Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Walking Palm, Stilt Palm, Curly Stilt Root Palm
Socratea exorrhiza

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Socratea (soh-KRAH-tee-uh) (Info)
Species: exorrhiza (eks-oh-RY-za) (Info)


over 40 ft. (12 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:
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Other details:
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:
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There are a total of 21 photos.
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4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive jcolehaley On Mar 9, 2011, jcolehaley from Asheville
United States wrote:

I found one of these here in south/central Costa Rica about 15 minutes up the mountain from Dominical (Pacific Coast)

I posted pictures and asked for help identifying it here:

A tidbit about its habitat here. It is less than 10 ft from a year round stream, and I am sure the area floods during heavy rains. It is surrounded by other trees of similar size and one other S. exorrhiza. The one I have pictures of is quite tall, probably at lease 40 - 50 ft.
I am amazed at this new find and to learn that the tree can actually walk up to 1 meter per year.

Positive deezpalms On Feb 6, 2006, deezpalms from Oceanside, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

I've got two that have done well for me here in san diego on the coast. I have been growing them in full morning sun and filtered sun the rest of the day. They slow down during the colder months but don't show any stress.

Neutral kennedyh On Mar 9, 2005, kennedyh from Churchill, Victoria
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

This interesting palm has the common name Walking Palm. It grows naturally in the Amazon rainforest, where light is at a premium. If a space in the canopy opens up on one side of the tree, it puts out extra stilt roots on that side and when they are established lets those on the other side die of, thus physically moving the tree a small amount towards the extra light.

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

If you live in a mild enough climate without frost, you can probbaly grow this palm. In San Francisco they are going to try it at the Golden Gate Park I heard. I know someone is trying it in Fort Bragg CA. I wonder if anyone has tried it along the Coast in Southern CA?

Positive palmbob On Jun 22, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is one of my very favorite palms... hate that I can't grow it in southern California... very tropical in its needs despite growing in some high elevations in central and South America. This is the penultimate stilt root palm sometimes supporting a 70' 1' foot thick trunk on just 3-5 stilt roots. It is a marvelous silohuette of arching pinnate leaves with widely spread fishtail/ wedge shaped leafelts all on one of the bluest crownshafts I've ever seen. Somewhat similar to Dicticaryum in color- a deep blue-green to blue-purple/ turquoise crownshaft: very colorful. When adorned with its large, spherical light orange fruits, it is an incredibly ornamental palm, though a bit curious looking


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

Oceanside, California
Ainaloa, Hawaii
Hilo, Hawaii

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