Archontophoenix cunninghamia

This Australian palm bears attractive trusses of violet flowers followed by red fruits. It occurs in warm humid tropical and subtropical forests. Its popular name reflects its use as a water carrying basket by aboriginal people, who could fold and tuck the crownshaft of a large leaf into a watertight container, deploying the petiole (stalk) as the handle.

It is popular in cultivation from the southern USA to New Zealand and in Brazil. In the former there is concern that as this alien species spreads, it could oust the delicate native feather duster palm. In southern Brazil it has become an invasive weed.

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This post is part of The World of Palms Glasshouse Trail

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