Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

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Archontophoenix cunninghamiana

The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan - April

Common name bangalow palm, piccabeen palm
Scientific name Archontophoenix cunninghamiana (H.Wendl.) H.Wendl. & Drude
Family  Arecaceae
Etymology

Genus: Greek, archon, archontos, a chieftain; phoenix compares this genus to Phoenix dactylifera, the date palm, alluding to the majestic appearance of these palms.

Species: After Allan Cunningham, a 19th century botanist and explorer.

Distribution Occurs from northern Queensland to southern New South Wales.
Native habitat Occurs naturally in swampy areas and along stream banks in rainforest, usually in thickets.
Description Tall slender trunks topped with a crown of fronds. A tall palm, 20-25 m.
Flowering/fruiting Flowers in autumn.

Location in Garden

The palms are in Bed 33 in the Connections Garden.

 

Extensively planted in warmer areas in parks, streets and private gardens. They tolerate full exposure to sun but benefit from extra water during dry periods. They are hardy in southern areas of Australia but are slow growing and frost sensitive while young.

The name bangalow is Aboriginal for 'water carrying basket'. The crownshaft can be fashioned, with a few deft folds and tucks, into a watertight vessel, the petiole used as the handle. Surveyors in the early part of European settlement used one chain lengths of the stems as standard measures.

In Southern Brazil, it has become an invasive species, profiting from the local extinction of the endangered native palm Euterpe edulis. In New Zealand there is concern that it could invade native forests, since it has the same ecological requirements as the native Nikau Palm

 

Archontophoenix cunninghamiana, image taken by Tracey Armstrong

Archontophoenix cunninghamiana, image taken by Tracey Armstrong

Archontophoenix cunninghamiana, image taken by Tracey Armstrong