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A Floridata Plant Profile #812 Dictyosperma album
Common Names: hurricane palm, princess palm
Family: Arecacea/Palmae (palm Family)
Wallpaper Gallery (0 images for this plant)

Palm  Has Ornamental (non-edible) Fruit Has evergreen foliage Has Unusual or Interesting Foliage

A group of hurricane palms at Miami's Fairchild Tropical Garden. Description
Dictosperma album has two common names - princess palm due to its graceful appearance and hurrican palm because of its ability to withstand strong hurricane force winds. Princess palm grows to a height of 30 feet on a single grey-ringed trunk. The graceful pinnate leaves are 8-12 feet long and the leaflets are 3 feet long. When young, the tops of the fronds twist and droop because of the flexible midrib which gives a curving appearance to the leaves. One distinctive characteristic that is used to distinguish this palm from Archontophoenix palms, is the pronounced erect young spear leaves which look like long swords. The crownshaft is also distinctive as it is light green, white or red and covered in gray to brown scales. The inflorescence appears below the crownshaft in a large branching cluster. The flowers are yellow to red and the fruits are bullet shaped and purple or black in color.

The cultivar, 'Album' has green petioles with distinct veins. 'Aureum' has a prominent yellow stripe on the underside of the leaflets and the veins are not distinct. 'Conjugatum' is a shorter palm with a larger trunk and has leaf tips that hang with long reins. Other cultivars are 'Rubrum' and 'Furfuraceum'.

Location
The princess palm is native to the Mascarene Islands where unfortunately it is almost extinct. This palm is a popular landscape item that is grown throughout the tropics.

Culture
Although the princess or hurricane palm can be tough and withstand strong hurricane winds, it is not drought tolerant and requires high humidity - doing best in warm, coastal areas.
Light: Best in bright sunny situations.
Moisture: Hurricane palm likes lots of water.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 10B - 11. Does not tolerate frosts.
Propagation: Propagate from seed, which germinates in 2-4 months.

Usage
The hurricane palm is obviously a useful palm for hurricane-prone areas near the coast. It also makes a very graceful looking specimen or accent tree and even may be used indoors when young.

Features
Princess palm is the only species in the genus.

jb 9/15/00




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