PFL Central Science
V- 2 Library
The Sunshine Palm (Veitchia mcdanielsii)
T.K. Broschat and H. Donselman 98
University of Florida, IFAS
Fort Lauderdale Research & Education Center university of Florida
FLREC Ornamentals Research Report 88-2
The sunshine palm, Veitchia mcdanielsii, is an attractive medium-sized palm from New
Caledonia. It attains a height of 25-40' and a trunk diameter of 6-10", depending on its
environment. This palm appears to be very well adapted to south Florida's alkaline soils
and does not exhibit the manganese, magnesium, and potassium deficiency symptoms that
are so common on other palms in south Florida. Its leaves are pinnate, about 10' long, and
are held above the horizontal. A crownshaft makes this palm self-cleaning and the species
appears to be highly resistant to Lethal Yellowing disease.
Sunshine palms produce large clusters of red fruits about 1-1.3" long in late summer
and early fall. The pulp should be removed from the seeds and they should be planted in a
well-drained potting medium. Germination under warm greenhouse conditions requires
several months, but the palms grow rapidly thereafter. They readily respond to high fertility
and their growth should not be checked by small containers or a stunted palm may result.
As with most palms, fertilizers should have high nitrogen levels (10-20%), low phosphorus
levels (4-6%), moderately high potassium levels (10-15%), and relatively high levels of
magnesium and manganese.
Sunshine palms are about as cold hardy as coconut palms and their salt tolerance is
moderate. They are very drought tolerant.