The Madascar palm is not a palm at all (obviously...look at those thorns!), but a succulent which grows well in the desert. As long as we don't have a severe frost, they will survive out desert winters. They tolerate the heat and don't require much water. They are from the island of Madascar (hence the name...) and can even be grown indoors. Outdoors, however, they grow to 6-8 feet, like these near Deep Canyon. You can also view several of these plants at the Living Desert Reserve in Palm Desert. BEWARE of their thorns, however! They have very large thorns and you wouldn't wish to touch them! They are also drought tolerant, so here in our desert, they would be a great addition to a natural landscape. I'm thinking about redoing my front yard and getting rid of the bermuda grass which is there (and dying out anyway)...and this might be an interesting addition! Nature Notes for August 12, 2010.