Giant Windowpane Palm

Beccariophoenix fenestralis

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Beccariophoenix (bek-kahr-ee-oh-FEE-niks) (Info)
Species: fenestralis (fen-ESS-tra-liss) (Info)
Synonym:Cocos madagascariensis


Tropicals and Tender Perennials


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


over 40 ft. (12 m)


USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Blooms repeatedly


Grown for foliage



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

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

Seed Collecting:

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


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

Mesa, Arizona

Brentwood, California

Los Angeles, California

Oceanside, California

San Diego, California (2 reports)

Thousand Oaks, California

Fort Myers, Florida

Naples, Florida

Odessa, Florida

Palm Bay, Florida

Venice, Florida

Kurtistown, Hawaii

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 12, 2012, quaman58 from San Diego, CA wrote:

This palm has the deserved reputation of being very a difficult grow in Southern California; it usually brown tips & the leaves end up turning yellow, then almost whiteish, before finally dying. But in my blissful ignorance I planted one in a somewhat protected part of my yard (2004), and it just seems (so far) to love life. It is now about 12 feet tall overall, with a few inches of trunk beginning to show. It is pretty cool tolerant as well, although it would probably be faster growing with more heat. It is in a fairly soggy part of the yard. I have heard that some of the difficulty in growing them is because they require a lower ph than most palms; 5.5 or lower. I'm inclined to agree with that. It's possible that without the correct ph, the plant can't take up the nutrients it needs. On... read more


On Aug 6, 2011, justpalms from banora point
Australia wrote:

I have 2 specimens and i must emphasize the fact that both were grown from seeds obtained from Pascoa from 10 years ago.They simply are powering to say the least!The biggest is over the 10m mark and very green and robust, i have trimmed it many times as its fronds were reaching the verendah and reducing natural light inside the dining room.The smaller one has been somewhat growing at a slower rate due to being in a pot for quite awhile but once out in the ground, it took off !Its about 8 m and very beautiful.It also gets a bit of shade and blends in very well with the rest of the garden.Both are growing in rich red volcanic soil and 10 minutes away from the beach. Looking forward to those torpedoes!!To grow these plants to perfection,you must have room, water and deep fertile soil and war... read more


On May 11, 2011, CoconutFreak1 from Central Coast, NSW
Australia (Zone 10b) wrote:

Although still rare in cultivation, this is a great palm for Sydney. It grows well in Sydney's climate and always looks good. It is a close relative of the Coconut, and looks almost identical to it. However it is a much larger, more robust palm, and in my opinion, makes a better landscaping plant. On the downside it is slow growing, and although this is the fastest of the 3 Beccariophoenix species, it is still a slow palm.


On Sep 21, 2009, HK22 from Sydney
Australia wrote:

This is one of the best cold-hardy Coconut Palm lookalikes. It and the No Windows form and Beccariophoenix alfredii, Parajubaea cocoides and possibly Voanioala gerardii are nearly identical to Cocos nucifera. It is very similar to the coconut palm, except being very cold-hardy and having small fruit, rather than large. I recommend this palm and the other three mentioned above to ANY coconut palm lovers who live in cold areas.


On Aug 28, 2009, WebInt from Vista, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

The poster below is incorrect on growth speeds. Beccariophoenix sp. Windows is by far the fastest grower of the three plants here in SoCal. Beccariophoenix madagascariensis is the slowest, with Beccariophoenix alfredii a little faster then Madagascariensis. Both Madagascariensis and Alfredii are outstanding plants for SoCal. They are slow growing but are pretty cold hardy and stay green year round. I know of some B madagascariensis that were not touched by 24 degrees during the 2007 freeze. As of 2009, Alfredii is still a new grow for palm lovers. Before it was officially named in 2007, it was sold as Beccariophoenix sp. (High Plateaux). The High Plateaux in Madagascar can see freezes in winter so this should be a good sign for growers that like to push the limits outside of 10a and 10b z... read more


On May 15, 2009, bepah from Brentwood, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Theres has been an update by John Dransfield regarding this plam. Originally, 2 Beccariophoenix species, madagascariensis and alfredii. The madagascariensis had the windowed form and the non-windowed form. This has now been resolved. The non-window form has been designated madagascariensis, the window form is awaiting a species name. Alfredii was untouched. This plant described (and photoed) here will have to have its entry changed. The windows form grows slower and is more cold sensitive than the non windows form.


On Nov 7, 2005, cfkingfish from Venice, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Well known amongst collectors, this palm is related to both the Cocos and Voanioala genera. Its common name speaks for itself, and I believe this palm will be much more common in subtropical/tropical landscapes in the near future. It is a bit more hardy to cold than Cocos, and the no window version is supposedly salt tolerant.


On Feb 26, 2005, Equilibrium wrote:

Also known as the Manarano Palm, the Maruala Palm, as well as the Giant Windowpane Palm; this plant is native to Madagascar. Its conservation status is endangered in its native range due to habitat loss as a result of ongoing mining and infrastructure development.

Given its conservation status, I am including excerpts regarding germination from this site-

...easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
soak for 24 hrs then place in plastic bag or tupperware with moist spagnum moss, temps were 85-100 seeds started to germinate after 2 weeks and kept germinating for 4 more weeks and produced over ... read more


On Aug 23, 2004, Kylecawaza from Corte Madera, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

This beauutiful palm thrives in Southern California and even survives areas like San Francisco, although only suburbs of the area since it needs temperatures above 70 degrees once in a while. lol. This palm is naturally slow growing, and tehre are few, if any, trunking palms in cultivation. In 8 years, you could expect this palm to start trunking in CA or Florida. It grows a little better in places from 5 to 20 miles away from the coast in CA than in Florida because it is native to a high elevation and likes the cooler climate. This palm can get 40 feet of trunk, and looks exactly like a coconut.


On Dec 7, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a tough plant for me to grow well, but I have not killed it (though I don't know how it's doing now). This has been called locally the windowpane palm because, as a seedling, the wide floppy leaves are mostly unsplit and have 'windows' nearer the rachis that make for a unique and attractive look. As the palm matures, however, the leaves start to show more classic feather-leaf characteristics and the entire tree becomes quite large and spread all over the place. Here in So Cal this palm is exceptionally difficult to keep from yellowing a lot, perhaps because of lack of sandy soil (which it prefers). In Florida it does a bit better, and does great in tropical climates like its native Madagascar.

There are two distinct forms of this palm, which will probably turn ... read more