Metroxylon warburgii

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Metroxylon (meht-ROKS-ih-lohn)
warburgii (war-burg'-ee)
Metroxylon 3.jpg
Island of Tutuila, America samoa. M. warburgii var. tutuileansis, a red leaved form. Photo by John Strazicich.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Metroxylon (meht-ROKS-ih-lohn)
warburgii (war-burg'-ee)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Fiji, Samoa, Santa Cruz, and Vanuatu Islands.
Cairns, Australia. Photo by Pilou.
Found in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. It occurs in lowland, swampy areas and the flood plains of Vanuatu, New Hebrides, and Western Samoa.


Metroxylon warburgii; Solitary, (monocarpic); stem 6-7 m tall, up to 30 cm in diameter; leaves up to 3 m long, bearing spines in transverse ridges or series; inflorescence suprafoliar, branched to 3 orders, all branches erecto-patent, first order branches 1-1.5 m long; flowers large, corolla up to 1 cm long; fruit inversely pear-shaped, (4-) 7-12 cm long, (3.5-) 6-9 cm wide, with 24 rows of red-brown scales; seed in upper, wider part. ( Editing by edric.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10b

Comments and Curiosities

Etymology: Specific epithet honors German botanist; Otto Warburg (1859-1938), was born on 20 July 1859 born in Hamburg, the son of wealthy Jewish parents. Since his family lived, however, free from Jewish traditions, he received a humanistic education. He completed his university studies from 1879-1883 in Bonn, Berlin, Hamburg and Strasbourg. Early on, he devoted himself entirely to botany and received his doctorate at the famous botanist DeBary. (From the German)

Uses: The leaves are used as roof thatch in Vanuatu, and they are now also trying to develop an industry of nut carving. The nuts are extremely hard and the carvers produce things like animal figures, jewelry and napkin rings which are then exported.

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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