Natural Habitat: Naturally found throughout certain regions in the Central American emergent rainforests; including Belize, Mexico, and Guatemala
Description: The Gaussia maya gets its common name Maya Palm, from the Maya people who lived among the palms in habitat.
A tall solitary feather palm which can reach heights of 60 feet tall in its natural habitat, even though it is not usually seen growing that tall in cultivation. The palm has a large heavy dark green crownshaft that ends up weighing down the palm, usually giving the palms trunk a natural lean or bend. The self cleaning crownshaft emerges 10-15 long arching pinnate leaves. The dark green leaflets sit on the rachis (branch) in small groups, emerging in different directions, giving the overall leaves a plumose appearance. The trunk is light gray or tan and has large white leaf scares left by the older falling leaves.
This palm seeds in an unusual way, emerging 10 plus inflorescence. These inflorescence sit at different heights along the trunk, making it appear as if the whole trunk it seeding at once.
Environment: The maya enjoys a sunny, moist, and well drained area where it can have plenty of room to up and out. In cultivation, these palms can be planted in small cluster of 2-5. If so, plant them in an area large enough for the cluster to grow outwards. As a seedling they like a shady area where they will get watered regularly. They are pretty cold hardy handling temperatures in the low 30’s to high 20’s. They can also handle light freezes and frosts, living as far North as Orlando, FL. Zones 9b-11