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Cuban Petticoat  Palm Tree

rare cuban petticoat palm tree in the wild

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.

Cuban Petticoat Palm Tree Info

Scientific name: Copernicia macraglossa or Copernicia torreana.

Common names: The Cuban Petticoat Palm Tree is also known as Petticoat Palm, Cuban Palm.

Family: Arecaceae

Origin: Copernicia macroglossa is native to Cuba.

Appearance: 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.

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.

Growth Rate: Slow. This palm can slowly grow up to 20 – 30 ft tall and 10 to 15 ft wide.

Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both.

Cold Tolerance: This palm is cold hardy and can tolerate cold down to 25F. It is perfect for USDA Zones 9b (25 to 30 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

Light Req: Partial shade to Full sun.

Water Req: Moderate. Likes moist, well drained soil but can tolerate drought.

Maintenance: Easy to Moderate.  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.

Propagation: Propagated by seeds, which take about two months to germinate.