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Floristic Inventory of the Florida Keys Database Online

Roystonea regia (Kunth) O.F. Cook
Royal palm, Florida royal palm

Roystonea regia
Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Family: Arecaceae

Group: Monocot

Substrate: Terrestrial

Habit: Tree

Perennation: Perennial

Native Range: Peninsular Florida, the West Indies, Mexico, and Central America; widely cultivated and naturalized outside of its natural range. In Florida, native to freshwater swamps from southern Miami-Dade County to southern Collier County. Originally described from plants growing along the banks of the St. John’s River near Lake George (William F. Bartram 1791, p. 113-114; Small 1933), but never reported again from that area.

NatureServe Global Status: Imperiled

State of Florida Status: Endangered

Florida Natural Areas Inventory State Status: Imperiled


Map of select IRC data for peninsular Florida

SOUTH FLORIDA Occurrence: Present

SOUTH FLORIDA Native Status: Native

SOUTH FLORIDA Cultivated Status: Cultivated

Comments: For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.

Synonyms: Roystonea elata.

FLORIDA KEYS Occurrence: Present

FLORIDA KEYS Native Status: Not Native, Cultivated Only

Map of select IRC data for the Florida Keys

Florida Keys History and Distribution: Reported in 1907 by C.F. Millspaugh as cultivated in the lower sandy Keys. Also reported as "perhaps introduced" in the lower sandy Keys by John Kunkel Small in 1913. All of our records are from cultivated plants or plants persisting from cultivation. However, it would not be unexpected for this to naturalize in the Florida Keys, where it is widely cultivated.

Other data on Roystonea regia available from :

Roystonea regia has been reported from the following 2 conservation areas in the FLORIDA KEYS :
Occurrence Native Status
Curry Hammock State Park Presumed Extirpated Not Native, Cultivated Only
Key West National Wildlife Refuge Presumed Extirpated Not Native, Cultivated Only

All Images:

Roystonea regia
Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Roystonea regia
Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley