Adonidia merrillii

Adonidia merrillii (Becc.) Becc.

Synonym: Veitchia merrillii

Common Names: Christmas Tree Palm, Dwarf Royal Palm, Manilla Palm

Family: Arecaceae

Habit: Adonidia merrillii grows as a medium size tree up to 12 m in height and to 20 cm in diameter. The bark retains circular petiole scars.  The dark green leaves are arranged spirally at the top of the trunk with an extended petiole base sheathing the trunk for up to 1 m. The leaves are pinnately compound, to 3 m in length and 75 cm wide.

The incomplete, imperfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in a large panicle that arises below the lowest leaf. The calyx has 3 sepals and the corolla has 3 petals. The calyx and corolla are white and fused together forming a single whorl. Staminate flowers have 7-9 stamens and no carpel. The carpellate flowers have staminodes and a single ovary and ovule. The ovary is superior with a single locule and seed.   The fruit is a drupe that is bright red at maturity.

Habitat: Adonidia merrillii grows in Human Altered environments (yards and gardens) as well as Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations- Forests/Shrublands (coppice).

Distribution: Adonidia merrillii is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago. It is native to the Philippines.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Adonidia merrillii is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

It is in the horticultural trade but has widely escaped cultivation and is now considered a NON-NATIVE INVASIVE species.  It should be removed from gardens and discontinued to be used in landscaping.