Endemic to the Seychelles, this spectacular palm is found in forests, but is one of only a few native plants in the Seychelles that can colonise dry and eroded areas, as it is capable of withstanding full sunlight and periods of drought. It can also happily grow in deep shade or in rocky soils. It forms large stands on the islands and is frequently associates with Lodoicea maldivica. The large beautiful leaves have been extensively used in the past for thatching of roofs.
This palm has prominent spines on stems and leaf bases, a feature generally thought to be a defense against the giant tortoises that used to roam free in the islands... The large leaves provide shelter for geckos and invertebrates as the pleated surface acts as an effective litter trap thus providing cover for small animals. The leaves can reach up to 6 ft in length! They have a crinkled appearance due to the prominent veins, and are split at the ends with orange-edged serrations. Both male and female flowers are borne on the same tree on an inflorescence that emerges below the crown.