Silver Thatch Palm : Coccothrinax Argentata
The Silver Thatch palm is one of several palm trees native to Florida. It grows in the pine rocklands and hardwood hammocks of the Sunshine State. Coccothrinax argentata is quite rare and listed as threatened by the Sunshine State.
The Silver Thatch palm is not rare in the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. It is named the Cayman Islands’ national tree. This elegant palm plays an important role in the daily lives of the natives. They have used the palms’s leaves for thatching roofs, making ropes, baskets, hats, fans and other crafts.
The Silver Thatch palm can be used as an accent specimen in landscape design or can be grown in a container on a patio or deck. This specimen is extremely tough and durable and very adaptable to any kind of environment.
Scientific name: Coccothrinax argentata
Name: A silvery color of fronds gives this plant its name.
Other names: Silver palm, Florida Silver palm, Biscayne palm, Silver Thatch, Silvetop.
Origin: It is native to south Florida, southeast Mexico, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands.
Growth rate: Slow
Trunk: The trunk is slender, erect, covered with matted brown fibers. It can grow up to 20-30 feet, but usually is seen around 4-8 feet.There are about 12-16 leaves on the trunk.
Leaves: Coccothrinax argentata has palmate, deeply divided leaves. They are 3-4 feet wide, blue-green above and silver white below that is easily seen in moonlight or breezy sunny day. The leaf stems are long and unarmed.
Indoor/outdoor Use: Both
Light exposure: It grows well in full sun or light shade.
Water requirements: Moderate watering
Drought toleration: High
Salt tolerance: High
Cold toleration: Moderate. It is cold hardy to 30 F.
Flowers: The peduncular bracts of small, bisexual flowers come from below the leaves. They are creamy-white and fragrant.
Fruits: The Silver palm bears small, pearl-sized, round black fruits. They ripen in late summer or early fall. They are important source of food for wildlife, especially for Florida’s Key deers.
Propagation: It is propagated from seed. The seeds germinate in 6 months.
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