bulletin No. 22
'Palms of Florida
Fig. 1.-A group of Sabal palmettos. Such groups of palms are common
in the southern part of Florida.
STATE OF FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
NATHAN MAYO, COMMISSIONER
Prepared and Published in Co-operation with the College of
Agriculture, University of Florida, Gainesville.
TJ APpLEYAR INC( TACLAIASSEE, FLORIO*
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Nathan Mayo, Commissioner of Agriculture.......... Tallahassee
T. J. Brooks, Director, Bureau of Immigration........ Tallahassee
Phil S. Taylor, Supervising Inspector................ Tallahassee
John M. Scott, Agricultural Editor................. Gainesville
Prospective settlers of Florida are always interested in what
can be grown in the State. This applies not only to commercial
crops, but also to plants that can be grown to beautify the home
grounds, regardless of whether it is a city lot or the grounds around
the farm home. The State Department of Agriculture, in carrying
out its policy of supplying information of this nature to interested
citizens and prospective citizens, has published this bulletin on the
palms of Florida.
Palms compose one of the most distinctive and-attractive group
of pIan that ai-egrown.for beautification-purposes in. Florida.
This bulletin discusses those palms which seem to thrive best in the
State and at the same time giving the best known practices to follow
in growing them. Mr. Harold Mowry, the author of this bulletin,
is Assistant Horticulturist of the Florida Agricultural Experiment
Station, and has spent a number of years in horticultural work in
the State. His training and experience have well qualified him to
write upon this subject, and the thoroughness with which he has
covered the subject of palms in Florida makes this bulletin authen-
tic and up-to-date. JOHN M. SCOTT.
Palms of Florida'
By HAROLD MOWRY
Prepared and Published in Co-operation with the College of Agriculture,
University of Florida, Gainesville.
T HE most tropicapQortions-of-the-ont-irtetal-ited States
are oun within the confines of the State ,f FI,.rL';il This
situation makes pn-sible the success ulculture of numerous spe-
cies of palnu. il- __i .-r iL i conditions, where suitale soils,
heavy rainfall and the freedom from severe frosts tend to form
an ideal combiaftinforJAhe-growing-of-palms-andl other tropical
painTs. With these conditions obtaining, and one of the greatest
charms of the tropi.- I1."-inr-. its flora of which the palm ranks
second to no other plant in attraction, palms should form the
keystone of Florida's ornamental plantings. More palms, in wide
variety, should- be planted until, instead of having, as we now
do, a verylimited-number of ''irir- r. f P lnim," Florida would be
knownias the "State of Palms."
Srom the large number of species now growing in the State
a type may be chosen which will be satisfactory for almost any
location, the range varying from very dwarfed species to mag-
nificent trees towering to a height of nearly 100 feet. Some are
erect in habit of growth, others leaning; some have but a single
trunk while others have numerous stems forming small to great
clumps. Although the greater number of the species are not
hardy and can be grown successfully only in the southern por-
tions of the State, there are several species which may be safely
planti-.l to: tl,: I:notlhern border. There are without doubt numer-
ous species of palms which, if introduced, would thrive in some
sections of the State and no opportunity should be lost in giving
new species a fair trial. All such introductions, however, should be
made through the United States Department of Agriculture that
they may be inspected and treated if necessary, to protect those
we now have from any insect pest or disease that might other-
wise be brought in.
Palms are ideally suited to planting in groups, as specimens,
or for_ lning avenues or7 ghw s. It is usually necessary to
give the young plants a certain amount of care and attention to
get them established and into a thrifty growing condition. Once
they are well established and having attained some size only a
minimum amount of attention is required.
Reprint of Florida Experiment Station Bulletin No. 184.
6 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
There being no readily available publication on the palms of
Florida, it has been the purpose of the writer to give a list of
most of the palms growing in the State, both native and intro-
duced, with photographs and descriptions that will enable
the reader to become better acquainted with them. It is quite
probable that many species may have been overlooked, but it is
believed that most of the species which are planted in any num-
ber are included. Owing to the wide divergence in the nomen-
clature of various genera there may be some criticism as to that
used, but the intention has been to give what appeared to be the
most popular present usage, the synonym following in paren-
thesis. All of the photographs were made of palms growing
within the State and no species has been listed knowingly that
has not been grown in Florida.
, .* *.. .. .-. -
,i ; ., -
Fig. 2.-Avenue planting of Royal palms.
Palm are propagated by seeds, by separation of offshoots
from the main trunk, or by division of root-clumps where several
stems are present. The first is the most common method. Some
species, such as Phoenix dactylifera, put out offshoots near the
base of the trunk which may be separated from the parent plant
to form new plants. Others, having several stems, such as
Chrysalidocarpus lutescens, may be divided when the plant is
small into several separate plants.
PALMS OF FLORIDA
With the majority of the palms the seeds constitute the sole
method by which the plant may be increased. It is usually much
more convenient to plant seeds than to make use of the other
methods and, unless for some particular reason, that is the method
best followed. Seeds are planted as soon as possible after ma-
turity. Many retain their viability for a considerable time but
a better percentage of germination can be secured from fresh
With most species the seeds are planted in flats or seedbeds,
being covered with soil from a depth of 1/8 to 1 inch, the depth
depending largely on the size of the seeds. The flats used are
shallow boxes provided with holes or cracks in the bottom for
drainage. A convenient size is one measuring about 16x24 inches
with a depth of 3 or 4 inches. During the winter months the
flats may be placed in full sun in a location protected from cold
winds, but during hot summer months they should be partially
shaded by means of a cloth or slat shade. It is also advisable
to keep them protected from heavy rains as some of the seeds
are likely to be washed entirely out of the soil. If desired, a sash
covered frame may be constructed out-of-doors and this substi-
tuted for flats for germinating purposes. With such a frame
the seeds may be planted directly in the soil so protected or the
flats may be planted and set within the frame for protection.
The soil in flats or seedbed should be kept moist, but not wet.
Complete drying out of the soil should be avoided as intermittent
soaking and complete drying of the seeds results in a poor per-
centage of germination. After seedlings have made their ap-
pearance, considerable loss from "damping-off" fungi is likely
to be experienced with some species if soil is kept too moist or
The time required for germination of palm seeds varies great-
ly with the different species. Some, such as the Phoenix and
Washingtonia spp., require only from three to four weeks. Oth-
ers, as those of the Cocos australis type, require several months.
Instances have been known in which palm seeds did not germi-
nate until three and four years after planting.
Seeds of some of the quicker germinating sorts may be planted
directly in the nursery row. When thus planted the seeds should
be sowed much more thickly than the wanted stand as the per-
centage which will germinate, owing to uncontrolled field con-
ditions, is usually much less than when planted in flats. Excess
8 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
plants resulting may be readily thinned out and transplanted to
Seedlings may be potted when an inch or two high, or, as
practised by some, the seeds potted just as soon as sprouted.
It is advisable to pot before much of a root system is developed
so that few rootlets may be lost. With the slower germinating
seeds it is best to prick out and pot the plants as they show up
for, with these, germination is very irregular and some seeds
of the same planting may germinate weeks or months ahead of
others. Flats containing seeds of slow germinating species
should not be too hastily thrown out as it occasionally happens
that a high percentage of germination will finally result if ade-
quate time is given.
Potting soil which will give good results can be made of a
mixture of sod and stable manure. These should be piled to-
gether for several months before using so that the whole may
become thoroughly decayed before using. A small amount of dried
blood, ground steamed bone meal and tankage may be mixed with
the potting soil as used. Plants should be repotted as soon as the
pot becomes fairly well filled with roots. Care should be exercised
in seeing that plants are repotted before they become root-bound
and stunted in consequence.
When a height of 8 to 10 inches is attained, the plants may be
transplanted from the pots to the nursery row. They should be
spaced from two to four feet in the row with rows about four
feet apart, or enough space allowed for cultivation. The site
chosen for the nursery should preferably be moist but well drain-
ed and of a fairly heavy soil type. Very light soils should be
avoided as it is very difficult, if not impossible, to properly ball
such soil about the roots as is necessary when transplanting.
Coconuts should be planted in rows in semi-shaded seed-
beds. A moist but well drained location should be chosen. The
nuts are placed on their sides and are buried only about one-
half of their thickness, which leaves the upper portion fully
exposed. They may be planted very closely, leaving only enough
space between so that they do not touch. Planting in rows per-
mits cultivation to keep down grass and weeds as well as con-
serve soil moisture. Germination requires from one to five
months, but the majority should have germinated within four
months or less. Transplanting may be done when the leaf
reaches a height of about a foot, even though few or no roots are in
PALMS OF FLORIDA
evidence, the plant drawing from food stored within the nut for
a considerable period. The use of salt is not necessary in the'
seedbed nor about large trees to insure germination or vigor of
growth. The tree is one which can withstand salt water and
brackish soils, but this does not necessarily mean that salt is
required to insure thrifty plants.
Natural hybridization occurs between some species which makes
the securing of pure varieties or species difficult and uncertain
This is particularly true of the Phoenix group and has made the
perpetuation of varieties of the edible date largely dependent upon
offshoot propagation. The methods used in such propagation are
relatively simple. With one, the offshoot or sucker, is partially
severed close to the main stem, on the under side. An ordinary
flower pot containing some soil is then placed beneath so that this
severed portion is partially within the pot. Soil is then filled in and
about the pot covering the whole lower portion of the offshoot. This
soil should be kept damp. After several weeks the pot will be found
to contain a considerable root system which has put out from that
part of the plant within the pot. At this time the offshoot can be
completely removed from the tree and the operation is complete.
Occasionally offshoots are found to be naturally well rooted. These
can be successfully transplanted by careful treatment in detaching
and digging. Late spring and summer months are best for success-
ful removal of offshoots.
PLANTING AND FERTILIZING
The person who stated that he would rather have a 50 cent
palm planted at a cost of $10 than a $10 palm planted at a cost
of 50 cents 'most assuredly knew the necessity and value of
preparation and care in planting palms. It cannot be too em-
phatically stated that to insure success in planting palms, par-
ticularly on the lighter soil types, adequate preparation for that
planting must be made in advance. There are numerous vig-
orous palms now growing which had but little care in planting,
but there are also numerous ones now needlessly dead from the
lack of proper care in planting.
Under most conditions it is advisable to dig large holes where
the palms are to be set, these holes being several times as large
as will be necessary in the planting of the palm itself. The
holes are then filled with a mixture of compost, decayed leaves
and grass or other litter, well rotted manures in fairly large
10 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
quantities, and some muck and clay if the soil is quite sandy.
The addition of bone meal and sheep manure is also advan-
tageous. This preparation of holes should be made two or three
months prior to time of planting so that the whole mixture will
have become well settled and more or less thoroughly decayed. No
burning of roots will follow when such fertilizers as bone-meal
or sheep manure are added some weeks prior to the time of
Palms may be planted at any season of the year but the warm,
rainy, summer months are to be given preference. The palms
in this respect resemble the grasses in that at this season they
are making a vigorous root growth and soon recover from ef-
fects of transplanting. The trees are usually received from the
nursery with a ball of earth about the roots and if planted
with this ball intact, little loss or setback in growth is expe-
rienced. In such instances the trees should be planted at least
as deeply as they stood in the nursery, but if planted a little
more deeply no injury will result. Fertile top-soil should be
used in filling in the hole about the plant. A saucer-like de-
pression should be made to cause rain or irrigation water to
run to the plant instead of away from it. A heavy mulch of
thoroughly decayed manure, and straw or leaves should complete
the planting. Watering at the time of planting must not be
neglected and the tree must not be allowed to suffer from lack
of moisture during the first season at least.
Large palms transplanted from the open ground should
preferably be moved during the early part of the summer rainy
season. If the character of the soil will permit, a ball of earth,
extending out about a foot from the base of the trunk, should
be moved with the tree. Palm roots, which are extremely num-
erous, do not form new root caps when severed and when a palm
is dug all severed roots, therefore, almost wholly cease to func-
tion and new roots must put out from the bulb to sustain the
plant. As this root growth is comparatively dormant during
the winter months and very active during the summer months
the advantage of summer planting can readily be seen. If a ball
of earth is moved intact about the base, those short roots just
emerging from the bulb are preserved intact and their power
to function is undisturbed. Inasmuch as water is taken into
i r pci ., i~e
Fig. 3.-Method of moving large palms.
12 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
the plant through the roots and given off into the air through trans-
piration from the leaves, it would seem advisable to take off
some leaves to balance up somewhat for the loss of roots in
digging. Extreme caution must be exercised when undermining
the tree to prevent it from falling heavily. Frequently such
falls so injure trees that, regardless of other attention, they do
not survive. The bulb and any roots should not be exposed
to the sun and wind in moving. This can be avoided by cover-
ing with wet sacks. Palms, and the Cabbage palmetto in par-
ticular, can be planted some more deeply -than they originally
stood. Thorough and regular watering is required to insure suc-
cess in transplanting and large trees must be well braced with
either planks or wires for some months.
Fertilizers which are derived from organic sources are par-
ticularly desirable for palms. Cottonseed meal, ground steamed
bone-meal, tankage, blood, guano, fish-scrap, etc., are satis-
factory, as are also manures. Tankage, bone, and sheep or goat
manures in combination, will tend to keep palms in a thrifty,
growing condition. Such fertilizers may be applied from early
spring to summer months. Ten to 20 pounds of such fertilizer,
widely scattered, is not too much for large specimens. Stable
manures should be applied as a mulch. An application of sul-
phate of potash in late fall is believed to have a hardening effect
in checking growth, which would make the plant less susceptible
to injury by frosts during the winter months.
When palms are planted on lawns the fertilizers may be ap-
plied by making small holes, with a crowbar or like tool, around
the tree at some distance from the trunk. These holes can be
about a foot in depth, about two feet apart and should be placed
out as far as the spread of the leaves. Commercial fertilizers,
as above, are poured into the holes which afterward can be
closed with the heel, leaving the lawn apparently undisturbed.
"Plugging" a lawn for the application of manures about trees
consists in removing a small section of sod and digging out the
soil for a depth of a foot or more. This space is then filled with
rotted stable manure, solidly tramped, and the sod replaced.
To aid in determining those portions of the State to which
the various species of palms are best adapted, from the viewpoint
of minimum temperatures, the accompanying map has been pre-
PALMS OF FLORIDA 13
Fig. 4.-Certain palms are cli- 'F
matically adapted for particular PO
\ No.2 N
areas of the State. For the pur-
pose of this bulletin, the State AM$ATEE KARME KEECRdE
has been divided into the three D ESOTO
districts shown here. soo -
\ tt HEDRY PAL
pared (Fig. 4). It is quite difficult to make a map showing the
exact range to which any given species may be absolutely adapted.
owing to the various factors involved, such as latitude, elevation,
proximity to coast and water protection, as well as local influences
which would include protection by overhanging trees, proximity to,
or location between buildings, etc. Again, several mild winters
may be followed by one more severe which would necessarily change,
for the time being at least, the exact range of some species. The
average or mean temperatures for a number of winters mean little,
as it is the absolute sustained minimum temperatures which de-
cide conclusively whether or not a given species may be success-
fully grown to maturity at a specific location.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
On this map the State has been more or less arbitrarily divided
into three general sections-the southern or most tropical, the
central, which is occasionally subjected to a few degrees more
frost than the former, and the northern which is subject to
the heaviest frosts. These sections have been numbered 1, 2 and
Section 1 includes generally the southernmost portion of the
State from about West Palm Beach on the East Coast to Punta
Gorda on the West Coast, excluding a large portion of the Ever-
glades lying between. These are portions along the East Coast
up to and including parts of Merritt's Island and some protected
parts of the West Coast above the lines drawn as well as isolated
areas such as portions of the ridge along the south shore of Lake
Okeechobee and perhaps other small areas, which for some spe-
cies might be included in this section. Section 2 includes that
portion of the State north of No. 1 to a line drawn from Volusia
County across the peninsula to Citrus County. Section 3 in-
cludes all territory lying north and west of section 2. There are
areas in all sections which are warmer, or less susceptible to
frost damage, than others. These in the descriptions may be re-
ferred to as 2A and 3A. In the listing of the palms which follow,
the number or numbers given in parentheses denote the area to
which the palm in question is probably best adapted, as Cocos
plumosa (1, 2) would show that this palm could be successfully
grown in sections 1 and 2 as indicated on the map.
The palms are monocotyledons belonging to the family Pal-
maceae. They are woody plants having solid stems which are
not differentiated into wood, pith, and bark, and which may be
underground or above, reclining or erect. This stem or trunk
is cylindrical and has no leaf-bearing lateral branches, though a
very few species are naturally forked.
Very rarely a forked specimen of Sabal palmetto is found but
the forking of this species is no doubt due to an injury to the
bud. Some species have single, upright or bent stems while
others form clumps by throwing out stolons or suckers from
The leaves in most species form a compact crown at the top
of the trunk. According to leaf type, all palms may be divided
PALMS OF FLORIDA
into two main classes-pinnate or feather-leaved, and palmate
=- ; 2_ ---
--- --S> R -. :-
palm leaves. Palmate or fan-
left, pinnate or feather-leaved
or f a n leaved.
The majority of
the species are of
class. The leaves
of seedlings are
not divided but
as the plant in-
creases in size
the leaves show
is-the pinnae or
showing the class
to which it be-
By far the greater majority of the palms native to the United
States are found in Florida. These range in size from dwarf
species, as the Rhapidophyllum, to tall, magnificent trees, of
which the most noted are Roystonea regia, the Royal Palm, and
Cocos nucifera, the Coconut. The most common is the dwarf or
saw palmetto, Serenoa serrulata, which is found on the flat-
woods and sandy soils throughout most of the State. Four species
8erenoa serrulata, Rhapidophyllum hystrix, Sabal glabra and
Sabal palmetto, are found in the wild state in the northern sec-
tions. The others, including the above, are found in the central
or southern part of the State-most of the species in the extreme
south and on the Florida keys.
Some of the native sorts are among the most prized of orna-
mental palms, notably the royal and coconut. Others which are
effectively used for ornamental planting are Rhapidophyllum,
Sabal palmetto, Pseudophoenix, Acoelorraphe, Coccothrinax
and Thrinax spp. Of these the first two, only, are hardy enough
for planting in the northern section; the others being limited
to the more tropical and protected sections of the peninsula. It
is, of course, possible to use any or all of the species in certain
locations as ornamentals, but with some this use to good effect
is limited. The dwarfed species as cultivated ornamentals evi-
dently thrive best in semi-shaded locations.
Fig. 5.-Types of
leaved at the
16 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
The Acoelorraphe, Cocos nucifera, Cocothrinax and the Thri-
nax species are suited to planting near the coast. The Roystonea
grows best in moist, rich soils, but can be successfully grown on
lighter soils if adequate preparations are made prior to planting
(see paragraph on planting and fertilizing) and the tree subse-
quently kept well supplied with water and fertilizers in suffi-
The native genera are divided into the two classes as follows:
PINNATE OR FEATHER-LEAVED SPECIES
Pseudophoenix Sa ry, t ii
Cocos nucifera, Linn. Coconut. (1). Extreme southern por-
tion of mainland and keys; probably planted by seeds having
been washed ashore. The trees attain a height of 90 to 100 feet
with smooth trunks 1 to 2 feet in diameter, which grow erect,
or leaning, usually bent and are much swollen at the base. The
pinnate leaves are large, up to 18 feet in length with broad leaf-
lets which are from 212 to 3 feet in length. The heavy leaf-stalks
are up to 5 feet in length. The fruits are borne in clusters of
12 to 20.
The coconut palm with its tall, leaning trunk, immense leaves
and large fruits, lends a tropical aspect that can hardly be at-
tained with any other plant. Brackish soils or salt spray do not
injure it in the least, but the fact that it thrives under these con-
ditions does not necessarily mean that the use of salt about the
tree is required when it is planted further inland. Owing to the
leaning habit of growth it is not so well suited for street plant-
ing as some other palms, but is entirely satisfactory for other uses
and when planted along a waterfront is at its best.
The fruits of the coconut, the second largest of any of the palm
group, are from 6 to 8 inches in diameter and 10 to 12 inches in
length. The seed proper, or nut, is enclosed in a thick, water-
proof husk which is indefinitely impervious to the action of
water. The trees growing near the sea drop the mature, buoyant
fruits into the water below. These are carried by wind and
current to various parts of the world. Some which are washed
ashore, still being capable of germination, sprout and form new
trees, possibly thousands of miles from the parent trees. This,
in a measure, accounts for the wide tropical distribution of this
palm. The original habitat of the coconut is not definitely
PALMS OF FLORIDA
known, but is now supposed to have been in the American trop-
The useful products of the tree are many, the chief ones being
copra-the source of a widely used oil,-dessicated coconut, and
fiber. In Florida, other than as a highly valued ornamental,
the coconut is of little or no commercial importance. (See Figs.
6 and 57.)
Fig. 6.-A group of Cocos nucifera (Coconut Palm).
Pseudoplhoenix Sargentii, H. Wendl. (Pseudophoenix vinifera,
Becc.). Hog Cabbage Palm. Buccaneer Palm. (1). Few keys.
The trees of this species are erect in habit of growth. They attain
a height up to 25 feet and have a smooth, light gray trunk, up
to 12 inches in diameter, which has a bulge in the center which
tapers to each end. The pinnate leaves which are from 4 to 6 feet
in length are dark green above and lighter beneath. The leaflets are
from 16 to 18 inches in length at leaf middle--shorter at ends. The
leaf stalks are from 5 to 8 feet long. The orange-scarlet fruits
measure up to 3/4 of an inch in diameter.
There are few trees left in the original locations, most of
them having been destroyed or removed to Miami and vicinity
as Royal palms. A few of these transplanted trees are still liv-
ing, as well as seedlings from the originals and transplanted- trees.
(See Fig. 7).
18 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Roystonea regia, (H. B. K.) O. F. Cook. (Oreodoxa regia,
H. B. K.) Royal Palm. (1). Extreme south and southwest por-
tions of mainland and a few keys. The royal palm is an erect
growing tree which attains a maximum height of 90 to 100 feet.
The trunks are
f a i r y massive,
being in some in-
stances 3 or more
feet in diameter,
slightly bulged or
midway, g r a e-
from this swell-
ing both ways-
the base also en-
gray in color and
very smooth. The
tall, smooth, gray
trunk is sur-
mounted by what
p. ..~ 4 4
4, .,. ,/
Fig. 7.-Pseudophoenix Sargentii (Buccaneer Palm).
might be termed an upper shaft or secondary
column, composed of clasping bases of petioles, which is bright
green in color. Above this is the massive crown of large arching,
pinnate leaves which are deep green in color, and up to 12 feet in
length. The numerous leaflets are tapering and from 2 to 3 feet
in length. The leaf stalks, 7 to 8 feet long, are smooth and rounded.
The fruit is about 1/2 inch in length and violet-blue in color.
The Royal is the peer of native palms and is equal to any for
ornamental planting. In its native state it is usually found in
moist, rich soils and is best adopted for such locations; growing
in wetter soils than will most decorative palms. It .can be suc-
cessfully grown on higher, drier soil types if holes are properly pre-
pared for planting by adding large quantities of muck, manures,
leaf mold, etc. (See Figs. 2 and 8.)
PALMATE OR FAN-LEAVED SPECIES
PALhIS OF FLORIDA 19
Acoelorraphe Wrightii, Becc. (Paurotis Wrightii, (Griseb.)
Britton.) Saw Cabbage Palm. (1). Extreme southern portion
Fig. 8.-Roystonea regia, the Royal palm.
of mainland in swamps and undrained soils. The trees of this
species have slender trunks and are usually found growing in
large clumps which attain a height of 40 feet. The leaves are
fan-shaped, green on both surfaces, up to 3 feet in width, divided
about half-way into numerous divisions which are in turn deeply
split. The petioles are slender, gradually thickening from leaf to
point of attachment, attaining a maximum length of 5 feet, and
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
armed their full length with heavy, upcurved spines. The black
fruits are about 1/4-inch in diameter. (See Fig. 9.)
Coccothrinax jucunda, Sarg. (C. argentia, (Lodd.) Sarg.).
Silver Palm. Brittle Thatch Palm. (1). Along Biscayne Bay
and keys. This species grows to a height of 25 feet. The trunk
is slender, not exceeding 6 inches in diameter. It is smooth and
slate to brown-
ish-gray in color.
leaves are thin, .
glossy pale green
above and silvery
beneath. The un- ,
attain a length
up to 3 feet. The s
fruit is about 3/4-
inch in diameter
and has black
flesh. The seeds
a r e channeled.
C. garberi, Sarg.,
a stemless sort
former, but be-
ica 1ly smaller
thro u g h o u t, is -. .
as a native along Fig. 9.-Acoelorraphe Wrightii (Saw Cabbage Palm).
Biscayne Bay. It is possible that this is but a dwarfed form of
the former species. (See Fig. 10.)
Rhapidophyllum 7 ,,r; 1. H. Wendl. & Drude. Needle Palm.
Porcupine Palm, (1, 2, 3.) Northern and central sections. The
Needle palm is a low-growing, shrubby species which rarely at-
tains a height' of over a few feet. The slender trunk usually is
reclining, but occasionally is erect. It is roughly covered with
fiber. The clustered leaves are mostly erect; cleft into many
divisions which are toothed at ends; dark glossy green above
PALMS OF FLORIDA
and grayish beneath. The leaf-stalks are very slender, and up
to 31/2 feet in length. Numerous long, black spines project from
the fiber about the
41 stem. The fruit is
r. *about 3/4 inch in di-
S'ameter; red when
-,-' --... .. / This dwarf palm
is very attractive
.. and fits in well in
palm groups where a
-'' '' small palm is want-
S ""ed. It prefers a fair-
t -; ly moist soil and
S .Fig. 11.)
S.'i: I Sabal glabra,
'(Mill.) Sarg. (S.
S. Minor, Pers.)
Fig. 1O.-Coccothrinax jucunda (Silver or Brit- n Per
tie Thatch Palm). Blue-Stem. Dwarf
Palmetto. (2 and 3.) Northern and central sections. The
Blue-Stem palmetto is a stemless shrub having fan-shaped
leaves to about 3
feet in breadth-
,, ,,1, ,. than long, which
--*-- .. LI tare deeply cleft
"Ar c-- i u. into numerous
--- Leaf stalks are
.. smooth and fair-
Sly heavy; usually
--r, i erect. Seed spikes
0. .are erect, exceed-
.. r ing leaves in
Fig. 11.-Rhapidophyllum hystrix (Needle Palm). leaves are of a
bluish cast, rather stiff, without filaments or thread-like fibers.
Fruits are black; 1/4 to 1/3 inch in diameter. (See Fig. 12.)
22 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Sabal megacarpa, Small. (S. Etonia, Swingle.) Scrub Palmetto.
(2, 3.) Peninsular section. This species is a shrub having a
recumbent, twisting stem or root stock. It resembles S. glabra in
having deeply cleft, fan-shaped leaves, but instead of being with-
out threads has numerous filaments. The deep-green leaves are
up to 21/2 feet in breadth and have smooth, unarmed leaf-stalks.
The black fruits are usually 3/8 of an inch or more in diameter.
Sabal palmetto, Lodd. (Inodes palmetto, O. F. Cook.) Cab-
Fig. 12.-Sabal glabra (Blue-Stem Palme).,
'bage Palmetto. (1, 2, 3.) Throughout most of Florida, except ex-
treme western portion. The cabbage palmetto is normally an
is p i i g s ss. tr
'cayed leaf stalks. As the tree grows oer the "bots" f
a s in is f. bal glaba (b hed trun, w h is due
.bage Palmetto (1, 3.) Throughout most. 1of Florida, except ex-
treme western an portioninjury of the cabbagud. The palmetto is normally an
ershaped and shiny, deep green in color, reachattaining a maximum leheight of 80 feet with a trunk wgtich
ofis up to 2 feet in dia somewhat greater brthough usually lessadth. The leaftrunk iseg-
mnclotheds are during eareply cleft. The slender, unarmed petioles attamaining fro de-
cayed length of 7 feestalks. As the fruits, which are dark colored or black, aver-ll
age about 1/3 inch in diameter.
Thaway, leavg a faiy si fou y rindgd s Vy arshes,
age about 1/3 inch in diameter..
The cabbage palmetto is found growing in marshes, ham-
The cabbage palmetto is found growing in marshes, ham-
PALMS OF FLORIDA 23
mocks and sandy soils and because of this adaptability to varied
soil types can be grown as an ornamental throughout most sections.
The tree is not
damaged by cold
.ii.- in any part of
"~ the State. It is
:w" ell adapted for
or avenue plant-
ing. (See Fig. 1,
1 a t a. (Michx.)
Fig. 13.-Serenoa serrulata (Saw Palmetto). Hook. Saw Pal-
metto, (1, 2, 3.)
Throughout most of State. The saw palmettos are shrubs, usually
with twisted, recumbent stems or trunks, but are occasionally
found with erect or leaning stems. The leaves are fan-shaped,
nearly circular, deeply cleft into
many divisions and green to
yellowish-green in color. Leaf i
stalks are slender, armed through-
out with numerous small, very
sharp spines. The black fruit
is 12 to 7/s inch in length. (See -
Th rinat floridana, S a r g.
Thatch Pal m. (1). Extreme
southwest portion of mainland
and keys. The thatch palm is
a tree attaining a maximum
height of 30 feet and a trunk
diameter of 6 inches. Leaves ,
are fan-shaped, more or less cir-
cular in outline, with a maxi-
mum diameter of about 3 feet; J o-', .
divided into numerous divisions. ,.-x-
which are cleft half-way or "' .... t''* -* '*-
more of the length of the leaf.
The Fig. 14.-Thrinax floridana (Thatch
They are shining yellowish- Palm).
24 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
green above and silvery gray beneath. Leaf-stalk is 3 to 4 feet
in length, not spiny. The fruits are 5/6 to 7/16 inch in diam-
eter, with white flesh. (See
Thrinax keyensis, Sarg. Key
Thatch. (1). Lower Keys. The
key thatch palm is a stout tree
reaching a height of 25 feet and
having a trunk diameter up to
14 inches. A distinguishing
characteristic is the swollen ....
base, sometimes 2 feet in height, ..
composed of matted roots. The ''.
leaves a r e
a bout 31/
S ly cleft di- .
vision ; Fig. 15.-Thrinax keyensis.
shiny light (Key Thatch Palm).
green above, silvery beneath. The leaf-stalk
is 3 to 4 feet in length, not spiny. Fruits are
small, 14 inch or less in diameter, with white
flesh. (See Fig. 15.)
Thrinax microcarpa, S a r g. Brittle
Thatch. (1). Extreme lower end of main-
land and keys. This species is similar to
,. T. keyensis, but attains a slightly greater
j.- .:. *' height and is without the swollen base of ex-
posed roots. The trunk diameter is usually
i' not as large. Fruits are very small, about
S1/ inch in diameter; white fleshed.
Thrinax Wendlandiana, Becc. Thatch
Palm. (1). South shore of .mainland and
keys. This palm, 25 to 30 feet in height,
Shas an erect, smooth, grayish trunk which
does not exceed 4 inches in diameter. The
leaves are fan-shaped, not over 3 feet in
Fig. 16.- Thrinax diameter; pale-green both below and
W e ndan diana
(Thatch Palm). above in which they differ from kindred
PALMS OF FLORIDA
species, not being silvery below; divided into many deeply cut
divisions or segments. The leafstalk is not spiny and is up to
4 feet in length. Fruits are about 1/ inch in diameter; white
fleshed. (See Fig. 16.)
Fig. 17.-Detail of trunk of Acrocomia.
PINNATE OR FEATHER-LEAVED SPECIES
Acrocomia spp. These are tall, beautiful, pinnate-leaved
palms well adapted to the southern half of the State. The trunks,
usually bulged, are armed with black spines from one to six
inches in length. The glossy green leaves up to 15 feet in
26 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
length, borne in a thick
spiny. Owing to this
leaves this genus is not
grouping and speci-
mens it is very sat-
isfactory. The ap-
pearance of the tree
while young is not as
attractive as in older
specimens. The trees
thrive on moist soils,
but also grow well
on higher locations.
(See Fig. 17.)
carpa, M art. Gru-
Gru Palm. (1).
South America and
West Indies. This
species attains a
height of 50 feet.
The trunk is erect-
and armed with ",
spines up to 4 inches -.
in length. The leaves V-
are green above and k'
ashy beneath. The
pinnae attain a ,l
length of three feet '
and a width of one LE,
tuft at the top of the trunk, are also
spiny character of the trunk and
well suited to street planting, but for
Acrocomia totai, .
Mart. (1, 2). South -'- :*;'; ,
America. This spe- a : ,
cies attains a height
of 40 feet. The trunk Fig. 18.-Acrocomia totai.
is erect, bulged, and spiny. Leaves are shiny green on both sides,
smaller than A. sclerocarpa. It is fairly hardy, as is shown by a
large specimen which is now growing as far north as Federal Point,
on the St. Johns river. (See Fig. 18.)
Acrocomia media, 0. F. Cook. The Corozo palm of the West
1- f.a- .
PALMS OF FLORIDA
Indies; has a large bulge in trunk just above the ground and
longest spines of any of the species. It does not attain the
height of the above species and is found only rarely in extreme
Aeria attenuata. Llume Palm. (S. P. I. No. 39189. (1).
Porto Rico. "The tallest of the Porto Rican palms reaching a
height of 60 to 100 feet. Its foliage resembles the Royal palm,
but is shorter. The trunk never exceeds 6 to 8 inches in di-
ameter. This palm is found only on lii
,*; *, .. .-. '" '*^ "
ig. 19 --Aeria attenuate (Lume Palm
Fig. 19.-Aeria attenuata (Llume Palm
mestone hills and usually
feeds upon noth-
ing but the hu-
mus collected in
W the cracks of
e these rocks. The
S large bunches of
S orange red ber-
,. ries, which are
i the size of a
small cherry, are
(W. E. Hess.) At
the U. S. Plant
S dens at Chapman
Field this palm is
giving evidence of
being well adapt-
) ed to the rocky
soils found on the lower East Coast. (See Fig. 19.)
Archontophoenix. The species of this genus are very graceful
and beautiful, rapid growing, spineless, pinnate-leaved palms with
tall, erect, smooth trunks which are marked with rings or scars left
from fallen leaves. (See Fig. 20.)
The species mentioned below require adequate moisture and
will not thrive on high, sandy soils unless soil is prepared be-
fore planting by addition of composts and the plants are later
given considerable attention in the way of regular fertilization and
There is some confusion as to nomenclature and identifica-
tion in this group. It is possible that the true Seaforthia is not
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
to be found in Florida, most of the palms so commonly called being
probably A. Cunninghamii. O. F. Cook has placed the supposed
Seaforthias growing in California in a separate genus-Loroma.
This genus may be in Florida.
Archontophoenix Alexandrae, H. Wendl. & Drude. (Ptycho-
sperma Alexandrae.) Alexandra's Palm. (1). Australia. This
species resembles A. Cunninghamii, but with leaf divisions or
pinnae somewhat notched at tips. The leaves are green above
and grayish be-
nix Cunningha- i
mii, H. Wendl. & .'-' .
Drude. (Seafor- 4- .
palm is common-
ly known as Sea- ;*-''
forthia, there be-
ing many large 6~ '.
specimens in the l ..
which are given ., ,
this name. The
ringed trun k, .
combined w i t h
crown of deep .
green leaves a h h
which attain a
length of 10 feet Fig. 20.-Archontophoenix Alexandrae (Alexandra's
make this one ofPalm).
the most attractive species. It is also well adapted to pot culture.
Arenga saccharifera, Labill. (Saguerus pinnatus, Wurmb.)
Sugar Palm. Black-fiber Palm. (1). Native of India and East
Indies. This palm is a beautiful, rapid-growing tree that should
be planted to a greater extent in the tropical portions of the
State. It attains a height of 40 feet and has pinnate leaves up
to 28 feet in length and 6 feet in width, the leaflets being up to
3 feet in length and 3 inches in width. The stem, while tree is
PALMS OF FLORIDA
young, is covered with the old leaf sheaths and long, black,
coarse fibers. It flourishes best in a rich, moist soil. This
palm, where native, is one of the chief sources of sugar, which
is made from sap obtained by cutting the flower spadices. The
fiber about the trunk is also valued, a strong, heavy cordage
; 1. S S ,8. .- I '/ r .
Fg 1.-A n-.' sacc ,"if a '- S g Palm).
t e -r, ,'. 4 ) .' 1L 'i
-.. ,,, : .
-Ar:ega sa.. arfe .. -. (S a -.Palm
being made from
it. (See Fig.
hune, Mart. Co-
hune Palm. (1).
The Cohune palm
does not attain so
great a height as
do some species,
but has immense,
leaves which form
a huge crown.
This species is
very striking and
beautiful, but ten-
der and slow-
rarely found in
the State. The
trunk is erect,
attaining a height
of 60 feet. The
leaves are very erect and have numerous leaflets.
Bactris spp. (1). American Tropics. The Bactris palms
are very rare in Florida, but where found seem to be fairly well
adapted but slow growing. They are of the pinnate-leaved type,
the leaflets resembling those of the Cr,..r'io.l in that the ends
have the appearance of having been bitten off. There are nor-
mally several stems or trunks which are very slender, ringed,
and heavily armed with long, sharp spines. The leaf-stalks and
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
veins of leaves are also quite spiny. These palms are quite dis-
tinct and attractive but because of their spiny character are not
suited to planting in all locations.
Caryota spp. The fish-tail palms derive their common name
from the peculiar shaping of the leaflets which are fan-
shaped resembling the tail of a fish. These palms are well adapted
to Florida conditions, being found growing from the lower east
and west coasts to points in the sandy ridge sections of the
central part of the State. This genus is fairly vigorous in
growth and very
planting.' .. /
Caryota mitis, .. .c ,.-
Lour. (1). South- L
The trees of this ....
species are small,
up to 25 feet, re-
sembling that of
C. urens. T h e
plant suc kers
rise to several
stems. It is not
should be more '
in the tropical
sections. A s a Fig. 22.-Caryota mitis (Fish-tail Palm).
or in groups it is very attractive. It prefers fairly moist soils,
.but thrives in marl. (See Fig. 22.)
Caryota urens, Linn. Fish-tail Palm. Toddy Palm. Kittul Palm.
(1, 2A). Southeastern Asia. An attractive palm growing to
a height of 40 feet or more. The bi-pinnate leaves are large and
spreading. The seeds are borne on spikes which hang in long
clusters, much resembling ropes of large beads. Flowering
begins at the top of the tree. The next blooming season the
flower stalks are produced lower down the trunk. This is con-
tinued year by
PALMS OF FLORIDA 31
year until the bloom is produced at the ground
when the plant
dies. The trunk
is fairly smooth
except for scars
I left where old
leaves were at-
.' .. tached. This palm
thrives in moist
soils and also on
after it is once
:e .':;t (See Fig. 23.)
Y a,(,, di-, r e al
spp. (1). Central
S. ex i., l aee xico. The
u -., W .: palms of this
genus have very
Se slender, ringed
havig -,ay trunks which
.. somewhat re-
n semble bamboo
"nto -- u canes. The crown
..-,a ,leaes i ui roots a r e some-
times exposed as
with corn. The
usually borne at
i. --4, -.r~F~ extreme top of
System, have rela-
tively few divi-
Fig. 23.-Caryota urens (Fish-tail Palm). s i on s. T h e y
should be planted in fairly moist soil in a shaded location. (See
Chrysalidocarpus lutescens, Wendl. (Areca lutescens). Areca
Palm. Cane Palm. (1). Madagascar. A low growing palm
having many smooth, slim, yellow ringed trunks which grow
into a clump of great beauty. The foliage is feathery, the indi-
vidual leaves being quite long and gracefully arched. This palm,
32 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
which is commonly called Areca lutescens by florists, is much
prized as an indoor ornamental, it being well adapted to pot
culture. F or such
use the plant, with
its many stems and
arching, light, feath-
ery foliage, more or
less yellow in color,
is ver y attractive. --
Under normal, out-
door conditions the
palm reaches a ;
height of about 20 II?:
feet and is very de-
sirable for specimen,
planting. It prefers M o
a moist soil and can j 0
withstand little frost.
(See Fig. 25.)
Cocos spp. This
group consists of
several species, other
than t h e coconut,
which thrive in Flor- b '
id a. A division of '. .
the genus has left ,P '. *
therein only the co- .
conut; placing plu- r.
mosa into the genus
Arecastrum, those of k.,
the Australis type in- .
to Butia, etc. Those
below, however, are
treated as being in ~
the original genus.
type. This arbitrary Fig. 24.-Chamaedorea sp.
grouping includes several species, natives of South America,
which do not differ greatly in appearance and all of which
seemingly are well adapted to Florida conditions. There
is, of course, a well defined botanical distinction between the
PALMS OF FLORIDA 33
species of this type, such as leaf measurements, difference in
size and shape of fruits-some of which are edible, as well as
... floral differ-
ences. For orna-
,e i mental plantings,
& .V however, the y
are so closely al-
lied in manner
Sof growth, ap-
.earance, e t c.,
that they are
herein treated as
a whole. The
g trees have fairly
h e a v y trunks,
a usually covered
with the bases of
the o 1 d leaves,
not exceeding a
-mom-- height of 30 feet.
Few, if any, in
Fig. 25.-Chrysalidocarpus lutescens (Areca Palm).Florida have as
yet attained a
mating that giv-
en. The leaves
are pinnate and
recurving, g i v-
.r ing a graceful,
S... .. arching effect to
. *t+:..._+4 ". the foliage. This
A, foliage, in most
of the species, is
the palms a dis-
rp,; tinctive, blxish
cast. Those of
this type which
have been plant-
ed in area No. 3
Fig. 26.-Cocos australis type. have all proved
hardy and for that area this group is particularly recommended.
34 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
The habit of growth lends itself best for grouping or specimen
planting. The following species, which are included in the above
type, are given, together with common name and country of
origin, as having been grown successfully in the State:
C. Alphonsei Uruguay
C. australis Pindo Palm Paraguay
C. bonneti Bonnet Palm Brazil ?
C. Datil Date Palm Argentina
C. entre-rios Brazil ?
C. eriospatha Apricot Palm Brazil
C. Gaertneri Brazil ?
C. Yatay Brazil, Argentina
(See Fig. 26.)
trumi Romanzoff- '
ianum, B e c c.). *,
(1,2). Brazil. A
tall-g row o in g .
palm with grace- I!:,. '' '
fully a r chin g, ,
pinnate leaves 4 L
and a smooth
trunk, which has ':
the bases of old
leaf stalks re-
maining near the
top. This species
is p a r ticularly
attractive and is -
being widely ''
planted as it can f e
be used as a sub- 1
stitute for the ~
Royal palm on
soils unsuited to
that species. It
is a thrifty grow-
er and well
adapted to light ::
sandy soils. It is '
Fig. 27.-Cocos plumosa-(Plumy Coconut).
PALMS OF FLORIDA
well suited for street, park, or lawn planting. (See Fig. 27.)
Cocos flexuosa, Mart. A species grown under this name and
rather closely allied to the above type, and probably a form of
Fig. 28.-Dictyosperma rubra (Rouge Palm).
Fig. 28.-Dictyosperma rubra (Rouge Palm).
Fig. 29.- aeis guineensis (African Oi Pam).
Fig. 29.-Elaeis guineensis (African Oil Palm).
it, has been
grown in the
rubra, Wendl. &
Drude. (A r e c a
rubra, H o r t.).
(1, 2A). Mauri-
tius. A fairly
palm which at-
tains a height of
0 feet. The
trunk is slender,
rings and bulged
at the base. The
leaves are pin-
nate, 10 to 12
feet in length and
3 to 5 feet in
width. In young
leaves are a deep
green with veins
and margins red.
As the plant
grows older the
red color grad-
(See Fig. 28.)
alba, W e n d 1. &
Drude (Areca al-
ba, Bory.). This
species is closely
related to the above. It has light colored leaf-stalks and leaf
veins. Both species are very attractive.
r'l~:~ ~c r
c: c 1;"
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Elaeis guineensis, Jacq. African Oil Palm. (1, 2A). Africa.
Pinnate-leaved palms up to 30 feet in height, having erect, heavy
ringed trunks. The deep-green leaves, up to 15 feet in length,
have short, spiny leaf-stalks. The pinnae, which are numerous,
are.12 to 15 inches in length and up to 2 inches in width with
prominent light green or yellow veins. The trunk at the base
of the leaves is
with fiber. The
fruits of this
palm, in its na-
tive habitat, are
the source of the
palm oil of com-
quite rare in the
State, it seems
w h e r e growing
and is satisfac-
tory as an orna-
mental. W hi e
young it some-
w h a t resembles
the Phoenix type.
(See Fig. 29.)
Canterbury a n a,
Wendl. & Drude.
b u r y a n a, F.
F g "" +H +.- / t4il- "i -." (Sag ,+ *P 'm).
Pal m. (1). -LrHa .A spinele
''** ; ,' '
--- ** '+ .. <" ,. +' .. ++; .t+^.
*. +... .
'. .. '.+ "':
.. ,j":t ; ... -:,- ..
,- ,* ; + H '
+:, --, t+ -^ -. \ ^ y .--^ a....
S .. .- .
Fig. 30.-Heterospathe elata (Sagisi Palm).
Palm. (1). Lord Howe's Island. A spineless
palm having a thick, heavy trunk which reaches a height of 30
feet. The light green, pinnate leaves, borne in a dense crown at
the top of the trunk, are recurving or arched. It is from this
arching that the palm derives its common name. The pinnae are
broad. Although it has been grown successfully in the open, this
palm is seldom seen in cultivation outdoors, but is more common as
a house plant.
Heteropathe elata, Sheff. Sagisi Palm. (1) Philippine
Islands. A tall, unarmed, graceful palm having a slender, ringed,
PALMS OF FLORIDA 37
erect trunk. The leaves are pinnate, deep-green, slightly
arching, with soft, somewhat drooping pinnae. This palm is
very attractive and is thriving on the soils of the lower East
Coast. It was introduced by the Office of Foreign Seed and Plant
Introduction of the U. S. D. A., under their S. P. I. No. 46640.
(See Fig. 30.)
Howea Belmoreana, Becc. (Kentia Belmoreana, F. Muell.)
Belmore Palm. Curly Palm. (1). Lord Howe's Island. Attrac-
Fig. 31.-Howa sp.
Fig. 31.-Howea sp.
t i v e, spineless,
ringed t r u nk s.
The broad leaves,
up to 8 feet in
plumy and have
petioles. This is
one of the most
popular and sat-
used for interior
decoration. It has
b e e n sparingly
but where local
palm is very at-
tractive and de-
sirable. (See Fig.
Howea Forsteriana, Bece. (Kentia Forsteriana, F. Muell.)
Forster Palm. Flat Palm. (1). Lord Howe's Island. This palm
is almost identical with the above species except that the leaf seg-
ments have less tendency to droop- There are usually fewer leaves
to the plant in this species.
Hydriastele Wendlandiana, H. Wendl. & Drude. (1). Austra-
lia. The Hydriastele is a rapid-growing, Kentia-like palm hav-
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
ing an erect, smooth, spineless, slender, green trunk. The leaves,
resembling those of the Kentias or Howeas, are pinnate, dark green
in color and have segments which are toothed at the ends. This
palm is rarely found but is seemingly well adapted to moist loca-
tions where not subject to frost injury.
Hyophorbe spp. Very striking and attractive pinnate-leaved
palms, having smooth, stout, unarmed trunks which are bulged
either near base or beneath leaf cluster. The leaves are borne
at extreme apex of
the stem, the seed
clusters well below.
The two species are
rather slow growing,
but are well worth
the effort and time
required to grow
caulis, Mart. Bottle
Palm. (1, 2A). Na-
tive of Mauritius. A
somewhat ta 11 er
growing type than
feltii, which has the
bulge of the trunk
nearer the base, which
gives a bottle shape
to the stem. There are
usually more leaflets
to the leaf, these be-
ing somewhat wider,
but not as long as
with the other species.
The petiole is about 12
Fig. 32.-Hyophorbe Verschaffeltii (Spindle Palm).
inches in length.
Hyophorbe V~,' I/lll,.li, Wendl. Spindle Palm. Pignut
Palm (1, 2A). Mauritius. This is a pinnate-leaved palm that
does not fail to attract favorable comment when rightly placed
and given proper attention. The trunk is smooth with a swell-
ing or bulge below leaf cluster. The leaves are from 3 to 6 feet
PALMS OF FLORIDA 39
in length, having a very short petiole. A yellow band extends
the full length of the leaf blade. The tree thrives in both sun-
shine and shade and is fairly fast growing. It attains a height
of 25 to 30 feet. (See Fig. 32.)
Jubaea spectabilis, HBK. Coquita Palm. Wine Palm or
Monkey Coconut of Chile. (1, 2, 3?). Chile. A tall, pinnate-
leaved palm, resembling the Phoenix species, with a heavy,
spineless trunk which is covered with the bases of old leaf
sheaths. The' leaves are very large and borne fairly erect,
having the appearance of large plumes in older specimens. This
palm is found the farthest south of any of the American species.
In its native habitat it endures considerable cold and it is quite
probable that if established it would prove well adapted to the
northern portions of Florida. Where now growing in the
southern area it is a thrifty grower and quite satisfactory. (See
S' (1). South Amer-
.J ;'2, -: ica. A beautiful
,' )' -4 .*. palm, attaining a
Height of 25 to
S/ 35 feet, having
-- feathery, pinnate
S 3 leaves 5 to 6 feet
Iin length which
resemble those of
Caryota ur e n s.
The trunk, usu-
~ ally but a few
<' inches in diam-
eter, and leaves
are covered with
sh ar p, black
..-..."-..'' :' -' spines. It grows
:, --. well in both
shade and full
sunshine. ( S e e
Fig. 33.-Jubaea spectabilis (Coquita Palm). Fig. 34.)
Adonidia Merrillii, Bece. (S. P. I. No. 34732.). (1) Philip-
pine Islands. "A medium sized palm with graceful, somewhat
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
curved, pinnate leaves, somewhat resembling the betel nut palm,
but not so tall. The leaves are rather glaucus and the pretty
crimson fruits are borne just below the leaves in medium-sized
bunches, the individual fruits less than one inch long. One of the
most ornamental medium-sized palms, which thrives remarkably
well in Manila." (E. D. Merrill.)
This palm is making a
thrifty growth in the
United States Plant Intro-
duction Gardens at Chap-
man Field, south of Miami.
(See Fig. 35.)
Phoenix spp. The genus
Phoenix or D a t e Palm
group, includes several spe-
cies, many of which are
found in Florida. All are j
pinnate-leaved palms and
most are satisfactory as or- '
namentals. They vary in
type of growth from dwarf i
sorts to very tall, massive
specimens. Some, such as ', '.-
P. reclinata, have several ; i
stems or trunks, while oth- -
ers, such as P. sylvestris, are ?
single-stemmed. Still others, ..
as P. acaulis, are bulbous, -
stemless types. p.....
P. canariensis, P. sylves-
tris and P. dactylifera are
probably the most hardy,
the former being planted .
with safety in most portions
of the northern area. All Fig. 34.-Martinezia caryotaefolia.
are much less susceptible to injury by frosts after they have
attained some size and while small should be protected during
periods of extreme cold.
A great many species of this genus are in bloom at the same
time, which has resulted in much intercrossing of these species.
This, coupled with the planting of seeds not true to name, has
PALMS OF FLORIDA 41
able confusion as
to the correct
identity of many
-A sorts. Until a
... more detailed de-
scription of type
i" specimens, of
true species as
well as resulting
crosses, is made
available t h i s
confusion wi 1 1
continue to ex-
S riensis, Chaub.
Palm. Canary Is-
-', lands Date. (1,
S2, 3). Canary
Fig. 35.-Adonidia Merrillii. Canary Islands
date is one of the
and widely dis-
.. tribute palms
grown in Flor-
'. ida. It can be
Safely planted in
.. nearly all por-
tions of the State,
-.-' '" b e i
.: .', .~_;h -. h havingg a spread
i..- ., .. -. of 30 feet, is tall
2 growing with
e graceful pi n-
-. nate leaves, and
Fig. 36.-Phoenix canariensis (Canary Islands Date). maSSive trunk.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
It is entirely sat-
isfactory f o r
street, park and
1a w n planting.. jc,
(See Fig. 36.) .
Phoenix dacty- .
lifera, Linn. Date
Palm. (1, 2).
Arabia and Af-
rica. This palm
is the source of
the date of com-
merce and is
supposed to be
the palm of Bib-
lical reference. E'.
The long, stiff,
grayish green Fig.
pin n a t e leaves
are attractive on
mens, but .with
most the palm
can hardly be
considered as one
of the best for
to the humid cli-
obtaining on the
the fruit is of
little or no value
is easily propa-
gated by o f f-
shoots as well as
seeds. (See Fig.
37.) Fig. 38.
37.-Phoenix dactyl:fera (the Date Palm).
-Phoenix reclinata (Senegal Date Palm).
; ~-z~0 ..;i :
PALMS OF FLORIDA
Phoenix reclinata, Jacq. Senegal Date Palm. (1, 2). Africa.
'A fairly fast-growing palm which throws out many suckers at
the base which results in a tree with many trunks. When
suckers are kept removed the trunk is somewhat slender and
usually leaning. The leaves are pinnate, bright green and slightly
recurved. It is best suited for specimen or group planting. (See
Phoenix Roebelinii, O'Brien. Roebelin Palm. Pigmy Date Palm.
(1, 2A). S. E. Asia. A dwarfed species having beautiful, finely
cut, pinnate, arching, dark-green foliage. Plants of this species
should be planted in shady situations in fertile, well-drained soil:
This palm is ideal for indoor decoration. (See Fig. 39.)
Phoenix sylvestris, Roxbg. India Date Palm. Wild Date Palni.
(1, 2, 3?). India. A tall, vigorous growing palm somewhat resem-
bling P. canariensis but with shorter leaves and less massive
trunk which attains a greater height. A distinguishing charac-
teristic of most specimens of this species is the large mass of ex-
," ,-7 -71. -'
-,t ," \ j* I
S -;-. .-"
I *'. ., .. *. I
Fig. 39,-Phoenix Roebelinii (Pigmy Date Palm.
Osleyana.) Some what resembles P. acaulis
foliage. China, India.
posed roots at
base of trunk.
The tree is very
(See Fig. 40.)
in addition to
those above men-
may be found in
the State are:
lis, Buch. With-
out a stem, hav-
ing a bulb-shaped
very spiny. Na-
tive of India.
lis, Royle. (P.
small, soft, glossy
44 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Phoenix pumila, Hort. Short, slender trunk; long, drooping
Phoenix pusilla, Gaertn. (P. farinifera, Roxb.) Stout, short
trunk, leaves 4 to 5 feet, very spiny. Ceylon.
Phoenix paludosa. Roxbg, Several very slender trunks, as
P. reclinata; to
25 feet in height.
Phoenix rapi- "'V
cola, T. A n d. ,
Rather slender, .
sing 1 e trunk
which attains a
height of 15 to
20 feet; bright- ..:
green, flat, soft 1'vt,
leaves. Indi a. .
(See Fig. 41).
Phoenix z e y-
1 a n i c a, HIort.
Trunk reaches '\
up to 20 feet;
light green or
Ptychosperma ".. -
Wend 1. (1).
Australia. A n
attractive, slen- .
cies reaching a NA
height of 25 to
30 feet. The pin-
Fig. 40.-Phoenix sylvestris (India Date Palm).
nate leaves are
dark green. The leaflets are obliquely cut at ends as if bitten
off. These palms as grown are generally rather small bushy speci-
mens, suckering freely, which gives rise to several stems. (See
PALMS OF FLORIDA 45
Roystonea spp. (Oreodoxa.) Some of the world's most
stately palms are included in this genus. Both R. regia and R.
oleracea are tall and majestic trees having a magnificent crown
of broad, dark green, pinnate leaves. The heavy trunks are very
smooth; gray in color. The stem of the former usually has a
perceptible bulge or swelling near the middle, while that of the
latter is without this swelling. Three species, regia Borinquena,
and oleracea, are well adapted to the soils and climate of the south-
ern area. R. regia is treated separately under the paragraph deal-
ing with native species.
Roystonea Borinquena, O. F. Cook. (Oreodoxa Borinquena,
Reasoner). Porto Rican Royal Palm. (1). Porto Rico. This
palm, which grows up to 35 feet in height, resembles the native
Royal palm, but has a very pronounced bulge in the trunk which
is darker in color than that of the Royal. The seeds are about the
same size but narrower. In its native habitat it is found on lime-
stone soils, thus making it well adapted to portions of the lower
East Coast. It will also probably succeed better on higher soils
than will R. regia.
.- -. **
^ ..:- *.. .. C. -
.- ., ,1^ t" --?.* '
_". .._4.?. *' ....
F i 1 P oeir r cl
Fig. 41.-Phoenix rupicola.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Palmiste. C a b -
bage Palm. (1).
This palm is the
one of the group,
reaching a height
of 100 feet or
more. It also
greatly r s e m-
bles the native
Royal, but at-
tains a much
and does not
have any bulg-
ing of trunk, the
stem being cyl-
out. Like the
other palms of
this genus it
cannot be sur-
passed for avenue
O. F. Cook. (Oredoxa oleracea, Mart.)
Fig. 42.-Ptychosperma Macarthuri.
PALMATE OR FAN-LEAVED SPECIES
Chamaerops Livistona spp. Trachycarpus
humilis Pritchardia excelga
Corypha elata pacifica Washingtonia
Latania Rhapis spp. spp.
Loddigesii Sabal spp.
Chamaerops humilis. Linn. Hair Palm, European Fan
Palm. (1, 2, 3). Native of South Europe. A dwarfed, hardy,
slow-growing fan palm suited to places where a small bushy palm
is wanted. The leaves, rarely exceeding 2 feet. in width,
are fan-shaped, quite stiff, deeply cleft with the leaf divisions
slightly split at the ends. The trunk is small, seldom over 2 to
3 feet in height. Suckers are produced rather freely while the
plant is young, which results in most specimens having several
PALMS OF FLORIDA 47
trunks. The leaf-
stalks are spiny.
This palm is
ideal for group-
ing as it can be
placed very sat-
S.; isfactorily in sit-
-','1 ~ n'/ nationss where a
,idi, I low-growing,
,' compact palm is
."' ." wanted. (See
S:, Corypha elata,
'' Roxbg. (1). S.
+ ? .E. Asia. A tall,
S- s 1 o w growing,
.. fan-leaved palm
having a rather
S' 'stout, ringed
S' trunk which in
its native habi-
'* ", ,r tat attains a
*. '. .. .5 height of 60 feet
or more. The
Fig. 43.-Sabal palmetto in background, Chamae- leaves are very
rops humilis in foreground (European Fan Palm). large, with leaf
,I segments deeply
.. spiny leaf-stalks
S -i are 1 ong and
S, ,: -- / heavy. This
S 1 -- palm would
S: seemingly be
well adapted to
the lower East
--. ,, -C o a s t, small
..."' '- ; specimens grow-
.. *- .. ing there hav-
Sing a thrifty ap-
S- -. -pearance.
Fig. 44.-Latania Lodd'igesii. Latania Loddi-
48 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
gesii, Mart. (L. glaucophylla, Hort.). (1). Mauritius. This
species is a stocky, fan-leaved palm with a heavy bloom on the
leaves which are quite large and of feathery texture. The edges
of leaf-stalks and leaf divisions have a reddish color. This palm
is slow growing but because of its distinctive appearance is quite
attractive. (See Fig. 44.)
Livistona spp. A genus of which several species are probably
in Florida. This group has large, glossy-green, fan-shaped leaves
borne on fairly long petioles which are more or less spiny. The
trunks are brown, heavy, and marked by rings left by the old
leaf-stalks. More tropical species, rarely seen, are rotundifolia
Jenkinsiana, olivaeformis, Mariae, Hoogendorpii and subglobosa.
Livistona australis, Mart. Australian Fan-Palm. (1, 2).
This species is very much like the succeeding, but taller growing
in maturity, with fan-shaped leaves which in young plants have
a distinct fold or crease running lengthwise of the blade-those
of the true L. chinensis supposedly being quite flat. The black
fruits are almost globular in shape.
Livistona chinensis, R. Br. (Latania borbonica, Hort.) Chi-
nese Fan-Palm (1, 2, 3A). China. Very attractive, fan-leaved
palms having fairly stout, ringed trunks. The leaves, up to 5
feet across, are flat, the tips drooping-a distinguishing char-
acteristic of the
leaf stalks are
in young plants.
The fruits are
olive -shape d,
deep green i n
color. This spe-
c i e s is fairly
hardy after at-
s i z e, specimens
being found in
soils and some
shade a r e re-
quired to produce
q '~ 4-
Fig. 45.-Livistona chinensis (Chinese Fan Palm).
PALMS OF FLORIDA
Best suited for group or specimen planting. (See Fig. 45.)
Pritchardia pacifica, Seem & Wendl. (Styloma pacifica, 0 F.
Cook). Fiji Fan Palm. (1). Fiji Islands. This species is one
of the most graceful and handsome of the fan-leaved palms.
The trunk is erect, smooth, and up to 30 feet in height. The
foliage is very at-
tractive, the leaves
being about 3 x 4
feet with spineless
leaf-stalks about 3
feet in length. This
palm is subject to
injury by cold or
S" heavy winds and
should be planted in
A (See Fig. 46.)
Rhapis spp. L o w
growing fan leaved
Lo palms having nu-
merous, very slen-
Sder, reed-like stems.
r -,' t"4' They are very satis-
factory for group
-- .: I planting where a
." fairly low and dense
i mass of foliage is
smi bamo !0 wanted. The plants
S. prefer a moist soil
l and shady situation.
(See Fig. 47.)
R h a p i s flabelli-
formis, L'Her. Fern
R h a p i s. (1, 2A).
Fig. 46.-Pritchardia pacifica (Fiji Fan Palm).
China and Japan.
Low growing palms having thin stems on which fan-shaped, deeply-
lobed leaves are borne. These stems or shoots grow in clumps
making a mass of foliage from ground level to top of plant, re-
sembling bamboo to a certain extent. They must have shade
and a fairly moist soil.
50 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Rhapis humilis, Blume. Reed
Rhapis. (1). China. A species
resembling R. flabelliformis ex-
cept that the leaves and stems are
smaller and a lighter green in col-
or. The leaf petioles are smooth.
This, like the preceding species,
must have shade and moisture.
These palms may be propagated
by division of offshoots or suck-
ers, as well as by seeds.
Sabal Blackburniana, Glazeb.
(I 'no d e s Blackburniiana, 0. F.
Cook). Blackburn palmetto. (1,
2). Bermuda. A stout palmetto
attaining a height of 40 feet.
The erect trunk is heavy, gray in
color and quite smooth. The fan-
shaped leaves are very large, be-
ing slightly shorter in length than
the leaf stalk.
This species is
much larger and
heavier than the
n a t i v e cabbage
palmetto in both
size of trunk and '':
leaf although not
so tall. With its
crown and stur-
dy, smooth trunk
it is very desir-
able and attrac-
tive. It thrives
on fairly light
soils. (See Fig.
rum, Becc. (In-
odes causiarum, Fig. 48.-Sabal Blac
Fig. 47.-Rhapis sp.
kburniana (Blackburn Palmetto).
PALMS OF FLORIDA 51
0. F. Cook). Porto Rico Hat Palm. Yaray. (1, 2, 3A). W.
Indies. The Porto Rico Hat Palm is one of the most massive
of the palmettos growing in Florida. It attains a height of 40
feet with a trunk that will exceed 21/2 feet in diameter. The
heavy, gray-green, fan-shaped leaves are from 10 to 12 feet in
length, the petiole being about half the length. The petiole or
leaf-stalk is deeply concave on the upper side. This species is
ver y attractive,
Growing well on
sandy soils, and
-- is well suited to
7. avenue or group
Planting. (S e e
4 -Vi to, Lodd. ( In-
Fte '- ia odes Palmetto,
,, O. F. Cook).
i.4-aa Sabal glabra,
(Mill.) S a r g.,
and Sabal mega-
carpa, Small. (S.
''n See under Native
eT r a chycarpus
i excels, Wendl.
Sn e n p- (Chamaerops ex-
Fig. 49.-Sabal causiarum (Porto Rico Hat Palm). c el s a, Thunb.)
Fortune's Palm. (3). China and Japan. A slow growing, very
hardy palm having an erect trunk which is usually covered with
old leaf sheaths. The leaves are fan-shaped, dull green in color,
finely and deeply cut, borne in a dense head. The leaf-stalk is
rough-edged. This species seemingly does not thrive in sandy
soils in the southern part of the State, but is grown with suc-
cess in the extreme northern portion, particularly where planted
in a clay soil. (See Fig. 50.)
Washingtonia (Neowashingtonia, Sudw.) Washington Palm.
(1, 2, 3A). California and Mexico. Tall, erect, fan-leaved
52 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
palms that may be grown throughout the State except perhaps
in the coldest portions of the northern area. The trunks are
reddish-brown in color, somewhat bulged at base, ah occasional
specimen having an exposed mass of roots. The upper por-
tion is usually covered with persistent bases of leaf-stalks or
pendent, dead leaves. The leaves are fan-shaped, cleft about
half-way, light or gray-green in color, 3 to 5 feet across with
leaf-stalks to 5 feet
in length which are
armed with heavy,
short, usually re- '
curved spines. The
older dead leaves
hang down vertical- --
ly, and to some ob-.
servers give the ,.
tree a shaggy ap-
pearance. The tree
after reaching a -
height of several
feet has a crown of
leaves which is small
in proportion to the
height of the palm
and if the trunk is
left clothed with the
hanging dead leaves
a better sense of pro-
portion is m a in- Fig. 50.-Trachycarpus excelsa (Windmill
For street planting, where parkway space is limited, the
Washingtonias are well adapted as the spread of the leaf crown
is limited in young plants and the plants being vigorous grow-
ers, this leaf crown is soon high enough to be out of the way.
These palms prefer moist soils, but can be grown, with proper
preparation and attention, with success on nearly all soil types.
Washingtonia filifera, Wendl., attains a height of 40 to 50
feet with a maximum trunk diameter of 3 feet. Washingtonia
robusta, Parish., attains a greater height, but has a more slender
trunk. (See Figs. 51, 52 and 53.)
PALMS OF FLORIDA 53
CYCADS AND ZAMIAS
Though the cycads and zamias are not of the palm family they
are being listed, inasmuch as they are so satisfactory for inclusion
in palm plantings.
Cycas. The plants of this genus are commonly called palms.
They are not true palms, but are placed in the family of Cycada-
ceae. The plants being dioecious-that is, having staminate and
pistillate flowers borne on separate plants, it is necessary to have
Fig. 51.-Avenue planting of Washington palms.
one plant of each sex planted fairly close together that fertiliza-
tion may be effected and seeds produced. Propagation is by seeds
or removal of suckers or offshoots. A period of several months
is required for the germination of seeds.
C. circinalis, Linn. Fern"Palm." East India Cycas. (1,2A).
S. E. Asia, Africa. This species closely resembles C. revoluta but
has a more feathery, fern-like foliage which is usually of a greater
length. It is the less hardy of the two species. When planted in
partial shade it seems to thrive best but will grow well in sunny
locations. (See Fig. 54.)
C. revoluta, Thunb. Sago Cycas. Sago "Palm." (1, 2, 3).
Japan. This plant, palmlike in appearance, reaches a maximum
height of 10 feet. The stiff, pinnate leaves, borne at the top of
the trunk, are a deep shining green and average from 3 to 5 feet
54 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
in length. It is generally slow growing; thriving in either shade
or full sunshine. See Fig. 55.
C. media, R. Br., the Nut
"Palm," a native of Aus-
tralia, is found rarely in the
southern part of the State. '
It very closely resembles C.
Zamia. The Zamias are
sma 1 1, stemless, pinnate-
leaved plants belonging to the
Cycad group Cycadaceae.
They are commonly termed '
Coontie, Comptie, Comfort
root, or Seminole Bread. The
root is bulbous and the
source of an edible starch
which is used commercially in
a small way. The leaves are ,
shipped to some extent for'
use by florists. The plants
are very satisfactory for
massing at the base of palm
groups. Propagation is by
seeds, the germination of '
which may be hastened some- .;' .
what by the removal of the 1,,
fleshy seedcoat before plant-
Two recognized native spe-
cies are found in Florida: Z. t
floridana, DC., and Z. pumila ,.
Linn. The former is found
in the lower East Coast re- if C i t
gion and the keys; the latter
along the upper East Coast
and the interior portion of Fig. 52.-Washingtonia robusta (Wash-
and the interior portion of ington Palm).
the northern central penin-
sular section. The chief distinguishing feature between the two
species is in the leaflets, Z. pumila having the wider ones. The
plants seldom exceed 2 feet in height. (See Fig. 57.)
PALMS OF FLORIDA
S .' .' .. .. -. ,
. 54.- yas irinas rn "Pal"
Fig. 54. Cycas circinaIh kFern "Palm"n)
The writer is
and expresses his
appreciation t o
those who have
ing to the identi-
ty, the location,
or the adaptabil-
ity of various
species: to Dr. A.
F. Camp and Dr.
A. S. Rhoads for
most of the pho-
tographs; and to
Mr. L. R. War-
ner for photo-
graphs made on
the Florida keys.
F r e e reference
has been made to
the various pub-
lications of Dr.
L. H. Bailey, Dr.
C. S. Sargent, Dr.
J. K. Small, Mr.
0. F. Cook, Dr.
B. Seeman, Dr.
H. Nehrling, Mr.
C. T. Simpson,
and to pertinent
articles by vari-
ous authors which
from time to time
in various pub-
56 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Fig. 55.-Cycas revoluta (Sago "Palm").
Fig. 56.-Zamia floridana, left; Zamia
pumila, right (Coontie
PALMS OF FLORIDA 57
Fig. 57.-Coconut palms.