Acrocomia armentalis (Morales) L.H.Bailey & E.Z.Bailey
Astrocaryum crispum (Kunth) M.Gómez
Cocos crispa Kunth
Gastrococos armentalis Morales
Gastrococos crispa (Kunth) H.E.Moore
Common Name: Corojo
Acrocomia crispa is a solitary-stemmed, evergreen palm tree with a very spiny, unbranched main stem around 8 - 18 metres tall and 25 - 35cm in diameter. The stem is topped by a crown of 10 - 15 very spiny leaves[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. String made from it is sold in local markets[
Considering that the genus Cocos where Kunth placed this palm, has many species of crisp leaves, and that on the other hand this specific name could also be suitable for any other species that may be incorporated into this genus from now on, since Kunth's description is so defective that in reality it should not be assigned to the Corojo, nor have we decided to substitute that of armentalis to any of the Cuban palms that we know today, which, without making a mistake with any other, also expresses the utilitarian property of this precious palm; because it is already known that armentalis, in Latin, indicates what belongs to cattle.
Caribbean - Cuba
Found through most of Cuba, but preferring flat and arid lands on calcareous soils, sometimes occupying large areas and also persisting in fields and other disturbed areas; at low elevations[
The plant will often commence flowering and fruiting when around 6 - 8 years old, though it can take up to 18 years[
Plants will often flower and fruit twice a year in their native environment[
Each fructescence may contain about 2,000 - 3,000 globose orange fruits each around 25 - 27mm in diameter[
]. The fruits contain a delicate, edible albumin that can barely supply a drop of oil[
The flavour of the fresh seed is somewhat similar to that of the Coconut; but it does not possess purgative properties[
Wine and brandy produced from the fruit is said to have medicinal properties, including treating some forms of asthma[
The rachis of the leaves contains strong and elastic fibres that are used to make ropes and string. This rope is highly resistant and durable[1889.
The sharp spines that are found all over the plant are traditionally used as toothpicks and hair pins[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in individual containers. A low germination rate can usually be expected, with the seed taking more than a year to sprout[
]. Some people scarify the seed and then soak it in water for as long as several weeks in order to get it to germinate[
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