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Purple King Palm, Mount Lewis King, Purple Piccabean Palm

Archontophoenix purpurea

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Archontophoenix (ar-kon-toh-FEE-niks) (Info)
Species: purpurea (pur-PUR-ee-uh) (Info)



Water Requirements:

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

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Antioch, California

Huntington Beach, California

La Verne, California

Oceanside, California

Rancho Cucamonga, California

Reseda, California

San Diego, California

San Fernando, California

Santa Barbara, California (3 reports)

Thousand Oaks, California

Ventura, California

Yorba Linda, California

Cape Coral, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Ocklawaha, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Agana Heights, Guam

Hilo, Hawaii

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 23, 2010, billowen from Port Charlotte, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I have four of these King palms, two potted and two in the ground. The two planted in the ground took temps down to around 28 degrees for several hours this past winter. I wrapped both with blankets, but provided no heat. Both faired very well with little damage. Several other more cold sensitive Palms in my yard died. Growth I have seen is pretty rapid. They seem to do well here.


On Sep 22, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Great form of King Palm, but is the least sun tolerant of the species, at least in the more inland areas of Southern Calfornia. As it matures, it does better in the sun. It is absolutely gorgeous in the tropics where the crownshaft is a gorgeous light violet-grey. In California the trunk color is sometimes a bit disappointly less than purple... sort of an off-green to brown. But sometimes one will show a nice lavendar crownshaft and not sure why some do and some don't.

As a seedling this is a pretty robust plant, compared to the more common king palm. Leaves have a whitish underside and trunks are more markedly ringed. However it is a bit slower growing and maybe less tolerant of drought. None of the ARchontophoenix species move well, especially as older plants. Pl... read more