Archontophoenix alexandrae (Alexander fan palm) pics & questions

tropicalzone7(7b)May 14, 2011

I was wondering if anyone had experience with the growth rate of these palms. Also, how are they indoors? Heres a pic of the one I recently got! The fronds seem to be a bit more upright on mine than usual. Is this definitely an Alexander Palm, it was sold as one and it looks like one to me, but I just want to be sure!

I love the ringed trunk on this palm!

(You can see my majesty palm and my livistona in the background of this shot)

I hope I can bring it indoors for at least a few years!

Thanks for looking and any help would appreciated!


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I don't think that's a Majesty palm. Looks very different from mine at least (trunk and leaves). It looks more like Adonidia (Christmas palm to me). But indoors, over the Winter, they both seem to attract scale and/or spider mites. You can reduce the pests by keeping Majesties cool (under 70F), but Christmas palms will resent the chill.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 7:20AM
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Okay, so now I see that Archontophoenix alexandrae is NOT the all too common "Majesty palm" but sometimes is referred to as the King palm. So, you may indeed have gotten what you indented to purchase--I don't believe I have ever seen them sold in the Northeast and can't help with indoor growth. Did you get this in one of the big chain stores?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 7:35AM
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Nj, the majesty palm I was talking about was all the way in the background of the last pic. The palm that I think is an alexander palm is in the foreground of the last pic (in front of the white fence) and in all the other pics also. In this pic I highlighted the majesty palm I was talking about in blue and the palm I think is an Alexander Palm in Yellow.

I didnt get it from a big chain store, and I have never seen king palms for sale here (I do see Christmas palms for sale often as well as several other large palms including royals and foxtails), but never King palms.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 11:44AM
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Thats not a King or Alex palm..for sure not Alex,Alex palms have light,almost white undersides to the fronds. The leaflets are also too wide. Probably a Christmas OR a McCarthur palm..both used abundently in malls all across the US of A for their low light and low humidity tolerance.
btw,THAT IS a very nice potted palm you got, no matter what!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 4:58PM
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The trunk looks like a christmas palm a lot, but the lack of arching fronds and the green crownshaft have me thinking its not a christmas palm. But if christmas palm fronds dont arch on juvenile plants and if the crownshaft on christmas palms isnt always yellow, then I think I definitely have a Christmas palm.
Im glad that either one is low light tolerant!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 5:54PM
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It looks like the tips of the fronds were trimed. Is that the same majesty form last year? If it is i'm glad it survived mine is growing very well.

I fyou dont mond me asking where did you get the palm?

I saw spindle palms like yours at
Ariemma's Garden Center on hylan

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 8:49PM
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Hey dennis, yes, I trimmed the tips of some of the fronds. They were brown (probably because they were dry and in a lot of sun). Yes it is the same majesty palm I had last year. It did so well indoors! Im not sure what I did right, but Im glad I didnt damage it! Im happy to hear that your majesty palm is doing great too. I really like how compact and neat yours grows! I'll send you an email about the info on the palm I just bought and your right, I did get my spindle palm from there!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 9:37PM
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I got your email thanks.

Being in full sun makes it grow more compact over the winter it gre 5 new spears. i kept them fromm opening because indoor leaves would burn in full sun and now 2 of them opened outside. I will post picture of the yard sometime soon maybe next month

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 10:31PM
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Looking forward to seeing some pics! My majesty palm grew 2 fronds while indoors and now one frond since outside. Originally the spot it is in was a shady spot, but now that the sun is higher in the sky, that spot does get a pretty good amount of sun. The good news is that my majesty palms seems to have adjusted to the higher light since it hasnt gotten brown. I'll post a full update from my yard probably early-mid June or so. By then Im hoping to get some good growth from these plants!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 10:58PM
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what is growing around the base of your new palm? It looks like more palms, or is this a suckering palm? If it's suckering, NOT an Archontophoenix. Does look very 'stretched' (etiolated) probably from being grown indoors or in protected area for some time... it's growth will change a lot outdoors now, with extra sun... and it might burn before it gets going, too, since it looks like it hasn't seen much sun until recently.

But if those are just more palms around its base and not suckers, and if you literally cut the tips off of every leaf making them look premorse (flattened instead of pointed at the tips), then it could be an Archontophoenix of some sort... too young to say what species, though. Young Alexanders don't look all that different from young king palms, and the whitish underside is not always appreciated on every photograph.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 1:41PM
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I think the palm in question is a Ptychosperma elegans (alexander or solitaire palm). The Archontophoenix alexandrae (king alexander palm) is different, looking somewhat like a Dictyosperma (hurricane palm). Sometimes the common names are a bit confusing.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 4:11PM
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Lzrddr, I dont think its a suckering palm, I think they just planted more than one palm next to each other. At first I thought that the tips of the leaflets were pointed and were just cut off, but since ever single leaflet has the same pattern at the tip, Im going to say its definitely premorse which I guess means that all the palms commonly called king palms, are ruled out. But maybe thats a good thing because it could meant that the palm I have might be rarer.
So far this is what Im thinking...
Its not an Adonidia
Its not an Archontophoenix
The leaflets are flattened at the tips
Its not a suckering palm

I think that steve might be right with the Ptychosperma elegans suggestion. The tip of the fronds on that palm have the same bitten off pattern that the tips of the fronds have on my palm. The trunk also looks pretty similar.

I'll post a pic a close up of the leaflets later today, but based on the info I have and the pics, do you guys think its a Ptychosperma elegans, or something else?? And how common and expensive are Ptychosperma elegans (as far as in warmer climates as landscape palms and in cooler climates as annuals). And even more importantly, how well does Ptychosperma elegans do indoors? Judging by the pics I saw on Google, I'm going to guess that they do pretty well indoors, but Im not sure.

Thanks for all the help so far everyone!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 5:14PM
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if given plenty of light, Ptychosperma elegans do very well in doors... very commonly grown palm in our So California malls... some over 30' tall indoors here. If all leaves premorse, that is top of my list, too, of possible palms. Not a rare one, but certainly rarer out here in California than most Archontophoenix species, and much more 'elegant' looking. That one does pretty well out here, too, but for some reason, hardly anyone tries it.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 6:28PM
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