Coccothrinax crinita

Common name

old man palm

Description

Stems: Solitary, erect stems, to 10 m tall (usually shorter in cultivation), up to 20 cm in diameter. Old leaf bases cover the stems in a dense layer of woven fibers with long, pendulous tips that extend away from the slender stem. Leaves: Palmate, induplicate, with a nearly circular blade (about 1.5 m across) divided more than three-fourths its length by numerous, narrow segments that split at the tips. The upper leaf surface is bright green; the undersurface, green to silver-gray; transverse veinlets are not obvious. The fibrous leaf sheath has two layers, and the unarmed petiole is not split at the base. Flowers and fruits: Inflorescence arches above the the leaves, to 1.5 m long, branched to two orders with up to 5 primary branches. The yellow flowers have both male and female parts. The fruits are spherical (7-20 mm in diameter) and black or purple when ripe.

Diagnostic features

Field: Erect, fan palms with stems covered by a dense layer of woven fibers with long, pendulous tips.

Lab: No visible transverse veinlets.

May be confused with

Thrinax species, but the petioles of Thrinax palms split at the base while those of Coccothrinax do not.

Distribution

Native to Cuba

Scientific name

Coccothrinax crinita Becc.

Family

Arecaceae/Palmae

Synonyms

Antia crinita (Becc.) O.F.Cook

Thrinax crinita Griseb. & H.Wendl. ex C.H.Wright

Last Updated May 2014

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