The genus Ptychosperma includes approximately 15 species, macarthuri widespread in Australia and some nearby islands. In its native habitat this palm reaches a maximum height of 8 m (26 ft).

It often forms several slender stems topped by large pinnate leaves, 150-300 cm (5-10 ft) long and 60-100 cm (23-39 in) wide, with alternate, irregularly tipped leaflets. The leaves curve in an arch from the stem. The fruits are bright red and the seeds are deeply furrowed – hence the scientific name of the genus (ptyche = fold, furrow, sperma = seed).

The individual species are easy to grow indoors. They tolerate even rather low winter temperatures of 8°-10°C (46o-50°F). They are grown from imported seeds that germinate quite readily. They do not even need higher temperatures for germination. They require heavier composted soil, as do most palm trees.

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