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Aiphanes caryotifolia (the old name) Martinezia caryotifolia
South American rainforest.
A single trunked palm which is covered in long black spines, which grows to about 10 m. It has a very attractive crown of light green, broad ruffled, spiny leaflets, (similar to Caryota]], hence the old name), on pale spiny stalks. The fruits are bright red (see Figure 1.).
Despite it spininess (or perhaps because of it), this palm is very popular with palm collectors. As mentioned the leaves form a very attractive crown, and the spines add a considerable degree of interest.
This is an easy, quick growing plant, liking the standard moist, but well drained soil, and quite a high degree of light (young plants like a bit of shade, but older specimens can take full sun). Its seed germinates easily in 1 - 2 months.
Figure 2. Plant in fruit.
Ian Edwards (Figure 2).
Tony Huntington (Figure 1).
Aiphanes aculeata Links