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COCCOTHRINAX argentea

Image of Coccothrinax argentea

James Burghardt

Family

Arecaceae

Botanical Name

COCCOTHRINAX argentea

Plant Common Name

Hispaniola Silver Thatch Palm, Silver Palm

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

A graceful palm with its tall, star-shaped canopy of deeply cut leaves, the Hispaniola silver thatch palm flashes its silvery leaf undersides in the breeze. This evergreen, slow-growing palm is native to the grasslands and pine forests on the island of Hispaniola in the central Caribbean. It is sometimes called the Dominican silver thatch palm. It usually grows as a single-trunk plant, and is among the tallest growing species in the Coccothrinax genus.

The leaves are borne on fairly long petiole stems, which make the canopy look graceful in the wind. Each leaf blade is round with numerous deep, long and narrow segments that jut in nearly to the leaf's center. A deep, glossy green color is on the upper side, with a gray-silver color on the underside. Gray to black thatch litters the trunk. The short, branched flower stalks develop intermittently in the warmest months. They grow out just below the leafy canopy, filled with tiny yellowish ivory blossoms that later become round black fruits.

Grow Hispaniola silver thatch palm in as much direct sun as possible. It grows well in nearly any well-drained soil that is very warm and moist in summer, but drier from fall to early spring. It is always slow-growing, taking decades to reach tree-like heights. It tolerates drought, salt spray and alkaline soils with ease. It's not a palm for regions that receive winter frosts and freezes. Use this palm as an accent in a tropical rockery, seaside garden, or any sunny water-conservation landscape.

Compared to the Florida silver thatch palm (Coccothrinax argentata), the Hispaniola silver thatch palm is a bit faster growing, transplants more easily and has slightly less silvery leaf undersides.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    H2, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Palm or Cycad

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    20'-30' / 6.1m - 9.1m

  • Width

    8'-15' / 2.4m - 4.6m

  • Native To

    Caribbean

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Foundation, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No