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Cuban Belly Palm Tree

Cuban belly rare palm tree in the landscape

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 should only be grown outdoors. Due to it availability, this palm tree can be quite pricey.

Cuban Belly Palm Tree Info

Scientific name: Acrocomia crispa. Other scientific names are:  Gastrococos crispa, Cocos crispa, Astrocaryum crispum, Gastrococos armentalis, Acrocomia armentalisare.

Common names: The Cuban Belly Palm Tree is also known as Corojo Palm.

Family: Arecaceae

Origin: It is native to Cuba.

Appearance: 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.

Flowers/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.

Growth Rate: Slow to Moderate. This palm can slowly grow up to 30 – 40 ft tall and 10-15ft wide.

Outdoor/Indoor Use: Outdoor.

Cold Tolerance: 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).

Light Req: Partial shade to full sun.

Water Req: Moderate. Can tolerate drought and alkaline soils when mature enough.

Maintenance: Easy to Moderate. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizerthat has continuous release formula twice a year during growing season.

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