Front Cover
 Planting and fertilizing
 Temperature toleration

Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station ; no. 184
Title: Palms of Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027234/00001
 Material Information
Title: Palms of Florida
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: 54 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Mowry, Harold
Publisher: University of Florida, Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1926
Subject: Palms -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by Harold Mowry.
Funding: Bulletin (University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station)
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027234
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000923489
oclc - 14950526
notis - AEN4040

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Planting and fertilizing
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Temperature toleration
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
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        Page 21
        Page 22
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        Page 24
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Full Text

October, 1926


Agricultural Experiment Station



Fig. 1.-A group of Sabal palmettos. Such groups of palms are common
in the southern part of Florida.

Bulletins will be sent free upon application to the Experiment Station,

Bulletin 184

P. K. YONGE, Chairman, Pensacola
E. W. LANE, Jacksonville
A. H. BLENDING, Leesburg
W. B. DAVIS, Perry
J. T. DIAMOND, Secretary, Tallahassee
J. G. KELLUM, Auditor, Tallahassee

WILMON NEWELL, D. Sc., Director
JOHN M. SCOTT. B. S., Vice Director and Animal Industrialist
SAM T. FLEMING, A. B., Assistant to Director
J. R. WATSON, A. M. Entomologist
ARCHIE N. TISSOT, M. S., Assistant Entomologist
H. E. BRATLEY, M. S. A., Asst. in Entomology
R. W. RUPRECHT, Ph. D., Chemist
R. M. BARNETTE. Ph. D., Assistant Chemist
C. E. BELL, M. S. Assistant Chemist
0. M. BERG, B. S., Assistant Chemist
J. M. COLEMAN, B. S., Assistant Chemist
O. F. BURGER, D Sc., Plant Pathologist
G. F. WEBER, Ph. D., Associate Plant Pathologist
J. L. SEAL, M. S., Assistant Plant Pathologist
ROBERT E. NOLEN, M. S. A., Lab. Asst. in Plant Pathology
K. W. LoucKs, A. B., Lab. Asst. in Plant Pathology
ERDMAN WEST, B. S., Lab. Asst. in Plant Pathology
D. G. A. KELBERT, Field Asst. in Plant Pathology
W. E. STOKES, M. S., Agronomist
W. A. LEUKEL, Ph. D., Assistant Agronomist
A. F. CAMP, Ph. D., Associate Horticulturist
HAROLD MOWRY, Assistant Horticulturist
G. H. BLACKMON, B. S. A., Pecan Culturist
W. A. CARVER, Ph. D., Assistant Cotton Specialist
EDGAR F. GROSSMAN, M. A., Assistant Entomologist, Cotton Investigations
RAYMOND CROWN, B. S. A., Field Asst., Cotton Investigations
A. L. SHEALY, D. V. M.. Veterinarian
D. A. SANDERS, D. V. M., Assistant Veterinarian
C. V. NOBLE, Ph. D., Agricultural Economist
BRUCE MCKINLEY, B. S. A., Assistant in Agricultural Economics
H. G. HAMILTON, M. S., Assistant Agricultural Economist
OUIDA DAVIS ABBOTT, Ph.. D., Head. Home Economics Research
LEONARD W. GADDUM, Ph. D., Assistant in Home Economics
W. B. TISDALE, Ph. D., Plant Pathologist, in charge Tobacco Experiment
Station (Quincy)
J. G. KELLEY, B. S. A., Lab. Asst. in Plant Pathology (Quincy)
JESSE REEVES, Foreman Tobacco Experiment Station (Quincy)
L. 0. GRATZ, Ph. D., Assistant Plant Pathologist (Hastings)
A. S. RHOADS, Ph. D., Assistant Plant Pathologist (Cocoa)
A. N. BROOKS, Ph. D., Assistant Plant Pathologist (Plant City)
STACY O. HAWKINS, Field Asst. in Plant Pathology (Miami)
J. H. JEFFERIES, Superintendent Citrus Experiment Station (Lake Alfred)
W. A. KUNTZ, A. M., Assistant Plant Pathologist (Lake Alfred)
GEo. E. TEDDER, Foreman, Everglades Experiment Station (Belle Glade)
R. V. ALLISON, Ph. D., Soils Specialist, Everglades Expt. Station, (Belle
J. H. HUNTER, M. S., Assistant Agronomist, Everglades Expt. Station,
(Belle Glade)
Ross F. WADKINS, M. S., Field Assistant, Everglades Expt. Station,
(Belle Glade)

K. H. GRAHAM, Auditor
RACHEL MCQUARRIE, Assistant Auditor



The most tropical portions of the continental United States
are found within the confines of the State of Florida. This
situation makes possible the successful culture of numerous spe-
cies of palms under outdoor conditions, where suitable soils,
heavy rainfall and the freedom from severe frosts tend to form
an ideal combination for the growing of palms and other tropical
plants. With these conditions obtaining, and one of the greatest
charms of the tropics being 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 very limited number of "Cities of Palms," Florida
would be known as the "State of Palms."
From 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
planted to the northern border. There are without doubt num-
erous 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 thru 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 lining avenues or highways. 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.
There being no readily available publication on the palms of
Florida, it has been the purpose of the writer to give a list of

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

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.


Fig. 2.-Avenue planting of Royal palms.


Palms are propagated by seeds, by separation of offshoots
from the main trunk, or by division of rootclumps 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.

Bulletin 184, 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, 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 /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
fats 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-
Jitions, is usually much less than when planted in flats. Excess

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

pants resulting may be readily thinned out and transplanted to
other rows.
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 thoroly 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 tho few or no roots are in

Bulletin 184, 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 com-
pletely 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 successful removal of offshoots.


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

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

holes are then filled with a mixture of compost, decayed leaves
and grass or other litter, well rotted manures in fairly large
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 thoroly decayed. No
burning of roots will follow when such fertilizers as bonemeal
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
thoroly 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

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida

the plant thru the roots and given off into the air thru 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. Thoro 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.

Fig. 3.-Method of moving large palms.
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.

10 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

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 view-
point of minimum temperatures, the accompanying map has

.i, -



L )


Fig. 4.-Certain palms are climat-
ically adapted to particular
areas of the state. For the pur-
pose of this bulletin, the state
has been divided into the three
districts shown here.

been prepared (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 win-
ters may be followed by one
more severe which would neces-
sarily change, for the time be-
ing at least, the exact range of
some species. The average or
mean temperatures for a num-
ber of winters mean little as it
is the absolute sustained mini-

mum temperatures which decide conclusively whether or not
a given species may be successfully grown to maturity at a
specific location.

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida

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 3 respectively.
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. There 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, tho 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 base.
The leaves in most species form a compact crown at the top
of the trunk. According to leaf type, all palms may be divided

12 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

into two main classes-pinnate or feather-leaved, and palmate


Fig. 5.-Types of palm leaves. Palmate or fan-
leaved at the left, pinnate or feather-leaved
at right.

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,
Serenoa 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.

or f a n leaved.
The majority of
the species are of
the former
class. The leaves
of seedlings are
not divided but
as the plant in-
creases in size
the leaves show
"character", that
is-the pinnae or
segments divide,
showing the class
to which it be-

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida

The Acpelorraphe, 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-
cient quantities.
The native genera are divided into the two classes as follows:
Cocos nucifera
Pseudophoenix Sai 7entii
Roystonea regia
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 21/2 to 3 feet in length. The heavy leaf-
stalks are up to 5 feet in length. The fruits are borne in clus-
ters 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 are the largest of any of the palm
group, 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, buoy-
ant 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

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

known, but is now supposed to have been in the American
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.
Pseudophoenix 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 at-
tain 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
!living, as well as seedlings from the originals and transplanted
trees. See Fig. 7.

s of Florida 15

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
fairly y massive,. l
being in some in-
stances 3 or more
feet in diameter,
slightly bulged or
swollen about
midway, g r a c e-
fully tapering
from this swell-
ing both ways-
the base also en-
larged; light
gray in color and
very smooth. The
tall, smooth, gray Fig. 7.-Pseudophoenix Sargentii.
trunk is sur-
mounted by what 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 round-
ed. The fruit is about 1/ 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 adapted 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
prepared for planting by adding large quantities of muck, ma-
nures, leaf mold, etc. (See Figs. 2 and 8.)


Acoelorraphe Wrightii
Coccothrinax jucunda
Sabal species

Rhapidophyllum hystrix
Serenoa serrulata
Thrinax species

Bulletin 184, Palm:


Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

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 deep-
ly split. The petioles are slender, gradually thickening from
leaf to point of attachment, attaining a maximum length of 5

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida

feet, and 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.
The fan-shaped
leaves are thin, -=
glossy pale green i
above and silvery
beneath. The un-
armed leaf-stalks
attain a length
up to 3 feet. The
fruit is about 3/4
inch in diameter
and has black
flesh. The seeds
a r e channeled.
Another species
of Coccothrinax,
C. garberi, Sarg.,
a stemless sort
resembling t h e
former, but be-
ing characteris-
t ically smaller
through o u t, is
sometimes given
as a native along Fig. 9.-Acoelorraphe Wrightii.
as a native along
Biscayne Bay. It is possible that this is but a dwarfed form
of the former species. (See Fig. 10.)
Rhapidophyllum hystrix, 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
and grayish beneath. The leaf-stalks are very slender, and up

18 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

to 312 feet in length. Numerous long, black spines project from
the fiber about the
System. The fruit is
about % inch in di-
ameter; red when
This dwarf palm
is v er y attractive
and fits in well in
palm groups where a
small palm is want-
ed. It prefers a fair-
ly moist soil and
some shade. (S e e
Fig. 11.)
Sabal glabra,
I c,, I(Mill.) Sarg. (S.
S r. Adansonii, Guerns.
S. Minor, Pers.)
Fig. 10.-Coccothrinax jucunda. S. M i n o r, Pews.)
Blue-Stem. D w a r f
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-
somewhat wider
than long, which
are deeply cleft
i n t o numerous
i v divisions.
e.. Leaf stalks are
smooth and fair-
ly heavy; usually
erect. Seed spikes
are erect, exceed-
ing leaves in
Fig. 11.-Rhapidophyllum hystrix. e n gt h. T he
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.)
Sabal megacarpa, Small. (S. Etonia, Swingle). Scrub Palmetto.

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida

(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/ 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, 0. F. Cook). Cab-

Fig. 12.-Sabal *glabra.

bage Palmetto. (1, 2, 3). Thruout most of Florida, except ;x-
treme western portion. The cabbage pahlmetto;s nori inmaly an
erect tree attaining a maximum height of ,80 feet with a' trunk
which is up to 2 feet in diameter tho usually less'. he trunk is
clothed during early life with old "boots' remaining. from de-
cayed leaf stalks. As the tree grows older these '-boots". fal,
away, leaving a fairly smooth, slightly, ridged stem. Very rare-
ly a specimen is found having a branched trunk which is due,
probably, to an injury of the bud. .The leaves, which are fan-
shaped and shiny, deep green in color, reach a maximum length
of about 5 feet and a somewhat greater breadth. The leaf seg-
ments are deeply cleft. The slender, unarmed petioles attain !
length of 7 feet. The fruits, which are dark colored or blaek,
average about 1/3 inch in diameter.

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

The cabbage palmetto is found growing in marshes, ham-
mocks and sandy soils and because of this adaptability to varied
soil types can be grown as an ornamental thruout most sections.
The tree is not
damaged by cold
in any part of
the state. It is
well adapted for
group, specimen
or avenue plant-
ing. (See Fig.
1, frontispiece.)
Serenoa serru-
Slata (Michx.)
Fig. 13.-Serenoa serrulata. 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
stalks are slender, armed thru-
out with numerous, small, very
sharp spines. The black fruit
is / to 7/8 inch in length. (See
Fig. 13.)
Thrinax floridana, Sar g.
Thatch Palm. (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;
divided into numerous divisions
which are cleft ha -way or
more of the length of the leaf.
They are shining yellowish- Fig. 14.-Thrinax floridana.

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida

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
Fig. 14.)
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
about 31/2
S feet wide;
divided into
many deep-
ly cleft di-
shiny light Fig. 15.-Thrinax keyensis.
shiny light
green above, silvery beneath. The leaf-
stalk is 3 to 4 feet in length, not spiny.
Fruits are small, 1/4 inch or less in diam-
eter, 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
height and is without the swollen base of
exposed roots. The trunk diameter is usu-
ally not as large. Fruits are very small,
about 1/8 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,
has an erect, smooth, grayish trunk which
does not exceed 4 inches in diameter. The
leaves are fan-shaped, not over 3 feet in
g. 16.diameter; pale-green: both below and
Fig. 6.--ndandhrinax
Wendlandiana above in which they differ from kindred

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

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 1/4 inch in diameter; white
fleshed. (See Fig. 16.)

Fig. 17.-Detail of trunk of Acrocomia.



Acrocomia spp.
Aeria attenuata
Archontophoenix spp.
Arenga saccharifera
Attalea Cohune
Bactris spp.
Caryota spp.
Chamaedorea spp.
Chrysalidocarpus lutescens
Cocos spp.
Dictyosperma spp.
Elaeis guineensis

Hedyscepe Canterburyana
Heterospathe elata
Howea spp.
Hydriastele Wendlandiana
Hyophorbe spp.
Jubaea spectabilis
Martinezia caryotaefolia
Normanbya Merrillii
Phoenix spp.
Ptychosperma Macarthuri
Roystonea spp.

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

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida

length, borne in a thick tuft at the top of the trunk, are also
spiny. Owing to this spiny character of the trunk and
leaves this genus is not well suited to street planting, but for
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, `f
but also grow well .
on higher locations.
(See Fig. 17.)
Acrocomia sclero-
carpa, Mart. 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
are green above and
ashy beneath. The
pinnae attain a
length of three feet
and a width of one
Acrocomia totai,
Mart. (1, 2). South p
America. This spe-
cies attains a height Fig. 18.-Acrocomia totai.
of 40 feet. The trunk
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

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

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 limestone hills and usually
feeds upon noth-
ing but the hu-
mus collected in
the cracks of
these rocks. The
large bunches of
orange red ber-
ries, which are
the size of a
small cherry, are
very attractive."
(W. E. Hess). At
the U. S. Plant
Introduction n
Gardens at Chap-
man Field this
palm is giving ev-
idence of being
Fig. 19.-Aeria attenuata. well adapted 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 irrigation.
There is some confusion as to nomenclature and identifica-
tion in this group. It is possible that the true Seaforthia is not

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida

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-
neath.. \

nix Cunningha-
mii, H. Wendl. &
Drude. ( Seafor-
thia elegans,
Hook.). (1).
Australia. This
palm is common-
ly known as Sea-
forthia, there be-
ing many large
specimens in the
southern sections
which are given
this name. The
ringed trunk,
combined w i t h
the graceful
crown of deep
green leaves--
which attain a
length of 10 feet
make this one of the
adapted to pot culture.

*. -- -- ;
* ,* -~'h-. T '*

Fig. 20.-Archontophoenix Alexandrae.

most attractive species. It is also well

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

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

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
being made from
it. (See Fig.
Fi r21.)
Attalea Co-
hune, Mart. Co-
hune Palm. (1).
Central America.
The Cohune palm
I does not attain so
great a height as
do some species,
Sbut has immense,
e r e c t, pinnate
leaves which
form a huge
crown. This spe-
cies is very strik-
ing and beauti-
ful, but tender
and slow grow-
ing. It is rarely
found in the
state. The trunk
is erect, without
spines, sometimes
Fig. 21.-Arenga saccharifera. ringed, 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 Caryotas 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

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida

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 adapt-
ed 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
satisfactory f or
Caryota mitis,
Lour. (1). South-
eastern Asia.
The trees of this
species are small,
up to 25 feet, re-
sembling that of
C. urens. The
plant suckers
freely, giving
rise to several
smooth, slender
stems. It is not
common, but
should be more
generally planted
in the tropical
sections. A s a Fig. 22.-Caryota mitis.
specimen plant
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-

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

tinued year by year until the bloom is produced at the ground
when the plant
$, dies. The trunk
is fairly smooth
except for scars
Left where old
leaves were at-
tached. This palm
thrives in moist
soils and also on
s a n d y locations
after it is once
well established.
S (See Fig. 23.)
Chamaedo rea
P spp. (1). Central
Si tr America and
Mexico. The
palms of this
genus have very
slender, ringed
trunks which
somewhat re-
S semble bamboo
canes. The crown
roots are some-
times exposed as
with corn. The
pinnate leaves,
S usually borne at
extreme top of
.. stem, have rela-
Fig. 23.-Caryota urens. tively few divi-
sions. They
should be planted in fairly moist soil in a shaded location. (See
Fig. 24.)
Chrysalidocarpus lutescens, Wendl. (Areca lutescens). Areca
Palm. Cane Palm. (1). Madagascar. A low growing palm
having many smooth, slim, yello-wv 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,

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida

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 very attractive.
Under normal, out-
door conditions the
palm reaches a
height of about 20 r -l
feet and is very de-
sirable for specimen
planting. It prefers
a moist soil and can
withstand little frost.
(See Fig. 25.)
Cocos spp. This
group consists o f
several species, other
than the coconut,
which thrive in Flor-
ida. A division of
the genus has left
therein only the co-
conut; placing plu- r
mosa into the genus
Arecastrzm, those of
the Australis type in-
to Butia, etc. Those
below, however, are
treated as being in
the original genus.
Cocos australis
Cocos australis Fig. 24.-Chamaedora sp.
type. This arbitrary
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
species of this type, such as leaf measurements, difference in

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

size and shape of fruits-some of which are edible, as well as
floral differ-
ences. For orna-
mental plantings,
however, the y
are so closely al-
lied in manner
of growth, ap-
pearance, e t c.,
that they are
herein treated as
a whole. The
trees have fairly
heavy trunks,
usually covered
with the bases of
the old leaves,
not exceeding a
height of 30 feet.
Few, if any, in
Fig. 25.-Chrysalidocarpus lutescens. Florida have as
yet attained a
height approxi-
mating that giv-
en. The leaves
are pinnate and
recurving, g i v
ing a graceful,
arching effect to
the foliage. This
foliage, in most
of the species, is
glaucus, giving
the palms a dis-
tinctive, bluish
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.

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida

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 razil, Argentina
(See Fig.
Cocos plumosa,
Hook. (Arecas-
trum Romanzoff-
ianum, Bec c.).
Plumy Coconut.
(1,2). Brazil. A '.
tall growing
palm with grace-
fully arching,
pinnate leaves
and a smooth
trunk, which has ,
the bases of old
leaf stalks r e-
maining near the
top. This species
is particularly
attractive and is
being widely t
planted as it can
be used as a sub- b
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.

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

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
it, has been
grown in the
southern area.
Dictyosper m a
a rubra, Wendl. &
Drude. (Areca
rubra, Hor t.).
(1, 2A). Mauri-
tius. A fairly
rapid growing
palm which at-
tains a height of
30 feet. The
trunk is slender,
marked with
Fig. 28.-Dictyosperma rubra. 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
specimens the
leaves are a deep
green with veins
and margins red.
As the plant
grows older the
red color grad-
ually disappears.
(See Fig. 28.)
alba, Wendl. &
Drude (Areca al-
ba, Bory.). This
Fig. 29.-Elaeis guineensis. species is closely
related to the above. It has light colored leaf-stalks and leaf
veins. Both species are very attractive.

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida

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
heavily covered
with fiber. The
fruits of this
palm, in its na-
tive habitat, are ,
the source of the
palm oil of com-
merce. A 1 tho
quite rare in the
state, it seems
well adapted
where growing
and is satisfac-
tory as an orna-
mental. While
young it some-
w h at resembles
the Phoenix type.
(See Fig. 29.)
Canterbury a n* a,
Wendl. & Drude.
(Kentia Canter- Fig. 30.-Heterospathe elata.
buryana, F.
Muell.) Umbrella 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. Altho it has been grown successfully in the open,
this palm is seldom seen in cultivation outdoors, but is more
common as a house plant.
Heterospathe elata, Scheff. Sagisi Palm. (1). Philippine

34 Florida Agricultural Exepriment Station

Islands. A tall, unarmed, graceful palm having a slender,
ringed, 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-
tiv e, spineless,
pinnate leaved
palms having
single, erect,
ringed trun k s.
The broad leaves,
up to 8 feet in
le n g t h, are
plumy and have
long, slender
petioles. This is
one of the most
popular and sat-
isfactory palms
used for interior
decoration. It has
been sparingly
planted outdoors,
but where local
conditions a r e
suitable this
palm is very at-
tractive and de-
Fig. 31.-Howea Belmoreana. sirabl e. (See
Fig. 31.)
Howea Forsteriana, Becc. (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 segments 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-

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida

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 locations 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. i
The two species are
rather slow growing,
but are well worth
the effort and time
required to grow
Hyophorbe amari-
caulis, Mart. Bottle
P a 1 m. Bitterstem
Palm. (1, 2A). Na-
tive of Mauritius. A
somewhat taller II
growing type than
H. v e rs c h a f- T" ;u i
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
1 e a f, these being : .-.
somewhat wider,
Fig. 32.-Hyophorbe Verschaffeltii.
but not as long as
with the other species. The petiole is about 12 inches in length.
Hyophorbe Verschaffeltii, 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

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

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 grow-
ing in the southern area it is a thrifty grower and quite satis-
factory. (See Fig. 33.)
Martinezia car-
yotaefolia, HBK.
(1). South Amer-
ica. A beautiful
palm, attaining a
height of 25 to
35 feet, having
_- feathery, pinnate
i leaves 5 to 6 feet
in length which
resemble those of
Caryota u r e n s.
SThe trunk, usu-
ally but a few
inches in diam-
eter, and leaves
are covered with
sharp, black
spines. It grows
well in both
shade and full
sunshine. (S e e
Fig. 33.-Jubaea spectabilis. Fig. 34.)
Normanbya Merrillii, Becc. (S. P. I. No. 34732.). (1). Philip-
pine Islands. "A medium sized palm with graceful, somewhat

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida 37

curved, pinnate leaves, somewhat resembling the betelnut 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 remark-
ably 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 Date Palm -
group, includes several spe-
cies, many of which are
found in Florida. All are
pinnate-leaved palms and
most are satisfactory as or-
namentals. They vary in
type of growth from dwarf
sorts to very tall, massive
specimens. Some, such as
P. reclinata, have several
stems or trunks, while oth-
ers, such as P. sylvestris,
are single stemmed. Still
others, as P. acaulis, are
bulbous, stemless types.. .
P. canariensis, P. sylves- .
tris and P. dactylifera are
probably the most hardy,
the former being planted
with safety in most portions Fig. 34.-Martinezia caryotaefolia.
of the northern area. All
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

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


1 .f i '
Fig. 35.-Normanbya Merrillii.

->tN -

Fig. 36.-Phoenix canariensis.

caused consider-
able confusion as:
t o the correct
identity of many
sorts. Until a
more detailed de-
scription of type
specimens, o f
true species as
well as resulting
crosses, is made
available t h i s
confusion will
continue to ex-
Phoenix cana-
riensis, Chaub.
Canary Date
Palm. Canary Is-
lands Date. (1,
2, 3). Canary
Islands. The
Canary Islands
date is one of the
most satisfactory
and widely dis-
tributed p a I ms
grown in Flor-
ida. It can be
safely planted in
nearly all por-
tions of the state,
being quite
hardy and sel-
dom injured by
cold. The tree,
having a spread
of 30 feet, is tall
growing with
graceful pin-
nate leaves, and

Bulletin 18.4, Palms of Florida

massive trunk.
It is entirely sat-
isfactory for
street, park and
la w n planting.
(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.
The long, stiff,
grayish green,
pinnate e a v e s
are attractive on
occasional speci-
mens, but with
most the palm
can hardly be
considered as one
of the best for
ornamental plant-
ing. Owing to
the humid cli-
matic conditions
obtaining on the
Florida mainland
the fruit is of
little or no value
commercially. It
is easily propa-
gated by off-
shoots as well as
seeds. (See Fig.

Fig. 37.-Phoenix dactylifera.

Fig. 38.-Phoenix reclinata.

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

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 plant-
ing. (See Fig. 38.)
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 Palm.
(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-
posed roots at
base of trunk.
The tree is very
symmetrical and
quite attractive.
(See Fig. 40.)
Other species,
in addition to
those above men-
tioned, which
may be found in
the state are:
Phoenix acau-
lis, Buch. With-
out a stem, hav-
ing a bulb-shaped
trunk; small;
very spiny. Na-
tive of India.
Fig. 39.-Phoenix Roebelinii. Phoenix humi-
lis, Royle. (P.
Ousleyana.) Somewhat resembles P. acaulis; small, soft, glos-
sy foliage. China, India.

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida 41

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 rupi-
cola, T. An d.
Rather sl-ender,
single trunk
which attains a
height of 15 to
20 feet; bright-
green, flat, soft
leaves. Indi a.
(See Fig. 41.)
Phoenix z e y-
lanica, Hort.
Trunk reaches
up to 20 feet;
leaves spiny,
light green o r
bluish. Ceylon.
Macarthuri, H.
Wendl. (1).
Australia. A n
attractive, slen-
derrtrunked spe-
cies reaching a
height of 25 to
30 feet. The pin- Fig. 40.-Phoenix sylvestris.
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
specimens, suckering freely, which gives rise to several stems.
(See Fig. 42.)

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

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 Bor-
inquena, and oleracea, are well adapted to the soils and cli-
mate of the southern area. R. regia is treatedseparately under
the paragraph dealing 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 abour
the same size but narrower. In its native habitat it is found on
limestone 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.

Fig. 41.-Phoenix rupicola.

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida

Roystonea oleracea, 0. F. Cook. (Oredoxa oleracea, Mart.)
Palmiste. C a b-
bage Palm. (1).
West I n d i e s.
This palm is the
tallest growing
one of the group,
reaching a height
of 100 feet or
more. It also
greatly resem-
bles the native
Royal, but a t-
tains a much
greater height
and does not
have any bulg-
ing of trunk, the
stem being c y-
lindrical t hr u- s
out. Like the
other palms of f
this genus it .
cannot be sur-
passed for ave- Fig. 42.-Ptychosperma Macarthuri.
nue planting.
Chamaerops Livistona spp. Trachycarpus
humilis Pritchardia excelsa
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

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

-1Ms -lowW a

Fig. 43.-Sabal palmetto in background, Chamae-
rops humilis in foreground.

Fig. 44.-Latania Loddigesii.

trunks. The leaf-
stalks are spiny.
This palm is
ideal for group-
ing as it can be
placed very sat-
isfactorily in sit-
uations where a
lo w growing,
compact palm is
wanted. (See
Fig. 43.)
Corypha elata,
Roxbg. (1). S.
E. Asia. A tall,
sl o w growing,
fan-leaved palm
having a rather
stout, ringed
trunk which in
its native habi-
tat attains a
height of 60 feet
or more. The
leaves a r e very
large, with leaf
segments deeply
divided. The
spiny leaf-stalks
are long and
heavy. This
palm would
seemingly be
well adapted to
the lower East
Coast, small
specimens grow-
ing there hav-
ing a thrifty ap-
Latania Loddi-

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida

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 leathery 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, olivaefoirmis, 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
species. The 1i c s
leak stalks are
partially spiny
in young plants.
The fruits are .
olive- shaped,
deep green in
color. This spe-
cies is fairly
hardy after at-
taining some
si z e, specimens
being found in .
Pensacola. Moist
soils and some
shade are re-
quired to produce
thrifty p 1 a n t s. Fig. 45.-Livistonia chinensis.

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

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
heavy winds and
should be planted in
protected locations.
(See Fig. 46.)
Rhapsis spp. Low
growing fan-leaved
palms having nu-
merous, very slen-
der, reed-like stems.
They are very satis-
factory for group
planting where a
fairly low and dense
mass of foliage is
wanted. The plants
prefer a moist soil
and shady situation.
(See Fig. 47.)
-- '-: R h a p i s flabelli-
formis, L'Her. Fern
Fig. 46.-Pritchardia pacifica. R h a p i s. (1, 2A).
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, resembling bamboo to a certain extent. They must have
shade and a fairly moist soil.

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida

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 n o de s Blackburniana, 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
native cabbage
palmetto in both
size of trunk and
leaf altho not so
tall. With its
immense leaf
crown and stur-
dy, smooth trunk
it is very desir-
able and attrac-
tive. It thrives
on fairly light
soils. (See Fig.
Sabal causia-
rum, Becc. (In-
odes causiarum, Fig. 48.-Sa

Fig. 47.-Rhapis sp.

.bal Blackburniana.

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

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 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
very attractive,
growing well on
sandy soils, and
go is well suited to
avenue or group
planting. (S e e
aFig. 49.)
Sabal Palmet-
to, Lodd. ( In-
odes Palmetto,
O. F. Cook).
Sabal glabra,
(Mill.) Sar g.,
and Sabal mega-
carpa, Small. (S.
Etonia, Swingle).
See under Na-
: tive species.
excelsa, Wendl.
(Chamaerops ex-
Fig. 49.-Sabal causiarum. c e 1 s a, Thunb,)
Windmill Palm.
Fortune's Palm. (3). China and Japan. A slow growing,
very hardy palm having an erect trunk which is usually cov-
ered 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 success in the extreme northern portion, particu-
larly where planted in a clay soil. (See Fig. 50.)
Washingtonia (Neowashingtonia, Sudw.) Washington Palm.
(1, 2, 3A). California and Mexico. Tall, erect, fan-leaved

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida

palms that may be grown thruout the state except perhaps in
the coldest portions of the northern area. The trunks are red-
dish-brown in color, somewhat bulged at base, an occasional
specimen having an exposed mass of roots. The upper por-
tion i 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- a t
servers give the
tree a shaggy ap-
pearance. The tree a
after reaching a
height o f several
feet has a crown of d
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
proportion is main- Fig. 50.-Trachycarpus excelsa.
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.)

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

Tho the cycads and zamias are not of the palm family they
are being listed, inasmuch as they are so satisfactory for inclu-
sion in palm plantings.
Cycas. The plants of this genus are commonly called palms.
They are not true palms, but are placed in the family Cycada-
ceae. The plants being dioecious-that is, having staminate
and pistillate flowers borne on separate plants, it is necessary

.. .. . ...

Fig. 51.-Avenue planting of Washington palms

to have one plant of each sex planted fairly close together that
fertilization 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, palm-like in appearance, reaches a maxi-
mum height of 10 feet. The stiff, pinnate leaves, borne at the
top of the trunk, are a deep shining green and average from 3

Bulletin 184., Palms of Florida

to 5 feet 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 Australia,
is found rarely in the south-
ern part of the state. It very
closely resembles C. circi-
Zamia. The Zamias are
small 1, stemless, pinnate-
leaved plants belonging to the
Cycad g r o u p-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
fleshy seedcoat before plant-
Two recognized native spe-
cies are found in Florida: Z.
floridana, DC., and Z. pumila,
Linn. The former is found
in the lower East Coast re-
gion and the keys; the latter
along the upper East Coast
and the interior portion of Fig. 52.-Washingtonia robusta.
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.)

52 Florida Agricultural Experiment

Fig. 54.-Cyas ircinalis.
Fig. 54.-Cycas circinalis.


The writer is
under obligation
and expresses his
appreciation t o
those who have
furnished infor-
mation pertain-
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.
O. F. Cook, Dr.
B. Seeman, Dr.
H. Nehrling, Mr.
C. T. Simpson,
and to pertinent
articles by vari-
ous authors which
have appeared
from time to time
in various pub-

Bulletin 184, Palms of Florida 53

Fig. 55.-Cycas revoluta.


Fig. 56.-Zamia floridana, left; Zamia pumila, right.

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

Fig. 57.-Coconut palms.

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