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Title: Roystonea regia (Kunth) O.F.
Author: Connor, K.F.
Source: In: Vozzo, J.A. Tropical Tree Seed Manual. Agric. Handbook 721. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 698-700.
Description: Roystonea regia is a rapidly growing tree that can reach 15-34.5 m in height and 61 cm in diameter. The stout, smooth trunk is not always straight, and many short air roots are attached at the base. It is primarily valued as an ornamental. The seeds contain oil which is sold commercially or used for livestock feed. The leaves are used for thatching, and the wood can be used for construction. Flowers develop from buds formed on the trunk below the leaves. The fragrant flowers are borne on a many-branched panicle. Both the male and the female flowers form on the same panicle, with male flowers of each tree opening and falling before the female flowers to prevent self fertilization. Generally, each female flower forms between two male flowers on the panicle. The violet-purple fruits are smooth, ovate, and measure 13 mm in length. Each fruit bears a single light brown, thin, seed embedded in brown fibrous flesh. In Florida, trees flower in the spring and fruits mature in the fall. In Puerto Rico, birds or bats often feed on the oily pericarp; if seeds are shed with pericarp intact, detritis-eating animals clean the seed when rotting is well advanced, leaving only a papery shell that is easily removed. Thus large quantities of cleaned seeds can be collected from the ground under seed-bearing trees.
Keywords: Roystonea regia, species description, seed research
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Connor, K.F. 2002. Roystonea regia (Kunth) O.F. Cook. In: Vozzo, J.A. Tropical Tree Seed Manual. Agric. Handbook 721. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 698-700.
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