Queen Palm Care: Learn How To Grow A Queen Palm
The following are some facts about queen palms:
A queen palm is a plant with multiple young plants growing from one parent. They are sometimes called “supertrees” or “doublet trees”. The name comes from the fact that they have two leaves at the same time.
They are native to tropical Africa and Asia. There are many species of them, but only three or four are cultivated commercially today. They grow best in hot climates (above 90 degrees F) and require little water except during dry periods.
There are several varieties of these trees; however, all produce edible fruits that can be eaten raw or cooked into a variety of dishes such as stir fries, salads, soups and stews.
Most of the commercially grown queens are hybrids between different species of the genus Prunus. These include the African and Asian types.
Some of these hybrid trees produce very large fruits, while others produce smaller ones. Some produce fruit year round, while others only do so in certain seasons. Most varieties can be found in most parts of Africa and Asia, though they may not be as common in other areas due to climate differences.
One of these hybrid trees is the common queen palm or golden queen, found mainly in eastern Africa and parts of southern Arabia. The leaves are a shiny green with a yellow underside. The fruit can be eaten raw, dried or cooked.
Another type, also native to eastern Africa and nearby islands such as Zanzibar, is the red lacquer queen, with red and green leaves and small purple fruit. It’s used in many ways similar to the golden queen.
The last type is the burmese queen, with a bright red fruit related to the cherry. It grows mainly in the lower plains of Burma and nearby islands.
The queen palm tree is also known as the “double coconut” or the “double coconut palm”. It’s sometimes confused with the coco de mer, which looks similar but grows only on Seychelles, an island off the coast of Africa. The queen palm is a large, graceful tree with a thick stem and dark green fronds. It’s grown in many parts of the world and is sometimes grown in containers and kept inside in colder climates to provide color and warmth to bleak winter days.
It grows best in full sunlight and tolerates most soil types, though it prefers sandy, well drained soil.
The queen palm tree can grow up to 30 meters in height with a stem diameter of about 60 centimeters. It has large, green fan shaped leaves that can grow up to 4 meters in diameter with a petiole about 3 meters long.
The queen palm is dioecious, which means separate male and female flowers grow on different plants. Female flowers are inconspicuous and appear in groups while male flowers appear as solitary yellow catkins.
The fruit grows directly from the trunk and larger branches and can reach up to 1 meter in length and 6 centimeters in diameter. The fruit is a thick, woody shell with a fibrous layer and a fleshy pulp surrounding the seed. The shell is tightly wrapped around the seed and covered with a thick, leathery skin. The outside of the shell can range in color from bright orange to dark purple with spots or stripes.
The fleshy layer around the shell is edible and filled with sweet, liquid pulp. The seed itself is oblong and black with a thin, edible skin. The seed is quite large in comparison to the size of the fruit and can be up to 15 centimeters long and 5 centimeters in diameter. Some fruits have only one large seed, while others have three or four smaller seeds.
The shell and pulp can be eaten raw or cooked, while the seed can be dried and ground into a powder for cooking.
The queen palm tree produces fruit year round, though the peak season is in the summer and fall. When the fruit is ripe, it easily comes away from the stem. The shell turns darker as it ripens and the fruit gives off a sweet scent. Unripe fruit smells foul and should be avoided.
In addition to its fruit, the queen palm tree can also be harvested for its leaves, flowers, trunk and roots. All parts of the plant are edible when cooked. The flowers, especially, are commonly made into a sweet, aromatic wine.
The leaves are large heart shaped and dark green in color. It produces them year round but they are at their largest and most plentiful in the spring and summer. The leaves can be used as a wrapper for cooking food or boiled to make a nutritious soup. They can also be dried and ground into a powder to add flavor to bland foods.
The trunk of the tree can be carved out to make a bowl, cup or other utensil. The solid wood is very hard but fine tools can carve it into many different objects. The wood itself is very light and softens when wet.
The roots of the tree are used as a base ingredient in many medicines. They can be made into a soothing salve for the skin or boiled and consumed as a laxative.
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Sources & references used in this article:
Effects of control release fertilizers on nutrient leaching, palm growth and production cost by P Soti, A Fleurissaint, S Reed, K Jayachandran – Agriculture, 2015 – mdpi.com
In the realm of the diamond queen: Marginality in an out-of-the-way place by Q Afua – 2001 – One World/Ballantine
The realm of a rain queen: a study of the pattern of Lovedu society by AL Tsing – 1993 – books.google.com
American Buddhism: Methods and findings in recent scholarship by EJ Krige, JD Krige – 2018 – books.google.com
The lived experience of new graduate nurses working in an acute care setting by DR Williams, C Queen – 1999 – books.google.com