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November 2017 Plant of the Month – Howea forsteriana

Kentia PalmThe Howea forsteriana, also known as the Kentia Palm, is an elegant palm tree known for its beautiful, deep-green arching fronds.  The Kentia Palm first became popular in Europe during the Victorian era when exotic plants were avidly collected.  The Kentia Palm was quite expensive to buy and became associated with royalty.  Used to decorate lavish homes, it acquired the common name Parlor Palm.

Today the Kentia Palm is widely used in buildings, hotel lobbies and homes everywhere. It is slow-growing and tolerates low light and cool temperatures.  It can reach a height of 30 feet and a width of 20 feet.  The architectural drooping fronds, and large size make an elegant statement wherever it is used.

You can see the Kentia Palm in the International Terminal, outside of the Aviation Museum.

Fun Fact: Queen Victoria cultivated Kentia Palms in all of her homes and left instructions for them to be placed around her coffin while she lay in state.