Dictyosperma album

dictyosperma album2

Commonly called the hurricane palm, Dictyosperma album is a fast growing palm from Mauritius and nearby islands. It is a feather palm and the reason I took photographs was the beautiful way the young leaves opened, with the ends of the leaflets joined by their contiguous tips, creating a frame that highlighted their beauty. Although common in cultivation it is almost extinct in the wild. Like many palms, the base of the leaf encircles the trunk, forming a crownshaft. In this species the crownshaft is more than 1m long and leaves themselves can be 3m long.

The flowers are produced on arching clusters that grow from below the crownshaft. Each plant produced male and female flowers and these are followed by small, black, inedible fruits.

This is a warmth-loving palm that is not very tolerant of cold climates though it is allegedly tolerant of occasional frost. Even so it is nothing except a greenhouse plant in the UK!

dictyosperma album

It is called the hurricane palm because it is capable of surviving hurricanes without damage.


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