Native to Madagascar. Not a palm, though it looks something like one. Attractive, easy-to-grow shrub with impressive silhouette: spiny, succulent, unbranched trunk topped with a circle of strap-shaped leaves to 1 ft. long and 14 in. wide. Usually seen at 24 ft. high and 2 ft. wide, though it can grow to 18 ft. tall and 8 ft. wide under ideal conditions. Large, old plants may bloom in summer, bearing fragrant, saucer-shaped white flowers to 4 in. across; smaller, younger plants seldom bloom. May take up to 10 years or more to fully mature.
Madagascar palm can be grown outdoors year-round in mild-winter areas. Elsewhere, it can be raised in a container (use a clay pot, not a plastic one) and summered outside or grown exclusively as a houseplant. Indoors, place it in maximum light before a south- or west-facing window. In spring and summer, let the soil go dry between waterings, and fertilize at every other watering with a general-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half-strength. Good drainage is critical. Leaves usually drop in winter (though specimens grown in south Florida and houseplants may hold their foliage). Whether grown indoors or out, the plant requires no water or fertilizer in fall and winter; resume watering and feeding when new growth begins.