Cyphophoenix nucele

From Palmpedia - Palm Grower's Guide
(Redirected from C. nucele)
Jump to: navigation, search
Cyphophoenix (sigh-foh-FEH-niks)
nucele (noo-SEH-leh)
Location: Nouméa, New Caledonia.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Cyphophoenix (sigh-foh-FEH-niks)
nucele (noo-SEH-leh)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Lifou Palm

Habitat and Distribution

Cyphophoenix nucele is endemic only to Lifou Is. (Loyalty Is. chain) New Caledonia - located
Gold Coast, Hinterland, Queensland, Australia. "First infllorescence". Photo by Daryl O'Connor.
around 50 m elevation, in rain forests. Substratum Madreporic on limestone, only endemic NewCal palm occuring on limestone (raised coral).


Hight: 10 to 12 m., with a diam. of up to 20 cm. wide, greenish yellow, Slightly widened towards the base, crown holds up to 8 leaves spreading; crownshaft, 50-60 cm. long, covered with a whitish tomentum, except at the base. Petiole almost non existent. Inflorescences 1-2, 50 to 90 cm. long, spread out and erect a whitish green. Fruit ellipsoid, orange-red when ripe, with a smooth endocarp.


Very sun tolerant in coastal So-Cal, a fairly easy grow, but a little slow but fastest of the Genera. Hardiness: USDA zones, 10A-11.

PFC for PP.png

Comments and Curiosities

The small, native population of this very rare palm on tiny Lifou Island near New Caledonia is highly threatened by forest clearing, and less than 100 mature trees remain on the island today. Fortunately, C. nucele has many virtues that could make it a very successful palm for cultivation. Seeds sprout readily and plants are easy and fairly fast growing. It will do well in subtropical and tropical climates, is adaptable to a range of soils, and will take some coastal exposure. The Lifou Palm will produce a slender, green trunk, a white crownshaft and a dense crown of dark green, erect, feather-shaped leaves with a very short petiole. (

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.

Back to Palm Encyclopedia

Retrieved from ""