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.
Purple King Palm Tree Profile
Scientific name: Archontophoenix purpurea
Common names: The Purple King Palm is also known as Mount Lewis King, Purple Piccabean Palm, and Purple Palm.
Origin: It is native to Australia.
Appearance: 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.
Flowers/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.
Growth Rate: Slow. Archontophoenix purpurea is a fast growing palm that can grow up to 10-20 ft tall with a spread of about 1-5 ft.
Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both.
Cold Tolerance: 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).
Light Req: Partial shade to Full sun.
Water Req: Moderate. It grows best in moist but well drained soil.
Maintenance: Easy. 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.
Propagation: 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.