The Puerto Rican Palmetto is a large palm tree with a smooth, stout trunk and a large canopy of bluish-green, costapalmate leaves. It is native to Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and the Virgin Islands. It is similar in overall form to the sabal palmetto but it is much larger and more ornamental in appearance. It also has a fast growth rate, unlike the sabal palmetto, which has a slow growth rate. It can grow up to 50 feet tall with a canopy 20 feet across and the stem can grow to be 4 feet in diameter. The stem resembles the stem of a royal palm, more than the stem of a typical sabal species. It has smooth, pale brown or whitish bark, which makes it a stunning landscape plant. The leaves are deep green in color and are deeply divided to about half their length into several segments which may droop at the ends. The leaves of Puerto Rican hat palm are large, usually about 6 ft (1.8 m) long and just as wide. It produces long flower stalks which hang out over the canopy. The numerous small flowers are white to cream in color. The round fruits are about 0.5 in (1.3 cm) in diameter and usually brown or black.
It is common in the wild and it grows in a variety of different habitats. This species is also a cold hardy palm and it can tolerate some ice and freezing temperatures. It is hardy in zone 8b. It grows in a wide variety of soils and is tolerant of drought salt and coastal conditions. This species is also a cold hardy palm and it can tolerate some ice and freezing temperatures. It is hardy in zone 8b. It is rarer and not as well-known as the sabal palmetto but it is as hardy as that species, it is larger and it has a fast growth rate so it is becoming more common in cultivation. It is planted as an ornamental, specimen tree and street tree for its massive, stately appearance. It is also planted in groups and to line driveways. Also known as the Puerto Rican Hat Palm. Its leaves are used to make straw hats. They are also used to make hammocks, matts and for thatch roofing.
1. The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
2. Put the seeds on the soil.
3. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.
4. Water the seeds.
5. Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade.
6. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.