Trithrinax acanthocoma

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Trithrinax (tree-TREE-naks) acanthocoma
(ah-kahn-toh-COH-mah)
Tri acan ov.jpg
Coastal So. California.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Trithrinax (tree-TREE-naks)
Species: acanthocoma
(ah-kahn-toh-COH-mah)
Synonyms
None set.
Native Continent
America
America.gif
Morphology
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Palmate
Culture
Survivability index
Common names
Carandá

Habitat and Distribution

Trithrinax acanthocoma is found in Brazil, South. Trithrinax species are spread along
Cooran, northern end of the Sunshine Coast region, southeast Queensland, Australia. Garden of John and Jeanne Price. Photo by Wal Donovan.
vast subtropical zones of South America: Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina. They have a preference to dry, open areas and they will tolerate cold winters for short periods.

"Mountainous areas of South Brazil in open forest at between 700 m and 1000 m altitude in central and northern Rio Grande do Sul, and throughout Santa Caterina and Parana, with one wild population documented in Paraguay." (Nigel Kembrey)

Description

Trithrinax acanthocoma is a very attractive, medium sized, solitary palmate palm, with an unusual woven fibre wrapping the trunk, which includes the old spines. Palms growing in areas that are subject to fire and grazing tend to have bare trunks. Leaves are green with contrasting glaucous waxy backs, split around half way, the leaf tips being split into something resembling a snakes tongue with two shallow forks each tipped with a small spine. It grows large bunches of white/pale green oval fruits about 1.5 cm long, the seeds being notably smaller and smoother than Trithrinax brasiliensis.

"A highly attractive, medium sized, solitary palmate palm, with an unusual woven fibre wrapping the trunk, which includes the old spines. Trees in areas subject to fire and grazing tend to have bare trunks. Leaves are green with contrasting glaucous waxy backs, split around half way, the leaf tips being split into something resembling a snakes tongue with two shallow forks each tipped with a small spine. It grows large bunches of white/pale green oval fruits about 1.5 cm long, the seeds being notably smaller and smoother than Trithrinax brasiliensis." (Nigel Kembrey) Editing by edric.

(QUOTE: Nigel on PalmTalk) "Trithrinax acanthacoma is growing in much colder places here in Brazil and is a larger palm, with smaller seeds. The trunk is armed with spines and the leaves have spines on the tips, but each individual lealflet is only split slightly at the end. Trithrinax brasiliensis is growing further south in Rio Grande do Sul and into Uruguay. It is a slightly smaller plant but seems to have a larger seed. It is slower growing, I cant say if its more or less cold hardy, but likelihood is slightly less hardy. The trunk has weak spines at the apex but these soon disintigrate leaving a trunk without spines. The leaf is very different, being much deeper divided, and much more glaucous. Each leaflet is very deeply divided also (whereas acanthacoma is only divided to a few cms maximum) and the tips of the leaves are far less dangerous." (Nigel Kembrey)

"Trithrinax acanthocoma grows faster than T. brasiliensis. In addition, the kind of natural habitat where they grow are different. (Dr. Kellen Soares)

Trithrinax acanthocoma grows in clay soil, with other species such as Araucaria angustifolia and other species of trees of the called Araucaria Forest (Floresta Ombrófila Mista: a kind of vegetation in Brazil). (Dr. Kellen Soares)

T. brasiliensis grows in the southern Brazilian fields (open areas) in sandy soil in rocky hills, it grows with others xerophytic species such as Cactus (Notocactus / Parodia), Dyckia and some pioneer tree species. (Dr. Kellen Soares)

"T. acanthocoma is much larger than T. brasiliensis and has much larger and coarser spines." (Tobias Spanner)

Culture

"Sunny, moist, but well drained position. Drought and frost tolerant. Slightly alkaline soil. Much faster growing than Trithrinax brasiliensis, the seedlings developing palmate leaves within 2 years. Suitable for sub-tropical all the way through to temperate gardens, trees in habitat have experienced temperatures as low as -10°C during their lifetimes." (Nigel Kembrey)

Cold Hardiness Zone: 9a. Has see 14 degrees F. Favors a drier climate.

Comments and Curiosities

"Oh the ever-changing status of Trithrinax acanthocoma! So it was described by Drude in 1878 as T. acanthocoma. Mattos was the first one to lump it into T. brasiliensis in 1977 as T. b. var. acanthocoma. Then somehow it ended up being a separate species again. Until Henderson lumped it back into T. brasiliensis in the Field Guide in 1995 without making it a variety. Then Noblick and Lorenzi's book came out in 2010 and they made it a T. acanthocoma again. Then in 2013 the Revision of Trithrinax by Cano, et al made it T. brasiliensis var acanthocoma yet again. So... I'm going with Dr. Noblick here - Trithrinax acanthocoma. My personal observation - most T. brasiliensis I've seen had spiny fiber covered trunk even when tall. All T. acanthocoma I've seen past 7-8' the trunk was clean. I realize that this is taxonomically meaningless. Just an observation." ( Alex Nesanelis)

"This palm comes from South Brazil , ( Parana, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul), where it grows in open forest. Medium sized fan palm, with an unusual woven fibre wrapping the trunk, and long, thin spines on the leaf bases. Leaves are greyish green." (Herbert Riphagen)

"Inflorescence bracts of Trithrinax brasiliensis in contrast to Trithrinax acanthocoma are snow-white before dessication. Nice plant, indestructible by cold and fairly immune to abuse. It needs plenty of water in summer." (kostheos)


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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