Archontophoenix alexandrae F.Muell.

A small palm with a slender, columnar trunk, ringed with old leaf scars, pinnate, short-stalked leaves, to 2.5m long, composed of many linear leaflets, and nodding panicles, to 60cm long, of fragrant, greenish-white flowers in summer, followed by ovoid, bright red fruit, to 2cm across.  To 12m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘No less than fourteen species of the genus Seaforthia are enumerated by Martius, chiefly inhabiting Eastern Bengal or the Malay Archipelago.  The genus, however, was established by Mr. Brown on a Palm of the northern and eastern coasts of tropical New Holland, viz. the one here figured, which was named in honour of the late Lord Seaforth, “Botanices periti cultoris et fautoris.”  Plants have been raised at the Royal Gardens of Kew from seeds transmitted by Allan Cunningham; and one of these, having attained a height of twenty-eight feet from the ground, produced its racemes of flowers of a pale, dull, lilac colour, from the side of the dark green, graceful trunk, as represented in our figure, in the autumn of 1856.  These flowers were, none of them, succeeded by fruit.’  [BM t.4961/1857].  IH pl.304/1861.  

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [T.925/1850] although a more likely identification of Seaforthia elegans is Archontophoenix cunninghamiana H.Wendl. & Drude. which see.  Although plants under this name were obviously grown earlier, Seaforthia elegans was also obtained from the Sydney Botanic Garden on 17th October 1853 [RBGS AB]. 


Published Mar 06, 2009 - 02:56 PM | Last updated Jul 14, 2010 - 02:39 PM

More details about Archontophoenix alexandrae F.Muell.
Family Arecaceae
Region of origin

North East Australia

  • Seaforthia elegans R.Br.
  • Ptychosperma elegans (R.Br.) Blume
Common Name

Australian feather palm, Alexander palm, Solitaire palm

Name in the Camden Park Record

Seaforthia elegans

Confidence level low