How To Grow Cuban Belly Palm Tree (Acrocomia crispa)

Cuban Belly Palm Tree (Acrocomia crispa)
Cuban Belly Palm (Acrocomia crispa). Photo by Flickr.

The Cuban Belly Palm Tree, scientific name Acrocomia crispa, is one of the most beautiful palm trees in the world. This Cuban native palm is very drought tolerant, and tolerant of alkaline soils.

This palm needs to be grown outdoors. This palm is expensive, but is definitely worth the money.

Quick Facts:

Scientific name:Acrocomia crispa. Other scientific names are:  Gastrococos crispa, Cocos crispa, Astrocaryum crispum, Gastrococos armentalis, Acrocomia armentalisare.
Common names:Cuban Belly Palm Tree, Corojo Palm
Origin:Native to Cuba
Growth Rate:Slow to Moderate. Up to 30 – 40 ft tall and 10 -1 5 ft wide.
Cold Tolerance:USDA Zones 9b (25 to 30 F) to 11 (above 40 F)
Light Req:Partial shade to full sun.
Water Req:Moderate
Soil Req:Widely adaptable
Fruit:Yes. Orange. Not edible.
Propagation:Be seed.

Cuban Belly Palm Identifying Characteristics

Cuban Belly Palm Tree (Acrocomia crispa)
Cuban Belly Palm (Acrocomia crispa). Photo by Flickr.

It has a single gray trunk that is thin at the base and is swollen in the middle, hence its common name Cuban Belly Palm. The trunk  is about 1ft in diameter, rigged with old leaf scars, covered with black thorns except the oldest part and topped by a crown of pinnate, or feather-like, arching fronds that are about 10 ft long and 5ft wide. Leaves are dark green above and, silver green below.

Cuban Belly Palm Flowers and Fruits

In the summer it produces small yellow flowers. Both male and female flowers grow on the same thorny inflorescence. Flowers are followed by orange fruits that are about 1 in in diameter.

How To Care For Cuban Belly Palm

This palm can slowly grow up to 30 – 40 ft tall and 10-15ft wide. This palm is cold hardy and can tolerate cold down to 25F. It is great for growing in USDA Zones 9b (25 to 30 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

Can tolerate drought and alkaline soils when mature enough. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during growing season.

Propagated by seeds. It is difficult germinate. It can take anywhere from few months up to one year to germinate.

Cuban Belly Palm Pictures

Cuban Belly Palm Tree (Acrocomia crispa)
Cuban Belly Palm (Acrocomia crispa). Photo by Wiki Commons.
Cuban Belly Palm Tree (Acrocomia crispa)
Cuban Belly Palm (Acrocomia crispa). Photo by Flickr.
Cuban Belly Palm Tree (Acrocomia crispa)
Cuban Belly Palm (Acrocomia crispa). Photo by Flickr.
Young Cuban Belly Palm Tree (Acrocomia crispa)
Cuban Belly Palm (Acrocomia crispa). Photo by Flickr.
Cuban Belly Palm Tree (Acrocomia crispa) trunk with black spines
Cuban Belly Palm (Acrocomia crispa). Photo by Wiki Commons.
Cuban Belly Palm Tree (Acrocomia crispa)
Cuban Belly Palm (Acrocomia crispa). Photo by Flickr.
Cuban Belly Palm Tree (Acrocomia crispa)
Cuban Belly Palm (Acrocomia crispa). Photo by Wiki Commons.

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