Acoelorrhaphe wrightii

Common name

Everglades palm, paurotis palm

Description

Stems: Clustering, upright stems to 6 m tall and 5-15 cm in diameter, covered with old leaf bases and fibers that gradually fall with age. Leaves: Palmate, induplicate, with blade divided more than half its length by numerous, stiff, narrow segments. Upper leaf surface, bright green; undersurface, silvery; leaftips bifid. The petiole has a lobed hastula and is armed with robust teeth that curve upward or downward along both margins. Flowers and fruits: Inflorescences (ca. 1 m long) are branched to four orders and extend beyond the leaves. Flowers are small, creamy white and bisexual. Fruits are small (1-1.5 cm), spherical, at first orange then black when ripe.

Diagnostic features

Field: Erect, clustering fan palms found in or near brackish swamps; robust teeth along petiole margins.

Lab: Silvery scales on the underside of the leaf blade and visible transverse veinlets.

May be confused with

Serenoa repens: Acoelorrhaphe wrightii is erect with a much taller and more slender stem than the occasionally upright Serenoa repens. The marginal teeth of the Serenoa's petiole are much smaller. In addition, inflorescences of Acoelorrhaphe are longer than its leaves.

Distribution

Native to Southern Florida and the Caribbean in low-elevation, easily inundated areas

Additional comments

Acoelorrhaphe wrightii has been described as both "palmate" and "minorly costapalmate." Look at the photograph of the intersection of the petiole with the leaf blade to see how the eyes of the beholder might influence this description.

Scientific name

Acoelorrhaphe wrightii (Griseb. & H.Wendl.) Becc.

Family

Arecaceae/Palmae

Synonyms

Acanthosabal caespitosa Proschowsky

Acoelorraphe arborescens (Sargent) Beccari

Acoelorraphe pinetorum Bartlett

Brahea psilocalyx Burret

Copernicia wrightii Grisebach & H. Wendland

Paurotis arborescens (Sargent) O. F. Cook

Paurotis androsana O. F. Cook

Paurotis wrightii (Grisebach & H. Wendland) Britton

Paurotis psilocalyx (Burret) Lundell

Serenoa arborescens Sargent

Last Updated May 2014

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