Family : Arecaceae alt. Palmae
Text © Pietro Puccio
English translation by Mario Beltramini
- Seems native to Tonga and Fiji forests. For gardens in the Tropics © G. Mazza
The exact place of origin of the Pritchardia pacifica Seem. & H. Wendl. (1862) is not known, it is supposed to
be native of the humid forests of Tonga and Fiji (South
The name of the genus was dedicated to the first British
Consul in the Fiji Islands (1858), William T. Pritchard.
The name of the species refers to the area of origin
It is commonly known as: "Fiji fan palm" (English);
"palmier de Fiji" (French); "palmera de Fiji" (Spanish);
"palmeira-leque-de-Fiji" (Portuguese); "Fiji-Fächerpalme"
It shows a solitary trunk tall up to 15 metres, with a
diameter of 25-30 cm, marked by the close scars of the
foliar petioles; the leaves, on an unarmed petiole, 1 metre
long, are costapalmate, of pale green colour, about 2
metres wide, and incised for about one third of their
length in several rigid and pointed segments.
The inflorescence, very ramified, comes out between the
leaves and carries hermaphrodite yellow-coloured flowers,
the fruits are globose, of about 1 cm of diameter, of red
colour tending to the dark brown when ripe. It reproduces
by seed which germinates in about 2 months.
Plant of great ornamental and landscape value, is
cultivable in the tropical regions, and marginally, in the
subtropical ones, particularly humid, as it does not
tolerate temperatures close to 0 °C, unless for a very short
period, and the lack of humidity.
Synonyms : Washingtonia pacifica (Seem. & H.Wendl.) Kuntze (1891); Eupritchardia pacifica (Seem. & H.Wendl.) Kuntze (1898); Styloma pacifica (Seem. & H.Wendl.) O.F.Cook, (1915); Pritchardia pacifica var. samoensis Becc. (1913); Pritchardia pacifica var. marquisensis F.Br. (1931).
The photographic file of Giuseppe Mazza