This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, olive). Palmaceae, tribe Cocoineae. Tropical spineless palms with pinnate foliage, of which the best known is the oil palm of western Africa, whose red fruits, borne in large clusters, yield the palm oil of commerce, which is used in making candles and soap.
Leaves terminal, numerous, large and pinnately divided, the segments sword-shaped, the margins in some species spiny: spadix short and thick. Young plants are grown for ornament in S. Calif., and in the N., but it is not hardy outdoors in U. S., according to Fran-ceschi. The other 6 species are from tropical S. Amer. The genus is separated from Cocos by the 1-3-seeded fruits, with 3 pores above the middle.
Jacq. Oil Palm. stems stout, 20-30 ft., coarsely ana deeply ringed: leaves 10-15 ft.; petiole spiny-serrate; leaflets 50-60, linear-lanceolate, acute, the same color above and below. F.S. 14:1492. - From an early stage in growth, this is one of the most ornamental palms. Until it reaches several feet in height, it is a slow grower, consequently one does not see much of it, except in collections. It does best in a warm temperature, although it will thrive in an intermediate house. Seeds are always obtainable from several of the large European houses. It is but little grown as a commercial palm, as young plants do not show their full character. Given same treatment as Areca lutescens, will grow well. This treatment includes night temperature of 65° and plenty of water. jared g. Smith.