Roystonea lenis

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Roystonea (roy-ston-EH-ah)
lenis (LEHN-iss)
Roystonea lenis flowers.jpg
Cuba. Photo by Paul Craft.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Roystonea (roy-ston-EH-ah)
lenis (LEHN-iss)
Roystonea regia var. pinguis
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Palma conga, palma de seda, palma india.

Habitat and Distribution

Roystonea lenis is restricted to the province of Guantánamo, eastern Cuba, at 350-420 m.
Cuba. Photo by Paul Craft.
altitude, but apparently not as narrowly distributed as other eastern Cuban Roystonea (Zona, 1991). This early pioneer palm tree occurs in lowland open forest and anthropic landscapes between 350 and 420 m. Confined to Guantánamo province.


"Roystonea lenis, is a palm tree which could grow upto the height of 18- 25 mtrs of height. The trunk is commonly of grey in color, and 40-50 centimeters across. The crown is circular in appearance, with a prominent Crownshaft, whose size may vary from 6 ft. long or more. The crown holds about 16 – 20 fronds."

Roystonea lenis is a large palm which reaches heights of 20 metres (66 ft). Stems are grey-white and are usually 35–47 centimetres (14–19 in) in diameter. The upper portion of the stem is encircled by leaf sheaths, forming a green portion known as the crownshaft which is normally 2 m (6.6 ft) long. Individuals have about 15 leaves with 0.2–0.7 cm (0.079–0.276 in) petioles and 4–5.8-metre (13–19 ft) rachises; the leaves hang well horizontal. The 1 m (3.3 ft) inflorescences bear white male and female flowers. Fruit are 11.3–14 millimetres (0.44–0.55 in) long and 8.8–11.1 mm (0.35–0.44 in) wide, and black when ripe. (Zona S.)/Palmweb.

Trunk gray-white, to 20 m. tall, 35-47 cm. in diam. and often ventricose. Leaves about 15, lowest leaves hanging well below the horizontal; crownshaft about 2 m. long; petiole 0.2-0.7 m. long; rachis 4-5.8 m. long; middle segments 87-132 cm. long and 2.5-4.5 cm. wide. Inflorescence about 1 m. long and 1 m. wide; prophyll not seen; peduncular bract about 1.8 m. long, widest at the middle, apex acuminate; rachillae puberulent, 14-31 cm. long and 1-2.8 10 m. in diam. Staminate flowers white; sepals reniform with acute apices, 0.7-1.5 mm. long and 1.5-2.1 mm. wide; petals ovate. 4.7-6.4 mm. long and 2.9-4.2 mm. wide; stamens 6(-10), 4.7-7.2 mm. long, filaments awlshaped, 4-5.4 mm. long, anthers 2.7-4.5 mm. long, pistillode minute. Pistillate flowers white, 2-3 per cm.; sepals reniform, 1.2-1.9 mm. long and 3-4.8 mm. wide; petals ovate, 2.9-3.6 mm. long; staminode 6- lobed, 2.2-2.9 mm. long, free for 0.7-1.2 mm.; gynoecium 1.9-3.7 mm. long, and 1.2-2.5 mm. in diam. Fruits ellipsoid, 11.3-14 mm. long, 9.2-11.2 mm. dorsiventral thickness, and 8.8-11.1 mm. wide; epicarp black, stigmatic scar plain; endocarp spheroid to ellipsoid, hard and durable, 9.1-12.2 mm. long, 7-9.2 mm. dorsiventral thickness, and 7.4-8.6 mm. wide; seed dorsiventrally compressed spheroid, 7.9-9.9 mm. long, 5.6-6.7 mm. dorsiventral thickness, and 6.6-7.7 mm. wide; raphe circular. Eophyll linear-lanceolate, weakly stipitate or exstipitate, costate. (Zona S.)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.


Much the same as other Royals.


Uses: Trunks are used for timber; leaves and leafbases are used for thatch and wrapping material. Fruits are used as hog feed.

This species is difficult to distinguish from the common R. regia.

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to, 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).

Zona S.Roystonea.(Arecaceae: Arecoideae).

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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