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Manila Palm Adonidia merrillii

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Nomanbya merrilli
  • Veitchia merrillii
Phonetic Spelling
ad-on-ID-ee-uh mer-IL-ee-eye
Description

The Christmas Palm, with its slender gray trunk, grows quickly to about 6 feet (1.83 m), then slows, retaining its shape until it reaches its maximum height of 25 feet (7.62 meters). These solitary palms support stiff, arching green leaves that are 4-5 feet long. In mid-summer, inconspicuous clusters of cream-colored flowers appear at the base of the canopy followed by 1 inch (2.54 cm) green fruit. In winter, the mature fruit turns bright red. The single trunks can be grown together, usually in groups of three to mimic multiple-trunked palms. The common name, Christmas palm, refers to the time of the year when the green fruit turns red. It is highly sensitive to frost and freezing temperatures so may be best planted in a container that can be moved indoors during the winter.  

Suited to small residential landscapes and can be used as a street tree in tropical climates.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Susceptible to an incurable bacterial disease called lethal yellowing.  It can also suffer from boron deficiency.  Use a palm-specific fertilizer when growing in low-nutrient soil.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#container plant#tree#salt tolerant#palm#low maintenance#winter interest#cycad#evergreen tree#tropical palm#container#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical tree
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#container plant#tree#salt tolerant#palm#low maintenance#winter interest#cycad#evergreen tree#tropical palm#container#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical tree
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Adonidia
    Species:
    merrillii
    Family:
    Arecaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Borneo, Phillippines, Malaysia
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Ovoid beaked fruit grows in clusters. Immature fruits are pale green and turn scarlet red when ripe around Christmas, hence the common name Christmas Palm.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Small cream inconspicuous perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower) that bloom in summer at the case of the canopy followed by light green 1" fruit.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    4-5' arching green pinnate leaves with a short tomentose petiole where the leaflets are oriented upward, forming a V when viewing from the end of the leaf. The upper leaflet has a prominent mid-rib. The leaflet tips are irregularly jagged.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    The bark can be rough or smooth, slender and gray.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Patio
    Vertical Spaces
    Landscape Theme:
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Flowering Tree
    Foundation Planting
    Shade Tree
    Specimen
    Street Tree