The bismarck palm is one of the most spectacular in the entire palm family. It is endemic to madagascar and the only species in the genus. The palm has a stout trunk, 30 feet or more in height, 11-17 inches in diameter, gray to tan in color, clear of leaf bases and with a heavy crown of huge (to 9 feet across) beautiful blue-green fan-shaped (costapalmate) leaves. Petioles are 6-9 feet long, waxy, split at the base and slightly toothed. Female fruits are ovoid, brown, about 1 1/4 inches across, containing a single seed. Seeds germinate easily. The palm is dioecious, with male and female trees, hence the need to have one of each for fruit production. Thrives in sunny open sites with well-drained soils; with plenty of fertilizer and water it may grow quickly. The palm is frost sensitive. The bismarck palm is the ideal specimen tree, outstanding when planted in an open grassy area where its striking appearance is displayed. The species name nobilis is well-deserved. The silver variety described here is the most common, although a green variety also exists.