Copernicia curbeloi

Family : Arecaceae

Text © Pietro Puccio


English translation by Mario Beltramini



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Not frequently cultivated, in the Cuban savannahs the Copernicia curbeloi can be 15 m tall © Giuseppe Mazza

The Copernicia curbeloi León (1931) is native to the central-eastern part of Cuba, where it mainly grows in the savannas.

The genus is honoured to the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543).

The species is dedicated to the Cuban botanist Maximiliano Curbelo (1886-1938).

It is locally called “yarei de tejer” and “yarei macho”.

Palm with single trunk, robust, of 30-40 cm of diameter when ripe, tall up to 15 metres (less in cultivation).

The leaves, palmate, are almost round, with a green lamina on the upper side, and slightly silvery on the inferior one, 1,3 metres long on a petiole which is long up to 80 cm and thorny on the margins.

The tomentose inflorescences, arched, long up to 3 metres, stretch out over the leaves and carry hermaphrodite flowers disposed in groups of 2-3.

The fruits are globose, of about 18 mm of diameter, black when ripe.

Plant with slow growth, is little diffused outside from its country of origin.

Prefers sunny locations and resists, when adult, even to long periods of drought, but takes advantage of regular watering.

The lowest survival temperature is of about -1,-2°C for the adult individuals.

Synonyms : Copernicia molineti var. cuneata León (1936); Copernicia × sueroana var. semiorbicularis León (1936).


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