13. Roystonea O.F. Cook, Science, Ser. 2.12:479. 1900. Bailey in Gentes Herbarum 3:341-387. 1935; Benthall, Trees. Cal. 462. 1946; Bailey, Man. Cult. Pl. (reprint ed.). 172. 1966; Whitmore, Palms Mal. 103. 1973.
KAMAL A. MALIK
Solitary, trunk up to 40 m or more in length. Stem annular, unarmed, smooth, with prominent rings, swollen at the base. Leaves pinnate, very large, glabrous, divided into numerous leaflets, leaflets in two or more planes, narrow, pointed. Petiole concavo-convex, base of leaf stalk enlarged into a leaf sheath which envelops the top of the stem and forms a green elongated crown shaft. Inflorescence branched, up to 60 cm long, arising below the base of the green crown shaft, enclosed in 2 coriaceous, green, hard, caducous bracts, the outer one is shorter and the inner bract is longer. Flowers unisexual, usually in triads. Staminate and pistillate flowers borne on the same inflorescence. Male flower: Sepals 3, petals 3; stamens exserted, 6-12; a pistillode present. Female flower: sepals 3; petals 3, united to half way. Ovary 1-3-celled, covered by 6 scale like staminodes, stigma sessile. Fruit red, small, oblong to rounded, up to 1.25 cm or less long.
A genus with 6 species, distributed from Florida to W. Indies, Central and tropical South America; represented in Pakistan by one cultivated species.