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Green thatch palm, Florida thatch palm
Thrinax radiata

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

General Landscape Uses: Accent or specimen tree in the Florida Keys. Buffer plantings.

Availability: Widely cultivated. Available in Lake Worth at Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296) and in Boynton Beach at Sustainscape (561-245-5305).

Description: Small tree or shrub-like with a straight, usally erect trunk. Leaves fan-shaped, yellowish-green, about 2-3 feet in diameter.

Dimensions: Typically 10-20 feet in height; to 28 feet in South Florida. Becoming much taller than broad when mature.

Growth Rate: Moderate to slow.

Range: Monroe County Keys, Miami-Dade and Collier counties; West Indies, Mexico and Central America. In South Florida, native only to the Florida Keys, the extreme southern mainland along the shores of Florida Bay, and Keewadin Island in Collier County. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Coastal hammocks.

Soils: Moist, well-drained limestone or sandy soils, with humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.

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 significant injury.

Drought Tolerance: Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun to light shade.

Flower Color: White.

Flower Characteristics: Showy.

Flowering Season: All year; peak in spring.

Fruit: Round white drupe. All year.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides significant food and cover for wildlife. Larval host plant for monk skipper (Asbolis capucinus) butterflies. Attracts pollinators.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from de-pulped seed. Place container in light shade or full sun.

References: Nelson 2003, Schaefer & Tanner

Comments: Widely planted outside of its historical range in South Florida. Escaping from cultivation and sometimes invading hammocks in conservation areas along the coast. It is listed as endangered by the state of Florida.

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: George D. Gann
Cultivated plant, Florida

Other data on Thrinax radiata available from:

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