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Member of :

GWAA

The Garden Writers Association


Last Update 08/28/10

Plant of the Month

Syagrus romanzoffiana

 Queen Palm or Cocos plumosa

See also: Hurricane Resistant Trees for Your Landscape

The standard urban palm throughout south Florida is the Queen Palm.  Of the tribe Cocoeae, and subfamily Arecoideae it is also known as Cocos plumosa. It grows quickly, is bothered by few pests or diseases and is graceful in appearance.  Queen palms are native from Southern Brazil to Argentina.

A very healthy Queen Palm
A very healthy Queen palm.

 

 

Queen palms grow very TALL. I need a pole saw and a ladder to prune her. Click image to enlarge.

Queen palms grow very TALL. I need a pole saw and a ladder to prune this one. Click image to enlarge.

Dangerous during hurricanes, a shallow root system makes them prone to blowing over in high winds. Click image to enlarge.

Plant Facts:

Common Name:  Queen Palm or Cocos plumosa

Botanical Name:  Syagrus romanzoffiana

Family:  Cocoeae

Plant Type:  Palm

Origin: Southern Brazil to Argentina

Zones: 10-11

Height:  50' or more

Rate of Growth: Medium to fast

Salt Tolerance: Medium

Soil Requirements:  Slightly acid, well-drained

Water Requirements: Moderately drought tolerant

Nutritional Requirements: High, subject to manganese and potassium deficiency

Light Requirements: Full sun

Form:  Solitary palm, canopy of 15 leaves

Leaves:  Pinnately compound, reduplicate, arching; with several hundred many ranked, drooping leaflets in groups of 2-7.  Color -- Dark Green.  10-15' long; leaflets 3' long, 1.75" wide.

Inflorescence: 4-8' long, with conspicuous bract, borne from among the leaves, branched densely, the branches pendulous.

Fruits: Yellow to orange, produced in copious quantities

Pests or diseases:  Ganoderma, phytophthora bud rot

Uses:  Specimen tree

Bad Habits: Fruit is messy. Weak-roots combined with a prodigious sail-like canopy makes it prone to topple in strong winds. Frizzletop a serious problem if not feed regularly especially on alkaline soils. Pollen hazard. Very quick growing, tall palm hard to prune. You will graduate from pole saw to ladder and pole saw to cherry picker in a few years.

Cost:  $$ -- reasonable

Propagation:   Seed, germinates in 3-6 months

Sources:   AMERICAN HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY A-Z ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GARDEN PLANTS, Betrocks Guide to Landscape Palms

 
 

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