Johannesteijsmannia altifrons

Johannesteijsmannia altifrons

Johannesteijsmannia altifrons or Joey Palm is a sublime palm with diamond-shaped leaves.

Endangered by deforestation and harvesting of leaves and seed.

Resists to 0 °C, which is quite astonishing for a tropical palm from the rainforest.

This palm tree is very difficult to grow outside tropical climates but very sought after by palm tree lovers.


Johannesteijsmannia altifrons is a palm tree that grows up to 6 m high. The trunk is underground or creeping.

The petiole is 1.8-3 m long, armed with small saw-like teeth that can also be found on the lower margins of the younger leaves. The diamond-shaped leaves are 3 m long in older plants and 1.8 m wide at their widest point.

They are light to medium green on both surfaces, upright and slightly spread but the older leaves on the rosette edge are usually horizontal and overhanging. There can be up to 24 leaves per rosette.

The short inflorescences are partially hidden in the leaf crown. The bisexual flowers smell bad.

The fruit is spherical, light brown, with cork-like protrusions.


Common names:

Diamond Joey palm, Joey palm, umbrella leaf palm


Teysmannia altifrons


Johannesteijsmannia: after the Dutch botanist Johannes Elias Teijsmann (1809-1882)
Altifrons: from the Latin alto (high, tall) and frons (forehead, front)


Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra, western Borneo


Grows in under-wood in mountainous rainforest

Johannesteijsmannia altifrons size

Johannesteijsmannia altifrons size


USDA zone 10-11



Rich, well drained


Shade, partial shade


Keep the substrate moist, not wet


Slow-release fertilizer twice a year


Very susceptible to root damage when repotting, careless handling will kill the plant easily



Johannesteijsmannia altifrons leaves

Johannesteijsmannia altifrons leaves

Sowing instructions:

  • use fresh seed
  • soak for 1 day in tepid water
  • sow in moist sowing substrate
  • 35 °C during the day, 25 °C during the night
  • germination: 3 months

Image sources

  • Johannesteijsmannia altifrons: Clivid
  • Johannesteijsmannia altifrons size: Clivid
  • Johannesteijsmannia altifrons leaves: Drew Avery

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