|Bob Benaim's Nursery||
The Christmas Palm Tree, scientific name Veitchia merrillii, is one of the most popular palms in Florida. The
Christmas Palm is also known as Manila Palm, Kerpis Palm, Adonidia Palm, Dwarf Royal Palm, and Veitchia
Palm. It is native to the small islands of the Philippines located north of Malaysia and Indonesia.
Growth Rate: Moderate to Fast
Height: Up to 15 – 20ft
Light Requirement: Full sun to Partial shade
Water Requirement: Moderate
Cold Tolerance: down to 30F
Christmas Palm Tree Description
In the wild Veitchia merrillii is known to grow up to 20ft tall but in cultivation it usually doesn’t get taller than
15ft. It has a lot of similar characteristics with Royal Palm Tree and sometimes is even called dwarf royal palm.
Christmas Palms Trees are much smaller and are easier to manage in comparison to the Royal Palm Trees.
The Christmas Palm has smooth slender grey trunk that is slightly swollen at the base and ringed with old leaf
scars. The Christmas Palm may be used alone or may also be planted in groups of two or three.
Bright green crown shaft supports a crown of 10-12 pinnate, or feather-shaped, fronds. Short crown shaft is about
3ft long. Leaves are glossy, strongly arched, grow to a length of 5 feet with sharp-edged leaflets that are up to 2 feet
long by 2 inches wide.
During summer months the Christmas Palm produces light green flower buds that turn into creamy blossom. Unisexual
flowers are held by 2ft long branched stalks that emerge from the area where the crownshaft attaches to the trunk.
In December flowers are followed by green oval fruits that turn bright red as they ripe. Berrie-like fruits are 1 inch
long and 1/5 inch wide. They hang in clusters looking like Christmas ornament, therefore palm’s common name
is Christmas Palm.
Growing Christmas Palm Tree
The Christmas Palm is moderately salt tolerant prefers moist well drained soil. To avoid root rot don’t let it sit in water.
It likes full sun but can also grow in broken shade. It can tolerate drought for a short time when mature enough. It is
not considered cold hardy and will not tolerate frost well. It does not require much maintenance. The only thing you
need to do is to remove old dead leaves to keep it looking neat. Christmas Palm Tree is great for indoors.