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Cocos palm

Cocos palm
Photo: Macbird Floraprint
Invasive Plant
Cocos palm
Syagrus romanzoffianum

Popular as an inexpensive, fast growing palm often used in new gardens. Their over-use has created a blot on the landscape and the environment.

Growing up to 12m tall, their stems can give the appearance of a garden planted with telegraph poles



  • They produce a multitude of seed attractive to larger birds, possums and bats, through which the spread is accomplished.
  • Seeds are quick to germinate and plants are well established by the time they become visible in the bush. Removal is difficult and expensive.
  • Seeds also move through storm water channels and drains to germinate many miles from the original plant.

What you can do

If you own this palm try to remove as many seeds and seedling plants as possible. Better still, choose from the alternative palms listed here to replace existing Cocos palms

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Alternative Plants

Alexander Palm
Photo: Lorna Rose
Alternative Plant Alexander Palm
Archontophoenix alexandrae
Trees and Shrubs

Smooth, pale-green shafts at the base of feathery, drooping fronds, slightly grey on the under sides. The stem shows rings of leaf scars. From north Qld and best suited to warm zones. Grows between 10- 15m high.

Bangalow Palm
Photo: Lorna Rose
Alternative Plant Bangalow Palm
Archontophoenix cunninghamiana
Trees and Shrubs

This 10m palm has distinct silvery undersides to the large feather-shaped fronds. As a rain forest palm it is best suited to warm, frost-free zones.

Smooth stem with close, horizontal leaf scars. Seeds attract lorikeets to the garden.

Cabbage Palm
Photo: Lorna Rose
Alternative Plant Cabbage Palm
Livistona australis
Trees and Shrubs

This native palm has fanshaped leaves and generally a smooth trunk. It is native throughout coastal areas and into East Gippsland. Remnant trees, sometimes as much as 30 metres high, can often be seen in gullies in cleared paddocks on the coast.

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