The Royal Palm Tree, scientific name Roystonea regia or Roystonea oleracea, is one of the most popular palms in the world. It is a very large palm with a white marble column-like trunk and a beautiful thick crown of leaves. The Royal Palm is also known as Cuban Royal Palm and Florida Royal Palm.
In the wild Roystonea regia can grow up to 90-120 ft tall, but in cultivation is usually not higher than 50ft with a spread of up to 25 ft wide. It is a fast growing palm averaging 3 ft per year. The Royal Palm is a very large and symmetrical palm with a single smooth sculpted trunk, that makes this palm looks almost artificial. Trunk is swollen at the base, about 10-30 inches in diameter. It constricts about halfway up and then bulges again just below the crownshaft creating a dramatic profile.
Crownshaft is bright green, glossy, smooth, 6-7ft long, composed of the overlapping bases of the leaves. 20-25 gracefully drooping fronds form a beautiful crown. Leaves are pinnate, or feather-shaped, about 10ft long, with bright green 5-6ft long leaflets arranged in two rows.
During summer, when the Royal Palm is about seven years old, it starts producing small yellow flowers. Flowers grow in clusters on 3ft long inflorescence that emerges from below the crownshaft. Flowers are very fragrant, even from 100ft away. Male and female flowers form on the same plant, with female flowers born between two male flowers. Male flowers of each tree open and fall before the female flowers to prevent self-fertilization. The stalk-less male flowers measure 1/2 inches in diameter, while the smaller female flowers measure 0.1 inch in diameter. Flowers are followed by yellow-green fruit that turns brownish-purple when ripe. Fruit are oblong, 1/2 inches long, with a single seed inside. They are not edible.
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