How To Grow Purple King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix purpurea)

Purple King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix purpurea)
Purple King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix purpurea). Photo by Flickr.

The Purple King Palm Tree, scientific name Archontophoenix purpurea, is a close relative to the King Palm. It is definitely an exotic and rare palm that is well-known for its stunning reddish purple crownshaft. Purple King Palm Tree can also grow indoors. It is very easy to grow and maintain.

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Quick Facts:

Scientific name:Archontophoenix purpurea
Common names:Purple King Palm, Mount Lewis King, Purple Piccabean Palm, Purple Palm.
Origin:Native to Australia.
Growth Rate:Slow. Up to 10-20 ft tall and 1-5 ft wide.
Cold Tolerance:USDA Zones 9b (25 to 30 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, germinating 2 – 3 months.

Purple King Palm Identifying Characteristics

It has a single smooth gray trunk, a little swollen at the base, about 1ft in diameter, prominently ringed with the scars of shed fronds. It takes several years for the palm to develop a stunning reddish purple crownshaft that makes a striking contrast against the dark green leaves.

Crownshaft is topped with stiff pinnate, or feather-like fronds that range from dark green to light green on the top and shiny silver on the bottom. They are about 7-12ft long, with 50-60 flat leaflets that are 13-14 inches long.

Purple King Palm Flowers and Fruits

The Purple King Palm produces white-creamy flowers that hang in clusters. Flowers are supported by 2ft long inflorescence that grows from where crownshaft meets the trunk. Flowers are followed by berry-like fruits that turn red when ripe. They are 1/5 inch long, with a single seed inside.

How To Care For Purple King Palm

The Purple King Palm can tolerate cold down to 25F for a short period of time when mature enough. Grows best in USDA Zones 9b (25 to 30 F) to 11 (above 40 F). It grows best partial shade or full sun and moist but well drained soil.

This palm requires very little maintenance since it has self-cleaning trunk. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during growing season.

Propagated by seeds. Seed germination is quick and easy. Germination occurs in 6 weeks to 3 months. It is best to sow seeds fresh in the spring.

Purple King Palm Pictures

Purple King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix purpurea)
Purple King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix purpurea). Photo by Wiki Commons.
Purple King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix purpurea)
Purple King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix purpurea). Photo by Wiki Commons.
Purple King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix purpurea)
Purple King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix purpurea). Photo by Wiki Commons.
Purple King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix purpurea)
Purple King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix purpurea). Photo by Wiki Commons.

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1 thought on “How To Grow Purple King Palm Tree (Archontophoenix purpurea)”

  1. I’m looking for a palm that has a large base that’s tourney kind of like a pinapple. Its thorns are golden and has a lot of foliage on top.

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