This week’s featured palm is the Beccariophoenix fenestralis, a rare and critically endangered close relative to the Cocos (Coconut) palm. Native to Madagascar, it is also endemic to the island, meaning that Madagascar is the only place this species has evolved in the wild. Its conservation status is endangered in its native range due to habitat loss, as a result of ongoing mining and infrastructure development.
Beccariophoenix fenestralis is also commonly referred to as the “windowpane palm”; the species name “fenestralis” is derived from the Latin word fenestra, which means window.
It’s name comes from the leaflets on younger plants that are only partially divided from each other, where there appear to be ‘windows’ in the leaves between the leaflets. Older specimens do not display the windowpanes as the leaflets completely divide from each other.
There are seven of this species growing in the Merwin Palm Collection, and their ages range from seedling to fully mature.
To support the continued stewardship of these rare palms, please consider making a donation to The Merwin Conservancy.