Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Christmas Palm, Manila Palm, Kerpis Palm
Adonidia merrillii

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Adonidia (ad-oh-NID-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: merrillii (mer-IL-ee-eye) (Info)

Synonym:Veitchia merrillii

19 members have or want this plant for trade.


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Blooms all year


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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4 positives
3 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive naplepalm On Aug 26, 2014, naplepalm from Naples, FL wrote:

Great palm, self shedding. we plant them by the 100's each year. Can get white fly but fairly easy to remedy other than that its a perfect mid size palm for the landscape also has red fruit that makes a nice color contrast. I also have not seen any LY problems with this palm but if its yellowing try giving it magnesium, yellowing is usually a magnesium deficiency.

Positive Palm1978 On Jul 24, 2012, Palm1978 from Bonita Springs, FL wrote:

This palm is ubiquitous Southwest Florida residential landscapes. I have not seen an example of LY damage to this palm in 5 years or more in this area. Readily seen in double or triple trunk form near corners of condos and single family homes. Easy grower and available at every nursery.

Neutral olman On Oct 3, 2008, olman from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

in response to graphifredusa comments, is very common in your area to do a "quick" "mature" planting/landscaping right before putting a house for sale hence short lived.
many mature palms die for that reason other than disease, start from seed or small plant n rate of success is very high

yes patience still pays

Positive DaleTheGardener On Feb 21, 2007, DaleTheGardener from Tampa, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Fast growing palm. Easy from seed. Will not tolerate frost. Widely grown in southern Florida and other warm climates. Easy to grow and trouble free, very tolerant of neglect. Grows well in containers.

Positive timrann On Jan 30, 2006, timrann from Other
Mauritius wrote:

A very easy palm in Mauritius and quite common can even find it in nuseries and sadly grow faster than our endemics Hyophorbes . Have some ( 1 mature and many seedlings ) in my garden and at that time it is in bloom january . Here in Mauritius it flowers repeatedly. The seeds grow quite fast as i never noticed how fast as i throw the seeds in a corner of the garden and it just grows by itself probably less than a month to sprout. The red ripe fruits is very appreciated by some birds and are birds dispersal also . Ripe fruits pulps are very irritating if in contact with skin , so wear a pair of gloves when handling or cleaning the fruits for seeds.

Neutral graphifredusa On Apr 8, 2004, graphifredusa wrote:

One year ago we bought a house in Hollywood Florida; there was a beautiful wall of palm tree in front of the house. Because we were coming from the city, we didn't know what kind of tree was. With the time and especially after the summer, half of them died by losing first their leaves and after the trunk by breaking down in half the size of the tree. We discovered they were Christmas Palms and are susceptible of lethal yellowing leaf disease. On the other hand some of them are beautiful with a solid thick trunk and got tall already in a year with beautiful red fruits.

Negative bvegan On Nov 11, 2003, bvegan from Naples, FL wrote:

A nice, small palm, but extremely susceptible to lethal yellowing disease (aka "LY").

Neutral palmbob On Sep 15, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Used to be a Veitchia, this is a very commonly planted avenue and garden plant throughout the tropical world (very common in Miami along boulevards). It is also used as an indoor plant in less tropical areas (saw some in a mall in Seattle). It can be identified by its very strongly recurved, somewhat short leaves and lime green crownshaft.

Extremely common (almost too common) palm throughout the tropical world. Also performs surprisingly well as an indoor palm, though tends to look a bit brown-tipped and unhappy in low humidity situations (most indoor situations).

A comment about its 10a rating, though. This is humid climate rating, not Mediterranean climate rating... even in the rare zone 10bs in southern California, this palm only manages to eke its way through a few winters, and then croaks (a few exceptions in extremely favorable microclimates exist, but hardly are the rule). Florida growers may find this an easy 10b palm (10a is sort of marginal) but California growers should not even bother.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Oceanside, California
Yorba Linda, California
Big Pine Key, Florida (2 reports)
Boca Raton, Florida (2 reports)
Bonita Springs, Florida
Boynton Beach, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Cocoa Beach, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Pierce, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Homestead, Florida (2 reports)
Islamorada, Florida
Key Largo, Florida (2 reports)
Key West, Florida (3 reports)
Melbourne Beach, Florida
Miami, Florida
Naples, Florida (3 reports)
Oak Hill, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida (3 reports)
Port Charlotte, Florida
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Ruskin, Florida
Saint Cloud, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida (3 reports)
Sanford, Florida
Sugarloaf Shores, Florida
Summerland Key, Florida
Tavernier, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida (3 reports)
West Palm Beach, Florida (2 reports)
Ahuimanu, Hawaii
Ainaloa, Hawaii
Hana, Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii
Kapolei, Hawaii
Kihei, Hawaii
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Houston, Texas

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