The Key Thatch Palm is a slender, solitary fan palm with a globose canopy of light green leaves. It is one of Florida’s most beautiful native palm trees. It is native to South Florida and the Caribbean. It gets its common name because it is native to the Florida Keys. It is abundant in the Lower Keys and it forms an understory in the pinelands of Big Pine Key. Here it grows together with several other palm species, where they form a remarkable assemblage of native palms. It is usually 8-15 tall but can occasionally grow up to 19 feet in height. The stems are straight and slender with smooth, light gray or brown bark and persistent leaf bases below the canopy of leaves. The stems are 2-14 inches in diameter. Leaves are circular and 2-3 feet wide. They are divided into narrow segments. The upper surfaces of the leaves are shiny and green and the lower surfaces are white or bluish-white. The pale lower surfaces of the leaves contrast with the green upper surfaces of the leaves and make this palm an especially attractive ornamental plant. It is a coastal species and is tolerant of drought, and saline conditions. The flowers are in long, arching inflorescences. They are flowed by white, globose fruits that are in large clusters among the leaves. The Key Thatch Palm is grown as a specimen plant and the leaves are used for thatch.
Seeds are Stored in a Refrigerator to Maintain Viability
- Soak the seed in water for 24 hours.
- The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
- Put the seeds on the soil.
- Cover the seeds with a layer of soil that is 0.5 inch thick.
- Water the seeds.
- Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade.
- When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.