Common Names: cabada palm
Family: Arecacea/Palmae (palm Family)
Palm Has evergreen foliage Has Unusual or Interesting Foliage
Related to the attractive but somewhat overused areca palm (Dypsis
lutescens), the cabada palm (D. cabadae) is larger and has a very
attractive trunk but unfortunately is seldom seen in cultivation.
The cabada palm grows taller than the common areca - up to 30 ft
(9 m) versus 20 ft (6 m). As with the areca palm, cabada palm has a
clustering habit with each stem holding 6 to 10 pinnately shaped
deep green leaves. Each leaf is 8-10 ft (2.4-3 m) in length with 2
ft (60 cm) long leaflets. Although the cabada palm's leaves arch
like those of the areca palm, they are held a bit more stiffly to
the trunk, giving the cabada palm a very stately and majestic
appearance. The cabada palm has short petioles and a long grey green
crownshaft. However it is the trunk that really sets this palm
apart. The trunk has a smooth green appearance with prominent
whitish grey rings similar to bamboo. This makes a very attractive
architectural accent in a landscape. The flowers are yellow in color
and held in a heavily branched inflorescence. The red fruits are
about 1/2 in (1 cm) long and are not a skin irritant as are some
The cabada palm (Dypsis cabadae), like its close kin the areca palm
(D. lutescens), is believed to have originated in Madagascar (where
unfortunately it has never been found in the wild). It was
introduced to the U.S. when it was discovered in cultivation in
Considering the cabada palm's nondemanding cultural requirements,
it's a mystery why this palm is not seen more often in cultivation.
Cabada palm is adaptable to a wide range of soils, light and
fertility. It has moderate salt tolerance.
Light: Plant this palm in bright sun to light shade.
Moisture: For fastest growth keep the soil moist; however cabada
palm is moderately drought tolerant.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 10 - 11.
Propagation: Cabada palm is propagated either by removing the
suckers that develop at the base, or by seeds which take 1-2 months
The cabada's beautiful crownshaft is seen in a spectrum of colors
from grey green to green to yellow green, and in young specimens
highlighted in orange, red and bronze!
The cabada palm is an excellent accent palm for a patio, walkway or
group planting to show off its unique ringed trunk as well as its
foliage. Young plants often have reddish bronze leaf stems that
sound an especially tropical note.
This beautiful palm is large and relatively fast growing for a palm
(although slower growing than the areca). The chic cabada palm will
bestow a trendy South Beach tropical look to any space that it
inhabits. This palm is highly recommended and should be used more
where it can be grown.