Chrysalidocarpus lutescens (Yellow Butterfly Palm, Bamboo Palm, Areca Palm)

Botanical Information

CategoryTropicals, Woody
TypeTree (evergreen), Shrub (evergreen)
ReferencesRoyal horticultural society University of Florida
OriginMadagascar philipines
Ethnobotanical Uses
in Africa and possibly the Philippines it is used as a fruit tree. It also in some cultures has religious and cultural significance where the fruit is given as gifts and the flower is used in wedding ceremonies in the Philippines and Madagascar.


USDA Hardiness Zone10A-11
USDA Hardiness Ref.
Canadian Hardiness Zonenone
Canada Hardiness Ref.
RHS Hardiness ZoneH1A
RHS Hardiness Ref.
Temperature (°C)°15-25
Temperature (°F)°59-70
Height10 m
Spread8 m
Flowering PeriodJune, July, August, September

Description and Growing Information

General DescriptionA multi-stemmed deciduous evergreen plant with fan like leaf clusters at the ends grows up to 30 meters in tropical environments or as much as 8 meters tall in places like Ontario and has a canopy of about 4 meters in width.
ID CharacteristicHas small yellow flowers in the summer near the top of the plant. The leaves spread out into a fan from the branches. Is an evergreen plant.
ShapeUpright vase
LandscapeThe plant is used as a potted/house plant because it is a tropical and can’t stand winter in the majority of North America. It is also used as a small beach side plant in Madagascar because it likes the sandy soil.
PropagationThe seeds found in small fruits that grow on the tree planted in warm soil it may take a while for the new plant to reach adult characteristics. Alternatively you can separate one of the smaller stems and it will grow as a separate plant try to find one that is 30 cm or more in height and be sure it has plenty of root growth.
CultivationPrefer well drained slightly acidic loamy soils only need to be watered in times of drought but sparingly otherwise. Will tolerate full sun full shade but prefer filtered sun north or east facing sheltered areas are ideal.
PestsScales followed by sooty mold can be a problem. Can get glass house red spider mites, Thrips, and mealy bugs.
Notable Specimensnone
HabitatIn Madagascar the plant grows in white sandy soils near the beaches and coasts of the island.
Bark DescriptionStiff glossy hardened sections bearing resemblance to bamboo.
Leaf DescriptionLarge palm leaves that extend out into fronds make great shade when they reach larger sizes because of their shape.
Flower DescriptionLong stems covered yellow/white flowers with many visible buds all over the stem.
Fruit DescriptionLong bundles of small brown or red fruit that resembles grape clusters.
Colour DescriptionDeep green leaves with a smooth white brown bark and white or yellow flowers.
Texture DescriptionSmooth glossy bark