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.
|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.|
|Soil Req:||Widely adaptable.|
|Fruit:||Yes. Red. Not edible.|
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
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.