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Carpentaria acuminata: Carpentaria Palm

Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson


This fast-growing palm tree quickly grows to a height of 40 feet, the smooth grey trunk topped with 10-foot-long, spreading green fronds. The inconspicuous white flowers appear from spring through fall and are followed by the production of bright red fruits that are less than one-inch long. The juice from these fruits can cause a skin irritation. Once highly recommended as a replacement for the Christmas palm, which is very susceptible to lethal yellowing disease, Carpentaria palm apparently requires a richer soil than many landscapes can provide. It is also susceptible to trunk cracks in cool weather, a condition that opens the trunk to decay organisms.

Figure 1. Mature Carpentaria acuminata: Carpentaria Palm
Figure 1.  Mature Carpentaria acuminata: Carpentaria Palm
Credit: Ed Gilman


General Information

Scientific name: Carpentaria acuminata

Pronunciation: kar-pen-TAIR-ee-uh ack-yoo-min-NAY-tuh

Common name(s): Carpentaria palm

Family: Arecaceae

USDA hardiness zones: 10B through 11 (Figure 2)

Origin: not native to North America

Invasive potential: little invasive potential

Uses: indoors; specimen; deck or patio; container or planter

Availability: not native to North America

Figure 2. Range
Figure 2.  Range



Height: 35 to 40 feet

Spread: 8 to 10 feet

Crown uniformity: symmetrical

Crown shape: palm, upright/erect

Crown density: open

Growth rate: fast

Texture: medium


Leaf arrangement: spiral

Leaf type: odd-pinnately compound

Leaf margin: entire

Leaf shape: linear

Leaf venation: parallel

Leaf type and persistence: evergreen

Leaf blade length: more than 36 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: no color change

Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: white/cream/gray

Flower characteristics: not showy


Fruit shape: round

Fruit length: .5 to 1 inch

Fruit covering: dry or hard

Fruit color: red

Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; showy; fruit/leaves not a litter problem

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: branches don't droop; not showy; typically one trunk; thorns

Pruning requirement: little required

Breakage: resistant

Current year twig color: not applicable

Current year twig thickness:

Wood specific gravity: unknown


Light requirement: full sun

Soil tolerances: clay; sand; loam; slightly alkaline; acidic; well-drained; occasionally wet

Drought tolerance: moderate

Aerosol salt tolerance: low


Roots: not a problem

Winter interest: no

Outstanding tree: no

Ozone sensitivity: unknown

Verticillium wilt susceptibility: resistant

Pest resistance: resistant to pests/diseases

Use and Management

Carpentaria palm is probably best suited for an occasional accent or specimen planting where temperatures stay warm in the winter. A number of them grouped together can be attractive. Choose the best soil on your site for planting this palm.

Carpentaria palm should be grown in full sun on rich, moist but well-drained, fertile soil, and it has a low tolerance for salt and drought.

Propagation is by seeds.




No diseases are of major concern.

Publication #ENH276

Release Date:February 19, 2024

Related Collections

Part of Southern Trees Fact Sheets

  • Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises
Organism ID

About this Publication

This document is ENH276, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Revised December 2006 and December 2023. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Deborah R. Hilbert, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center; Department of Environmental Horticulture; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Michael Andreu
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