Coccothrinax miraguama

Common name

yuraguana, miraguama Palm

Description

Stems: Solitary, erect stems, to 15 m tall (usually shorter in cultivation), up to 12 cm in diameter. Old leaf bases cover the stems in a dense layer of thick (0.5 - 2mm) fibers or the slender stem may be smooth or faintly ringed by leaf scars. Leaves: Palmate, induplicate, with a full to one-third circular blade (about 1.5 m across) divided about half its length by numerous, narrow, rigid segments that split at the tips. Leaflets become narrower toward the tip, with an abrupt transition. The upper leaf surface is bright green; the undersurface, green or silver-gray; transverse veinlets are not obvious. The fibrous leaf sheath has two or three layers, and the unarmed petiole is not split at the base. Flowers and fruits: Inflorescence arches above the leaves, to 1.5 m long, branched to two orders with up to 4 primary branches. The yellow flowers have both male and female parts. The fruits are spherical (5-12 mm in diameter) and purplish-black or pinkish-purple when ripe.

Diagnostic features

Field: Solitary, erect stems up to 12 cm in diameter. Old leaf bases cover the stems in 2-3 dense layers of thick (0.5 - 2mm) fibers. The leaves are more or less rigid, without drooping tips.

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 and Hispaniola

Additional comments

This is a variable species that has been divided into a number of subspecies or geographical forms.

Scientific name

Coccothrinax miraguama (Kunth) Becc.

Family

Arecaceae/Palmae

Synonyms

Coccothrinax alexandri Leon

Coccothrinax elegans Muorhidi

Corypha miraguama Kunth

Thrinax miraguama (Kunth) Mart.

Below: subspecies names often encountered

Coccothrinax miraguama (Kunth) León ssp. arenicola (Leon) Borhidi & Muñiz

Coccothrinax miraguama (Kunth) Becc. ssp. havanensis (Leon) Borhidiet & Muñiz

Coccothrinax miraguama (Kunth) Becc. ssp. roseocarpa (Leon) Borhidi & Muñiz

Last Updated May 2014

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