How To Grow Cuban Petticoat Palm Tree (Copernicia macroglossa)

Cuban Petticoat Palm Tree (Copernicia macroglossa)
Cuban Petticoat Palm (Copernicia macroglossa). Photo by Flickr.

The Cuban Petticoat Palm Tree, scientific name Copernicia macroglossa, is native to Cuba. The unique feature of this palm is its fan-shaped leaves that have no petioles.

If not removed, dry old leaves form a “petticoat” giving them palm “dressed” appearance, hence the name Cuban Petticoat Palm Tree. This slow growing palm can tolerate drought and is cold hardy. It can also be grown indoors.

Quick Facts:

Scientific name:Copernicia macroglossa or Copernicia torreana.
Common names:Cuban Petticoat Palm, Petticoat Palm, Cuban Palm.
Origin:Native to Cuba.
Growth Rate:Slow. 15 ft tall and 10 ft wide.
Cold Tolerance:USDA Zones 10b (35 – 40 F) to 11 (above 40 F)
Light Req:Full sun
Water Req:Moderate.
Soil Req:Widely adaptable.
Fruit:Yes. Green. Not edible.
Propagation:By seed, germinating in 1-3 months.

Cuban Petticoat Palm Identifying Characteristics

Cuban Petticoat Palm has a single gray trunk that is topped with a crown of 10-12 fan-shaped, stiff, erect fronds that grow in the form of a spiral. The leaves have almost no petioles and grow from the top of the trunk.

Outer leaflets are covered with sharp thick long spines. If not trimmed, old leaves form a skirt or a petticoat, hence palm’s common name Cuban Petticoat Palm.

Cuban Petticoat Palm Flowers and Fruits

Cuban Petticoat Palm Tree (Copernicia macroglossa) fruits
Cuban Petticoat Palm (Copernicia macroglossa). Photo by Flickr.

Flowers/Fruits: In the summer, it produces small creamy flowers. Male and female flowers are born on the same inflorescence. Flowers are followed by black oval berry-like fruits that are about 1 in in diameter.

How To Care For Cuban Petticoat Palm

Cuban Petticoat Palm Tree (Copernicia macroglossa)
Cuban Petticoat Palm (Copernicia macroglossa). Photo by Flickr.

This palm can slowly grow up to 15 ft tall and 10 ft wide.

This palm is not very cold hardy tolerating cold down to 35F. It is perfect for USDA Zones 10b (35 to 40 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

It prefers full sun but can also tolerate partial shade when mature enough. It likes moist, well drained soil but can tolerate drought.

Requires trimming of old fronds if you don’t want to create a skirt. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during growing season.

Propagated by seeds, which take about 1- 3 months to germinate.

Cuban Petticoat Palm Pictures

Cuban Petticoat Palm Tree (Copernicia macroglossa)
Cuban Petticoat Palm (Copernicia macroglossa). Photo by Flickr.
Cuban Petticoat Palm Tree (Copernicia macroglossa)
Cuban Petticoat Palm (Copernicia macroglossa). Photo by Flickr.
Cuban Petticoat Palm Tree (Copernicia macroglossa)
Cuban Petticoat Palm (Copernicia macroglossa). Photo by Flickr.
Cuban Petticoat Palm Tree (Copernicia macroglossa)
Cuban Petticoat Palm (Copernicia macroglossa). Photo by Flickr.
Cuban Petticoat Palm Tree (Copernicia macroglossa)
Cuban Petticoat Palm (Copernicia macroglossa). Photo by Flickr.
Cuban Petticoat Palm Tree (Copernicia macroglossa)
Cuban Petticoat Palm (Copernicia macroglossa). Photo by Flickr.
Cuban Petticoat Palm Tree (Copernicia macroglossa)
Cuban Petticoat Palm (Copernicia macroglossa). Photo by Flickr.
Cuban Petticoat Palm Tree (Copernicia macroglossa)
Cuban Petticoat Palm (Copernicia macroglossa). Photo by Flickr.

More information can be found on Floridata site.

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