Trithrinax schizophylla

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Trithrinax (tree-TREE-naks) schizophylla (skee-SOH-fill-ah)
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Buckinghamshire UK. T. schizophylla var schizophylla Photo by John P.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Trithrinax (tree-TREE-naks)
Species: schizophylla (skee-SOH-fill-ah)
Synonyms
T. biflabellata
Native Continent
America
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Morphology
Habit: Solitary, rarely clustering.
Leaf type: Palmate
Culture
Survivability index
Common names
Carandilla

Habitat and Distribution

"Argentina Northwest, Bolivia, and
Buckinghamshire UK. T. schizophylla var schizophylla Photo by John P.
Paraguay. Trithrinax schizophylla, a rather tall, robust, caespitose species, which reaches the foothills of the Andes in its distribution area from northwestern Argentina, southern Bolivia. It grows in an arid climate with hot summers and mild winters with occasional medium frosts." (Tobias Spanner)

"One of the habitats is located in the central area of the Province of Formosa, in the North of Argentina, and this population represents the South limits of the species." (Juan Pech)

Description

"The plant grows several tall trunks up to 5 metres high and 15-20 cms in diameter, densely covered in spiny leaf sheaths as all Trithrinax. Leaves are rigid and of medium size. The fruits are small, 0.8 cms in diameter, and a yellow-green in colour." (Tobias Spanner)

"Palmate leaves, clustering trunks with spines in the tops (as opposed to T. schizophylla var. 'biflabellata', which is unarmed), green to grey leaves, with long petioles, and long spines between the petioles. Leaves have the top divided in two. Looks like a dainty form of a Trithrinax campestris." (Gaston Torres Vera)

"T. schizophylla is much larger than T. schizophylla var. 'biflabellata', and has much larger and coarser spines." (Tobias Spanner)

Culture

"Sun to middle shade position. Very cold resistent. Sandy soils. Lots of water. Grows relatively fast. Seeds are small, round, red/brown. Difficult to germinate, only in some special conditions. Would need some cool during night for good germination. T. schizophylla likes shade and later (when big), searches for the sun in the forest. It likes the damp conditions." (Gaston Torres Vera) Cold Hardiness Zone: 9b

This palm grows in a hot dry climate, with temperatures of 45 degees C, in dry places, full sun, near the water and it tolerates frost." (Juan Pech)

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Comments and Curiosities

Etymology: Trithrinax - generic name, from the Greek language, meaning three pronged fork. Epithet, schizophylla - is Latin meaning "with divided leaves."

"One of the habitats is located in the central area of the Province of Formosa, in the North of Argentina, and this population represents the South limits of the species." (Juan Pech)

Seeing a group of these palms growing by the side of the road in Argentina one evening, we stopped the jeep for a closer look. Immediately upon reaching the palms, we were surrounded by clouds of hungry mosquitos that were not in the least put off by our repellent spray, which provoked us into giving this formerly un-common-named palm the title "Mosquito Palm." We were bitten half to death and soon beat a hasty retreat, lingering only to take some photographs. Ah the joys of palm hunting! As for the trees themselves, those who dislike spines on palms should perhaps skip the next bit, as these have armament up to 45 cm (18 in.) long! These spines, which are like knitting needles, grow around the trunk and cover it in an intricate pattern. It really is a bizarre sight, which, together with its stiff, blue green leaves, adds to this palm's uniqueness and beauty. For those more heavily into Trithrinax, it may be said that these seeds originate from the larger and more robust "true" T. schizophylla of NW Argentina and Bolivia, not of those populations known as T. biflabellata! See the South African Palm Society's PALM ENTHUSIAST Vol.14, No.2 and other issues for more information. Population is just a third of what it used to be just a couple of years ago. (RPS.com)


External Links

[*http://biotaxa.org/cl/article/view/11.4.1669/13605 The Carandilla Palm (Trithrinax schizophylla Drude, Arecaceae) is not extinct in Brazil: first primary records from the Chaco region of Mato Grosso do Sul]

Refrences

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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