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Monday, December 23, 2013

Archontophoenix cunninghamiana - King Palm

The king palm is a beautiful but less commonly seen than the common queen palm. I think they have a "cleaner" look to them, not sure why. Plants can get 50 plus feet but from what I have seen they are going to be around 30 here. Generally found as house plants though I have seen several houses with more than a half dozen planted. 



Leaves are large, 12-15' long, with 70-90 pinnae per side of the rachis dark green on the upper surface grayish green on the lower.  They are stiffer than the queen palm and arise from a smooth crownshaft. The crownshaft is the base of the leaves where they attach to the stem.



Flowers are cool, though my neighbor hates them and usually cuts them off. Male and female flowers on the same stalk, males on the ends. The inflorescence bursts though the smooth crownshaft of the old leaf on the stem. Purplish color.


Misidentification:
Look for the smooth crownshaft - on the queen palm its rough, the leaves are stiffer, fewer in number, looks more like an areca palm leaf.

Location
Aptos
410 Gay Rd

Capitola
4957 Garnet

Live Oak
3636 Flora has several, along with queen palms for comparison, and across the street is a Queen Palm and a Canary Island palm.

3000 Pleasure Point Drive are a couple of small ones. Look at the Phoenix reclinata while there.

Santa Cruz
254 San Juan Ave, also has Syagrus

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