Native to the volcanic island of Réunion in the Mascarene Islands east of Madagascar (in the West Indian Ocean), the Hyophorbe indica, or Poison palm, as it is often called, is said to be near extinction in the wild. It has been listed as “Endangered D” by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species since 1998.
The palm’s native habitat on this Afro-tropical island is “unique” in its “isolation, speciation processes and assemblages, and possesses many endemic species” (World Wildlife Foundation).
The introduction of hunting, new non-native species, deforestation and farming has lead to habitat loss, which threatens this unique species of palm and its proliferation in its native ecosystem.
The Merwin Palm Collection currently has six (6) of these palms on its grounds.
To search the The Palm Database to learn more about the species on site, click here.
To read through our Palm Fact of the Week archives, click here.