King Palm Tree Vs Queen Palm Differences

Apart from some of the physical differences between queen and king palm, there’s not much difference in their growing needs. Queen palms are bigger in size but have more delicate dark green leaves, yellow-orange fruit and no crown on top.

King Palm Vs Queen Palm

Queen and King Palm are the two famous Palm tree species predominantly planted for environmental and landscaping purposes. Even though they look similar at first glance, you will find noticeable differences between King Palm vs Queen Palm.


The size of queen palms is bigger than king palms. Queen palms also do not have a crown shaft and their leaves are delicate with an overall petite appearance as compared to King palm.


King Palm grows up to 40-50 feet tall, whereas Queen Palm grows to a maximum height of 50-60 feet. It makes the Queen Palms a superior choice for vast landscaping projects or for creating a dramatic visual impact.


Another difference between King Palm and Queen Palm is in the leaf structure. The former has wider and larger leaves that form a more lush and tropical look, whereas the latter has more delicate leaves that give them an elegant and refined appeal.


Further, there is a noticeable difference in the frond appearance. Comparing King and queen palm, we found that the former has a bright green crown shaft, whereas the latter does not have a crown shaft. In addition, the King Palms drop their old fronds naturally, whereas Queen Palms demand regular pruning to look tidy.


You must know the King Palm tree vs Queen differences when picking the species for your landscape project. Selecting the right Palm tree can help accentuate the outdoor space’s beauty and ensure that the chosen variety is well-suited for the environment and will survive for years.


King Palm: How Do I Identify A King Palm tree?

King Palm

King Palm or Archontophoenix Cunninghamiana is a Palm tree species native to the northeastern Australia rainforests. Some of the characteristics that can help with the identification are:


1. Size: King Palm trees typically grow up to 40 to 50 feet.
2. Trunk: The King Palm tree has a slendertrunk that grows up to 18 inches in diameter. It is gray and has significant rings.
3. King palm leaves: This Palm tree has pinnate leaves divided into leaflets arranged along the central stem. These leaflets are about two to three feet long and about an inch wide with a pointed tip. The leaves are green on top and silver-green on the underside.
4. Flowers: King Palm has cream-colored flowers that grow in clusters. The flowers have a sweet fragrance and are an inch long.
5. Fruits: The fruits from King Palm are black, round, and tiny. They are about ½ inch in diameter and grow in clusters.


The combination of the slender gray trunk with pointed tips, tall height, pinnate leaves with small round black fruits, and cream-colored flowers is found in the King Palm tree.


Queen Palm: How Do I Identify A Queen Palm Tree?

Queen Palm
Queen Palm or Syagrus romanzoffiana is a Palm tree species native to South America. Some of the characteristics that can help with the identification are:


1. Size: Queen Palms can grow up to 50-60 feet.
2. Trunk: Queen Palm’strunk is slim and grows up to two feet in diameter. The trunk is gray and has a smooth texture. It is ringed with old leaf scars.
3. Fruits: The Queen Palm fruits are oval-shaped, small, and yellow-orange. They are about an inch in diameter and grow in clusters.
4. Flowers: Queen Palm has yellow-orange flowers that grow in clusters. They are about a foot or two long and have a sweet fragrance.
5. Leaves: Queen Palm also has pinnate leaves divided into leaflets arranged along the central stem. Its leaflets are about four to six feet long and are curved slightly upward. The leaves are green and dark on the top and grayish-green on the underside.


The slim gray trunk with old leaf scars, tall height, upward-curved leaflets with pinnate leaves, yellow-orange flowers, and oval-shaped, small, yellow-orange fruits can help you identify a Queen Palm tree.


King vs Queen Palm Features Overview

Features King Palm Queen Palm
Height and width 40-50 feet tall 50-60 feet tall
Trunk color Gray Gray
Trunk diameter Up to 18 inches in diameter Up to 24 inches in diameter
Leaves and fronds (size, color, and growth pattern) Pinnate, 2-3 feet long, green on the top and silver-green underside Pinnate, 4-6 feet long, dark green on the top and gray-green underside
Flower Cream-colored Yellow-orange
Fruit Small, round, black Small, oval-shaped, yellow-orange
Growth rate Moderate to fast Fast
Lifespan 50-100 years 70-100 years
Hardiness zone 9b-11 9b-11
Growing conditions Well-drained soil, Moderate water requirements, Full-sun, and Warm temperature Well-drained soil, Moderate water requirements, Full-sun, and Warm temperature
Uses Landscaping, Ornamental Landscaping, Ornamental
Are they messy? Moderately Somewhat


Comparing King Palm vs Queen Palm’s Physical Features

Let us first look at the difference between the two that are visible to the naked eye.

A. What is the height and diameter of a queen palm trunk compared to king palm?

Height and Diameter Of A Queen Palm


One of the main physical differences between the two Palms is their trunk diameter and length. King Palm grows up to 40-50 feet and has a diameter of about 18 inches. On the contrary, Queen Palm can grow up to 50-60 feet tall and has a trunk diameter of about two feet.


It implies that Queen Palm is typically taller and has a thicker trunk than King Palm. This trunk diameter and height difference between King and Queen Palm trees impacts their overall appearance and influences which species you pick for ornamental purposes or landscaping.


B. What is the difference between king and queen palm leaves and fronds?

Difference Between King And Queen Palm Leaves
There are distinct differences in different types of palm fronds and leaves.


1. Size:  King Palm leaves are narrower and shorter than Queen Palm. King Palm leaves are two to three feet long, whereas Queen Palm leaves can be up to 4-6 feet.

2. Color: King Palm leaves are green on top and silver-green on the underside. Queen leaves are dark green on top with gray-green color on the underside.

3. Growth pattern: The King Palm fronds grow circularly, whereas Queen Palm grows upright.

4. Texture: King Palm leaves are smoother and less textured than Queen Palm, which has a relatively rough surface.


C. Queen and king palm differences in flowering

Queen and king palm differences in flowering
You will find variations in the flowers of queen and king palm. Here are some such differences:


1. Flower color: The flowers in King Palm are cream-colored, whereas the Queen Palm flowers are yellow-orange.
2. Flower size: King Palm flowers are relatively smaller than Queen Palm flowers.
3. Inflorescence: It is the way the flowers are arranged on the tree. The King Palm inflorescenceis branched, whereas the Queen Palms inflorescence is unbranched.
4. Timing: Typically, the King Palms flower in summer months, whereas Queen Palms flower year-round.


D. King vs queen palm fruits

King Vs Queen Palm Fruits
Some of the key differences in their fruiting ability are:


1. Fruit color: King Palms have round, small, black fruits, whereas the Queen Palms have oval-shaped, small, and yellowish-orange fruits.
2. Fruit size: The King Palm fruits are smaller than the Queen Palms.
3. Fruit production: King Palms yield fruits less frequently than the Queen Palms.
4. Seed size: The King Palms seeds are relatively larger than the Queen Palms.


E. Differences in height and width of a queen and king palm

Queen Palms are usually more slender than King Palms. Some of the differences in their height and width are:


1. Height: Queen Palms grow to50-60 feet tall, whereas King Palms grow to 40-50 feet tall. But their length may vary depending on the growing conditions, and the individual trees may not always reach their maximum height potential.

2. Width:Usually, the Queen Palms are more slender than King Palms. The former has a narrower spread and goes up to 15-20 feet wide, whereas the King Palms have a width of up to 20-25 feet.

3. Hence, Queen Palms are predominantly employed for accent trees in narrow spaces, whereas the King Palms are better for wider areas.


Are Both King & Queen Palms Messy?

Queen and King Palms can be considered moderately messy because they drop fruits, flowers, and leaves. King Palms naturally drop their old fronds, which can accumulate and make a mess in the landscape.


Queen Palms require regular pruning to remove old fronds and seed pods. If you do not prune them regularly, the dead fronds may accumulate, creating a messy appearance and a fire hazard. The fruits and flowers drop in both Palms.


Regardless, regular pruning and maintenance can help mitigate the messiness of these trees. It is worth noting that some Palm trees like Sago Palm, Windmill Palm, European Fan Palm, Mediterranean Fan Palm, and Pygmy Date Palm are the least messy options. So if you want that, you can go for these alternatives.


Comparing King vs Queen Palm Growing Conditions


The process of growing queen palm and king palms is quite similar. They are both suited for subtropical and tropical climates. Here are some general growing requirements for both species:


1. Light: Both Palms prefer part shade to full shade. They can tolerate some shade but need ample light to thrive.

2. Soil:Both prefer slightly acidic, well-draining soil rich in organic matter. King and Queen Palms can also tolerate loamy or sandy soils.

3. Water: Queen and King Palms need regular watering, especially during dry periods. They cherish evenly moist soil that is not waterlogged.

4. Temperature: They are both tropical plants and demand warm temperatures. Even though they can tolerate some cold, they are not cold-hardy.

5. Fertilizer: Regular fertilization is necessary for both Palms to showcase healthy growth. They need a fertilizer with a 3:1:3 or 4:1:6 NPK ratio.


Other King Palm Tree vs Queen Differences & Similarities

A. Lifespan

King Palms and Queen Palms have a relatively long lifespan for the typical Palm trees. King Palms live for 50 to 70 years or more in their natural environment. However, in commercial cultivation, they can live up to 100 years. Queen Palms live for 70-100 years in their natural tropical environments.


B. Growth rate

Even though King Palms are considered moderate to fast-growing, they have a growth rate between two to three feet per year under optimal circumstances. On the other hand, Queen Palms are fast-growing and have a growth rate of around two to six feet per year.


C. Uses and benefits of King Palm and Queen Palm

Here are some uses and benefits of King and Queen Palm:


Ornamental value

  1. Both these Palms find use in horticulture and landscaping as they add an aesthetic appeal to outdoor spaces with their elegant and tall trunks and feathery, large fronds.
  2. They add a tropical feel to the streetscapes, parks, and gardens, especially in warm and humid climates.
  3. You can add these Palms indoors to add a touch of greenery to the office or home interiors.


Environmental benefits

  1. Comparing King Palm vs Queen Palm, you’ll notice both help in air purification. They absorb Carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air and release oxygen into the atmosphere.
  2. They offer shade and lower heat absorption in outdoor spaces. Hence, they help lower energy costs for cooling.
  3. They are an excellent habitat for wildlife, including small animals and birds.


Economic uses

  1. Queen Palm fruit is edible and is used in traditional medicine in several cultures.
  2. The stems and leaves from both plants go into thatching, weaving, and other crafts.
  3. These Palms are commercially grown for ornamental purposes and have an incredible economic value in the horticultural and landscaping industries.