Kerriodoxa elegans

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Kerriodoxa (kehr-ree-oh-DOKS-ah)
elegans (EHL-eh-ganz)
Picture 068.jpg
Scientific Classification
Genus: Kerriodoxa (kehr-ree-oh-DOKS-ah)
elegans (EHL-eh-ganz)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Palmate
Survivability index
Common names
White Elephant Palm, King Thai Palm.

Habitat and Distribution

Endemic to Thailand. It is restricted to two localities, on slopes in moist
Trunking Kerriodoxa, Thailand.
forest along the westcoast of middle peninsular Thailand from 100-300 m elevation.


A spectacularly attractive very elegant and beautiful palm, with its completely circular fan-shaped leaves. These leaves are huge to 2 metres across, dark green and silvery white underneath. It is an understorey palm and can grow to 5 metres tall. This palm has only recently been introduced to cultivation, but is becoming very popular in the tropics and sub-tropics as a garden and container plant. Editing by edric.

An understory palm of coastal rainforests. It is restricted to two localities on slopes in moist forest along the westcoast of middle peninsular Thailand. A spectacularly attractive, medium sized unarmed fan palm, with large dark green leaves, which are silvery white underneath. This palm has only recently been introduced to cultivation, but is becoming very popular in the tropics and sub-tropics as a garden and container plant.


Because it is dioecious (requiring both male and female plants), seed is often not available from cultivated plants. For this reason, it has been an expensive item, normally reserved for collectors. Likes a shady, sheltered, warm, moist, well drained position, even though it is surprisingly hardy for a palm with such a tropical background, being able to withstand temperatures down to 34F without any apparent ill effects.

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Comments and Curiosities

This is a monotypic genus.

The so-called "White Elephant Palm" is beautiful and elegant with its very large, completely circular, and only shallowly divided fan-shaped leaves that are bright white underneath. It grows in just a tiny area of Thailand, and even though it is very rare, its large seeds are slowly finding their way into cultivation, and these wonderful palms are being seen more frequently. It is definitely best in warm subtropical and tropical, wind-sheltered areas and also does well as a stunning house plant. (

"I believe this is one of the more underrated palms for growing in zones 9b and up. The leaves are not too hardy to frost, but there are specimens of this plant growing in low 9b areas of Florida. The fronds tatter easily and this should not be planted in any windy areas." (Christian Faulkner)

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, 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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