This species, from the tiny Hawaiian Islands of Nihoa and Niihau, where it grows in dry forest, is a moderately-sized palm, reaching a height of about 10 m (33 ft.). Its trunk is flexuous and slender, growing to around 15 cm (6 in.) in diameter; the crown is fairly dense, with numerous, deep green leaves that appear somewhat ruffled and sport drooping tips. Since its habitat is one of the driest and northernmost of all Pritchardia, it seems to be better adapted to Mediterranean-type climates than any other. Like most Hawaiian Pritchardia, it is critically endangered and cultivation in fact its only chance for survival.