Christmas Palm, Manila Palm, Adonidia, Dwarf Royal Palm
Christmas Palm is medium size palm that is a long-time favorite in South Florida yards. One of its common names is Dwarf Royal Palm because it resembles a “Mini-me” version of the Royal Palm (Roystonea regia).
Christmas Palm has a smooth slender grayish stem ringed by semi-circular frond scars. A 2-3′ green crown shaft supports a crown of almost a dozen pinnate fronds. The fronds are arched to about 5′ long with leaflets that are about 2′ long and 2′ wide.
Where the crown shaft attaches to the trunk 2′ long inflorescences sprout. Small butter-cream colored flowers form light green 1″ long ovoid fruit. By December, most years, the fruit ripens and turns a crimson color.
Common Name: Christmas Palm, Manila Palm, Adonidia, Dwarf Royal Palm
Botanical Name: Veitchia merrillii syn. Adonidia merrillii
Plant Type: Solitary medium size palm tree often grown in doubles or triples
Origin: Philippines and surrounding area
Zones: 10 – 12, does poorly in prolonged cold weather below mid-30’s(F)
Height: 15-20′, 6-11′ frond spread
Rate of Growth: Moderately fast
Salt Tolerance: Moderate
Soil Requirements: Well drained, sandy, fertile
Water Requirements: Moderate, water sparingly in winter
Nutritional Requirements: Feed regularly with palm fertilizer
Light Requirements: Full sun, tolerates some shade
Form: Gracefully arched
Leaves: Arching fronds to about 5′ long with 40-60 strap-shaped leaflets that are about 2′ long and 2′ wide, scaly underneath.
Inflorescence: Short, born where crown shaft attaches to trunk, small butter-cream colored flowers. Attractive to bees.
Fruits: Pale green, turning Crimson Red
Pests or diseases: Plant hopper (Myndus crudus) infects with lethal yellowing
Uses: Specimen tree, Hurricane resistant, great for containers
Cost: $$ – $$$ — reasonable to expensive
Propagation: Seed, germinates in 2-3 months
Sources (“As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”): AMERICAN HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY A-Z ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GARDEN PLANTS, BETROCKS GUIDE TO LANDSCAPE PALMS