so intricately and deeply lobed that they individually look like pinnately compound leaves. The genus name Trevesia was described by the Italian botanist Roberto de Visiani (1800-1878) in 1840 to honor the family Treves of the Bonfili of Padua, who were great supporters of botanical research. The specific epithet was actually from a name described earlier by the Scottish botanist William Roxburgh (1751-1815) who had described this plant as Gastonia palmata and its specific name transferred with it to Trevesia in 1842 when Visiani segregated Gastonia. This specific epithet is in reference to the leaves being palmately lobed. We also grow the selection Trevesia palmata 'Micholitzii' which has newly emerging leaves that retain white downy hairs then become glossy. Both plants are interesting and attractive in the garden and though tolerate relatively dry conditions, lend a tropical feel. We propagate the species from seed while the cultivar 'Micholitzii' is cutting grown.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Trevesia palmata.
 
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