The nikau (Māori: nīkau; Rhopalostylis sapida) is a palm tree endemic to New Zealand, and the only palm native to mainland New Zealand. Flowering doesn’t commence until a tree is about 30 years old.
Rhopalostylis sapida grows up to 15 m tall, with a stout, green trunk which bears grey-green leaf scars. The trunk is topped by a smooth, bulging crownshaft up to 1m long. The fronds are up to 3 m long, and the closely set, sometimes overlapping leaflets are up to 1 m long. The inflorescence is multibranched and from 200 to 400 mm long. The tightly packed flowers are unisexual and coloured lilac to pink. Male flowers are borne in pairs, and have six stamens. The female flowers are solitary. The fruit is elliptic or oblong, and generally measures about 10 by 7 mm, and is red when ripe. The nikau produces flowers between November and April, and fruits ripen from February to November, taking almost a year to fully ripen. These are a preferred food of the kererū (native pigeon).