Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Talipot Palm
Corypha umbraculifera

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Corypha (kor-RY-fuh) (Info)
Species: umbraculifera (um-brak-yoo-LIF-er-a) (Info)

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over 40 ft. (12 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
This plant is monocarpic

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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5 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral cruzangardens On Oct 30, 2008, cruzangardens from St. Croix
Virgin Islands (USA) wrote:

After Hurrican Omar passed on Oct. 16th, our Corypha umbraculifera began blooming. It is believed to be 42 years old.

Cruzan Gardens
St. Croix, USVI

Positive timrann On Mar 20, 2007, timrann from Other
Mauritius wrote:

A very impressive palm , dies after flowering. The flower is the biggest flower on earth, it takes all the energy from the plant but produces thousands of seeds.Quite a collection in Maritius at Pamplemousses Botanical Garden. When it flowers especial staircase are made to have a closer look and there are about every 5-6 years one flowers.Originally from India (at least those we have at Pamplemousses comes from India) Now and then can be even found in nurseries but need to have a big garden and be more than very patient to grow this palm.

Positive palmbob On Jul 1, 2006, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a truly majestic species of tropical palm... the leaves are unbelievably large and heavy. Standing next to one makes you feel small and insignificant. Not a great palm for most yards, unless you have a monster yard. Slow palm, even in the tropics.

And despite what the young palm grower above says about a 'must palm for So California', they cannot grow here (unless you say growing in a greenhouse counts, or surviving 2-3 winters eking along until rotting and dying counts). Hundreds have tried... none have succeeded. But my hopes is someone will succeed someday, so keep on trying!

Not a long lived palm really and monocarpic (dies after flowering- but what a ending! largest flowers in the plant kingdom!!).

Positive jungleboy_fl On Nov 16, 2004, jungleboy_fl from Naples, FL wrote:

Immense would be the only word to adequately describe this towering giant. There is an excellent example of a nearly mature specimen in the palm park, downtown Ft. Myers, FL. Standing under the huge canopy of leaves inspires a sense of awe. The trunk is likewise enormous and thick- making a Royal Palm look spindly. These are proven performers here in the southernmost portions of Florida.

Unfortunately, growth is slow. Seedlings are more sensitive to cold, so if you live in a marginal zone, I suggest using some means of protection during cold spells. Water heavily during the summer months. These palms are accustomed to dry winters, which is ideal for our local climate. Once it has developed the beginnings of it's deep rootsystem, growth gradually speeds up.

Positive Kylecawaza On Aug 23, 2004, Kylecawaza from Corte Madera, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

A MUST have palm to try in Southern California. They are hardier than there cousin C. Utan, and there are a few planted around in CA and AZ. This palm is always overlooked in teh area as being too tropical, but it is surprisingly hardy. Its deinfalty worth a try. Again they have a trade off from the caost to inland.the hotter summers and winter days, with the warmer winter nights. A must have palm though.

Positive Monocromatico On Oct 21, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This is a massive palm tree, reaching up to 15 meters tall. It has enormous, palmate leaves. One could cover a house with a dozen of those. The trunk is thicker than average palms, and often features vestiges of older leaves.

The leaves are huge even when the palm is still young, so it might demand some room to grow freely. Once it gets its maturity (around 50 years or less), it launches several inflorescences from the top which exhausts the plant, dying after the fruits ripen.

It likes moist organic soil, and may tolerate some shade when young. It doesn't like frosts.

It's a good shade tree, but if an old heavy leaf hits you, it could hurt. Definitely one of my favorite trees in the local Botanical Garden.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Naples, Florida
Kingshill, Mississippi

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