537 Ravenea spp.Common Names: Majesty (TM) Palm Family: Arecacea (palm Family)
This is a beautiful feather-leafed palm whose symmetrical form and smooth, flared trunk combine to create living sculpture for the landscape. For the same reason Majesty palm has become a popular plant for indoors as well. Smaller specimens are vigorously marketed as houseplants while larger plants are common inhabitants of office and shopping mall interiors. This palm is such an item of commerce that even its common name, Majesty®, is a trademark. Alan Meerow, author of Guide To Landscape Palms reports that there is confusion as to the identity of Majesty palm. Usually identified as R. rivularis, he suspects that this palm is actually R. glauca, a smaller palm growing to less than 20ft (6m) in height whereas R. rivularis grows to about 40ft (12m).
Native to Madagascar, Ravenea rivularis, where it, like much of the island's unique plant life, is rapidly disappearing.
CultureTolerant of many different soil types but needs sufficient fertilizer to look its best - feed every 3 months or whenever its deep green color begins to fade. Light: Majesty palm will grow in bright sunny areas but tends to look better in partly shaded areas as an understory plant. Moisture: Needs moisture, water when dry. Hardiness: USDA Zones 9 - 11. This palm is not frost tolerant. If you live in frost-prone parts of Florida or the gulf coast, enjoy the Majesty Palm like folks up north - in a container! Propagation: By seed - which you will probably not be able to find. The good news is this palm is inexpensive and widely available at most discount garden stores and nurseries.
Majesty palm does well in containers both indoors and out. Use on patio, deck, or in sun room. If you live in a frost free area plant one of these beauties as a specimen in a partly sunny area where you can admire its shapeliness from the house or deck.
Only recently introduced to the U.S. gardeners, Majesty palm has become a familiar tropical foliage plant. It makes an enduring and fast growing house plant if provided sufficient water (not soggy!) and occasional doses of liquid fertilizer. I invested five dollars in a charming 3 foot specimen a few years ago. I planted it in a container so I could bring it inside during our periodic cold snaps. As the years pass, this "charmer" has grown into a massive 7 foot brute - I routinely mangle my back whenever I rescue "his Majesty" from a frosty night. He's too attractive to sacrifice to a freeze so I'm compelled to protect him - he's almost outgrown the living room and now he's demanding a greenhouse...
Jack Scheper 02/20/99 updated 3/14/08