Trithrinax acanthocoma

Windmill Palm

Landscape Environment

Grow Region: 9b

Origin: Southern Brazil

Drought Tolerance: High

Cold Tolerance: High

Salt Tolerance: Moderate

Soil: Adaptable, alkaline

Light: Full sun

Charateristics

Mature Height: 13-15 feet

Trunk: clean, rough trunk surface, narrow , solitary

Leaf: divided about halfway, pointed segments, bifid at tips, sometimes drooping, about 2 feet long and 3 feet wide

Leaf Petiole: about 3 feet with sharp margins, hastula on abaxial and adaxial sides

Armature: aggressive spines on trunk

Color: Dark Green

Flowers: short stalk

Fruit: globose, greenish-yellow, .8 - 1 inches in diameter, edible fruit, used to make fermented beverage, oil.

Human Uses: Landscape specimen plant, fibers used to filter, weaving, thatching. Fruit is edible.

Classification

Subfamily: Coryphoideae

Tribe: Corypheae

Subtribe: Thrinacinae

Item #: 5574-1
Availability: In Stock
In Stock Quantity: 0

The Brazilian needle palm is not widely cultivated in Southern California despite being well suited to the climate. Best known for its trademark spines that jut out from the fibrous trunk like the thick hairs of a porcupine, the Trithrinax is one of those rare finds that is hard to forget or overlook once spotted.

The Trithrinax is hardy, takes lots of abuse, and is drought resistant - a slow grower that tolerates heat, cold and full sun. The palm is moderate in size, with a neat crown of dull to dark green palmate leaves. The leaf petiole, or leaf stalks, are unarmed and about 3 feet in length. The leaf itself is about 3-4 feet wide. From the top of the trunk on up, this palm looks similar to a Windmill Palm palm.

There is much ado in the literature regarding the 'armed' spines on the trunk of this plant. The spines are in fact stiff and rather pointed, but not nearly as intimidating as the leaf armature of, say, the Phoenix or Livistona saribus.

Price: $105.00
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    Clear Trunk Height:

    How we measure palms



    Conditions for Growth

    Does well in a variety of environments, though the literature on this palm regarding ideal growing conditions seems to be, well, all over the place. The native habitat is found in mountain areas of South Brazil at around 2100 to 3200 foot altitude and in Paraguay.

    We know that the palm does well at the Grove in Riverside, at 800 feet of elevation, growing next to neighboring plants in loam soil with periodic watering. It has a slow growth rate of 4-6 inches per year in temperatures well over 100 degrees during the summer and into the mid to low 30s during the winter.

    Growth Rate and Size

    Growth rate in Riverside is moderate to slow, at about 4-6 inches per year.

    Description

    To most observers the Brazilian needle palm might look a lot like the Windmill palm. It's a slender, solitary palm growing up to 16 feet tall, though most of the palms in our collection do not yet exceed 10 feet. The leaves are stiff and palmate, dull green in color with unarmed petiole about 3 feet in length. The leaf is divided to about half way. The inflorescence is multi-branched with yellow-cream flowers that produce a small fruit.

    The Brazilian need palm is readily identifiable by distinctive, fibrous spines that cover the entire trunk.