Considered one of the most stunning and spectacular palms in the world, the Johannesteijsmannia altifrons is a trunkless understory fan palm native to the tropical rainforests of southern Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. These trees are generally found as understory plants and are threatened in their natural habitats due to human development and alteration of the landscape.
Sometimes called a “Diamond Palm” or a “Joey Palm”, the striking leaves are a long diamond shape, and are leathery in appearance and deeply corrugated or pleated. The stems or stalks can get up to 10 feet long and are protected with small teeth running down the spine. The trunks are actually underground. The trees get whitish color flower clusters- both sexes on the same tree-that are generally around 2-3 feet long. These once pollinated produce a smaller round fruit that ranges from light to a darker brown.
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 Online Merwin Palm Database, visit this link.
If you’re inspired to help The Merwin Conservancy preserve and care for the world-renowned Merwin Palm Collection into the future, please consider making a tax-deductible donation.
Featured photo by Larry Cameron.