Zones: (7)8 to 11 (usually reseeding in zone 8)
Size: 8' + tall, 3' wide, much larger in frost free zones.
Growth Rate: Fast
Extremely fast growing and reseeds easily. Tropical look. Large palmate red-purple or green leaves. Seeds are poisonous.
'Carmencita' - bronze-red leaves, red flowers
'Impala' - dwarf (5' tall), red leaves
'Sanguineus' - red stems and leaves
'Gibsonii' - dwarf (4' tall), red-purple leaves and stems, leaves turning bronze with age
'New Zealand Purple' - smaller deep purple leaf, little branching so plant in groups of 3
'Zanzibarensis' - green leaves with white veins
'Zanzi Palm' - green leaves, very tall, thick trunk
Published in Sp. Pl. 2: 1007 in 1753. Probably originated in Africa but naturalized worldwide in tropical and sub-tropical climates. Declared a noxious weed seed in Texas.
'Communis' = growing in company or common.
I was given a seedling in May 2011 and planted it near the conservatory - the deer ate it! I was given another seedling in May 2012 - cultivar 'Carmencita'. It survived but did not do much.