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Silver thatch palm, Brittle thatch palm
Leucothrinax morrisii
Arecaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Accent or specimen tree in the Florida Keys. Buffer plantings.
Availability:
Widely cultivated.
Description:
Small tree or shrub-like with a straight, erect trunk. Leaves fan-shaped, pale green above, silvery beneath, about 2-3 feet in diameter.
Dimensions:
Typically 8-15 feet in height; to 19 feet in South Florida. Becoming taller than broad when mature.
Growth Rate:
Slow to moderate.
Range:
Florida Keys; also collected once on an island south of Flamingo in Everglades National Park and recently discovered on Cape Sable in Everglades National Park; West Indies. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.
Habitats:
Pine rocklands and rockland hammocks.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained limestone soils, with or without humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate to low; it prefers soils with organic content, but will still grow reasonably well in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without injury.
Drought Tolerance:
Moderate to high; plants growing in extremely dry soils may die during extended periods of drought.
Light Requirements:
Full sun to light shade.
Flower Color:
White turning yellow.
Flower Characteristics:
Showy.
Flowering Season:
All year; peak in spring.
Fruit:
Round white drupe.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides significant food and cover for wildlife. Larval host plant for monk skipper (Asbolis capucinus) butterflies
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from de-pulped seed. Place container in light shade or full sun.
Comments:
It is listed as endangered by the state of Florida.


 


George D. Gann
in habitat, New Providence, Bahamas, 2012
George D. Gann
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton
Roger L. Hammer