Hyophorbe indica

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Figure 1. A young H. indica, red form.


Common Names:

Champagne Palm
locally known as 'poison palm', because of its bitter taste.

Distribution & Habitat:

Mascarene island of Reunion.


A very attractive feather palm with a slender trunk , to about 10m tall. It has 2 forms, one the standard green, while the other has a very distinctive reddish tinge. This is by the most common form in cultivation. The green form comes from east coast of Reunion, while the red form is found in the Tampon region (south-west/central). There are also noticable differences between the seeds of these 2 forms.

Figure 2. H. indica inflorescence.
Figure 3. H. indica in habitat, near Grand Etang, Reunion Island.


Becoming more popular (deservedly) as a garden plant.


Prefers shade when young, but can take full sun as it gets older. Quite a fast grower.

Figure 4. H. indica in habitat, Reunion Island.
Figure 5. H. indica
Figure 6. H. indica
Figure 7. H. indica in habitat, Reunion Island.

Contributed by:

Colin Wilson (Figure 1).
SurferJr (Figure 2).
Ffeuillade (Figure 3,4,5,6&7).

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, IUCN, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk