Coccothrinax spissa

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Coccothrinax (koh-koh-TRIH-naks)
spissa (spees'-sah)
In habitat. Photo-Rare Palm
Scientific Classification
Genus: Coccothrinax (koh-koh-TRIH-naks)
spissa (spees'-sah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Palmate
Survivability index
Common names
Hispaniola Belly Palm, Bani belly palm, guano, swollen silver thatch palm.

Habitat and Distribution

Coccothrinax spissa is endemic to the Island of Hispaniola, Esp. Dominican Republic.
Dominican Republic, Bo-Göran Lundkvist posing in photo
It growns in open areas and dry rolling savannahs, or at the margins of woodlands at low elevations, below 400 m above sea level.


Average growth rate. Solitary, and are 3 to 8 metres tall, and 20 to 30 centimetres in diameter. The fruit is dark purple, 1.1 to 1.2 cm in diameter, a fan palm to about 5m, with a distinctive swollen "belly" in the middle of the trunk. It has slender Costapalmate leaves, with silvery undersides. Editing by edric.


Sunny, moist, but well drained position. Hardiness, USDA zones 10b-11.

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Comments and Curiosities

Severely endangered, both by urban development, and grazing activities, (cattle ranching).

This unique palm comes from the Caribbean island of Hispaniola and has a very unusual, stout trunk that is usually massively swollen in the middle. It bears purple fruits and robust, fan-shaped, green leaves with silvery undersides. It is best suited to tropical climates and will be alright in warm temperate areas where it receives heat in summer and little or no frost in winter. (

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

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

Special thanks to, 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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