Roystonea regia 

Roystonea regia (Kunth) O.F.Cook

Family :   Arecaceae 

Common Name :   ബോട്ടിൽ പാം (Mal)

:   Bottle Palm (Eng)

     IUCN Status     :   Least concern (LC)  

Tall attractive palm. Trunk single, massive, bulging slightly towards the middle, concrete grey with closely spaced rings. Crownshaft glossy green, smooth and up to 2m in length, topped by crown of leaf fronds. Fronds simple, pinnately compound, up tp 3 m long, plumose and rather tangled appearance. Dead leaves are self pruning and fall off plant as single whole fronds. Flowers cream coloured, small, unisexual, separate male and female flowers on same plant, clustered in threes with female flower in between 2 much larger male flowers. Borne on large, much-branched panicles (up to 1m across) below crownshaft, emerging from horn shaped bracts. Fruits round to oval, mature from green to brownish red or dark purple, single seeded. Fast growing ornamental palm, looks especially impressive when formally massed along avenues and boulevards. Drought and fairly salt tolerant. Propagate by seeds. Middle trunk bulge differentiates it from similar looking relative Roystonea oleracea (Cabbage Palm), which has swollen bulge at base of trunk instead. Genus name 'Roystonea' named in honour of General Roy Stone (1836-1905), an American army engineer who worked in Puerto Rico. Species epithet 'regia' means 'royal', a reference to palm's majestic and stately appearance. 

Distribution :  Central America, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, Hispaniola, The Bahamas, southern Florida, and Mexico 

Uses: Fruits used as feed for livestock. Palm heart ('cabbage') edible. Trunks and leaves used in construction of simple houses. Wood used to make handicrafts.

Flowering and Fruiting : March onwards