Gaussia attenuata

Geoff Stein - Author & Editor

Pronunciation: GOW-see-uh uh-ten-you-AHH-tuh

Common Name: none

Gaussia attenuata is perhaps the second most commonly grown Gaussia species in California… which is not saying much as it is extremely rare in cultivation in this state. It is not only rarer and harder to find that Gaussia maya is, but it is far less cold tolerant than Gaussia maya is. At this time, few, if any, mature palms exist in California, though some trunking plants survive year to year. This native of Puerto Rico is a cliff species

Appearance and Biology
  • Habit: solitary with a crown of 2-4 feather leaves
  • Height: 8' estimate
  • Trunk: single; 6"-8" thick; prominently and closely ringed; pale in color; bottle-shaped when first starting to form
  • Crownshaft: 1' tall; medium green though often covered with old leaf bases (almost a pseudocrownshaft)
  • Spread: 4'-5'
  • Leaf Description: pinnate; mildly plumose (leaflets on two nearly similar planes); flat; most surviving leaves have a very upright orientation- the laterally oriented leaves do not seem to survive long in this state; 4'-5' long; medium green; slight droop of distal leaflets; often only 1 leaf plus the spike in all be the most perfect microclimates
  • Petiole/Leaf bases: 1'; rounded and smooth, though with a deep channel dorsally; unarmed; un-split leaf bases (often retained over crownshaft)
  • Reproduction: monoecious
  • Inflorescence:
  • Fruit: ovoid; 1/2' long; red-orange when ripe
Horticultural Characteristics
  • Minimum Temp: 32F
  • Drought Tolerance: moderate
  • Dry Heat Tolerance: moderate
  • Cool Tolerance: low
  • Wind Tolerance: unknown
  • Salt Tolerance: unknown
  • Growth Rate: very slow to slow with age (much faster in the tropics)
  • Soil Preference: adaptable
  • Light Requirement: partial to full sun near coast
  • Human Hazards: none
  • Disease or Horticultural Problems: fastidious
  • Transplants?: unknown
  • Indoor?: unknown
  • Availability: rare

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