Handsome, slender palms native to the rain forests of eastern Australia. Both species described here feature a single narrow trunk and may reach 50 ft. or taller, with a 10- to 15-ft. spread. Their compact, formal shape makes them good lawn and street trees; they tolerate shade and can grow for many years beneath taller trees. Feathery fronds, green above and gray-green beneath, may reach 810 ft. long on mature trees. Old fronds shed cleanly, leaving attractive rings on the trunk. Easy to grow in containers, indoors or out. Large specimens are difficult to transplant.
A. alexandrae. ALEXANDRA PALM. Widely planted in south Florida. Very tender to cold; young trees will not survive frost. Trunk is swollen at the base. In summer, clusters of tiny white flowers form beneath the crown. Sometimes confused with A. cunninghamiana at nurseries.
A. cunninghamiana (Seaforthia elegans). KING PALM. A better, hardier Archontophoenix for many Florida gardens. Mature plants may take brief periods of 28F. Frond leaflets are broader than those of A. alexandrae, trunk is less swollen at base. Flowers are lilac.