Bismarckia nobilis Hildebrandt & H.Wendl.

Bismarck Palm

Solitary spineless palm. Trunk woody, grey, to 15 m tall, 40 cm wide. Leaves 13-30, costapalmate, green to silvery grey, to about 3 m across, divided one quarter to one third and the tips shortly divided. Leaflets 50-77, rigid and waxy, folded upwards in a V-shape. Leaf stalk smooth or occasionally with minute teeth. Panicle arising among the leaves. Flowers unisexual, the sexes on different plants. Fruit 4-5 cm across, dark brown.


The commonest naturally-growing palm in Madagascar. Mainly grown in the tropics and subtropics but can be grown in a warm sheltered sites on the south coast of New South Wales. A very impressive palm when well grown.

Common in Madagascar where the trunks are used for construction and the leaves for roofing and basketry; the pith is eaten as a slightly bitter sago.

Huge green to silvery grey trunk; midribbed palmate leaves with rigid leaflets; leaf stalks unarmed.

Qld: Brisbane (Bot. Gds).

Source: Jones, D; Spencer, R. (2005). Arecaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Arecales
family       Arecaceae