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Macaw Palm Tree

Macaw Palm Tree up close in the wild

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.

Macaw Palm Tree Info

Scientific name: Aiphanes minima

Common names: Devils Palm Tree.

Family: Arecaceae

Origin: It is native to insular Caribbean from Hispaniola to Grenada.

Appearance: 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.

Flowers/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.

Growth Rate: Slow to Moderate. It can slowly grow up to 20 – 30 ft tall and 10 – 15 ft wide.

Outdoor/Indoor Use: Outdoor.

Cold Tolerance: 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).

Light Req: Partial shade to Full sun.

Water Req: Moderate.

Maintenance: Easy to Moderate. 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.

Propagation: Propagated by seeds.