Acrocomia aculeata

Family: Arecaceae    Palm Tree

Common Name: Coyol palm

Scientific Synonymy:
Acrocomia fusiformis, Acrocomia havanensis, Acrocomia hospes, Acrocomia lasiospatha, Acrocomia mexicana, Acrocomia microcarpa, Acrocomia mokayayba, Acrocomia sclerocarpa, Acrocomia spinosa

Common Synonymy:
Macaw palm, Mucuja palm, Paraguay palm, Ruffle palm. French: Acrocome, Coyol, Noix de coyol. Spanish: Amankayo, Coyol (Costa Rica), Corozo (Venezuela), Totai (Bolivia), Tucuma.

Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a     View the UK and US zone maps

A solitary, large, drought tolerant, alkaline soil tolerant, moderately fast growing, monoecious palm. Rare in cultivation, locally common in the wild. It has a spiny, dark-grey trunk, 10.1 m. (33 ft.) tall, 38 cm. (15 inch) diameter with no obvious leaf scars, and large segmented, pinnate (feather) leaves, 3 m. (10 ft.) long, 0.6 m. (2 ft.) wide, green above and beneath.

Occasionally has a slight bulge in the middle of trunk. Armed with 3-8 cm (1-3 in) black needlelike spines in closely set rings covering most of the trunk. Always found in open, sunny areas. Tolerates most soils.

Acrocomia aculeata can tolerate freezing temperatures to about -3.8°C (25°F). It naturally occurs in open, sun exposed, montane or lowland hilly locations, and should be planted to maximise sunshine exposure. Under extreme freezing conditions we recommend you keep this palm as dry as possible, which will usually mean constructing a glass or plastic roof over the plant to keep rain off. Any cover placed over this palm during times of rain or during cold nights must be removed or vented during hours of sunshine or the plant could be severely heat exhausted.

General Information:
Quite variable across it's range. Reduced from more than 25 species to just 1. However, we list this as being different to A. aculeata 'totai' by being faster growing, shorter with marcescent leaves and less spiny than 'totai'. They are also less cold-hardy than 'totai'.

Distribution:

Native to, Trinidad & Tobago


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