Carpoxylon macrospermum

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Carpoxylon (kahr-PAHX-ih-lahn)
-gallery-members-Carpoxylon macrospermum craft.jpg
Former Sullivan Garden, Hawaii, photo by Paul Craft.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Carpoxylon (kahr-PAHX-ih-lahn)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Aneityum Palm, Carpoxylon palm.

Habitat and Distribution

Carpoxylon macrospermum is found in Lowland rainforests of “New Hebrides” (the former name of Vanuatu).

Hawaii, photo by Bill Austin.


Trunk type: Solitary, Height: To 25 meters, (80'), it has an expanded base, but tapers to approximately 30 centimeters, about (12"), when mature, leaf scar rings are prominent, with a slender light green crownshaft, approximately 1.5 meters, (5') long. Leaf detail: Pinnately compound, diametrically opposed, closely knit dark green pinnae. Flower detail: The flowers are borne on branched inflorescences, which emerge below the crownshaft. Fruit detail: Fruits are obovate, approximately 7 centimeters long, by 4 centimeters in diameter, red at maturity. Special note: The eccentric, subapical stigmatic scar of Carpoxylon macrospermum, immediately distinguishes it from Veitchia species, which all have apical stigmatic scars. The generic name (carpo-, fruit; xylon, woody) refers to the thick, woody endocarp that encloses a single seed, which is notable for the pale streaks on the seed coat. A graceful, tall, emergent, pinnately leaved palm with a well developed shiny, green crownshaft. Leaves strongly arcuate toward the apex, distinctive stiffly erect pinnae. Fruiting parts held below the crownshaft, staged, twice branched, with large fruits becoming bright orange on maturity. Four specimens were sighted in a close group; three having reached reproductive age, one large adolescent; a number of scattered seedlings were emerging from the holes of coconut crabs in the vicinity beneath the palms; Local villagers reported that scattered individuals occured further up-stream. Editing by edric.


Requirements: Filtered light when young, full sun when very mature, consistently moist soil, well drained position. This species may hold promise in some warm temperate areas. It has been exposed to temperatures at or just below freezing for a couple of seasons and shown thus far to resist cold damage.

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Comments and Curiosities

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).

Dowe, J.L.1989. Carpoxylon macrospermum. Principes 33: 68-73.

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

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