Lemurophoenix halleuxii

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Figure 1. 17 year old L. halleuxii in north Queensland.


Common Name:

Red Lemur Palm

Conservation Status:


Distribution & Habitat:

Endemic to a single steep-sided rainforest valley on the north-east coast of Madagascar.


A massive, solitary, pinnate palm, to 20 m high and 1 m across at the base, tapering to 0.5 m at the top. The crownshaft is pink and grey when newly exposed, and the new leaves, up to 4.5 m long, are red.


Said to be the grandest palm in Madagascar, this is a very highly sought after palm by collectors. but it is only slowly making its way into cultivation. This is due to several factors, the first being its very recent discovery, (first described in the mid 1980's). Another reason is the difficulty in germinating the seeds (see next page), and the third is the slow growth rate.

This palm is becoming extremely rare in Madagascar, with only about 30 mature individuals existing when first discovered in the mid 1980's, but this number has since dropped to somewhere in the low teens, due mainly to locals cutting down the trees for firewood.

L. halleuxii in North Queensland, (note that this plant isn't even trunking yet).


Although hard to germinate, and slow to grow, once established it doesn't appear to be very difficult. Like most emergent palms, it would presumably like shelter as a seedling, eventually being able to take full sun. There are several methods of germinating the seed listed over the page, but even after you've successfully managed that, the battle is only half over, with the seedlings unfortunately being very finicky. I have found (after losing several plants) a rather unusual method which seems to be getting me good results. I put the seedling into a mix of 50%perlite/50%potting mix, give it a good soak, then put the pot into a large plastic bag, with a bit of water in the bottom, completely seal it, and hang the lot up near the top of my glasshouse. Here it gets quite a bit of sun, (tho certainly not full sun), gets very hot (up to 40°C of late), and of course stays at @99% humidity, and the plants seem to be loving it. Heat and humidity seem to be the key. Once established, they appear impossible to over water. Although this palm prefers it warm, but it will grow in the subtropics, as far south as Brisbane.

Contributed by:

Mike Gray (Text)
Clayton York, Utopia Palms & Cycads (Figure 1)
Daryl O'Connor (Figure 2)


The Palms of Madagascar, John Dransfield and Henk Beentje

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, eMonocot, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk