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Distribution & Habitat:
This palm is restricted to a single mountain ridge in the deep south of the Dominican Republic, in the dry peninsula of Barahona, 5 km south of the small rural town of Barreras. This ridge of solid grey limestone, called Sierra Martn Garca, starts at the seaward end of Sierra de Neiba and eventually sinks beneath the Carribean Sea. The palm is found between 5 and 200m above sea level.
This is a robust solitary fan palm to about 12m high, with heavy shiny leaves, that are golden above, and silver below. The trunk is covered in thick, woody fibres which form a striking rhomboid criss-cross pattern. It has pinkish-purple warty fruits.
Requires full sun, excellent drainage, and tropical temperatures. Drought and salt tolerant.
Ryan Gallivan (Figure 1,3&4)
Trinidad Bob (Figure 2)