“Giant Window Palm”
Natural Habitat: Naturally found throughout the emergent tropical rainforest, in a small eastern section of Madagascar, known as Analamazoatra.
Description: A large solitary palm that can reach heights over 40 feet tall and closely resembles a Coconut palm. It is also closely related to a Coconut palm through genetics. The madagascariensis develops a very large thick brown trunk. It has very thin rings or leaf scares, closely stacked on top of each other, left by the older falling leaves. The crownshaft emerges upwards of 15 large pinnate feather leaves, which can reach length over 20 feet long. The leaves are a light green and look very similar to a coconut leaf. The self cleaning crownshaft is usually covered with a brown fibrous netting, also similar to a coconut palm.
There are a few variations of this palm, including the Window and Non-Window variation. These seedlings have begun to emerge leaves with small windows. In this variation, younger palms have small windows in the juvenile undivided leaves. The windows occur where the leaves emerge from the rachis or branch.
Environment: This palm enjoys a sunny moist area where it will receive a good mix of sun and shade during the day. As a seedling and young tree it enjoys a shady area, where it will not get a lot of full sun. This is due to its emergent habits in its natural environment, where it will not get full sun until it is a larger adult plant. This habit is a good one to follow when choosing a location to plant this palm. It is cold tolerant down to the low 30’s, while showing no or minimal damage. We had a one gallon tree that got accidentally left out during a night it hit 27 degrees this winter. When we noticed the tree the next morning, it had no damage. It is also said to grow well in SoCal. Zones 9b-11