Carpentaria acuminata

Common name

carpentaria palm


Stems: Solitary, slender, gray stems to 15 m tall and 15-20 cm in diameter, slightly broader at the base, with widely spaced (up to 25 cm apart) rings of leaf scars. Leaves: Pinnate 1.5-2 m long, with drooping, lanceolate 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 grayish-white. Both upper and lower leaflet surfaces are green, with the underside slightly blue-green, and only the midrib is prominent. Leaflet tips vary from truncate to praemorse with the apical leaflets broader than others. The underside of the leaflet is scattered with tiny brown scales. Flowers and fruits: Inflorescence about 1-1.5 m long with many pendulous branches. Male and female flowers are white to greenish white and are borne on the same inflorescence. The scarlet red, ovoid fruits are 1-1.5 cm long and contain irritating calcium oxalate crystals.

Diagnostic features

A tall, pinnate-leaved palm with a slender crown shaft, arching leaves, with apical leaflets appearing fused.

May be confused with

Archontophoenix cunninghamiana, which has pink to lavender flowers and all linear leaflets, rather than white to greenish-white flowers and broad apical leaflets in Carpentaria acuminata; Veitchia sp. which have leaflets that are drooping, rather than held in a V-shape


Native to Northern Australia, especially near brackish water of lowland estuaries or along forest streams

Additional comments

Planted as an ornamental and street tree in South Florida

Scientific name

Carpentaria acuminata (H.Wendl. & Drude) Becc.




Kentia acuminata H.Wendl. & Drude

Last Updated May 2014