Tahina spectabilis

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Tahina (tah-HEE-nah)
spectabilis (spec-tah-BILL-iss)
ColinDSC01085 (Large).jpg
Noog Nooch Gaedens, Thailand, photo by Colin.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Tahina (tah-HEE-nah)
spectabilis (spec-tah-BILL-iss)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Tahina Palm, Blessed Palm, Tahina in the Malagasy language means blessed.

Habitat and Distribution

Tahina spectabilis is Endemic to Madagascar. Found only in the
Madagascar. Photo by Dr. Xavier Metz.
Analalava district of northwestern Madagascar.


This palm is a very rare, protected species from Madagascar. Its less than 100 known members are classified by geneticists as belonging to the palm tribe Chuniophoeniceae. Very little is known about this palm's life cycle, but specimens are the largest palm native to Madagascar, with heights of up to twenty meters and leaves up to three meters across.

A gigantic new species and genus of palm, This plant flowers itself to death, producing a huge, spectacular terminal inflorescence with countless flowers. After fruiting, the palm dies and collapses. The new genus is unrelated to any other of the 170 plus palms of Madagascar and is most closely related to 3 genera: one each in Afghanistan and neighboring parts of Asia; south Thailand; and Vietnam and southern China. Editing by edric.


PFC for PP.png

Comments and Curiosities

"Tahina – Malagasy for ‘blessed’ or ‘to be protected;’ also one of the given names of Anne-Tahina Metz, the daughter of the discoverer of the palm" and spectabilis from Latin, meaning notable or showy.

This is a tillering palm, it exhibits saxophone style root growth (it has a heel), keep top third of heel above soil elevation!

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

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

Special thanks to Palmweb.org, 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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