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Gastrococos crispa

Cuban Belly Palm

A beautiful and bizarre palm from Cuba with a dense crown of spreading leaves with elegantly drooping, shiny, narrow leaflets, and a robust trunk that is grotesquely swollen in the middle. It is certainly a palm for those who like a challenge: its seeds are lenthy and difficult to germinate, the seedlings are really slow for the first few years, and when it finally goes WHOOMPH (and it does!), you discover it is heavily armored in vicious spines from head to toe. Personally, we think it is well worth the trouble; there definitely is no other palm quite like it.

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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 very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Soaked the seeds at room temperature in a nytrozyme solution for 2 days and put them in a zipbag with cocopeat. Temp at daytime 30-35 C and at night 20-25 C.Within 3 weeks 8 out of 12 seeds germinated. Still waiting for the rest.
Submitted on 30/03/2008 by Kai fishyboy2@hotmail.com

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
Bought a small packet of 10 seeds here and got 13 seeds. I got them february 14th in the mail and now (march 10th) I have 8 sprouted seeds. I put them in a ziplock bag with cocopeat and put them away at about 35 degreeds Celcius on top of my aquarium. The warmth generated from the aquarium light switches of at night and temps drop to about 21 Celcius. So I have day-night fluctuations. Potted them up nicely and waiting with confidence for the last 5 seeds to germinate. Seeds must have been very fresh i guess.
Submitted on 10/03/2008 by Kai Kuné fishyboy2@hotmail.com

... are difficult to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
From 5 ripe seeds only one has germinated. These seeds were first soaked for 3 days in water, then potted in a mixture of potting soil and perlite. The seeds were potted about 1 inch below the soil and watered every other day. The pot is in direct sun. Temp in the 80's I live in sub-tropical climate in south Florida. Seedling growth is slow for the first year or so then the plant will shoot up rapidly over a couple of months.(Mine grew from one foot tall to about eight feet tall in 6 months) Then growth will slow down again as the palm matures. Be careful repotting as seedlings are very spiny.
Submitted on 01/11/2007 by James Shields jshields2u@bellsouth.net

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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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