Archontophoenix maxima

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maxima (MAHX-ih-mah)
Queensland, Austrailia. Photo by Luke Nancarrow.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Archontophoenix
maxima (MAHX-ih-mah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Height: 60 ft/18 m
Trunk diameter: 10 in./25 cm
Sun exposure: Full sun
Survivability index
Common names
Walsh River king palm

Habitat and Distribution

Archontophoenix maxima Occurs in rainforest, gallery forest and wet sclerophyll
forest at 800-1200 m altitude, on the Walsh River and its tributaries, western Atherton Tablelands [17° 20'S], and nearby Mt Haig Range in the central Atherton Tableland, Queensland.


Palm to 25 m tall, trunk to 30 cm in diameter and expanded at the base. Leaves 3.5 to 4 m long, ascending, held rigid, with a moderate lateral twist. Petiole is very short or absent. Crownshaft is mid-green. Pinnae are moderately grey-scaled below, held rigid with a very prominent midrib. They lack ramenta on the midrib below. The inflorescence is by far the largest of the genus, being up to 1.5 m long, with a thick peduncle to 12 cm wide; it is branched to four orders; branches are held semierect though they become pendulous in fruit. Flowers are white. Staminate flower has 11-16 stamens. Fruit is red at maturity, 13-15 mm long. Fibres in the mesocarp are thin and branched. This is the largest species in the genus. It has a massive inflorescence and ascending, rigid leaves with a short or absent petiole. Editing by edric.


PFC for PP.png

Seems it might be hardier than regular king palms. Archontophoenix maxima, in ground, 8 feet tall overall, 12" of clear trunk. 24.1F, no frost, no overhead canopy. 50%-60% leafburn, some of the understory leaves were spared.

Comments and Curiosities

This is the largest species in the genus. It has a massive inflorescence and ascending, rigid leaves with a short or absent petiole. Flower characteristics most closely resemble A. alexandrae.

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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