Family: Arecaceae
Common Name: Latan Palm

Of these three species of dioecious fan palms, native to the Mascarene Islands, two are widely grown in the tropics. All are medium-sized, single-trunked palms. The trunk reaches 15 m (50 ft) high and is 20-25 cm (8-10 in) in diam­eter. The broad base of the stems of these palms splits into two halves, and the very heavy, Stiff, palmate leaves form a substantial crown. The large, sparsely branched, flowering stems develop slightly fleshy fruits if the flowers are fertilized. The latans are dramatic but fairly slow growing. In their early growth stage, the deep reddish or orange-yellow of the ribs con­trasts with the dark green of the leaf blades.


L. loddigesii, blue latan, from Mauritius, has rather glaucous adult leaves, about 1.5 m (5 ft) long.

L. lontaroides, red latan, from Reunion, has gray-green leaves with reddish stalks. Young palms have red leaves and bright red petioles.

L. verschaffeltii, yellow latan, from Rodrigues, has pale green, slightly yellowish leaves with yellow edges.


In frost-prone climates, grow in a warm greenhouse or conservatory. Grow in pots of sandy, soil-based potting compost and add some leaf mould if available. Ensure maximum light, but shade from direct sun. Out-doors grow in full sun with fairly rich, well-drained soil. Propagate from fresh seed, sown one seed per pot, and germinated at 26° (79°C). Normally, germination is rapid (for a palm), occurring in two to four months.


Warmer parts of zone 10.

Larix      Lathyrus