Syagrus romanzoffiana

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Syagrus (sih-AHG-ruhs)
Largo, FL. Photo by Erik
Scientific Classification
Genus: Syagrus (sih-AHG-ruhs)
Cocos plumosa, Arecastrum romanzoffianum
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Height: 50 ft-75/20m
Trunk diameter: Variable 6-20 in.
Survivability index
Common names
Queen palm or Cocos plumosa, Cerus peruvianus, Jerivá.

Habitat and distribution

Syagrus romanzoffiana is Native to the South American woodlands of, Argentina
Germinated in 1993, edric, Oak Hill, Florida.
Northeast, Bolivia, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, Paraguay, and Uruguay, but is now prevalent, in many other sub-tropical locations.


The Queen Palm is a medium-sized palm, generally reaching 10-15 meters, (30-50 feet) in height. It has a variable trunk, that can range from 6 inches to 20 inches. Fruit is bright orange, 1 inch oval "dates" hang in impressive 6' bunches creating a colorful show. The party's over though, when they fall to the ground creating sticky piles of rotting fruit, that attract disagreeable insects. On the up side, volunteer seedling palms often grow from the mess if undistubed!


Queen palm is tolerant but prefers enriched sandy soils. Fertilize twice a year in spring and summer with a fertilizer that contains micronutrients, especially manganese. A deficiency of this micronutrient results in a condition called "frizzle top" which causes leaves to look frayed and torn. This condition can be corrected by spreading between 1 to 3 pounds of manganese sulphate beneath the palm (amount depends on the size of the tree). Light: Full sun is best but will do better in the blazing hot sun in places like Florida with some shade. Moisture: It will withstand some drought but keep watered for best looks and fastest growth. Hardiness: USDA Zones 9-11. Cold damage appears at 25°F, the plant freezes and dies at about 20° F. Although subtropical in nature, the Queen palm has been grown worldwide due to its cold tolerance. It can survive to -8 degrees Celsius (17 degrees Fahrenheit). Because of this, it has become very invasive worldwide, now often treated as a weed, in many countries including Australia.

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Comments and Curiosities

This is a palm with an identity crisis! A few decades ago the queen palm was assigned the name Cocos plumosa. During the late sixties and seventies most experts began referring to it as Arecastrum romanzoffianum. Now this queen has been placed in the genus Syagrus, the species name became romanzoffiana - hopefully Syagrus romanzoffiana will stick! The Queen palm is mostly found in Subtropical areas. It was once very popular as a garden tree; but in areas like Southern California where the climate is considerably dryer, it has since been taken over by other palms, such as Archontophoenix cunninghamiana, and other Archontophoenix as well, it is still the dominate pinnate palm, in places like Central Florida, where it thrives on the humidity, and tolerates the occasional 25 degree F. nights. Its fruit is edible to wildlife, often being sought after by birds. It was originally classified in the Coconut or Cocos genus, was moved to Arecastrum, then Syagrus. As a result of this, they often retain a previous name in retail trade. Usually called the "Cocos plumosa palm".

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

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

Special thanks to, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos, edric.
Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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