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Elaeis oleifera

American Oil Palm

Compared to its African relative, E. guineensis, which today is cultivated in enormous numbers everywhere in the tropics, the American oil palm is outright rare. It is naturally distributed in Central America, from Honduras to Colombia, and in the Amazon region, where its distribution is patchy however and generally connected with human settlements, suggesting that it may have been introduced there. While the African oil palm can be a fairly scruffy looking plant, its American cousin makes a much more elegant appearance, with long, flat, gracefully recurving leaves. Its oil yield is not as high though. It will flourish under the same conditions that E. guineensis does and has a preference for rich, wet soils.

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germination comments by our visitors
For general germination instructions click here.

Also see plant cultivation comments below.

Seeds from this species ...

... are easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
The seeds are egar to sprout in any soil that is moist and well lite, even germinating in the rotting palm frons still attached to the tree... The growth rate is very fast and agressive, making it one of my most dominate palms I have grown. 14 year old tree has reach 40ft. tall with lots of water.
Submitted on 20/08/2008 by RUSH BOWLES

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

Plants from this species ...

... are of excellent ornamental value
In chiriqui in panama they need very little care and grow fast.
germinates easily, and is fast, needs alot of water, and high temps, this palm does get big, but does transplant well,It makes a lovely specimen in a lawn. the soil should be rich and friable. this palm can tolerate flood plains.
Submitted on 21/03/2010 by steven walker

... are of average ornamental value
In miami, fl. in usa they need very little care and grow very fast.
Very fast growing palm to say the least. the key is full sun, even with young palms, and plenty of water. It can become scruffy and messy, so prunnig is a constant. 12 year old palm reached 40ft. no problem.
Submitted on 20/08/2008 by RUSH

win € 75 worth of seeds
by writing a plant cultivation comment about how to cultivate the plants of this species. Click here!

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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