Roystonea regia

Common name

Cuban royal palm, Florida royal palm

Description

Stems: Solitary, erect, grayish white, to 30 m tall and 40-60 cm in diameter, swollen to 75 cm at the base and toward the middle. Leaf scars are regular and closely spaced, but not raised or prominent from a distance. Leaves: Pinnate, reduplicate, to 3 m long, with numerous leaflets in several planes (plumose), with prominent secondary ribs. The crown shaft is bright, glossy green, slightly swollen at the base, and up to 2 m long. Lower leaves droop downward. Leaflets have acute tips, prominent secondary veins and scales along the prominent midrib's undersurface. Flowers and fruit: Inflorescence to 1 m long and about the same width, densely branched to three orders, with separate, white staminate and pistillate flowers. Oblong to ovoid, 1-1.5 cm long fruits are purplish black when ripe.

Diagnostic features

Majestic, upright, pinnate palm with whitish, swollen stem; somewhat glossy green leaflets with prominent secondary ribs on either side of the midrib.

May be confused with

Other Roystonea species, see those descriptions for diagnostic features

Distribution

Native to Florida and the Caribbean region

Additional comments

Commonly planted as a street tree lining grand boulevards

Scientific name

Roystonea regia (Kunth) O.F.Cook

Family

Arecaceae/Palmae

Synonyms

Euterpe ventricosa C. H. Wright

Oreodoxa regia Kunth

Palma elata W. Bartram

Roystonea elata (W. Bartram) F. Harper

Roystonea florida O. F. Cook

Last Updated May 2014

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