Sylvester Date Palm Tree – Phoenix sylvestris

sylvester date palm5 Sylvester Date Palm Tree   Phoenix sylvestris

The Sylvester Date Palm Tree, scientific name Phoenix sylvestris, is one of the most popular palm trees in the world. This spectacular palm is often used throughout luxury homes, renowned golf courses or for avenue planting.  Sylvester Date Palm Tree can also grow indoors. This palm can be grown in states like Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon and Texas.

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Sylvester Date Palm Tree Profile

Scientific name:Phoenix sylvestris

Common names: The Sylvester Date Palm is also known as Sugar Date Palm, India Date Palm, Silver Date Palm, and Wild Date Palm.

Family: Arecaceae

Origin: It is native to India.

Appearance: It has a lot of similar characteristics with True Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera). It has a solitary robust trunk, with interesting diamond pattern created by leaf scars. The Sylvester Date Palm requires some maintenance trimming old dead leaves that tend to make “skirt”. Trunk is swollen at the base, about 13-18 inches in diameter.

Without crownshaft 90-100 large pinnate, feather-shaped, leaves emerge at the top of the trunk. Leaves are about 10-15ft long, silver or blue-green color, slightly curved, with 100-120 sharply pointed at the end leaflets. Leaflets are 1-1.5ft long by 1-2 inches wide and arranged in groups of 2 or 3, often cross-crossing. Petioles have are about 3ft long, armed with long spines.

sylvester date palm2 Sylvester Date Palm Tree   Phoenix sylvestris

Flowers/Fruits: The Sylvester Date Palm produces small white flowers supported by 2-3ft long branching inflorescence coming from among the leaves. The Sylvester Date Palm is dioecious, male and female flowers are born on different plants. Flowers are followed by oval fruits, about 1 inch in diameter, turning purple-black when ripe. Fruits are editable and have sweet taste. They contain a single seed inside.

Growth Rate: Moderate. Phoenix sylvestris is a fast growing palm that can get up to 50-60 ft tall and 10-15 ft wide.

Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both.

Cold Tolerance: Phoenix sylvestris is a cold hardy palm that can tolerate cold down to 15F. It grows best in the USDA Zones 8b (15 to 20 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

 Sylvester Date Palm Tree   Phoenix sylvestrisThere is a great book, written by David A. Francko that I really like, it’s called “Palms Won’t Grow Here and Other Myths: Warm-Climate Plants for Cooler Areas”. It goes into the details on how you can grow cold hardy palms in zones 7, 6 and even 5. This is the perfect foundation book for the gardener who would like to see a banana next to his cherry tree and a palm between his maples. It got great reviews and 5 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon.

Light Req: Full sun to Partial shade.

Water Req: Moderate. The Sylvester Date Palm can withstand a drought for a short period of time. Grows best in moist but well drained soil.

Maintenance: Easy. The only thing this palm requires is some trimming to avoid “skirt” of old dead leaves. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continues release formula twice a year during growing season.

Propagation: Propagated by seeds.

Buy Sylvester Date Palm Today

We don’t sell palm trees on this site, but you can buy it from one of my favorite palm nurseries – Real Palm Trees. It has beautiful palm trees at discounted prices and offers a Free Shipping. This is one of the few sites that I trust, because each palm tree comes with Certificate of Authenticity that guarantees highest quality of the tree. All of their palm trees are properly grown and acclimatized to the correct hardiness zone.

Most importantly, you will receive a tree in perfect health and wouldn’t have to worry about it dying few weeks later. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee or you money back. To purchase a Sylvester Date Palm, click on one of the links below:

Buy Large Sylvester Date PalmOnly $549.95!
Buy Medium Sylvester Date PalmOnly $199.95!
Buy Small Sylvester Date PalmOnly $69.95!

For more photos click here Sylvester Date Palm Pictures.

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22 Responses to “Sylvester Date Palm Tree – Phoenix sylvestris”

  1. Susan, hello…we have a beautiful Sylvester palm in our front yard that we planted 2 years ago. It is close to 14 ft tall. Some of the lower fronds are dead on the ends – what time of year is best to trim off those fronds? Spring, summer or winter – like now or should we wait till March or April?
    Thank you very much

  2. Susan,I live in zone 7b in Georgia and they sell Phoenix Sylvestris palms around here as cold hardy for my zone.This is the first year I have seen them for sale around here.What do you think?Do you think if I gave it protection when we drop below 15F,we do get below that but its just every once and a while.Usually or lows in winter or in the 20s,to uper teens and during the day we usually get above freezing.We did drop to 12f for two nights this past winter,we broke a one hundred year old record.I have a 3 gallon size now,should I wait till it gets to mabey a 15 gallon size.Any advise will help.Thanks

  3. I have a small two year old “namesake” Sylvester date palm tree whose fronds have turned tan after the cold winter wehad in South Carolina. Now that Spring is here, should I cut them off or leave some, or is the entire tree dead? Thanks.

  4. Hi Scott. Sorry to hear about your palm. Just keep watering it. If the bud is not damaged, your palm will recover. I would leave those dying fronds because the nutrients from dying leaves are used for new growth. Some times it can take a palm a over 6 months to recover and produce new growth. Don’t fertilize it. ~Susan Brian

  5. I have a sylvester date palm tree in southwest fl. What tool do I use to trim the fronds. I have seen mature trees that are spectacular. I would like mine to look that good but the first frond I trimmed did not look like the other as I used prunning shears.

  6. We have a Sylvester Date that seems to have rot in the mid section. My husband has peeled back a few of the spines off the trunk. Will this hurt the tree? What is the proper way to make the trunk look good and clean?

  7. We planted a Sylveter Palm 3 weeks ago. The palm was bought from a nursery and has a 6′ trunk. My problem is the frawns are yellowing. The tree has been diamond cut and sprayed w/ Thompson’s Water Seal 1 week after the cut was made. I am concerned the water seal was put on too soon after the cut . Also, the landscapers left the palm approimately 12″ above the ground although the root ball is not exposed (mounded). In addition, the mound has been covered w/ weed cloth and landscaping rock. Does this sound like a normal scenario for a healthy Sylvester palm to survive?


  8. Hi Susan,
    I live in Youngsville, Louisiana near Lafayette (Cajun country). I had to replace my three beautiful queen palms (approx. 30′ tall) that I have had for 10 years. I replaced them last year with Sylvester palms (5′ stem) & have a sprinkler system also. I noticed some of the new growth are brown & some have fallen over which I cut off. The balls on the palms were around 30-36″ deep. I am having trouble determining if I am watering too much or not enough.
    I spoke to my tree company & he said I should soak the palms & allow them to dry out (maybe water once a week). I fertilized them around a month ago & recently trim off all the dead limbs.

  9. My Sylvester Palm was planted last Aug. of 2010.
    If is about 8 foot tall and has green growth in the mid section but always turns brown right away. All the lower palm fronds are brown.
    Do I need to water, add fertilizer or what??
    Please help.

  10. I live out here in California and Florida people seem to be more into their palms than Californians. So maybe I could pick up my acre of palms and bamboos and relocate…anyhow, I have this phoenix palm tree that looks like p. canariensis but yet it has offsets. The trunk is also more slender and is about the size of p. dactylifera. The guys who sold me 3 of these at a local nursery said they thought they were a cross between a p. canariensis and a p. reclinata. Does this sound possible? I have 2 females and 1 male so I can propagate. I also have both male and female p. dactylifera and I’m thinking about cross polinating both ways to see what kind of seeds will come forth. Anyone ever tried this ? P.S. Why does my p. sylvestris look like an oversize p. roebellini?

  11. @Aaron: Yes, it is possible to have hybrids amongst the Phoenix family of palms. I’ve heard of this specifically with regard to the Roebellini, sometimes to wonderful effect. A Sylvester/Roebellini hybrid could be a wonderful small, decorative palm and I believe I saw one of these at a local nursery recently … very classy.

  12. Multiple heads are growing from the top / side of the sylvester. The new growth was not opening up so we cut as much possible the bundling growth and buds too, but the root still remains. Tree appears heathy with green leaves. should we continue to cut out the growth?

  13. Susan, hello…we have 2 Sylvester palms in our back yard around our pool that we planted this past fall. They are about 12 feet each. Some of the lower fronds are dead on the ends – what time of year is best to trim off those fronds? Spring, summer or winter – like now or should we wait till March or April?
    Thank you very much

  14. Hi Jayson. There is no best time for trimming dead fronds. Remember, you should never trim fronds that are not completely brown and dry because palm trees use nutrients of those leaves for growth. I know it doesn’t look pretty to have some fronds with dry ends and you can trim one or two of them, but if you trim more, it might create stress for your tree. ~Susan Brian

  15. I have Sylvester palms that were planted 1 tear ago. The trunk was an orangish color. Now it is turning grey and some of the diamonds are splitting. Is this normal?

  16. Does the yellow fruit growing on my sylvester hinder the growth of the tree?

  17. HELP please. I have a beautiful Sylvestry in my front yard, 2 years now. Has been doing great, blooming fronds, nice and green. Now over past month or 2 has major amount of dying, rotting, brown new growth in center. The baby fronds are all stuck togetther, dying smaller, some browning, but it’s like they are all stuck together, many are withering, wavy leaves. So much of the new growth is dying that it now is forming a hole at the top/center. I can pull stuck together fronds out, it feels like there is something sticky. It has been raining like crazy past month. Is this too much water? Landscape guy said to add fertilize, which I did but I doubt that, seems like a fungus to me. PLEASE HELP, what is this, what do I do.

  18. Susan,
    I have 3 Sylvester palms planted by my pool. They were planted in 2010 to replace the Queen palms that died. All 3 have been doing well but I noticed this summer one was looking odd. Seems the crown is growing at approximately 45 degrees. I had my tree service use a lift to see what could be the problem. The crown is green & healthy but growing crooked. I know about a year ago the new growth was brown after a cold snap (only this palm, which is the most exposed). We thought that maybe something was blocking the new growth from growing straight but is not the case.
    If I do nothing, do you think this may eventually correct itself? We are at a lost (myself, Bob’s Tree Service & the company I bought the palms from) and not sure how to proceed hoping Not to have to replace this palm.

  19. Hey armand, sounds like boron deficiency to me , and yes it will straighten it self out with alittle help

  20. Our sylvester palms, which are very tall, seems to have rot on the trunk of the tree. It will peel right off. Am I overwatering or do I have some kind of bug?

  21. I planted a Sylvester Palm last summer we had a one day ice storm now it’s all yellow not sure if it is dead

  22. I am in charge of the committee for the landscaping around our clubhouse and community. Is there a difference between the Medjool Palm and the Phoenix Sylvesteris? We just got a quote from our landscape company for Phoenix Palms 9′ for $3,700/ea. I have been seeing a lot of these palms in the center islands along roadways. I have a hard time believing the villages and cities would pay this much for a palm.

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