| Copernicia (koh-pehr-nee-SEE-ah) |
Photo-Hawaii Horticulture, see external link.
Habitat and DistributionCopernicia rigida is endemic to eastern, and west-central Cuba, The typical gray form,
C. rigida is a Cuban endemic that has a disjunct distribution. The typical gray form is from the savannasof Western/Central Cuba, but faraway populations occur in Eastern Cuba, in the mining areas of toxic metal soils between Moa and Baracoa. (Carlo Morici)
An extremely distinctive and unusual, medium sized Copernicia, which has steep, wedge-shaped, circular leaves with sharp spikes that funnel into its center, giving it a very noticeable "shuttlecock" appearance, or a dense crown of stiffly erect, wedge-shaped leaves that stands out as an upward burst of green, and grey, from the surrounding vegetation. Old leaves persist on the trunk for a while, and form a brown skirt below the crown. Editing by edric.
The jata palm prefers full sun and is not particular as to soil but does prefer a well-drained situation. The seeds germinate readily in less than three months. Unbelievably slow growing. The Jata Palm is best suited for the dry tropics.
Comments and Curiosities
Some botanists are raising the possibility that C. rigida is carnivorous. Its leaves form a very effective trap for small animals, which die and rot there, providing nutrients for the plant. This possibly evolved after the last ice-age, when C. rigida's habitat was a desert.
A truly stunning and unusual, medium sized palm from savannas in Cuba that sports a straight, gray trunk with a dense crown of stiffly erect, wedge-shaped leaves that stands out as an upward burst of green and grey from the surrounding vegetation. Old leaves persist on the trunk for a while and form a brown skirt below the crown. The Jata Palm is best suited for the dry tropics. (RPS.com).
Here are some pictures of Copernicia rigida, just west of Moa in Cuba. Here they grow on serpentine soil, and because of that they have more glaucous leaves. Moa is well known for the nickelmine, wich you can see in the distance from where the Copernicia rigida grow. The one in this photo is a possible hybrid, photo by Alexander Nijman.
- Glossary of Palm Terms
- MODERN BOTANICAL LATIN
- "Just To Be Clear"
- 'Eastern form'
- 'West-central form'
- Hawaii Horticulture
Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.
Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.
Special thanks to Palmweb.org, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.
Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).
Special thanks to Carlo Morici, (see external link), for his work on C. rigida.
Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.