Dypsis lutescens

Common Name: bamboo palm 
Type: Palm or Cycad
Family: Arecaceae
Native Range: Madagascar
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 12.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11 where it is best grown in rich, moist but well-drained soils in bright part shade areas. Tolerates full sun. Houseplants prefer consistent moisture in mostly sunny exposures with high humidity. Direct full sun indoors may scorch the foliage. Houseplants dislike temperatures that drop below 60 degrees F.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Dypsis lutescens, commonly called bamboo palm, butterfly palm or areca palm, is native to moist forest areas in Madagascar. Although endangered in its native habitat, it is commonly available in commerce throughout the world for outdoor plantings (where winter hardy) or as a houseplant. This multi-stemmed palm is now considered to be the most popular palm sold as a houseplant. Outdoors it will typically grow to 12-30' tall. Multiple-ringed, cane-like, yellow stems grow from the base of the plant in clusters. Stems sometimes resemble bamboo when suckers are removed, hence the common name of bamboo palm. Stems are topped with pinnate, upward-curving, light green leaves (to 3-6' long) with yellow midribs. Each leaf has 40-60 1/2 to 3/4" lance-shaped leaflets per side. Yellow flowers bloom in summer in panicles to 2' long. Flowers are not particularly showy. Flowers are followed by small yellow-orange fruits (each to 1/2" long) that mature to nearly black. Another common name for this palm is golden cane palm in reference to its yellow stems.

Synonymous with and formerly known as Chrysalidocarpus lutescens.

Specific epithet means turning yellow in reference to the yellow flowers, stems and leaf midribs.


No serious insect or disease problems. Lethal yellowing is a significant and deadly phytoplasma disease of palms (spread by planthoppers) that may occur on plants grown outdoors. Insect pests include scale and whiteflies. Watch for spider mites.


Where winter hardy, it may be grown in groups as a landscape specimen. Excellent screen, informal hedge or privacy wall. Very popular indoor houseplant.