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Gaussia princeps

Sierra Palm

A moderate to large, solitary palm, native exclusively to westernmost Cuba, where it grows by the thousands on steep and mostly inaccessible karst limestone outcrops locally referred to as mogotes, often clinging to the bare rock with its thick, fleshy roots. Together with such species as Leucothrinax morrisii and Microcycas calocoma, it is perfectly adapted to this habitat and the strongly seasonal monsoonal climate. The Sierra Palm initially produces a pale, massively swollen, barrel-shaped trunk that tapers markedly when the palm reaches maturity and gives it a distinct similarity to the Bottle Palm, Hyophorbe. The crown holds 3 to 6 plumose leaves in a nearly distichous arrangement. Like all Gaussia, it is not fussy in cultivation. Its enjoys a sunny spot in a tropical climate but will also do well in warm temperate regions that do not experience any more than a rare light freeze. Well drained soil is essential, limestone is preferred. It copes easily with drought and can take some exposure. Despite its ornamental qualities and being quite common in its native habitat, like most Cuban palms it is still very rarely seen in cultivation.

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germination comments by our visitors
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Seeds from this species ...

... are easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
With plastic-bag technique around 50% germinated within 1 month. Soak the seed for 24 hour and for the last 2 hour please fill-in B1 vimatin and fungicide powder to speed-up the germination rate and protect your seed from fungi. Put the seed and peat moss into plastic-bag, keep it on the shelf. No need to fill-in water anymore until first seed sprouted then open your bag and check moist again.
Submitted on 24/04/2007 by Jakkrit Jakkrit_Mn@yahoo.com

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
Also see germination commnets above.

Plants from this species ...

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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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