Hyophorbe verschaffeltii

Hyophorbe verschaffeltii

Hyophorbe verschaffeltii or Spindle Palm is a small palm tree with a swollen trunk that tapers at the top.

Its trunk is thicker than that of Hyophorbe lagenicaulis and it has a more compact leaf crown.

There are only about fifty specimens left in their natural habitat where it is threatened but it is cultivated worldwide for its decorative qualities.

Not hardy, easy to grow in pot as a house plant or orangery plant. Growth is slow.


This palm has a smooth gray trunk, swollen at the base and narrow at the top, giving the appearance of a spindle or bottle. Leave scars are gray-white and very close together.

The leaves are pinnate and slightly curved. The crown is formed by 5-10 leaves at the top of the stipe.

The inflorescence appears below the leaf crown.

Common names:

Pig nut palm, spindle palm


Hyophorbe: from the Greek hys, hyos (pig) and phorbe (food), referring to the fact that the fruit was used to feed the pigs
Verschaffeltii: in honor of Ambroise Verschaffelt, a Belgian horticulturist


Rodrigues, Maurice


Rainforest and savanna


Zone USDA 10, 0 °C


Nutritious and drained


Sun, partial shade


From seed

Sowing instructions:

  • soak the seeds for two days
  • sow in a sandy mix to 3 cm deep
  • moisten
  • 25 °C
  • germination time: 2-6 months


  • maintain a minimum temperature of 15 °C and put it in a bright place
  • fertilizer for palm trees, 2-3 times per year

Image sources