Roystonea altissima

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Figure 1. R. altissima


Common Names:

Mountain cabbage

Distribution & Habitat:

Endemic to mountainous areas of Jamaica.


A tall, solitary palm to 15 metres (50 feet) or more tall, with a smooth grey trunk irregularly enlarged below, more slender above, and banded with leaf-scars. Leaves are pinnate 4-6 metres (12-18 feet) long, with slightly plumose leaflets, and a green crownshaft about 1.5 metres (4.55 feet) long.

It is very similar in appearance to R. princeps, and very difficult to distinguish between the two. The easiest method in the field is locality, R. princeps is a bog and swamp species, while R. altissima is found in uplands and premontane elevations.


Likes a sunny, well drained position.

Contributed by:

Kyle Wicomb (Figure 1)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, eMonocot, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk