MacArthur Palm Tree

Common Names MacArthur Palm
Scientific Name Ptychosperma macarthurii
Mature Size 20 ft by 12 ft
Flower Whitish clusters
Blooms Spring
Water Requirements Moderate drought tolerance
Cold Hardiness Not very, freezes at 32 degrees
Light Requirements Moderate to High

The Macarthur is a small, decorative palm that grows well in the warm and humid Miami climate. This palm has multiple slim, gray trunks ringed with leaf scars and topped with bright green crown shafts. The fronds are showy, bright green and three to six feet long. Individual leaves have distinctive edges that appear torn. It typically grows to a height of 12 to 15 feet.

Small white to greenish white flowers appear year-round on stalks that emerge below the crown. Fruits are small, round and initially green. They ripen to a bright red color, providing a striking counterpoint to the brightness of the fronds.

The Macarthur palm is a tropical that benefits from regular watering to keep the soil uniformly damp, especially during periods of drought. Trim away suckering trunks from time to time and remove yellowing fronds to keep this palm looking its best. Although the Macarthur can be grown in containers, it will often outgrow them and need to be transplanted.

Its flamboyant appearance and tropical appeal make the Macarthur a popular choice for “jungle” landscapes, as it will happily live in the shade of taller trees. Plant them singly or in groups for a flashy and colorful addition to your garden.