Acoelorrhaphe wrightii is native to Florida and parts of the Caribbean. It is a small to moderately tall palm with several, upright, slender trunks which form attractive tight clumps, clustered at the base. The slender stems which are covered with fibrous matting.
The leaves, which are light-green above, and silver underneath, are palmate (fan-shaped) and joined to each other for half of their length.
This striking fan palm will grow in light shade but prefers a sunny position. It requires an ample to regular water supply. It is one of just a few palms that can survive in saturated soil conditions and is also salt-tolerant. In its native environment it can grow to 4 to 5 metres (15ft) with variable spread, however in cultivation, in containers or moderate climates they will rarely achieve this size. It will take quite a long time to form a colony beyond home owner appreciation.
Paurotis Palm are used in Florida for street decoration, they are easy to grow, tough and durable. Hardy to -6°C (20°F), it is a good outdoor palm for a milder areas and a very tropical alternative to a hedge of shrubs. Highly desirable in the landscape, clumps look good as accents in an expanse of lawn. Well trimmed specimens look great in containers in entryways, especially impressive when flood lit at night. Their versatility and informal beauty make them a winner however they are used.
The Paurotis palm was formerly plentiful in Florida, but too many plants were taken for the nursery trade. It is now protected in the wild by Florida law. Only trees propagated from seed or by splitting a cluster are available in nurseries.
Sow indoors at any time of year. Soak the seed in warm water for two to three days; change the water each 24 hours.
The seeds can be started by either of these two methods:
1. The “Baggie” method, Place seeds in a ziplock bag together with the moist sowing medium.
2. Sow into trays containing the sowing medium, Sow ¼in (6mm) deep uncover the medium to view the roots. The best sowing medium is a sterile one. Perlite and vermiculite work well, as does coir otherwise a sterile peat/sand mix can be used. The medium should be barely damp but not wet. Be sure not to add too much water or the seeds will rot. More people kill seeds with water than anything else.
Put the bag or tray in the warmest part of the house – usually above the hot water tank Check from time to time. They usually produce a long root some time before the shoot appears, so it helps to examine seeds regularly, any of which have produced a root can be potted into 3in (7.5cm) deep pots of peat/sand mix and the remainder re-sown.
Some seedlings may appear within 8-12 weeks others may take longer. Transplant to deep pots (essential as they put down deep root systems) Pot either into small individual pots or group a few in one large pot to grow on.
Palms need warmth to grow well, if you don't provide warmth the roots struggle to take up nutrients and you more often that not get a sickly seedling that dies or turn yellow. Water only when they get dry. Keep at room temperature.
For the first few months of its life the seedling gets all the nutrients and minerals it needs from the seed itself to help it establish a root system so that it can fend for itself. For seedlings the simplest method is to use 12 month release granules.
It prefers wet soils although is tolerant of dryer conditions. Growth is less robust when dryer. Somewhat salt tolerant but off the beach It likes full sun or some light shade, is tolerant of a variety of soil conditions but is not happy about being planted in high pH soils
It will withstand temperatures down to about -6°C. The leaves can be bunched together in winter and protected with horticultural fleece or something similar.
Remove the suckers to prevent formation of additional trunks if preferred. Pruning stems to keep the palm "open" is recommended for best show in the landscape
The genus name is a combination of three Greek words meaning: a- 'without', koilos 'hollow', and rhaphis 'needle', an allusion to the form of the fruit.
The species is named after the American botanist Charles Wright.
The genus name is often cited as Acoelorraphe, (instead of Acoelorrhaphe) a grammatical error to be corrected under the provisions of the ICBN.
|Packet Size||10 Seeds|
|Synonym||Paurotis wrightii, Acoelorrhaphe arborescens|
|Common Name||Paurotis Palm|
|Other Common Names||Silver Saw Palmetto|