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Origin and Habitat: Endemic to eastern and central Cuba (and Hispaniola?).
Habitat: It grows in poor soil and under dry conditions in open forests, savannah and woodland areas of Cuba where several other members of the genus Copernicia including the Cuban wax palm (like Copernicia hospita and Copernicia macroglossa) also occur.
- Copernicia baileyana León
Copernicia baileyana León
Revista Soc. Geogr. Cuba 4: 22 (1931)
- Copernicia baileyana León
- Copernicia baileyana f. bifida León
- Copernicia baileyana var. laciniosa León
ENGLISH: Bailey copernicia, Yarey palm, Bailey's palm
CHINESE (中文): Bei li la zong
FRENCH (Français): Copernice de Bailey
SPANISH (Español): Yarey hembra (Cuba), Yarey
Description: Copernicia baileyana is a stately single-trunk fan palm. It is very showy as a small palm and outstanding when it has reached maturity with a gigantic swollen tunk, leaf bases, and fan-shaped fronds as big as sails. Its stems are stout and edged in black, razor-sharp teeth. It is considered one of the most "majestic" of all palms. Even young Bailey palms are considered highly desirable due to their very large, curving fan leaves. These leaves make impressive patterns of shadows and filtered light. When the wind blows through its leaves, it sounds as if sailboats are tacking into the wind.
Stem (trunk): Solitary, massive, 10 to 20 m tall, 40 to 60 cm in diameter and sometimes swollen, "Coke® bottle-like", greysh-white columnar looking like concrete.
Crown: Huge, truly architectural and symmetrical in form with dense and numerous fan shaped leaves that curve upward and every frond that emerges gets more character with its increasing size and overall mass!
Leaves: 150 cm in diameter and nearly a perfect circle with many evenly spaced, stiff leaflets. Leaflets are dark green with a thin waxy coating. It produces only two or three per growing season, but each one more beautiful than the last! It has one of the most beautiful leaves in the palm world. As a seedling it's a bit less impressive, but has very stiff, leathery leaves with attractive black teeth along the petioles.
Fruit: Dark brown to almost black, 1,8 to 2,5 cm long and 1,8 to 2 cm in diameter.
Bibliography: Major references
1) Don Ellison, Anthony Ellison “Cultivated Palms Of The World” UNSW Press, 01/mag/2001
2) Janis Frawley-Holler, Darrel Holler “Key West Gardens and Their Stories” Pineapple Press Inc, 01/ott/2000 Page 71
3) Henderson, Andrew; Gloria Galeano; Rodrigo Bernal (1995). “Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas.” Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-08537-4.
Cultivation and Propagation: Relatively rare in cultivation it is an easy to grow palm that enjoys sun, heat and dry conditions, The root system of this species is very sensitive and good sized specimen is extremely difficult to successfully dig and transplant to another location.
Growing rate: Very slow growing when young, however s bit more rapid past the juvenile stage, and speed up when they start to trunk. It usually takes decades to get mature and is a palm that will outlive its "parent" who plants it, but it responds exceptionally well to fertilization and moist, well drained soil. Once planted, the "Bailey Palm" spends much of it's time producing a very deep rootsystem for the first few years. Once adequately rooted in, it begins to grow more rapidly.
Soil: It likes deep sandy soil, but is adaptable to different soil type. Good drainage is also important. Prefers alkaline to neutral soils. If you plan on growing yours in a container for a while, use the deepest pot you can find. The last thing you want to do with this slow growing palm, is to slow it down further by impeding proper root development.
Fertilization: Need a perfect fertilizer diet twice a year during growing season including all micro nutrients and trace elements or slow release fertilizer, but particularly it is needs plentiful of magnesium. If it doesn't get enough magnesium, the leaves take on a rather unhealthy yellow colour.
Watering: It thrives in fairly dry and hot climates, but performs much better in humid, rainy climates and proved to tolerate a wide variety of conditions. In areas where summer rain is prevalent, it seems to put on rapid growth with this ample water, but it does not want to sit in continually wet, mucky soil. Very drought tolerant when mature enough. Can tolerate short term flooding.
Light: It should be planted to maximise Summer heat & sunshine exposure but will tolerate half day sun. .
Hardiness: USDA zones, (9B)10-11. Some cold tolerance. This palm can tolerate close to freezing conditions (has tolerated temperatures down to –4º C and even a little snow for very short time, but foliage damage may occur at these temperatures), it will not tolerate any duration of dormancy and anything other than the briefest of cold snaps will surely kill a young plant.. However it can be difficult to get it to look its best without a great amount of heat and sun. and so it is only really suited to the t tropics, subtropics and favourable Mediterranean microclimates in frost-free regions. Under cold conditions keep this palm as dry as possible, which will usually mean constructing a glass or plastic roof over the plant to keep rain off, and supplemental heat provided over duration. Any cover placed over this palm during times of rain or during cold nights must be removed or vented during hours of sunshine or the plant could be severely heat stressed.
Aerosol salt tolerance: Some salt tolerance, but does a lot better inland then it does on the coast.
Maintenance: Prune diseased, damaged or drying fronds, but do not prune if the frond still has some green colour. Palms recycle nutrients from dead or dying fronds and use them for healthier fronds. Palms only have a set number of new leaves that can sprout and grow per year and removing fronds will not increase that number. If you cut off more than what will grow annually, you could be left with a pretty bare and bald Palm.
Garden uses: This is a plant of great ornamental value to be utilized outdoors in wide spaces and in full sun, in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate areas. Either as a single specimen or in groups, this is a strikingly beautiful species. Its very neat appearance and stature makes it perfect near highways and used to accent residential landscapes. This palm is expensive, universally admired, don't hesitate to add this incredible palm to your collection. Bailey palm is not a good choice for residences and homes with small yards. Culture in containers is possible although growth rates are slower. A shade screen patio will provide an excellent environment for young specimens which can eventually be planted in a sunny location.
Traditional uses: The leaves are used for weaving hats, baskets and other items. They are also used for thatch.
Propagation: Fresh seeds which germinate in from 4 to 12 weeks. The seedlings are very attractive.
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