Puerto Rican manac palm

 
 

The Puerto Rican manac palm is native to Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. It reaches a height of 40 feet, with a grayish rough trunk up to 10 inches in diameter. The leaves are up to 13 feet long and are composed of many slender leaflets distributed in two rows. Inflorescences arise among the lower leaves are up to 4 feet long. Ripe fruits are reddish-brown, turning blackish before falling, and are up to a quarter of an inch long. It flowers twice a year and produces fruits mostly during the summer. The generic name means dwelling covered or protected by a hood or veil, in reference the the way the petals join to cover the rest of the immature flower. The species name means growing along streams, in reference to the natural habitat of the species.

The photographed palm is in front of the Monzón Building and is the only member of the species in the campus. Athough it was planted many years ago it has not grown vigorously, probaby because it prefers well-drained calcareous soils. Young manac palms are very similar to coconut palms.

Calyptronoma rivalis (Arecaceae)