The Spindle Palm Tree, scientifically known as Hyophorbe verschaffeltii (or Hyophorbe verschafeltii), is an elegant palm that lends itself perfectly to small landscapes.
It is native to the Mascarene Islands in the Indian Ocean, specifically Mauritius, and is not naturally found in any other regions. However, due to its ornamental appeal, it has been cultivated and introduced to various tropical and subtropical regions around the world.
Renowned for its distinctive spindle-shaped trunk and v-shaped feathery leaves, it is a popular choice for those seeking a unique ornamental addition.
This palm shares numerous characteristics with the Bottle Palm (Hyophorbe lagenicaulis) and is also well-suited for indoor cultivation, making it an excellent choice for home offices and landscapes alike.
|Scientific name:||Hyophorbe verschaffeltii|
|Common names:||Palmiste Marron Palm, Spindle Palm.|
|Origin:||Native to Rodrigues Island (Mascarenes) off the coast of Australia.|
|Growth Rate:||Slow. Up to 10 – 20 ft tall and up to 5 – 10 ft wide.|
|Cold Tolerance:||USDA Zones 10b (35 to 40 F) to 11 (above 40 F).|
|Light Req:||Full sun.|
|Soil Req:||Widely adaptable.|
|Fruit:||Yes. Black. Not edible.|
|Propagation:||By seeds, germinating in 3-6 months.|
Identifying Characteristics of the Spindle Palm
The Spindle Palm Tree boasts a trunk with a unique shape, characterized by a central swelling that forms the spindle-like appearance, hence its name. The trunk is gray, smooth, prominently ringed with the scars of shed fronds, and measures approximately 1.5 feet in diameter.
Adding to its charm, the Spindle Palm features a crownshaft with another distinct swelling at its base. This crownshaft is bright green and waxy, crowned with 6-11 arching fronds that gracefully turn outward and downward, forming a distinctive ‘V’ shape.
The leaves are pinnate, or feather-like, spanning about 9-10 feet in length, and adorned with 100-150 leaflets that exhibit bright green color on the upper surface and gray on the lower.
Flowers and Fruits of the Spindle Palm
Fragrant creamy flowers grace the Spindle Palm, supported by 2-3-foot-long inflorescences emerging from the point where the crownshaft meets the trunk.
Remarkably, this palm is monoecious, bearing both male and female flowers on the same plant. These flowers are succeeded by orange oval fruits, measuring around 1 inch in length.
How To Care For Spindle Palm
Hyophorbe verschaffeltii is a slow-growing palm that can attain heights of 10-20 feet and widths of 5-10 feet. It exhibits cold tolerance down to 35°F for short periods when sufficiently mature.
It thrives in USDA Zones 10b (35 to 40°F) to 11 (above 40°F) and prefers full sun but can also adapt to light shade. As is typical for most palms, it flourishes in well-drained, moist soil.
To safeguard against nutritional deficiencies, it is advisable to apply high-quality palm fertilizer with a continuous-release formula twice a year during the growing season.
Propagation of the Spindle Palm is typically achieved through seeds, with germination taking approximately 4-6 months.