Archontophoenix cunninghamiana

Common name

piccabeen palm, bungalow palm


Stems: Solitary, slender, gray, to 10 m tall and up to 20 cm in diameter, slightly swollen at the base, with ridged, "stair-step" rings of leaf scars. Leaves: Pinnate, 2.5-3 m long, with drooping, linear leaflets growing in a single plane. The crown shaft is up to 1 m long, somewhat swollen at the base, and varying in color from green to dull purplish-brown. Both upper and lower leaflet surfaces are green, and secondary veins are much less prominent than in A. alexandrae. The underside of the leaflet midrib is lined with brown ramenta. Flowers and fruits: Inflorescence about 1 m long with many pendulous branches. Male and female flowers are pink to lavender and are borne on the same inflorescence. The red to pink, ovoid fruits are 1-1.5 cm long and have remnants of the stigma at the apex.

Diagnostic features

Field: Tall, solitary palms with slender crown shafts and stems with "stair step" leaf scars and swollen bases. Leaves are green on both upper and lower surfaces. Multiple old and new inflorescences may remain on the stem and spiral around it.

Lab: Ramenta on the undersurface of leaflets, accompanied by tiny, brown scales

May be confused with

Archontophoenix alexandrae, which is taller, has a more swollen base, and has a silvery rather than green undersurface on the leaflets. The flowers of A. alexandrae are greenish-white to cream-colored, while those of A. cunninghamiana are pink to lavender.


Native to Eastern Australia, often found in wet areas

Additional comments

Palms in this beautiful genus are used in landscaping, but they can be sensitive to the stresses of transplanting.

Scientific name

Archontophoenix cunninghamiana H.Wendl. & Drude




Jessenia amazonum Drude

Loroma amethystina O.F. Cook

Loroma cunninghamiana (H. Wendl.) O. F. Cook

Ptychosperma cunninghamianum H.Wendl.

Last Updated May 2014