~ Howeia forsteriana ~
Kentia Palm


Height: 40'   Growth rate: Slow   Climate zones: 14-17 to 26°   Origin: Lord Howe Island


Kentia Palm Trees

Howeia forsteriana, also known as the Kentia Palm, is native to the cool and breezy Lord Howe Island Northeast of Australia. This palm is by far the most popular house plant the world has ever known hence its common name the "Parlor Palm". For a very long time during the 1800's, the only place which could produce viable seed for this tree was Lord Howe Island. The popularity of the plant coupled with the enormous demand for the seed, gave birth to the "Lord Howe Island Seed Company". The island, and its invaluable palm groves laden with seed were heavily protected and off limits to travelers. Seed production during this time was the only economic activity on the island. The seed company still exists but now has competition from other seed producers throughout the subtropical regions of the world.

The Howeia is a pinnate, unarmed, dark green, slow growing palm with a striking green ringed trunk. Growing ever so slowly to a height of 35', and having a spread of 15', this palm is nicely scaled for the small residential garden, or can be massed for stronger impact in larger spaces. Like the King Palm, the Howeia is only recommended for nearly frost free regions of zone 17, and warm, protected microclimates within zones 15-16. Can be grown successfully for many years within colder zones 14, 9, and 8 if planted under East or North Facing buildings with overhangs, or under evergreen trees. Howeia palms are hardy to 26 degrees, and have recovered slowly from freezes in the low twenties. Tolerating low light levels, dust, and cool drafts, the Howeia is also ideally suited to interior use as well.

Click any photo to view an enlarged, printable cutsheet


Palm Society