T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Rhopalostylis sapida var. chathamica (Chatham Island Nikau)

Kingdom: Plantae 

(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Monocots
(Unranked): Commelinids
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Subtribe: Rhopalostylidinae
Genus: Rhopalostylis
Species: R. sapida var. chathamica
Binomial name: Rhopalostylis sapida var. chathamica
Common names: Chatham Nikau, Pitt Island Nikau, Rhopalostylis sapida var. chathamica

Rhopalostylis sapida var. chathamica is palm endemic to Pitt Island in Chatham Islands group. It is the world’s most southerly palm. This hardy, fast growing variety of Nikau palm is tolerant to frost and drought. It has dark green leaves with a contrasting silvery white petiole. It is robust a palm that differs from the main land species of Rhopalostylis sapida by having broader leaves and more crowded leaflets which start much further up the midrib of each frond leaving it quite bare at the base. The fruit is also larger than the mainland’s Rhopalostylis sapida.


A young palm growing the undergrowth in the Chatam Islands.

Thanks to Wkipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/