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Black Wanga Palm

Pigafetta elata

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pigafetta (pig-uh-FET-uh) (Info)
Species: elata (el-AH-tuh) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Blooms all year



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

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

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Dade City, Florida

Naples, Florida

Mountain View, Hawaii

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 1, 2015, IlhadoPico from Sao Roque do Pico,
Portugal (Zone 11) wrote:

I wish that DG would add other countries to this website, so that English speaking people living in other countries and growing palms and trees of all sorts could post their experiences and reviews on here as well.


On Sep 26, 2005, jungleboy_fl from Naples, FL wrote:

There's not a lot of information out there regarding the growth this palm outside of it's native rainforest habitat. Having said that, I was fortunate enough to locate a collector who sells them, and purchased one a couple of years ago. What I'm finding, is that they are fussy about humidity, really hungry for lots of fertilizer, and not wind resistent at all. However, there are nice examples of this palm growing in South Florida- mostly cared for by vigilent palm enthusiasts (like yours truly), who keep a watchful eye for their needs. Summer rains result in luxuriant growth, with my palm having grown about 5' in one season, and it's not slowing down yet. The leaves of this palm are unusual in that they are somewhat brittle, easily snapping in strong winds, resulting in a very ragged... read more


On Feb 9, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

If Pigafetta filaris is a blonde, this is a brunette... it has even more spines per square inch and they are nearly jet black. This palm is truly a dangerous one to bump into, at least while the leaves are within reach (which isnt for long- this IS the fastest growing palm in the world). Grows quickly to 60' or so, and then dies. Trunk is smooth, deep green and ornamentally ringed. From New Guinea. Zone 11 may be pushing it's limits of cold tolerance... maybe zone 12?