Handsome, slender palms native to the rain forests of eastern Australia. Both species described here feature a single narrow trunk and may reach 50 feet or taller, with a 10- to 15 feet 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 feet 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.
- 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 Archontophoenix cunninghamiana at nurseries.
archontophoenix cunninghamiana (Seaforthia elegans)
- A better, hardier Archontophoenix for many Florida gardens.
- Mature plants may take brief periods of 28F.
- Frond leaflets are broader than those of Archontophoenix alexandrae, trunk is less swollen at base.
- Flowers are lilac.