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ADONIDIA merrillii

Image of Adonidia merrillii

Carol Cloud Bailey

Family

Arecaceae

Botanical Name

ADONIDIA merrillii

Plant Common Name

Adonidia Palm, Christmas Palm

General Description

Christmas palm is a tall, graceful, evergreen with an arching, feathery crown of fronds. Strap-like leaflets of this native of the Philippines are green to dark green above and light green and scaly below. Flowers generally occur in summer and are yellow to yellow-green and held in pendent, brached clusters at the base of the crownshaft. The fruits become bright red or orange-red by late autumn, lingering into the winter. This coincided with Christmas in its native land.

Christmas palm prefers well drained soils in full sun but may also be planted in containers and grown as a houseplant with a very bright light exposure, such as in an atrium. Soils should be amended or fertilized appropriately in alkaline or very sandy soils to prevent nutrient deficiencies. It has a very elegant and stately architectural form and should be displayed openly. Clusters of these palms are particularly attractive, especially if the crowns are at slightly varying heights and are great for smaller tropical landscapes. Although salt spray tolerant, it does not like heavily saline soils. It is unfortunately very susceptible to the deadly lethal yellowing disease.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 24

  • Plant Type

    Palm or Cycad

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    15'-25' / 4.6m - 7.6m (20)

  • Width

    6'-10' / 1.8m - 3.0m (8)

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    South-Eastern Asia, Southeastern Asia, Polynesia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Green, Yellow Green

  • Fruit Color

    Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Street Trees, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes