Monday, 21 January 2013

Roystonea regia

Roystonea regia also known as the Royal palm is native to the region South Florida, Mexico, Central America and Caribbean. It is from the palm family, Araceae.

This tall and attractive palm is able to reach a height of 25m. The single trunk is massive and often has a presence of a bulge that is slightly towards the middle of the trunk. The crownshaft is glossy green, smooth and up to 2m in length. It is topped by a crown of leaf fronds. The fronds are simple, pinnately-compound (feather-like) and are up to 3m long. The fronds appear tangled in appearance. Dead leaves are self-pruning and fall off the plant as single whole fronds. 

Cream-coloured, small, and unisexual, flowers are separated on same plant. Clustered in threes with female flower in between 2 much larger male flowers, the flowers are borne on large, much-branched panicles (up to 1m across) below crownshaft, emerging from horn-shaped bracts. The flowers are pollinated by insects like bees, ants, beetles, flies, thrips, and wasps. 

Fruits are round to oval, they mature from green to brownish-red or dark purple and are single-seeded. The Royal palm is a fast-growing ornamental palm that looks especially impressive when formally massed along avenues and boulevards.

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