Roystonea borinquena

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Roystonea (roy-ston-EH-ah)
borinquena (bor-en-Kwehn-ah)
H.P. Leu Gardens, Orlando, FL. 12/2014 "This Roystonea borinquena has started flowering here at Leu Gardens. It was planted in 1990 as a large 1 gal. specimen." Photo by H.P. Lue Gardens Botanist Eric S.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Roystonea (roy-ston-EH-ah)
borinquena (bor-en-Kwehn-ah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Soitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Puerto Rico royal palm. Manacla, palma caruta, palma de cerdos, palma de grana, palma de yagua, palma real, yagua, and many others (Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic; see Dahlgren, 1936); palmiste (Haiti); royal palm (Virgin Islands). (Zona S.)

Habitat and Distribution

Roystonea borinquena is found on Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Leeward Is., Puerto Rico,
H.P. Leu Gardens, Orlando, FL. 12/2014 "This Roystonea borinquena has started flowering here at Leu Gardens. It was planted in 1990 as a large 1 gal. specimen." Photo by H.P. Lue Gardens Botanist Eric S.
at low to middle elevations on soils derived from limestone. This palm is relatively common at the base of limestone hills (mogotes) along Puerto Rico's northern coast. Also from Vieques Is. and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Extremely abundant on Hispaniola in all but the driest regions, up to about 800 m. elevation. (Zona S.)


Trunk gray-brown to cinnamon-brown, to 15 m tall, 26.2-47. cm in diam. Leaves about 15 in the crown, lowest leaves hanging well below the horizontal; crownshaft 1.5-1.7 m long; petiole 30-55 cm long, rachis 3.8-4.5 m long; middle segments 67-125 cm long and 2.5-5.2 cm wide. Inflorescence 1-1.4 m long and 0.7-1.2 m wide; prophyll 43-74 cm long and 10.3-18.5 cm wide; peduncular bract 0.9-1.6 m long, widest at the middle, apex acuminate; rachillae 15-33.5 cm long and 1.4-2.5 mm in diam. Staminate flowers creamy yellow with bright purple anthers; sepals triangular to reniform, 0.7-1.4 mm long and 1.2-2 mm wide; petals elliptical to ovate, 5.3-6.4 mm long and 3-3.7 mm wide; stamens 6-9, 4-7.4 mm long, filaments awl-shaped, 2.9-6 mm long, anthers 2.5-4.3 mm long; pistillode minute. Pistillate flowers creamy yellow, 2-4 per cm; sepals reniform, 1.2-2.4 mm long and 3-4.1 mm wide; petals ovate, 2.4-4.4 mm long; staminode shallowly 6-lobed, 2.3-3.2 mm long, free for 0.9-1.7 mm; gynoecium 1.7-3.3 mm long and 1.5-3.1 mm diam. Fruits spheroid to ellipsoid, 11.6-15 mm long, 9-12.4 mm dorsiventral thickness, and 9.4-13.3 mm wide; epicarp brown to black, stigmatic scar plain; endocarp ellipsoid, 9.1-11.8 mm long, 6.8-8.6 mm dorsiventral thickness, and 7.1-9.1 mm wide; seed dorsiventrally compressed ellipsoid, 7.4-10.1 mm long, 5.3-7 mm dorsiventral thickness, and 5.9-7.8 mm wide; raphe circular. Eophyll linear-lanceolate, 19-23.3 cm long and 1.6-2.2 cm wide, exstipitate, weakly costate. (Zona S.) Editing by edric.


Likes a full sun, well drained position preferably on limestone based soils. Seed is easily germinated and seedlings can take full sun immediately and are very fast growing. Mature trees withstand hurricane force winds, and also transplant very easily. Lots of water, and as much heat as you can throw at them. Unlike most palms, these do not need good drainage and actually prefer a heavy clay soil with plenty of water in it.

Comments and Curiosities

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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