Archontophoenix alexandrae

archontophoenix alexandrae Alexandra Palm

archontophoenix alexandrae Alexandra PalmGenus: Archontophoenix. 

species: alexandrae. 

Family: AREACEAE. 

Common Name: Alexandra Palm, Alex palm, Alexander palm, Feather palm, King palm and Northern bangalow palm.

Etymology: Archontophoenix: Archontos is Greek for chieftain or ruler, phoenix is Greek for date palm (ie: ruler of palms refering to its majestic habit). alexandrae: after Princess Alexandra of Denmark.

Origin: Northern to central east coast of Queensland.

Description: Tall usually 15-20 m (up to 30m), solitary, long lived palm with moderately compact crown. 

Foliage: Feathery type fronds (pinnate) with a smooth petiole (100mm to 300mm long), leaflets narrow lanceolate, dark green, greyish white to silver underneath. The crown-shafts are prominent very smooth and pale green 0.6m-1m long.

Bark/Trunk: Solitary grey, smooth, tall and slender. Ringed and strongly swollen just above ground level.

Flowers: The small creamy white flowers are on a spadix 300-450mm long below the crown-shaft flowering mostly during warmer weather.

Fruit: Ellipsoid to almost globular red fruits 15-25mm in diameter mid to late summer. 

Growth Requirements: Any well drained, humus rich soil with reliable moisture. Will tolerate dry conditions but the dryer they are the more stunted the palm. Will also tolerate temporary inundation. Will not tolerate frost.

Uses: Landscaping as specimens or group plantings, erosion control along river and creek banks, tropical effect gardens, Tropical Australian native gardens, shade tree, bird and bee attracting when in fruit and flower. It is a very similar species to the Bangalow palm Archontophoenix cunninghamiana native to southern Queensland where the Alexandra palm is considered a weed species by some councils (saying this it is naturalized in southern Queensland).

Propagation: By seed only in warm climates 6 weeks to 3 months to germinate.  

References:

  • Own horticultural notes from Tafe.
  • Own photography.
About Simon 93 Articles

Simon Schubert is a qualified Horticulturist who enjoys gardening and bush-walking. He has a keen interest in science, the natural world and particularly our environment. He would like to share his experiences and knowledge while learning better practices that will hopefully benefit the future for us all. Please join him on some fun adventures while learning about the life of plants and other interesting facts about our world.

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