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Monday, 11 June, 2001, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
Record-smashing palm gets the chop
Kew Gardens
The palm had grown through the roof at Kew Gardens
The tallest house plant in the world has been cut down after it broke through a glass roof at Kew Gardens in London.

The 35-year-old Roystonea palm had to be removed by five men suspended from the top of the Palm House.

The plant had grown to more than 18 metres (60 feet) tall but could not be pruned because it grows on one central stalk.

Emma Fox, from Kew Gardens, said: "It was quite exciting. The middle of it was unravelled and you could see all the texture and juices of the inside."

The palm was donated to the gardens as a seed from South America.

Palm being cut down PA
The Roystonea palm can grow up to 30 metres (100 feet) tall
Also known as the Florida Royal Palm, it can grow up to 30 metres (100 feet) tall.

The tree has grey bark and feather-shaped leaves that can grow about three metres (10 feet) long.

Emma Fox said it was not a sad moment: "You can eat the inside so all the schoolchildren were running around getting quite excited."

The palm has been replaced by a baby Roystonea grown in the nurseries at Kew Gardens.

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16 May 01 | Sci/Tech
Seed search finds vanished plants
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