Howea forsteriana

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Figure 1. A very old H. forsteriana (@80 years old)


Common Names:

Kentia Palm,
Sentry Palm,
Thatch Palm

Distribution & Habitat:

Lord Howe Island where it is widely distributed over the island, from low on the coast line, up onto the mountains.


A very graceful, solitary, medium sized palm, with a dark green ringed trunk, to about 10m tall. It has beautifully drooping, dark green leaflets, and a brown hessian like thatch around the leaf bases.


Probably the most commonly grown indoor palm through out the world, and with good reason, being incredibly tolerant of neglect, and capable of withstanding very low light situations, as well as air-conditioning (and it also looks great !!).


Prefers a lightly shaded position, with moist, well drained soil, in warm-temperate and sub-tropical areas. Can take full sun as an adult, but they usually look a bit ratty compared to those in a more sheltered location. Not very good in the tropics. If grown as an indoor plant, its is best to give it a spell outside every few weeks, and let it regain some strength.

Figure 2. H. forsteriana in habitat, Lord Howe Island.
Figure 3. H. forsteriana, Lord Howe Island.


Palms Throughout The World, David Jones.

Contributed by:

Eddy Goldman (Figure 1)
Jo Wilkins (Figure 2&3)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, eMonocot, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk