Key thatch palm, Brittle thatch palm, Silver thatch palm
Leucothrinax morrisii

Landscape Uses:

Accent or specimen tree in the Florida Keys. Buffer plantings.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

Widely cultivated.
Small tree or shrub-like with a straight, erect trunk. Leaves fan-shaped, pale green above, silvery beneath, about 2-3 feet in diameter.
Typically 8-15 feet in height; to 19 feet in South Florida. Becoming taller than broad when mature.
Growth Rate:
Slow to moderate.
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.
Pine rocklands and rockland hammocks.
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 significant 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:
Flowering Season:
All year; peak in spring.
Round white drupe.
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.
It is listed as endangered by the state of Florida.

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