Roystonea regia

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Roystonea (roy-ston-EH-ah)
regia (reh-JEE-ah)
Roystonea elata 7.jpg
Growing in habitat at the Fakahatchee Strand in the Everglades.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Roystonea (roy-ston-EH-ah)
regia (reh-JEE-ah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Florida royal palm, royal palm (U.S.A.), palma criolla, palma real, palma de seda (Cuba), waa (Panama), yagua, palma macho, Cuban royal palm, Royal palm (in cultivation).

Habitat and Distribution

Roystonea regia is found in; Bahamas, Belize, Cayman Is., Cuba, Florida, Honduras, Mexico Gulf,
"Roystonea regia" At my brothers house. Via Benevento, On the Island of Venezia, New Smyrna Beach, Florida. edric.
Mexico Southeast, Panamá (World Checklist of Monocotyledons) Abundantly distributed throughout the hillsides and valleys of Cuba and the hammocks of the Everglades in Collier, Dade, and Monroe Counties, Florida, U.S.A. Also present in the Yucatan Peninsula and Gulf Coastal Mexico, Belize, and Honduras. Indigenous populations also exist in the Cayman Islands. This species appears to be the palm found by Gillis et a1. (1975), in the Bahamas. This taxon is very commonly cultivated throughout the tropics and subtropics and apparently naturalizes with ease. (Zona S.)/Palmweb.


Trunk gray-white, to 20(-30) m tall, 37-57.5 cm in diam. Leaves about 15 in the crown, lowest leaves hanging below the horizontal; crownshaft about 2 m long; rachis about 4 m long; middle segments 63- 119 cm long and 2.5-4.6 cm wide. Inflorescence about 1 m long and 1 m wide; prophyll about 36 cm long and 7.3 cm wide; peduncular bract 0.8-1 .6 m long and 9.8-13 cm wide, widest at the middle, apex acuminate; rachillae 11-31 cm long and 0.9-2.3 mm in diam. Staminate flowers white; sepals triangular, 0.8-1.4 mm long and 0.9-2 mm wide; petals elliptical 10 ovate, 3.5-6.4 mm long and 2.2-3.5 mm wide; stamens 6-9, 3.2-7.5 mm long; filaments awl-shaped, 2.3-5.6 mm long; anthers 2.4-4.5 mm long; pistillode minute. Pistillate flowers white,2-4.5 per cm; sepals reniform, 0.7-1 .8 mm long and 1.8-3.4 mm wide; petals ovate, 2.7-3.7 mm long mm; gynoecium 1.1-3.5 mm long and 0.9-2.6 mm in diam. Fruits spheroid to ellipsoid, somewhat dorsiventrally compressed, 8.9-15.1 mm long, 6.9-11.2 mm dorsiventral thickness, and 7-10.9 mm wide; epicarp purplish black, stigmatic scar plain; endocarp ellipsoid, 7.5-11.1 mm long, 6-7.7 mm dorsi ventral thickness, and 5.8-7.9 mm wide; seed ellipsoid, somewhat dorsiventrally compressed, 5.5-9.7 mm long, 4-6.3 mm dorsiventral thickness, and 5.1-7.2 mm wide; raphe circular. Eophyll linear-lanceolate, 13.5-19 cm long and 1.3-1.5 cm wide, exstipitate, weakly costate. n = 18 (Sharma & Sarkar, 1957). (Zona S.)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.


"We have some FL royals grown from wild collected seed. They don't show any less or more hardiness than R. regia. In fact several Roystonea we are growing have had the same hardiness; borinquena, "eleata", regia, princeps and violacea. R. oleracea is more tender." (Eric S., botanist; H.P. Leu Gardens, Orlando, FL.)

"If you have trouble keeping it green, water it more, and give it fertilizer with a lot of manganese potassium and definatley nitrogen. These palms love it, and unfortunatley, southern California does not really have the right soil for it, but there are great specimens there as you can see." (Kyle Wicomb)

The Royal Palms are not particular about soil. Light: High light requirements. Likes bright sunny conditions. Moisture: Royals like water and look their best when given adequate amounts. At home in cypress swamps, the Florida Royal Palm tolerates occasional flooding. Cold Hardiness Zone:9b. Well establihed survives 25 degrees F. -5 degrees C.

PFC for PP.png

Comments and Curiosities

Uses: It is used in Cuba for timber, thatch, and hog feed. It is very popular as a cultivated ornamental. (Zona S.)/Palmweb.

In Peru the leaf is used in preparing a decoction, for Medicinal and Veterinary purposes, in treating the Nervous system and mental health, and also as a aid to treat the Digestive system.

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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