Archontophoenix cunninghamiana is a tall, graceful palm that can grow up to 30 m in its native habitat. The trunk is undivided, of a uniform diameter (to 30 cm) and smooth and ringed . It has visible leaf scars and may be slightly swollen at the base. The crown is leafy, with leaves up to 4.5 m long, which are bright-to-dark green on both surfaces. Leaves are compound, deciduous, unarmed and pinnately divided, with 70 - 90 pairs of leaflets that are up to 1 m long. Inflorescence is monoecious and occurs all year round in its native range and Brazil. It is many branched, with flowers that are purple-lavender, with a panicle of 30 - 40 cm long. Once emerged, inflorescence hangs 1 - 1.2 m below the crown shaft. Staminate flowers are 6 mm, pistillate flowers are 4 mm. Flowers develop into ovoid green fruits (1.5 cm), which ripen to bright orange-red. (Cameron 2000; Christianini 2006; Dowe 2009; PIER 2008a; WestOne undated).
Juvenile Archontophoenix cunninghamiana plants are susceptible to frost, but mature trees can withstand light frosts. While able to grow in full shade, A. cunninghamiana grows better in sunlight. A. cunninghamiana prefers moist to wet clay loams to loams at a pH5 to 7.5, but is adaptable. (PIER 2008a; WestOne undated; Williams 2008).
Archontophoenix cunninghamiana is monoecious, with both male and female flowers occurring on the inflorescence. In Brazil and in its native range it flowers and fruits all year round. A. cunninghamiana produces a copious amount of seeds, which are distributed by gravity, birds and water currents. Seeds germinate readily (1-3 months). (Christianini 2006; Dowe 2009; Ellis et al. 1985).
Compiler: IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) with support from the Auckland Regional Council (ARC)
Publication date: 2010-06-10
Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2021) Species profile: Archontophoenix cunninghamiana. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=1665 on 01-12-2021.