Pigafetta filaris


Often called and said to be “David Fairchild’s favorite palm”. Pigafetta is one of the fastest growing palms in the world. Even as little seedlings they can jump up three or four feet in one year and as young plants can add 3 feet of trunk height per year. In habitat it is said to streak up to 120 feet in height with trunks a foot and a half in diameter. The trunk is dark green with white rings and unarmed however the petioles and leaf sheaths are spiny which led to David Fairchilds fascination with the palm. In describing the palm back in 1943 he wrote of these palms and in alluding to these spines wrote that the sunlight   “…. gilded them and made them beautiful indeed…” The palm is somewhat cold hardy in that it withstood temperatures in the low 30’sF with little damage…however I am certain but have no evidence to support it that this was for a very short time and would certainly not be able to withstand continuous cold. When young they need protection from strong winds, require full sun and lots of water and cannot be allowed to dry out. Their roots are extremely sensitive and a great deal of care must be taken when re-potting or planting. If the roots dry out while attempting this the plant will surely die. None the less, a really “neat” palm.