Family: Arecaceae

This genus comprises 30-40 species of palms native to tropical America, but is not widely grown outside countries of origin.


A. caryotifolia's most striking feature is the long, blackish, needle-like spines which arm the trunk, leaf-stalks and leaflets. The ornamental leaves, or fronds, grow up to 2 m (6 ft) long and the large, fresh green leaflets are shaped like a fish tail, with frilled or ruffled ends.


In frost-prone areas grow in a large container, filled with rich potting compost, in a heated glasshouse or conservatory. It will take a few years to outgrow the tub. Outdoors plant in a partially shaded, sheltered spot. Propagation is by seed only, but this is not readily available.


Can be grown outside only in zone 10 and above.

Ailanthus      Akebia