Common Names: spindle palm
Family: Arecacea/Palmae (palm Family)
Palm For Wet, Boggy Areas Can be Grown in Containers Has evergreen
foliage Has Unusual or Interesting Foliage
Hyophorbe verschaffeltii or spindle palm is a great novelty palm for
any landscape. Growing to about 20 ft (6.1 m), this palm slowly
forms a gray trunk which becomes swollen in its center and narrows
at both ends to form a "spindle" shape. It has a bright green, waxy
crownshaft which is also swollen at the base creating a very
interesting profile. The crown consists of 6-10 pinnate leaves which
arch outward forming a 'V' shape. The leaves are 9-10 ft (2.7-3.1 m)
long and have 100 to 150 leaflets that are bright green above and
gray below. The inflorescence arises from the base of the crownshaft
in an upwardly curved spathe that resembles a horn. The fragrant
flowers emerge ivory to orange in color. There are separate male and
female flowers on the same inflorescence. The fruits are 3/4 in (1.9
cm) long and orange to red in color.
Spindle palm is native to the Mascarene Islands, specifically
Rodriguez Island, where it is unfortunately threatened with
Spindle palm has a slight susceptibility to lethal yellowing
disease. Potassium and magnesium deficiencies are possible -
supplement as necessary.
Light: Full sun.
Moisture: Grow spindle palm in a moist area. Irrigation will be
needed during dry spells.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 10B - 11. Spindle palm can tolerate cool
temperatures in subtropical areas for short periods.
Propagation: By seed which germinates in 3-6 months.
Spindle palm is a uniquely beautiful palm that can be used as a
specimen or accent tree in the home or commercial landscape. Warm,
seaside locations are preferred for optimum growth. The swollen
trunk, combined with the light green, almost pastel colored waxy
crown shaft and arching fronds adds visual interest and excitement
to the landscape.
Hyophorbe verschaffeltii is distinguished from its relative, the
bottle palm (Hyophorbe lagenicaulis) by its foliage, which is
shorter and more compact and by the shape of the trunk. Bottle palm
always has a pronounced bulging base whereas the spindle's trunk is
more slender, bulging slightly in the center.