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Archontophoenix cunninghamiana

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© RHS

Characteristics

Plant type

Palm or Conservatory/Greenhouse

Habit

Columnar/Upright

Resilience

Hardiness

old H1 (requires heated greenhouse/indoors)

Colour

Flower

Pale Purple in Summer

Foliage

Green in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Fruit

Red in Autumn

Size

Ultimate height

Higher than 12 metres

Ultimate spread

4-8 metres

Time to ultimate height

20-50 years


Preferred common name

bangalow palm

Family

Arecaceae


Archontophoenix are single-stemmed evergreen palms with large pinnate leaves and large panicles or racemes of small cup-shaped flowers

A. cunninghamiana is a tree-like evergreen palm to 15m, with a single trunk and pinnate leaves to 4m long. Flowers small, lilac, in large racemes on mature trees, followed by red fruit

Other common names

  • Illawara palm
  • piccabben
  • piccabeen

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Part shade

Aspect

  • West-facing or East-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Under glass grow in loamless potting compost in bright filtered light with moderate humidity. When in growth, water moderately and apply a liquid fertilizer monthly; keep just moist in winter. Outdoors grow in fertile moist but well drained soil in part shade to prevent leaf scorch

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Sand, Chalk or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in spring at 24-27°C (75-81°F). Keep compost moist and air humid

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Architectural


How to care

Pruning

Minimal pruning required; remove dead leaves by cutting close to the leaf base leaving stubs to create a neat pattern

Pests

Glasshouse red spider mite may be a problem under glass

Diseases

Generally disease free