Rhopalostylis sapida

Botanical Name: 
Rhopalostylis sapida
Common Name: 

New Zealands only native palm, and the southernmost growing palm in the world.

It is very slow growing and can take up to 15 years to grow a trunk and up to 30 years before fruiting and flowering occurs.

The leaves are pinnate or feather like, rich green in colour, up to 3m long with linear or lanceolate leaflets 90 x 1.5cm.

The leaves stand up to create a 'shuttlecock' look.

In spring to summer flowers appear below the crownshaft developing from a spathe or spadix which opens to reveal lilac to cream flower clusters up to 60cm long.

Seeds are 10mm red, hard, berries and take a long time to ripen.

The trunk of the Nikau is ringed by the scars left by the fallen leaves.

It prefers to grow in semi shade or shade where there is a lot of moisture, and protection from winds.

Not easily transplanted due to the long tap root.

Ht: around 10m


For attracting birdlife, as a specimen tree, for tropical themed gardens, mass planting.


by seed.