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Accepted Scientific Name: Syagrus romanzoffiana (Cham.) Glassman
Fieldiana, Bot. 31: 382 (1968)
Portici Botanical garden, Napoli (Naples), Italy 26 July 2010. Syagrus romanzoffiana is still known by the commercial growers as Cocos plumosa, but the two plants are not readily distinguishable by any published key because of the infraspecific variability.
Origin and Habitat: Native to Brazil.
- Cocos romanzoffiana var. plumosa (Hook.f.) A.Berger
Syagrus romanzoffiana (Cham.) Glassman
Fieldiana, Bot. 31: 382 (1968)
- Syagrus romanzoffiana (Cham.) Glassman
- Arecastrum romanzoffianum (Cham.) Becc.
- Arecastrum romanzoffianum var. genuinum Becc.
- Calappa romanzoffiana (Cham.) Kuntze
- Cocos romanzoffiana Cham.
- Arecastrum romanzoffianum var. australe (Mart.) Becc.
- Arecastrum romanzoffianum var. ensifolium (Drude) Becc.
- Arecastrum romanzoffianum var. micropindo Becc.
- Arecastrum romanzoffianum subvar. minus Becc.
- Cocos acrocomioides Drude
- Calappa acrocomioides (Drude) Kuntze
- Cocos arechavaletana Barb.Rodr.
- Cocos datil Drude & Griseb.
- Calappa datil (Drude & Griseb.) Kuntze
- Cocos geriba Barb.Rodr.
- Cocos martiana Drude & Glaz.
- Calappa martiana (Drude & Glaz.) Kuntze
- Cocos romanzoffiana var. plumosa (Hook.f.) A.Berger
ENGLISH: Cocos Palm, Romanzoff coco palm, Queen palm
Description: Syagrus romanzoffiana is still known by the commercial growers as Cocos plumosa, but most authors have dismissed Cocos plumosa as perhaps not worthy of even varietal status, suggesting that there is not really a fundamental difference between the two and this description can be applied to all the synonyms of the type species taxa. This South American species is widely planted throughout much of the tropics. Although it is not yet widely established in the flora, seedlings volunteer in natural areas, and mature plants persist after cultivation. Seedlings can be recognized by their broad, undivided juvenile foliage. Cocos plumosa, (Syagrus romanzoffiana), is a medium-sized to large solitaire feather palm, quickly reaching maturity at a height of 7 to 15 metres tall. It is easy to grow and very popular in cultivation, with a smooth slender trunk 30-60 cm wide thick, ringed at intervals of about 30 cm and covered near the summit with a few hanging leaves and remains of the dead petioles.
Leaves: Leaf-blades erect-spreading, 2.7-4.5 m long, somewhat recurving; the leaf-divisions 40-45 cm long, usually not more than 2.5 cm wide, soft and flexible, alike on both surfaces; petioles 90-180 cm long, sheathing the trunk for most of their length.
Flower: In 60-90 cm long clusters, borne among the leaves.
Fruits: Sub-globose, about 2.5 cm long, orange-colored.
For more details see: Syagrus romanzoffiana
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Syagrus romanzoffiana group
- Cocos romanzoffiana var. plumosa (Hook.f.) A.Berger: Same as Syagrus romanzoffiana and the two plants are not readily distinguishable by any published key because of the infraspecific variability.
- Syagrus romanzoffiana (Cham.) Glassman: is a medium-sized to large solitaire palm 7-15 metres tall, with a graceful, open, irregular drooping canopy of soft and fluffy fronds. Distribution: N Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) "Flora of North America: Butomaceae - Haemadoraceaea”, Volume 22 Oxford University Press, 2000
2) Howard McMinn, Evelyn Maino "An Illustrated Manual of Pacific Coast Trees” University of California Press, 1981
3) Michael J. Balick, Hans T. Beck “Useful Palms of the World” Columbia University Press 1990
4) Andrew Henderson “Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas” Princeton University Press, 1997
5) "Syagrus romanzoffiana ." PACSOA Palms and Cycads wiki , <http://www.pacsoa.org.au> Accessed on 28 Aug. 2014
6) Jack Krempin “Palms & Cycads Around the World” Horwitz Grahame, 1990
7) Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft “An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms” Timber Press, Portland 2007
8) Wikipedia contributors. "Syagrus romanzoffiana." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 8 Sep. 2014. Web. 11 Sep. 2014.
9) Palmpedia contributors. "Syagrus romanzoffiana" Palmpedia, PALM ENCYCLOPEDIA, <http://www.palmpedia.net> Downloaded on 26 Aug. 2014
10) L. Cronin “Key Guide to Australian Palms, Ferns and Allies.” pages 38–39. 1989
Cultivation and Propagation: Cocos plumosa, (syn: Syagrus romanzoffiana), is a very popular palm used in landscape around the world in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions due to its imposing attractiveness and hardiness. It is easy to grow in a wide variety of conditions. Both drought and frost resistant. This is the most extensively cultivated palm along streets, highways, and in parks and gardens in southern California. Very desirable because of its erect-spreading crown of long feathery green leaves. Does not endure heavy frosts.
Soil: It is most suited for acidic, well-drained soils comprising clay; loam; sand and shows severe mineral deficiencies on alkaline soil.
Fertilization: Need a perfect fertilizer diet including all micro nutrients and trace elements or a slow release fertilizer applied in spring and summer, or according to package directions. Micronutrient deficiencies are a serious problem on soil with a high pH. This disfigures the palm by stunting the young leaves and can kill it. To prevent this problems the palm requires regular preventive applications of manganese and/or iron to help keep the fronds green. If it doesn't get enough Potassium (K), the older leaves in well-drained soils take on a necrotic spotting. Necrosis of the leaflet margins, followed by leaflet tip necrosis will also become apparent.
Water Requirements: It tolerates low levels of humidity and summer drought, though it prefers evenly moist but not consistently wet medium.. When supplied with adequate moisture and fertilizer it is also fairly fast growing. This palm is very drought tolerant once established. It dislikes soggy soils. Water young plants for healthy look and fastest growth.
Light: Can take full sun from an early age, but it also does well in part shade with some direct sunlight when young.
Aerosol salt tolerance: It is slightly salt-tolerant and may be grown near the sea protected by dunes or building.
Wind resistance: It endures drying winds.
Hardiness: These palms are some of the hardier palms, tolerating light frosts for short periods, although it will require some protection if cold periods are longer than normal. ( USDA hardiness zones: 9B through 11)
Roots: Surface roots are usually not a problem.
Maintenance: The dead fronds are persistent and often require pruning to remove. As the old fronds die, these should be trimmed off and the leaf bases allowed to dry out, but is susceptible to Fusariam Wilt, a fungal disease that is spread by pruning with 'infected' shears/pruners. All those pruning multiple palms are urged to clean the instruments with bleach or something that kills the fungus. Fruit, twigs, or foliage cause significant litter, persistent at the base of the tree.
Uses: It is used in gardening and landscaping in many parts of the world though in sheltered areas it will survive short periods below freezing point. It is not suited to small gardens, due to its eventual large size, The huge bulk of Syagrus romanzoffiana dwarfs most houses. This palm is very good for adding a tropical feel and widely used along boulevards, on campuses, lawns and in parks and grouped in trios to form focal points in cityscapes. It is recommended for buffer strips around parking lots or for median strip plantings in the highway. Seedlings are quite slow, but speed up considerably once they start to trunk. Small specimens are inexpensive and readily available and look great in pots on the patio, near the pool, or in pairs flanking entryways. And thanks to its drought resistance and durability to heat it can thrive in harsh urban conditions. It is not a good indoor palm and gets "top heavy" as a container plant
Pest and disease: Long-term health usually it is not affected by pests even if scale my be a problems. Ganoderma butt rot caused by Ganoderma applanatum (formerly Fomes applanatus) can kill Queen Palm. There is no control for butt rot, only prevention. This palm is not affected by lethal yellowing disease.
Propagation: It is exclusively propagated by seed. Seed is very easy to germinate, and small seedlings carpet the ground under mature specimens.
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