Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Flame Thrower Palm, Houailou Red Leaf Palm, Red Feather Palm, Blushing Palm
Chambeyronia macrocarpa

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Chambeyronia (kam-bey-ROH-nee-uh) (Info)
Species: macrocarpa (ma-kro-KAR-pa) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

14 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Tropicals and Tender Perennials

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
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
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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5 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive johnchen99 On Mar 19, 2012, johnchen99 from Livermore, CA wrote:

I have 6 of these palms. They are fairly cold hardy but not sun hardy. Here in the valley, they need sun protection in the summertime and best looking in partial shade.

Positive MB_Palms On Jan 19, 2010, MB_Palms from Winter Park, FL wrote:

A great easily grown palm that usually emerges brightly colored red or pink leaves.

As the palm ages, the newly emerged red leaves will keep their red color longer and longer. We have had a few large palms keep their red color for up to a month.

Most collectors admire the watermelon trunk trait this palm can have. Since the watermelon form is just a trait, it cannot be guaranteed by growers on young seedlings that have not developed a trunk. If you really want a watermelon trunk, we suggest going a nursery and hand selecting one

We have successfully grown them from seed here in Orlando, FL where they have survived multiple freezes and temperatures down to 28. They were covered in nursery grade freeze cloth, and did show some leaf damage after a few days to a week, but emerged new healthy leaves in the spring.

Neutral pinellaspalm On Jun 20, 2007, pinellaspalm from Largo, FL wrote:

I have about eight seedlings growing under porch covering that i have raised from seeds. It has been about a year now and they have produced five leaves with two leaflets.

Positive billowen On Dec 10, 2006, billowen from Port Charlotte, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I've just planted two red feather palms in the ground in Port Charlotte, Fl. I picked them up in Homestead where the climate is a little warmer in winter. I've been told they won't do well in Zone 10a. I don't see many comments from folks in Florida about this palm. I would like to hear more about plantings in south Fl. Update April 2008, I now have four palms, the largest is over eight feet. We had a cold front move thru a couple of months back, down to 27 degrees overnight for several hours, no leaf damage, many other palms in my yard suffered with brown leafs, no problem with these. Seems to be more cold tolerent than many other types of palms grown here, Christmas palms, Coconut palms, Bottle palms, etc.

Positive elHoagie On Aug 31, 2005, elHoagie from Altadena, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Great palm! Only downside is the slow growth. Smaller seedlings in my unheated greenhouse produce 3-4 leaves per year, but my larger Chambeyronia in the ground only gives about 2. Mine is happy with 1/2 day sun, but would probably be a deeper green with more shade.

Neutral Kylecawaza On Aug 22, 2004, Kylecawaza from Corte Madera, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

This beatiful palm thrives in the San Francisco Bay area, and survives well inland in the Sacremento Valley. There is a great specimen in Modesto California, although it is still.

Positive palmbob On Jun 12, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Probably the best of all the New Caledonia palms for the USA. Not a fast grower, but faster than nearly all the other New Caledonia palms, and relatively easy and hardy... relatively.. .does NOT like desert heat, dry winds (or winds of any variety for that matter), blazing hot inland sun, salty air or soils or severe frosts. Mine always damaged in So. California when temps get down below 30F... Will survive temps down to about 26F but much below that will often kill plant outright unless extremely short period of freeze and quickly warms up well the next day. Relatively common in cultivation now, though still not a palm likely to show up at a garden outlet store.

Prized for its long arching leaves of deep green and wide, oval/lancelote leaflets somewhat leathery in consistency. The crownshaft is prominent and very ornamental and comes in various colors (see below). And the best thing is the new red leaf for which it gets its silly common names (recent nursery inventions... not 'official' names to be sure).

There are forms of Chambeyronia, that do not spout flaming red new leaves like the 'normal' variety. There is a 'green' form, that looks just like the new red-leaf form, only the new leaves are green. Still an attractive palm, but without that extra bit of fireworks once a year. There is also a yellow trunk/petiole form, called C macrocarpa var. hookeriana... I think that one is described elsewhere, but basially it is the same palm, only having a yellow trunk instead of a green one. THen there are some forms in between... like 'watermelon' variety (has green trunk, speckled with yellow linear dots, making it look sort of like a watermelon rind). And last, but not least, is form Houaliou. This form is unique in its seedling leaf formation having very large, wide, fused leaflets (bifid leaves) with ornamental yellow-gold midrib. Eventually this palm's leaves begin to split with age and it ends up looking a lot like a regular Chambeyronia except with an exaggerated arch or recurving of the leaves. Highly sought after form as it is still fairly rare in cultivation but pretty sure it's just a fad, as soon as folks figure out nothing unique about the look of this palm as a big palm, except NO red leaves.

Does very well on both coasts of the US, and exceptionally well in Hawaii of course (as do about all the New Caledonian palms).

Neutral BotanyBob On May 30, 2001, BotanyBob from Thousand Oaks, CA wrote:

This mostly tropical tree is grown for it's very wide 'feather' (as opposed to palmate) leaflets, and brilliant red or pink new leaf, as well as its very tropical looking ringed trunk and smooth dark green or yellow crownshaft (leaf base between trunk and leaves). It is one of the hardier tropicals grown in California and Florida, though I don't know if it's growing in any other states on the mainland. It is also one of the most beautiful palms in cultivation.

It takes cold down to around 28F and has significant leaf damage below that. Temps below 25F will usually kill it outright. High temps will also stress it out, and it cannot grow in climates like Palm Desert or Phoenix. It is mostly untested as a house plant, but is not very tolerant of very low humidity or very low light, and it is especially attractive to white fly.

This palm is a slow grower, taking up to 10 years to get to maturity in California, and perhaps 8 in S Florida. It takes a lot of water, though the soil doesn't have to be kept constantly moist. High winds will shred the leaflets, so plant in a protected area.

Varieties of this palm occur: C macrocarpa 'hookeri' is a yellow-trunked form, and there is a 'watermelon' form that has a spotted green and yellow trunk (rare). Most specialty palm nurseries carry this palm, or it can be ordered bare root from Hawaiian nurseries.


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

Orange Beach, Alabama
Altadena, California
Brentwood, California
Cardiff By The Sea, California
Corte Madera, California
Fallbrook, California
Garden Grove, California
Goleta, California
Huntington Beach, California (2 reports)
Livermore, California
Oceanside, California
Rancho Cucamonga, California
San Pedro, California
Santa Barbara, California (2 reports)
Tarzana, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Ventura, California
Westminster, California
Wilmington, California
Bradenton, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida (2 reports)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Largo, Florida
Loxahatchee, Florida
Mulberry, Florida
Naples, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Winter Park, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Brunswick, Georgia
Agana Heights, Guam
Ainaloa, Hawaii
Kurtistown, Hawaii

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