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COCCOTHRINAX barbadensis

Image of Coccothrinax barbadensis

James Burghardt

Family

Arecaceae

Botanical Name

COCCOTHRINAX barbadensis

Plant Common Name

Barbados Silver Palm, Silver Palm, Thatch Palm

Special Notice

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

General Description

The Barbados silver palm is one of the tallest and fastest growing silver thatch palm species. It also produces so many seeds that you often seen this normally solitary-trunk palm in a cluster of variously sized plants at its base. This evergreen palm is native to the coastal scrublands in Barbados, Trinidad, Tobago and northern Venezuela. No matter how tall this palm gets, the trunk never seems to get wider than 6 inches (15 cm). Aerial roots often rise from the trunk base.

The leaves are borne on petiole stems, which make the canopy look graceful in the wind. Each leaf blade is round with numerous long and narrow segments that droop downward like icicles at their tips. A glossy dark olive-green color is on the upper side, with a satiny ghostly gray color on the underside. The branched flower stalks develop intermittently in the warmest months. They grow out just below the leafy canopy and arch downward, filled with tiny creamy white blossoms that later become round black fruits.

Grow the Barbados silver palm in full to partial sun. 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 handles drought, salt spray and alkaline soils with ease. It tolerates limited exposure to only light winter frosts without harm. Use this palm as an accent in a tropical rockery or mixed border, seaside garden, or any sunny water-conservation landscape. Rake away fallen fruits or pull seedlings up promptly to prevent a weedy situation around the trunk base. Lower leaves are often slightly larger size to compensate for less exposure to direct sunlight.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Palm or Cycad

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    30'-40' / 9.1m - 12.2m

  • Width

    6'-7' / 1.8m - 2.1m

  • Native To

    Caribbean, South America

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, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes