Coccothrinax miraguama

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Coccothrinax (koh-koh-TRY-naks)
miraguama (mehr-ah-goo-AHM-ah)
Cuba. Coccothrinax miraguama var. macroglossa ("Azul"). Photo by Oscar Moreno.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Coccothrinax (koh-koh-TRY-naks)
miraguama (mehr-ah-goo-AHM-ah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Palmate
Survivability index
Common names
Miraguama Palm,

Habitat and Distribution

Coccothrinax miraguama is found on hills and in savannahs around Cuba. Although
Cuba. Photo by Jason Schoneman
limited to Cuba, this species is widespread on the island, with multiple named variants favoring different habitats: savannas, open woods, coastal sites.


Trunk type: Solitary. Hight: To 30 feet, (9 meters), crown to 12 feet in diameter, covered with old leaf bases and fibers. After a while, the trunk becomes bare and grey. Leaf detail: Palmately compound, 20 to 30 almost circular leaves, silvery lower surface, 40 to 60 segments, up to 5 feet wide (1.5 m). unarmed.

Recognition: Single-trunked, palmate-leaved, small palm having the trunk covered with woven (appearing like weathered burlap), dark-colored fibers (vs. shaggy, usually near-white, and beardlike in C. crinita). The leaves are circular in outline, particularly stiff, deeply cut, and have the leaflets wide (2”) and widely spaced, failing to lie flat, overlapping each other irregularly, and hairy beneath. The fruits pass from red to deep purple-black.

Flower: Cream bisexual flowers. Flower stalk coming from among the leaves, 3 feet long (90 cm). Fruit: red when ripening turning dark red to black when ripe. 0.5 inch in diameter. round.


Requirements: Full sun, fair to moderate water, well drained position. Hardiness, USDA zones 10a-11. Slow rate of growth.

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Comments and Curiosities

There are four subspecies: Coccothrinax miraguama subsp. arenicola is now Coccothrinax acuminata. Coccothrinax miraguama subsp. havanensis, Coccothrinax miraguama subsp. miraguama, and Coccothrinax miraguama subsp. roseocarpa.

A highly desirable species, native to open woodlands, savannas and coastal areas on Cuba. It forms a thin, solitary trunk, clothed in its upper part in coarse leafsheath fibers and supports a small crown of beautiful, very rigid, circular leaves that are green above and silvery white below. It is best suited for the drier tropics and can withstand a light freeze and some coastal exposure. (

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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