Ajuntament de Barcelona

Syagrus romanzoffiana

Mossèn Costa i Llobera Garden

    Spanish name: 
    English name: 
    Queen palm
    Botanical synonyms: 
    Calappa romanzoffiana, Cocos australis, Cocos datil, Cocos romanzoffiana, Cocos plumosa, Cocos geriba, Cocos acrocomioides, Cocos botryophora, Cocos martiana, Calappa datil, Calappa martiana, Calappa plumosa, Cocos arechavaletana, Arecastrum romanzoffianum
    Species characteristics
    Southern Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay and northeastern Argentina
    Humid forests with tall vegetation in tropical and subtropical climates

    Palm tree 10-12 m tall, although it is not unusual that it can reach 25 m, with smooth grey stipe (branchless trunk ending in a leaves bunch), 30-60 cm in diameter at the base, sometimes with widenings at different levels.

    The leaves are alternate pinnate palms, 2-4 m long. They are composed of many lanceolate leaflets up to 1 m long that inserts into the rachis on different rows and groups (that gives the leaf a feathery look).

    The white or yellow monoecious (that is, differentiate by gender) flowers appear into very ramified and long inflorescences (1.5-2 m long), with flower that are masculine or feminine. The inflorescences appear between two leaves and are protected by a woody and stretch marked spathe.

    The fruit is a globose drupe, similar to an olive, 1-2 cm in diameter. It is green when unripe and orangish yellow when ripe and it appears into dense bunches. It has a dense and very fibrous pulp and a single chestnut-brown seed.

    Flowering time: 
    Fruiting time: 
    Late summer-early autumn
    Uses and properties: 

    The fruit of the Queen Palm is used to feed the cattle. Its rapid growth and its resilience to salinity make it a good candidate to replace other palms such as Phoenix Canariensis, since it's resilient to the plague of the Rhynchophorus ferrugineus.

    History and curiosities: 

    Originally, this palm was classified in the Cocos genus, later it was moved to the Arecastrum genus and finally it was allocated to the Syagrus genus, where it is nowadays classified. The species is dedicated to Count Nicholas Romanzoff (1750-1826), Russian statesman, diplomatic and Foreign Secretary, who funded several expeditions.

    For further information: 

    LÓPEZ GONZÁLEZ, Ginés A. Los árboles y arbustos de la Península Ibérica e Islas Baleares. (2 vol.) Madrid: Mundi-Prensa, 2001

    CAÑIZO, José Antonio del. Palmeras. Madrid: Mundi-Prensa, 2002

    THE ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY. Enciclopedia de plantas y flores. Barcelona: Grijalbo, 1996