Pinanga philippinensis

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Pinanga (pih-NAHN-gah)
PpDSC 6962.jpg
Floribunda Palms, Hawaii. Photo by Geoff Stein
Scientific Classification
Genus: Pinanga (pih-NAHN-gah)
Pinanga elmeri
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Philippines; bungang dakigan, abiki.

Habitat and Distribution

Endemic to the Philippines; (Babuyan Islands, Luzon, Mindoro, Leyte, Negros, Panay,
PHILIPPINES: Luzon:: Quezon prov. Dolores, Brgy. Kinabuhayan, Mt Banahaw; coordinates of general area 14 2 36.54 N, 121 28 2.82 E. Phhoto by Dr.'s by P.B. Pelser & J.F. Barcelona.
Mindanao); in primary lowland and montane forests up to 2200 m alt.


Clustering palm to 3 m tall; stem to 5 cm in diameter, the leaf scars often prominent as rings along the stem. Leaves pinnate, to 1 m long, leaf sheaths to 45 cm long, forming a distinct crown shaft, usually thicker than the stem, pale green to purplish-brown; leaflets numerous and closely set, linear, each to about 35 cm long. Flowers small, creamy white, in panicles arising from below the crown shaft, the panicles pendulous, to 30 cm long. Fruits ellipsoid, ripening pink to red then purplish black. (De Guzman, E.D. & E.S. Fernando. 1986.) Editing by edric.


Warm, sheltered, and moist. A very attractive plant for a tropical/warm sub-tropical garden.

Comments and Curiosities

A medium sized clumping palm with stems to about 3 metres tall, a variably coloured crownshaft from very pale yellow thru to purple, and fine pinnate leaves.

There's a bit of variability between different specimens.

"Beautiful clustering palm from the Philippines- has short, slightly arching lime green leaves, and a wonderful, two-tone crownshaft with the bottom being a greenish purple and the top being a pale yellow to white. Stems are closely ringed and green. The palm is surprisingly hardy, one of the hardiest of the genus, surviving in Los Angeles where most other Pinangas wouldn't have a chance. This is a densely clustering species from the Philippines where it lives in the higher elevation, dense rainforests. It is surprisingly cold hardy and my seedling in the cold frame did fine with temps down to about 32F. It has deep green markedly ringed trunks, and arching leaves with finely split leaflets. THe crownshafts are an ornamental bluish grey to yellow. Several local southern California growers have had success with this palm. Pinanga elmeri has been lumped into this species, so bad news for those California growers, that thought they had two different species growing in their yards... sorry." (Geoff Stein)

A very desirable, mid-sized palm from montane rainforests in the Philippines with slender, tightly clustering stems, each holding a crown of arching, finely pinnate leaves atop a stunning yellowish to purple crownshaft. One of the more cool-tolerant Pinanga, this species does well not just in the tropics but also in warm temperate climates. (

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).

De Guzman, E.D. & E.S. Fernando. 1986. Philippine palms. In Guide to the Philippine Flora and Fauna. Vol. 4, pp. 145-233. Natural Resources Management Centre and University of the Philippines, Quezon City.

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

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