Hyophorbe verschaffeltii

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Hyophorbe verschaffeltii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Genus: Hyophorbe
Species: H. verschaffeltii
Binomial name
Hyophorbe verschaffeltii
H.A. Wendl.

Hyophorbe verschaffeltii (the palmiste marron or spindle palm) is a critically endangered species of flowering plant in the Arecaceae family. It is endemic to Rodrigues island, Mauritius, but is widely grown in cultivation.


The spindle palm is 6 metres (20 ft) tall, and have lightly recurved pinnate leaves.[1] They are elegant looking and are prized for landscape in the tropical and semi-tropical areas of the world. They are fairly short with 8-10 leaves that are held somewhat erect. Spindle palms have a crownshaft that becomes a light gray-green as the palm ages. Horn-like flower spikes emerge from below the crownshaft on mature specimens. It was named after Ambroise Verschaffelt, (1825-1886).


Spindle palms are endemic to Rodrigues island, Mauritius. It is threatened by habitat loss.[2] There are only fifty or so specimens left in the wild, although its survival as a species is guaranteed due to ubiquitous cultivation in tropical areas of the planet.


Spindle palms are fairly cold intolerant. They are defoliated at 32°F (0°C) and may be killed at anything below that. If the palm does survive a freeze, the next few emerging leaves are stunted. Spindle palms grow in the USA only in south Florida and in isolated favored microclimates in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area and the Cape Canaveral area of central Florida. They do make good container plants that can be protected from a freeze.


  1. ^ "Hyophorbe verschaffeltii". PACSOA. Retrieved January 30, 2013. 
  2. ^ Johnson, D. 1998. Hyophorbe verschaffeltii. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Archived June 27, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.. Downloaded on 20 July 2007.