Cyrtostachys renda
Common Name: sealing wax palm 
Type: Palm or Cycad
Family: Arecaceae
Native Range: Malay peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra
Zone: 11 to 12
Height: 8.00 to 15.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: July
Bloom Description: Greenish-white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: High
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest


Lipstick palm is a tropical plant that requires tropical growing conditions. It is winter hardy to USDA Zones 11-12 where it best grows in evenly moist, well-drained soils with dappled sun. Mature plants tolerate full sun. Plants are intolerant of drought or strong winds. Plants dislike temperatures below 55 degrees F. and are marginal survivors in USDA Zone 10. In most areas of the continental U. S., this plant should be grown indoors or in a greenhouse. Use an all purpose potting soil. Keep soil uniformly moist. Site plants in indirect sun. Plants like high humidity. Plants are intolerant of cool indoor breezes. Plants may be taken outside in the hot summer months for placement in bright shaded areas with indirect sun.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cyrtostachys renda, commonly called lipstick palm or sealing wax palm, is a tropical palm that is native to swampy rain forest areas of the Malaysian peninsula, Indonesia and Borneo. It is perhaps best known for its glossy scarlet red crown shafts and leaf stalks which bring stunning accent and contrast to landscapes or indoor areas. Common names are in reference to the red coloration. In the wild, this palm will grow to 12-15’ tall. Pinnate leaves to 4-5’ long are deep green above and gray-green underneath. Small greenish white flowers in panicles bloom in summer. Flowers give way to small, ovoid, black fruits.

Genus name comes from the Greek words kyrtos meaning arched and stachys meaning ear of corn or spike for the curved flower spike.


No serious insect or disease problems. Indoor plants are susceptible to spider mites and scale.


Excellent specimen in tropical areas. House plant.