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Scientific name: Veitchia merrillii
Pronunciation: VEE-chee-uh mer-RILL-ee-eye
Common name(s): Christmas Palm, Manila Palm
Family: Arecaceae
USDA hardiness zones: 10B through 11 (Fig. 2)
Origin: not native to North America
Uses: container or above-ground planter; suitable for
growing indoors; near a deck or patio; specimen;
sidewalk cutout (tree pit); residential street tree; no
proven urban tolerance

This stocky, single-trunked palm with stiffly
arched, six-foot-long, bright green fronds is noted for
the fall and winter appearance of the very showy
clusters of glossy, bright red fruits which hang below
the leaves at the base of the crown shaft (Fig. 1).
Reaching 25 feet in height, though often much smaller,
Christmas Palm has a very neat appearance and is
well-suited to use as a patio, terrace, specimen, or
framing tree. Unfortunately, the palm is very
susceptible to lethal yellowing disease and probably
should not be planted. Fortunately, there are other
Veitchia resistant to the disease, including Veitchia
macdanialsi and Veitchia montgumeryana, but these
are much taller palms with thicker trunks.



Light requirement: tree grows in part shade/part sun;
tree grows in full sun
Soil tolerances: clay; loam; sand; slightly alkaline;
acidic; well-drained
Drought tolerance: moderate
Aerosol salt tolerance: moderate
Roots: surface roots are usually not a problem
Winter interest: tree has winter interest due to
unusual form, nice persistent fruits, showy winter
trunk, or winter flowers
Outstanding tree: not particularly outstanding
Invasive potential: little, if any, potential at this time
Verticillium wilt susceptibility: not known to be
Pest resistance: very sensitive to one or more pests
or diseases which can affect tree health or aesthetics
Christmas Palm should receive some shade while
young but will grow in full sun when older on a wide
variety of well-drained soils, including limestone soils.
Trees should only be used in frost-free areas.
Consider substituting one of the Veitchia mentioned
above, the Carpentaria Palm, Ptychosperma
macarthurii, or a variety of other palms resistant to
lethal yellowing disease.
Propagation is by seed.

Christmas Palm, Manila Palm Seeds (Veitchia merrillii) x10 seeds

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