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Useful Tropical Plants

Roystonea oleracea

(Jacq.) O.F.Cook.

Arecaceae

+ Synonyms

Areca oleracea Jacq.

Gorgasia oleracea (Jacq.) O.F.Cook

Kentia oleracea (Jacq.) Seem. ex H.Wendl.

Oreodoxa oleracea (Jacq.) Mart.

Common Name: Caribbean Royal Palm

Roystonea oleracea
Plants growing in native habitat
Photograph by: scott.zona
Creative Commons License
Roystonea oleracea Roystonea oleracea Roystonea oleracea

General Information

Caribbean Royal palm is a tall, evergreen, single-stemmed palm tree able to grow from 18 - 40 metres tall. The unbranched stem can be 46 - 66cm in diameter; it is topped by a crown of 16 - 22 leaves[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
768
Title
Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas
Publication
 
Author
Henderson A.; Galeano G.; Bernal R.
Publisher
Princeton University Press; Princeton, New Jersey.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-691-08537-4
Description
An excellent book, giving basic information on all the 550 species of palms native to the Americas that were known in 1995. Comprehensive information on the plants range and habitat, brief description, some uses and almost 250 photos.
].
The apical bud is sometimes eaten as a vegetable, even though this leads to the death of the tree. The plant is widely grown as an ornamental and street tree in tropical areas[
302
Title
Tropical Ornamentals; A Guide
Publication
 
Author
Whistler. W. Arthur.
Publisher
Timber Press Inc. Oregon.
Year
2000
ISBN
0-88192-448-2
Description
An excellent little guide to some of the more commonly cultivated ornamental plants of the Tropics, often giving some information on the plants other uses.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

Northern S. America - Colombia and Venezuela to the Caribbean.

Habitat

Lowland areas, often in patches of rainforest, in swampy places often in brackish water[
297
Title
Palms of the World
Publication
 
Author
Blombery. A. & Rodd. T.
Publisher
Angus and Robertson
Year
1992
ISBN
0-207-14848-1
Description
An excellent guide, well illustrated, with information on cultivation, uses, habitat etc of almost 200 species of Palms.
]. Also found in gallery forests in savannah areas that are liable to seasonal inundation, at elevations up to 1,600 metres[
768
Title
Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas
Publication
 
Author
Henderson A.; Galeano G.; Bernal R.
Publisher
Princeton University Press; Princeton, New Jersey.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-691-08537-4
Description
An excellent book, giving basic information on all the 550 species of palms native to the Americas that were known in 1995. Comprehensive information on the plants range and habitat, brief description, some uses and almost 250 photos.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height25.00 m
Growth RateMedium
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the lowland tropics, it is also grown in the subtropics[
362
Title
Dominica Botanic Gardens
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.da-academy.org/trees_shrubs.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line resource, providing top quality pictures and some basic information on various plants being grown at the Botanic Gardens, often including uses and habitat.
]. Plants are best suited to areas of the tropics with high rainfall[
297
Title
Palms of the World
Publication
 
Author
Blombery. A. & Rodd. T.
Publisher
Angus and Robertson
Year
1992
ISBN
0-207-14848-1
Description
An excellent guide, well illustrated, with information on cultivation, uses, habitat etc of almost 200 species of Palms.
].
Prefers a moist, well-drained soil in a sunny position[
302
Title
Tropical Ornamentals; A Guide
Publication
 
Author
Whistler. W. Arthur.
Publisher
Timber Press Inc. Oregon.
Year
2000
ISBN
0-88192-448-2
Description
An excellent little guide to some of the more commonly cultivated ornamental plants of the Tropics, often giving some information on the plants other uses.
]. Plants are tolerant of wet soils[
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
].

Edible Uses

The apical growth bud is cooked and eaten like a cabbage[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
302
Title
Tropical Ornamentals; A Guide
Publication
 
Author
Whistler. W. Arthur.
Publisher
Timber Press Inc. Oregon.
Year
2000
ISBN
0-88192-448-2
Description
An excellent little guide to some of the more commonly cultivated ornamental plants of the Tropics, often giving some information on the plants other uses.
,
763
Title
Heart of Palm Use: A Family Survey
Publication
 
Author
Scott Zona, Ph.D.
Website
http://www.virtualherbarium.org/palmresearch/Hearts_of_Palm_table.html
Publisher
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Virtual Herbarium.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line article listing the botanical names and range of palm trees that have an edible apical bud.
]. A delicate flavour[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. This palm is unable to produce side shoots and so harvesting the apical shoot will lead to the eventual death of the plant since no more new growth can be made[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

An edible starch is obtained from the pith of the stem[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The hard wood has been used to make musical instruments[
362
Title
Dominica Botanic Gardens
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.da-academy.org/trees_shrubs.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line resource, providing top quality pictures and some basic information on various plants being grown at the Botanic Gardens, often including uses and habitat.
].

Propagation

Seed - The seed takes about 2 months to germinate[
297
Title
Palms of the World
Publication
 
Author
Blombery. A. & Rodd. T.
Publisher
Angus and Robertson
Year
1992
ISBN
0-207-14848-1
Description
An excellent guide, well illustrated, with information on cultivation, uses, habitat etc of almost 200 species of Palms.
].

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