Hyophorbe amaricaulis

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Hyophorbe amaricaulis
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Genus: Hyophorbe
H. amaricaulis
Binomial name
Hyophorbe amaricaulis
  • Mascarena revaughanii L. H. Bailey

Hyophorbe amaricaulis (also known as the "loneliest palm")[2] is a species of palm tree of the order Arecales, family Arecaceae, subfamily Arecoideae, tribe Chamaedoreeae. It is found exclusively on the island of Mauritius, and only a single surviving specimen[3] has been documented in the Curepipe Botanic Gardens in Curepipe. Thus, it is classified as an endling.


This species is one of nine species of palm which are indigenous to Mauritius, and one of the seven palms which are also endemic.

In the 1700s, this palm species was described from specimens taken from the mountain Pieter Both, where it seems to have been widespread at the time.[citation needed]

Currently, only the single specimen exists in Curepipe Botanic Gardens,[4] and it is not known if this specimen was planted here, or was a survivor from the area's wild population that became included when the gardens were established.


Hyophorbe amaricaulis leaves
A close-up view of Hyophorbe amaricaulis leaves

The palm is about 12 meters high with a relatively thin gray trunk with a waxy crown shank.

It is related to the bottle palm and spindle palm. It is said to resemble the green variety of H. indica – another Hyophorbe palm species which also does not develop a swollen trunk.

It is reported to have white to cream-colored flowers on an inflorescence with three-ordered branching. Its fruits are 3.8 cm long and a dull red colour, but years and years of efforts have not resulted in fertile offspring.


  1. ^ Bachraz, V.; Strahm, W.; et al. (TPTNC) (2000). "Hyophorbe amaricaulis". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2000: e.T38578A10125958. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2000.RLTS.T38578A10125958.en. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  2. ^ "Loneliest palm (Hyophorbe amaricaulis)". ARKive. Archived from the original on 2013-02-04. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  3. ^ Mabberley, D.J. (1997). The Plant-Book, 2nd Ed. Cambridge University Press, UK. ISBN 0-521-41421-0.
  4. ^ Ian Parker (January 22, 2007). "Digging for Dodos". The New Yorker. pp. 64–73.

External links[edit]

Media related to Hyophorbe amaricaulis at Wikimedia Commons