Palms of Heliconia Haven


Principle references and highly recommended for further reading are:

Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas, by Andrew Henderson, Gloria Galeano (Editor), Rodrigo Bernal (Editor)
Palms Throughout the World, by David L. Jones, John Dransfield
Chamaedorea Palms:  The Species and Their Cultivation, by Donald R. Hodel

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Genus Species Sun Vs Shade Moisture Tolerance Height Dia. Notes Qty
Acrocomia aculeata sun drainage + 4-11 m 10-35cm genus of 2 species, very spiny,  Lentz (1990) reported introduced into Central America by the Maya, oil from seed, wine from sap, see pl 39 Palms of the Americas 4
Adonidia joannis shade then sun drainage 30m   fast growing, Fiji 3
Adonidia merrillii sun yes 10m   Philippines, substitute for betel nut 40
Adonidia winin ? ? 15m <20cm fast growing palm from Vanuatu 1
Aiphanes aculeata shade then either yes 3-10m 6-10 cm The only American genus of spiny palms w jagged leaflet tips. seedling leaf spiny, bright red fruit, fruit rich in carotene, seed used in candles?, often seen as A. caryotifolia, see pl 40 Palms of the Americas 3
Archontophoenix alexandrae either yes tall     14
Areca catechu either drainage tall     6
Arenga hastata shade drainage 1.5m slender clumping, leaves green upper, whitish under 12
Asterogyne martiana shade   1-2 m 3-5 cm leaves 8-15, simple bifid, blade .7-1m long & 15-25 cm wide, fruit reddish, becoming purple-black, pl 56 Palms of the Americas  
Astrocaryum mexicanum shade drainage 1.5-6 m 2.5-8 cm flattened black spines, lower surface leaflets are whitish, seedling leaf is bifid, flowers and fruit are edible, leaves for thatch, trunks as tool handles 1
Astrocaryum standleyanum either tolerant 6-15 m 16-22 cm flattened black spines, lower surface leaflets are whitish, seedling leaf is bifid, fibers from youngest leaves used in weaving, stems used in construction, fruits prolific and eaten by many animals 10
Attalea cohune either either 6-20 m 30-60 cm abundant in southern Belize, leaves used extensively for thatching (lasting 4-10 years depending on manner of application), seeds eaten by man and animal, oil produced from seed, formerly listed as Orbignya cohune 700
Thrinax or Cocothrinax??   sun drainage 1-3m   seeds collected in wild in Ragged Islands of Bahamas 5
Bactris cruegeriana   drainage 3-5m 2.5-5cm corosilla per Palms of the Americas, but the specimen was not spiny as is corosilla, see image, clumping 1
Bactris gasipaes     4-18cm 10-25cm Peach Palm - fruit sold in market in Guatemala, available in jars in U.S., not found in the wild, multi trunked
Note: very fast growing, 30 foot palms knocked flat by Hurricane Iris in 2001, back from bases to 30 ft. by June 2004
Bactris major var. major     1-10m 2-6cm stems clustered, very spiny, fruit edible and used to flavor drinks  
Bactris mexicana shade   2-3m 2-3.5cm stems clustered, very spiny  
Brahea sp sun drainage        
Butia capitapa either   1-6m 25-50cm slow to germinate, edible fruit, used for palm wine 22
  yatay either drainage 8-10m to 40cm edible, wine from stem, Darwin called them "ugly" 5
Carpentaria acuminata shade then either drainage tall   Genus of one species, fast growing, slender ornamental 10
Caryota no sun tolerant 25m+ 50cm+ caustic, oxalate crystals in fruit, Borneo, inflorescences may exceed 2.5m in length 10
Caryota obtusa sun drainage ? 30m+ 40-60cm tallest palm in Malaysia, 11
Caryota rumphiana sun   20m+   taxonomically difficult, variable, very impressive and beautiful specimens at Bogor 10
Caryota urens sun   20m+   as with all Caryota species, plant dies once the fruit on the lowermost inflorescence matures, fast growing, inflorescence tapped to make sugar/alcohol 3
Chamaedorea elegans shade drainage? .3-3m .8-1.5cm commercially important, each year millions of seeds are collected from the wild in Mexico, questions remain about pollination of this species  
Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii shade drainage? .8-2m 1-1.5cm x CW, conservation status - "insufficiently known", leaves simple, found at 100-1000m elevatio 11
Chamaedorea graminifolia shade   3m 2-3cm conservation status- Vulnerable, stems clustered, found at 700-1500m elevation, 9/97 -two plants  x San Jacinto Hills 2
Chamaedorea oblongata shade   1-3m 1-2.5cm x CW, leaflets somewhat thick and leathery, found below 350 m elevation 12
Chamaedorea tepejilote shade   2-7m 2-10cm cultivated, unopened male inflorescences known as pacaya are sold in markets in Guatemala and is canned and can be found in U.S., used as vegetable 4
Chrysalidocarpus sp. sun   10m   clumping palm  
Cocos nucifera either tolerant 20m 20-30cm+ genus of one species, being devastated by lethal yellowing throughout much of its range, sometimes spoken of as "nature's greatest gift to man" 55
Corypha umbraculifera sun   12-25m stout Palm flowers only once in its life (30-80 years) and then dies -but, what an inflorescence!  It is the largest in the world and can be 7m tall and as wide as 13m.  Individual leaves are also huge, up to 2m wide x 4m long. Domesticated, not found in the wild. 10
Cryosophila stauracantha shade   1-10m 5-12cm spiny stem, especially near base, fruit white 1.1-1.4 cm, sea level to 600m 1
Cyrtostachys renda either very tolerant 6-16m   Formerly C. lakka, clumping, scarlet crown shaft and petioles, commonly planted as ornamental in tropics 75
Desmoncus orthacanthos either, reaches for sun yes 2-12m+ 1.5-2cm rattan-like climbing palm, useful for basketry, otherwise a very spiny pest, sea level to 1000m 25
Elaeis guineensis sun very tolerant 25-Jun 40cm the most important commercially raised palm, the primary source of palm oil, extensive plantations in SE Asia and Brazil, also quite attractive, a genus of two species, one originating in Africa and the other in the Americas, adding fuel to Gondwanaland theories. 15
Euterpe oleracae Mart. shade then sun very tolerant 3-20m 7-18cm, cestipose (clustered) very important in Brazil, a palm with many uses,  major source of hearts of palm, a popular juice, and even an ice cream are made from "acai".  The "Acai" restaurant of a Brazilian Hilton hotel takes it's name from this palm and features many dishes, including a sorbet made from the palm.  Genus takes its name from the Greek goddess of song and beauty, stems clustered, 2


precatoria   modestly 10-20m 10-23cm a spectacularly elegant palm, often destroyed to obtain edible heart, 25
Geonoma deversa   yes 1-4m .5-3cm one of the most important palms for thatch in Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia.  Sea level to 1200 meters 1
Geonoma sp.            
Hyophorbe lagenicaulis sun yes 2m 25cm endangered, only one tree remains in the wild of the Mascarene Islands,  but common in cultivation, bloated trunk gives rise to common name of "bottle" palm 5
Licuala grandis shade yes 2-3m 5-8cm highly esteemed ornamental 10
Licuala orbicularis shade ? subter-raneum stem   much sought after dwarf palm 10
  peltata shade yes 5m   clumping 6
Livistona humilis sun ? see notes   literature suggests a slender trunked palm to 4 m.  My seeds came from Lancetilla in Honduras where specimens are 12-16m tall. 26
Lytocaryum weddellianum heavy shade probably not 1-5m to 10cm genus of 2 species, very ornamental understory palm with pendulous dark green pinnate fronds, native to Brazil, very slow growing, found on steep slopes to 1000m, commercially valuable ornamental, pl 32 Palms of the Americas 8
Manicaria saccifera sun very tolerant 1.5-10m 15-20cm genus of 1 species, stems solitary or cespitose, huge simple leaves (2-8m long) are favored for long lasting thatch, unusual fruit fed to domestic animals, liquid from endocarp can be drunk, pl 20 Palms of the Americas 3
Mauritia flexuosa sun, shade? very tolerant 3-25m 30-60cm genus of 2 species, one of the most useful palms, all parts used, fruit marketed and used in drinks and ice cream, string from leaf fibers used in basketry, hammocks, starch and wine made from sap…large root mass at base, pl 10 Palms of the Americas, a very attractive palm, often dominating the landscape wherein it is found 30
Mauritiella aculeata sun, shade? very tolerant 3-8m 7-10cm genus of three species, stems clustered (up to 50) with stem or base covered with short stout conical root spines,  often found leaning over streams where it can form large colonies, pl 10 Palms of the Americas 10
Oenocarpus bataua canopy species, but may need protection when young very tolerant 4-26m 15-45cm Oenocarpus means "wine-fruit", a common and much appreciated palm throughout SA lowland forests from which is derived a delicious drink, an oil akin to olive oil, fruit mesocarp a good source of protein, plus many other uses - Balick has recommended exploitation of full potential, see pl 25 Palms of the Americas, seeds are major component of the diet of the oil bird (Steatornis caripensis) 20
Oenocarpus mapora shade tolerant 5-15m 4-17cm also reported as O. panamanus, clustered 2-12 stems, sea level to 1000m, beverage prepared from fruits, leaflet midveins used in basketry, leaf used in healing, see pl 26 palms of the Americas  
Oncosperma horridum   hillside 20-25m 15-25cm 4-6 stems per clump, very spiny but smooth with age,  mostly found on inland hillsides 8
Oncosperma tigillarium sun very tolerant 15-25m 10-15cm up to 50 stems per clump, very spiny, stems valued for coastal construction (latin "tigillum" means "a piece of wood"), resistant to salt water borers and termites, nuts used as substitute for betel 5-Jan
Phoenicorphium borsigianum shade, though mature specimens in sun at Bogor appear OK understory plant on steep slopes 10m 20-30cm genus of one species, "highly prized collector's palm", stem spiny when young.  Like V. splendida, has huge entire leaves and is an Oncosperma related palm from the opposite side of the Indian Ocean (Seychelles), an early specimen was stolen from Kew gardens hence the name from Greek "phorios", "to steal". Seed reportedly slow and erratic to germinate - mine germinated within 30 days. 9
Phoenix canariensis sun no 20m      
Phoenix dactylifera sun no        
Phoenix roebelenii either   2m      
Pigafetta filaris Full Sun   30-50m   Genus of one species, requires full sun even as seedling, favorite palm of David Fairchild, very fast growing, can reach 7m in 3 years from seed!  Seeds lose viability rapidly. 12
Pinanga insignis shade yes 10m 25cm insignis translates as "remarkable" 10
Ptychosperma elegans sun   tall   fast growing 1
Ptychosperma macarthurrii sun   3-5m 2-3cm clumping palm, hybridization common in genus 4, 15
Ptychosperma propinquum     3-5m 2-3cm fruit larger than P. m, pinnae irregular on rachis 2
?   shade     1.5-3cm rattan from Sumatra, collected 2 seeds in wild north of Pekanbaru, see Palms of Malaya pl 24, but, Calospatha not reported in Sumatra 2
Reinhardtia gracilis var. gracilis shade   1.5m .7cm palms of this genus do not thrive out of their natural environment, to 1300m 2
Reinhardtia gracilis var. gracilior shade       to 1300m 3
Reinhardtia latisecta shade probably 3-8m 6-7cm stems clustered (8-9), leaves have small "windows" between the folds on both sides of the rachis, hence the common name, sea level to 100m, pl 21 Palms of the Americas 2
Reinhardtia simplex shade yes .6m-1.2 8mm sea level to 1000m, not listed as native to Belize in Palms of the Americas, but found by me and earlier by Charles Wright 
along the Rio Grande near Big Falls
Roystonea regia sun found in lowlands, but drainage reported to aid growth 7-30m 40-57cm classic palm for lining avenues, withstands hurricanes easily as leaves are blown off early, minimizing wind resistance, a useful palm in native habitats, stems for lumber, leaves for thatch, fruit for oil… 40
Schippia concolor either drainage + 10m 8-11cm genus of one species, endemic to Belize  
Sabal causiarum sun no 10m 35-70cm sea level to 100 m in sandy soil, pl 8 Palms of the Americas 25
Sabal mauritiiformis either yes 10-20m 15-20cm stem swollen at base, thatch lasts 20 years, useful for salt-water pilings, 15
Salacca zalacca even seedlings sun tolerant
Reports of Sun-tolerance in seedlings (at least) are Wrong- 6/04 update - I have transplanted all to shade where they have thrived, those in sun were dying
very tolerant 6m subteran. (or similar) seeds from popular market fruit in Sumatra, germinated within 2-3 weeks, rapid seedling growth, palms spread via subterranean trunks forming huge spiny clumps with fronds to 6m tall 14
Socratea exorrhiza ?   8-20m 12-18cm Named in honor of philosopher Socrates, characterized by open cone of thorny stilt roots, a wide variety of birds and mammals feed on fruit, lower outer sections of stem hard and durable and are a valuable source of building material, pl 18 Palms of the Americas 10
Synecanthus fibrosus shade not toler. dry 6m 2-3cm genus of two species, solitary, leaflets 10-23 per side, arranged in groups of 2-6, spreading in slightly different planes, becoming popular as ornamental ?
Vershafeltia splendida either hillside, shield fm wind     Genus of one species, stilt roots, highly valued ornamental, spiny 9
Welfia regia sun yes 7-20m 10-15cm Genus of one species, young leaves, even seedling are reddish, range from Honduras to Ecuador, leaves for thatch, pl 54-55 Palms of Americas, fruit edible and eaten by svl mammals & birds 9

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Palms  Living Palm Museum  Palm List  Technical 
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ies: Art Palms Fruit & Seeds
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