Plant Profile

Bismarckia nobilis

(biz-mark’-ee-ah) (noh-BILL-ihs)

Silver Bismarck Palm

Subfamily Coryphoideae

Tribe Borasseae

Subtribe Hyphaenieae

This genus is dioecious, separate male, and female trees.

This must be the most common palm in Madagascar. It is a handsome palm, which does well in the drier tropics and subtropics and is planted in many countries. The genus is named for the German chancellor, Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898), one of the few cases where botanists have named a species after a politician. When Madagascar was colonized by the French, they included the species in Medemia, thus getting rid of the name Bismarckia, but most botanists (including the present authors) regard the genera as distinct, and therefore Bismarckia is the correct name for the Madagascar palm. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

“The native range of this species is N. & W. Madagascar. It is a tree and grows primarily in the seasonally dry tropical biome. It is has environmental uses and for food.” – Kew

Origin Map from Kew Royal Botanic Gardens