A spectacular palm, the Kerriodoxa elegans is known for its huge, completely circular fan-shaped and shallowly divided leaves. The dark green leaves are silvery white underneath, the inspiration behind the common name “White Elephant Palm”. The petiole (leafstalk) is also very dark colored, sometimes dark purple or black.
Endemic to Thailand, the Kerriodoa elegans has limited native habitat in a very small area of the country in two locations: the island of Phuket, and Khao Sok National Park. First discovered in the Khao Phra Thaew reserve, An understory palm of coastal rainforests, this palm grows up to 16 feet tall.
The Merwin Palm Collection includes six of this palm species, ranging from seedling to mature. One of the specimens was recently showing inflorescence and fruits.
Want to “virtually explore” the Merwin Palm Collection? Search through our archive of Palm Facts of the Week, featuring palms hand-planted by W.S Merwin. To search through the list of Merwin Palms, visit our online database.
If you’re inspired to help The Merwin Conservancy preserve and care for the Merwin Palm Collection into the future, please consider making a tax-deductible donation.