Roystonia regia – Royal Palm
The Royal Palm was named after a man named Roy Stone. Part of its natural range includes southeastern Florida. This is one of the larger members of the Palm Family, and can attain a height of over 100 feet. The trees grow rapidly from seeds and can reach a height of over 20 feet in 5 years, with a clear trunk more than a foot in diameter and 5 feet in height in a good site location. It is a self-cleaning palm, and you do not want to be beneath one when a leaf falls, because a single leaf can weigh over 100 pounds. The leaf sheath is large enough to completely surround a 6 foot tall standing person, like a hotdog in a bun.
The Royal Palm produces a large cluster of creamy white flowers, called an inflorescence, can consist of over 50,000 flowers. It develops inside a tubular structure called a spadix, which falls off the inflorescence when the developing flowers are ready to open. A blooming inflorescence attracts hundreds of bees, and covers the ground beneath the tree with fallen flowers for several days. After flowering ends, many thousands of small dark red-purple fruits develop, falling to the ground at maturity, where many of them are eaten by birds and feral pigs.
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