Coccothrinax argentata

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Coccothrinax (koh-koh-TRIH-naks)
argentata (ar-jehn-TAH-tah)
Coccothrinax argentata craft.jpg
Florida Keys Florida, photo by Paul Craft.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Coccothrinax (koh-koh-TRIH-naks)
Species:
argentata (ar-jehn-TAH-tah)
Synonyms
None set.
Native Continent
America
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Morphology
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Palmate
Culture
Survivability index
Common names
Silver Palm, Silver Thatch Palm, Silvertop, Florida Silver Palm.

Habitat and Distribution

Coccothrinax argentata is found in southeastern coast, and Keys of Florida, and the
C argentea 1.jpg
Bahamas, as well as Columbia, in open forest often close to the coast. Monroe County Keys north along the east coast to southern Palm Beach County; the West Indies and southern Mexico. Not uncommon in southern Miami-Dade County and the lower Monroe County Keys; rare along the coast from the middle and upper Keys north to southern Palm Beach County. Habitats: Pine rocklands and coastal hammocks and thickets. Soils: Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with or without humusy top layer.

Description

Trunk type: Solitary. Hight: To 6 meters, (20'). Covered with fine brown fibers, closely woven at the top, bare, light gray at the bottom, 2 to 8 inches in diameter (5 to 20 cm). Leaf detail: Palmately compound, 12 to 18 leaves with silvery gray or golden bottom surface, 40-54 leaflets split at their ends., up to 3 feet wide (90 cm). Flower: White or light yellow, fragrant, dioecious flowers. Flower stalk coming from below the leaves, 2 feet long. Fruit: Purple-black berry, about 3/8" in diameter, when ripe. up to 0.5 inch in diameter (1.2 cm) Round. Seed: round, wrinkled. Flowers all year. Editing by edric.

Culture

Requirements: Full sun, moderate water, well drained position. Nutritional Requirements: Low to moderate; it can grow in nutrient poor soils, or soils with some organic content. Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water. Salt Wind Tolerance: High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without injury. Drought Tolerance: Moderate to high; does not require any supplemental water once established, but establishment may take a year or more to occur. Light Requirements: Full sun to light shade.Can be grown from de-pulped seeds. Place in full sun in moist sandy soil with some organic content. Germination is in 6 weeks or more. Young plants may grow quickly to 2 feet in a couple of years, but from then on the growth is slow.

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Comments and Curiosities

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides food for wildlife. Larval host plant for monk skipper (Asbolis capucinus) butterflies. Birds eat the fruits.This is one of the most handsome small native trees. However, mature plants are very costly due its slow growth rate. It is sometimes illegally collected from the wild, so be sure of your source! In the West Indies, it is used for making baskets, hats and other crafts. It is listed as threatened by the state of Florida.


External Links

References

Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to Palmweb.org, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).


Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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