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Products > Trithrinax acanthocoma
Trithrinax acanthocoma - Spiny Fiber Palm

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Trithrinax acanthocoma
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Palm
Family: Arecaceae (Palmae) (Palms)
Origin: Brazil (South America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Creamy White
Bloomtime: Summer
Height: 8-12 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Trithrinax acanthocoma (Spiny Fiber Palm) - An attractive small to medium sized fan palm (having the leaflets radiating from the end of the leaf-stalk) that grows to about 12 feet tall with the mid green fan leaves having leaf tips that are split like a snakes tongue with the two shallow forks each tipped with a small spine. The solitary trunk is covered with spiral patterned matting that terminates with long spines that protect the pale yellowish-green to white fruit that develops along the trunk below the leaves after a pretty spectacular show of creamy white flowers in the summer. Plant in full sun with regular summer water. It has proven hardy to at least 23°F. This palm comes from south Brazil and Paraguay where it grows in open forests. The name for the genus is a combination of the prefix 'tri' meaning "three", with Thrinax, a Caribbean palm genus. This name apparently came about because the German botanist Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius, who coined the name when he described Trithrinax brasiliensis, thought the palmate leaves were somewhat divided three times. The specific epithet is from the Greek words 'ákantha' meaning "spine" and 'coma' meaning "hairs", "bracts" or "tufts" in reference to the spines at the leaf bases. It is also commonly called Spiny Fiber Palm. This species first described as Trithrinax acanthocoma in 1878 by the German botanist Carl Georg Oscar Drude and has variously listed as a valid species or a variety or subspecies of Trithrinax braziliensis. It is currently listed in taxonomic databases as Trithrinax brasiliensis var. acanthocoma (Drude) Mattos but we list it as we do for familiarity and because some references disagree with this treatment. This is not a common palm but there is a nice specimen of it in front of the Santa Barbara County Building on East Anapamu Street and there are specimens in Ganna Walska Lotusland Botanic Garden. We first offered this plant from 1997 to 1999 and, after a 20 year hiatus, we are once again offering it after receiving seed from our friend John Bleck. 

This information about Trithrinax acanthocoma displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.