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Mauritia flexuosa

Morete Palm

Definitely one of the most stunning and impressive of all palms, it produces a large columnar trunk topped by an enormous and dense crown of fanshaped leaveswhich could best be described as resembling cascades of exploding fireworks. Its beautiful scale-covered fruits indicate its relationship with Raphia, Metroxylon, Calamus etc. It is very fast growing and well suited to tropical and warm subtropical conditions.

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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 in water for 24 hours, dipped in bleach solution(10%) for 15 minutes and rinsed. In a large plant container fill about 3/4 with sand place the seeds on top and cover with a few inches of peat moss and placed in full january '07 sun (17°56" N, 067°01"W, 19°-25°C) and kept wet with irrigation. First sprouts in 21 days, 30%(out of a 1,000) by 6 weeks. Also works good for rot prone seed where Sphagnum/bag method does not work to well. Previous attempts at germinating Mauritia were less than 3%. Fast Growers.
Submitted on 30/03/2007 by Alexis L. Dragoni adragoni@coqui.net

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I planted 5 seeds of this species which I had brought back to Puerto Rico from the Peruvian Amazonia. Seeds were planted 2-3 cm deep in loamy soil in individual plastic pots and kept moist. After 10-12 weeks, 3 of the seeds had sprouted vigorously. The other 2 had rotted. Seedling growth is rapid.
Submitted on 19/04/2005 by Tom White Diputado99@hotmail.com

...difficult to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
First seed started sprouting 5 months after sowing. Medium is milled lava stone with 10% peatmoss kept humid and at 26-28ºC. Subsequent growing in following month is very fast. 50% of seeds have rotten; the rest seems still OK.
Submitted on 16/06/2004 by JOSE M. ZEROLO MORICHE@TELEFONICA.NET

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
Soaked for 3 days changing water twice a day. Set outside in pure sand during rainy season on Mexican Pacific coast. Temp 30C.After two months 3 seeds germinated. Rest rotted.
Submitted on 30/05/2004 by christian normandin christiannormandin@hotmail.com

...very difficult to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
After three unsuccesful trials, seed sown in Dec-2003, on moist perlite at 24ºc constant temperature have shown by end of may-2004 the first germinated seed. 50% have rotten, rest looks still fine.
Submitted on 25/05/2004 by JOSE M. ZEROLO MORICHE@TELEFONICA.NET

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

Plants from this species ...

... are of average ornamental value
In SAN MARTIN in PERU they need little care and grow slow.
Mauritia flexuosa palms (called Aguaje in Peru) are correlated to wet soils or subsoil wells, they often grow in large groups with the stem in water long parts of the year. The fruits shown on this website are different: Peruvian fruits have dark reddish brown scales! Also, those plams are of different sex as natives tell us! Male palms outnumber females. Female palms are more important and produce well. Fruits are used boiled (break scales away) and can provide also juices or ice cream basis with excellent flavour. The seed can be used as vegetal ivory. As ornamental plant it needs space, but is impressive. Young ones grow fast- later they grow slowly.
Submitted on 17/04/2006 by Rainer Schulte rainer.schulte@Inibico.org

... are of excellent ornamental value
In Luquillo (18.3N;65.7W) in Puerto Rico they need little care and grow fast.
I obtained 7 fresh, mature seeds below fruiting palms near Puerto Maldonado, Peru and brought them back to coastal northeastern Puerto Rico (about 2 miles from coast), where the climate is very similar. I cleaned the fleshy pulp from the seeds and planted each approximately 3 cm deep in separate pots containing a clay/loam soil mix and maintained the soil very moist, almost wet, and observed the first germination after about 10 weeks. Five of the 7 had germinated after 12 weeks. The other 2 were rotten. After the seedlings had developed the first "fan" leaf, approximately 20 cm tall, I transplanted them to a sunny, but very wet, area of my yard with a soil similar to that of the germination medium. I planted them in this site with a minimum distance of about 4 meters between each palm. They are all growing well, and 9 months after germination are approximately 0.6 meters tall and have 5-8 fan leaves. I have only applied cow and horse manure as a fertilizer, and the leaves are lush and dark green. This palm is well-adapted to swampy areas, so it grows well in the wettest part of the yard. In fact, after heavy rains there is often 3-5 cm of water standing around the palms for up to 3-4 days.
Submitted on 06/12/2005 by Tom White Thomas_White@fws.gov

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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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