How To Grow Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima)

Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima)
Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima). Photo by Flickr.

The Macaw Palm Tree, scientific name Aiphanes minima, is native to insular Caribbean from Hispaniola to Grenada. This palm is very spiny with single brown trunk and arching feathery fronds. This palm should be grown outdoors only.

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Quick Facts:

Scientific name:Aiphanes minima
Common names:Macaw Palm, Devils Palm, Aiphanes Species, Bitten Palm, Spiny Palm
Origin:Native to insular Caribbean from Hispaniola to Grenada.
Growth Rate:Slow to Moderate. Up to 20 – 30 ft tall and 10 – 15 ft wide.
Cold Tolerance:USDA Zones 10a (30 to 35 F) to 11 (above 40 F).
Light Req:Partial shade to Full sun.
Water Req:Moderate.
Soil Req:Widely adaptable.
Fruit:Yes. Red. Not edible.
Propagation:By seed.
Quick facts about Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima).

Macaw Palm Identifying Characteristics

It has a single brown trunk that is covered with black long spines. Trunk is topped with a crown of dark green pinnate, or feather-like, leaves that have two rows of leaflets arranged on either side of the blade of the leaf.

Stems are also covered with black spines. The upper surface of the leaf is covered with spines that are about 1/2 in long while the lower surface doesn’t always have spines. The leaflets are narrowly linear with a ruffled appearance.

Macaw Palm Flowers and Fruits

Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima) flowers
Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima). Photo by Flickr.

It produces creamy white flowers that have a sweet scent. Male and female flowers grow on the same spiny inflorescence. Flowers are followed by green fruits that turn red when ripe. Fruit is round about 1/2 in in diameter with single seed inside.

How To Care For Macaw Palm

It can slowly grow up to 20 – 30 ft tall and 10 – 15 ft wide. This palm likes warm tropical weather and can tolerate cold only down to 30F. You can succesfully grow it in the USDA Zones 10a (30 to 35 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

It does well in partial shade or full sun and likes moist but well drained soil.

You have to be careful handling this palm because of the sharp spines. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during growing season.

Propagated by seeds.

Macaw Palm Tree Pictures

Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima).
Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima). Photo by Flickr.
Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima)
Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima). Photo by Flickr.
Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima)
Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima). Photo by Flickr.
Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima) trunk with spines
Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima). Photo by Flickr.
Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima)
Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima). Photo by Flickr.
Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima)
Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima). Photo by Flickr.
Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima)
Macaw Palm Tree (Aiphanes minima). Photo by Wiki Commons.

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