| Syagrus (see-AHG-ruhs) |
West Palm Beach, FL. Photo by Paul Craft.
Habitat and DistributionSyagrus botryophora is found in Brazil Northeast,
Syagrus botryophora has a fairly thin trunk, and the numerous fronds are gracefully arranged. Unfortunately, this palm, though now not uncommon in its native habitat, may someday face extinction due to the destruction of the forest in which it grows, as the forest canopy on which young plants depend for cover has almost been completely eradicated. Very similar in appearance to S. romanzoffiana, although a more slender palm; a slightly more robust crown, to about 18m tall. S. botryophora has recurved leaves, in which the leaflets are rigid, ascending, forming a V shape. They are regularly arranged and spread in one plane, unlike the plumose S. romanzoffiana. Editing by edric.
This species has done well in the warmer areas of Florida's 9b climate. It is cold sensitive but worth a try if low temps don't go too far below freezing. A very fast grower. In Florida this palm grows at twice the rate of S. romanzoffiana.
Comments and Curiosities
"Wonderful Syagrus with thin trunk, fast growth (relatively), and mod length, arching leaves with fine, slightly sparsely spaced leaflets on a flat plane (not plumose like most Syagrus). Also seems to retain several ranks of leaves along trunk. Trunk covered with an ornamental neat weave of fiber. Seedlings have long strap leaves and take years to develop their first split leaves. This has been a good palm for me, though a bit marginal in zone 9b (gets damaged by frosts). Relatively new in cultivation. Experience in Florida has shown it to be a very fast grower there, but also easily blown over in high winds." Tarzana, CA (Zone 9b) (Geoff Stein)
"Seeds germinate faster if the endocarp, or outer shell, is cracked in a vice. Some species seeds are easily damaged by this technique but the endocarp on Syagrus botryophora is so thick and hard that it just "pops" and releases the seed inside. Be sterile in handling and sowing when using this technique. I recommend perlite to sow in." "It really was a wobbler for the first two years. I uprighted it after being almost completely leveled during Winter of '09-'10 and staked it up. It grew really tall last year and I got tired of walking around the stake, so I took it out and vowed to just leave it laying if it blew over again, thinking that I might get a funky freak of nature curved palm trunk. Well, even though going into last Winter it was still wobbly, at some point it just ablsolutely locked in. The trunk base flared with a flush of tons of adventitious roots, probably from the Winter rain, and that helped it stay upright in the winds. It helped that we only had about 45 MPH winds last year and not that 60-70 MPH gusts that we had in that one freak storm 2 years ago." 9/2011. Lemon Grove, CA (Zone 10a) (Matty Bradford)
This species definitely has a propensity to blow over when they get tall. My guess is that it is an emergent rainforest species that relies on surrounding trees to keep it upright. A few years ago this species held great promise here in Florida, but with our frequent windstorms and occasional hurricanes, it is not so sought-after around here these days. (Jody Haynes)
I agree, the name conjures up images of botulism or some other disease, but botanically speaking, the name is very accurate. If you look at a picture of a fruiting syagrus Botryophora, you'll understand the name. Botryophora is derived from the Greek botrys, which means "to cluster" or "bunch of grapes" and phoreo, which means "bearing". It does indeed bear grape-like clusters of fruit. Use the term patioba, or pati queen, that's what a lot of people call it, much more descriptive. (Dr. Axel Kratel)
New palm from Brazil, which we think is one of the most promising introductions to cultivation, now commercially available for the first time ever. Syagrus botryophora grows a fairly slender, smooth, gray trunk to 18 m (60 ft) tall. The shapely crown consists of up to 15 long, very elegantly arching, pinnate leaves, each carrying up to 150 stiff, ascending leaflets per side, giving the leaf a distinct V-shape in cross section. The Pati Queen Palm is native to coastal eastern Brazil where it grows in forest. It has been sufficiently tested in cultivation over recent years and its countless virtues include fast growth, easy transplantability, adaptability to a wide range of climates from warm temperate to tropical, good cold tolerance for Zone 10 and higher, adaptability to coastal conditions, and easy germination (for a Syagrus). We feel that this palm has a great future in cultivation and could be used in a similar fashion to S. romanzoffiana; its ornamental qualities, however, are far more superior. Syagrus botryophora is still a very rare palm, in cultivation even more so than in its native Brazil. (RPS.com)
- Glossary of Palm Terms
- MODERN BOTANICAL LATIN
- "Just To Be Clear"
Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.
Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.
Special thanks to Palmweb.org, 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.