Syagrus glaucescens

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Syagrus (see-AHG-ruhs)
glaucescens (glaw-SEHS-sens)
Carambeí-second tableland of the state of Paraná-south Brazil. Photo by Alberto Leonardo Barkema.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Syagrus (see-AHG-ruhs)
glaucescens (glaw-SEHS-sens)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Blue Rock Coconut Palm.

Habitat and Distribution

Syagrus glaucescens is found in Brazil Southeast. Endemic and threatened
Minas Gerais, Brazil. 12/2008. Photo by Dr. Kelen Soares.
palm from the rupestrian field of the Espinhaço Range, Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil. Scrubby, rocky areas in the mountains.


A very small palm, for a Syagrus, it has a slender, solitary trunk, with very close rings, which has stiff, glaucous, slightly plumose, upwards pointing leaves that grow in five ranks. Editing by edric.


Sunny, well drained position. Frost and drought tolerant. Good in fairly warm temperate climates.

Comments and Curiosities

Conservation: IUCN Red List - Vulnerable. A small palm tree of cerrado and campo rupestre on rocky outcrops. Confined to Serra da Diamantina of Minas Gerais. Population numbers are declining at an alarming rate. Only a few small trees remain and mature individuals are almost completely absent from certain rocky areas. There is evidence that adult palms have been collected, possibly transplanted into cultivation. (Noblick, L. 1998. Syagrus glaucescens. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 1998)

"This is the most peculiar of all the Syagrus as it looks nothing like one. It is a very small, extremely slow growing plant (even in its native Brazil) and very old plants reach maybe 4-5' tall and have hundreds or extremely closely spaced leaf scars. The leaflets are also unique in that they are very short and rounded at the ends, in alternate planes (plumose) and very stiff... looks a lot like a cycad. Here in So Cal I have managed to keep one growing in zone 9b, but really it should be a 10a zone plant or warmer. It lives in very harsh, but not too cold, environment in drier areas of Brazil. A well grown plant is a beautiful, but small, lanscape specimen." (Geoff Stein)

"In Minas Gerais at the Cadeia do Espinhaço there grows: a) S.mendanhensis ( subterranean single trunk,so it´s not this one) , Syagrus graminifolia (also grows in Minas Gerais generally at altitudes above 500 m, ONE subterranean trunk)Syagrus petraea grows in Minas Gerais on rocky places at 1000m altitude and SOMETIMES CESPITOUS...Syagrus pleioclada also grows at the Cadeia de Espinhaço in Minas Gerais, GENERALLY one subterranean trunk." (Alberto Leonardo Barkema)

One of the toughest in the genus, S. glaucescens is native to a small region of high altitude rocky landscape in Minas Gerais, eastern Brazil. It forms a slender trunk with a distinctly five-ranked appearance and a neat crown of rigid, slightly plumose but stiffly upward pointing, glaucous leaves. In cultivation it is one of the rarest Syagrus. It will do well in a sunny spot in a warm temperate or cool tropical climate and can handle moderate freezes without any damage. (

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).

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

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