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Silver thatch palm, Brittle thatch palm
Leucothrinax morrisii

Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, New Providence, Bahamas, 2012

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).

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.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

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.

Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, New Providence, Bahamas, 2012

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Other data on Leucothrinax morrisii available from:

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