Attalea cohune

Common name

cohune palm


Stems: Solitary, upright, to 20 m tall and 60 cm in diameter, ringed with oblique to undulating leaf scars. Leaves: Pinnate, reduplicate, to 10 m long, rachis twisted from the midpoint toward the apex, green leaflets growing in one plane, regularly arranged, drooping, with brown tomentum on abaxial leaflet margin. Midrib prominent and transverse veinlets distinct. Flowers and fruit: Inflorescences are branched to one order and are covered by a woody, grooved bract. They may have either all staminate flowers or pistillate flowers with a few staminate ones. Fruits are up to 8 cm long and yellowish brown to golden brown.

Diagnostic features

Very large palm with undulating rings on the stem, drooping leaflets on a twisted rachis and inflorescences covered by a persistent, woody, grooved bract.

May be confused with

Other members of this genus, but few are cultivated ornamentals because of the large size of these palms.


Native to forests and disturbed areas of lowland Mexico and Central America

Additional comments

Attalea is a large genus that combines several previously separate genera including Maximiliana, Orbignya and Sheelea. Older names might still appear in palm literature or on garden signs.

Young Attalea palms appear to have 10 m long leaves growing directly from the soil before the stem emerges.

Scientific name

Attalea cohune Mart.




Cocos cocoyule Mart.

Cocos guacuyule Liebm. ex Mart.

Orbignya cohune Dahlgren ex Standl.

Orbignya dammeriana Barb. Rodr.

Orbignya guacuyule (Liebm. ex Mart.) E. Hern.

Last Updated May 2014