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Palm Spotlight: Chamberyonia macrocarpa “Flamethrower”

A moderately large palm with a single trunk, it maintains about 6 – 8 very stiff pinnate (feather like) fronds


The trunk will keep its deep green color until maturity and will hold the frond ‘scars’ leaving behind white rings up the trunk. Some cultivars have a molted green effect much like a watermelon.

However, the true showstopper is the emergent deep maroon frond. Slowly opening to deep red/maroon, it eventually fades to a light then deep green. This is a characteristic of this genus of palms.

Accepting of our soils and climate, it is only uncommon because of its availability. It can take cold to approximately 30F for a short period.

If you happen to find one, buy it! An easy grower, mine survived Hurricane Wilma with no frond damage. Hurricane Irma caused only one frond to break. Plant it in an area that the emergent frond can be viewed and enough space for the 7 foot fronds to spread nicely. After 18 years, mine is now 30’ tall! It will quickly outgrow any container.

It prefers afternoon shade when immature, but can take full sun once grown. With regular irrigation, mulching, and fertilizer, this palm will be a conversation starter, for sure!


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