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December 1st, 2021

Old Man Palm Named For Its Bearded Trunk

by R.S. Walsh

The Old Man Palm (Coccothrinax crinita) is native to Cuba and is well-known for its unique trunk, with its thick covering of fibers that resembles an old man’s long beard. We typically use it as an ornamental accent in our gardens, but it can also be grown in a container indoors.

The palm tree is typically under 20 feet tall. It is so slow that it would take approximately 10 years to grow 5 inches. But in the summer, a long stalk with yellow flowers can reach 5 feet above the fronds, followed by dark purple rounded fleshy fruit.

It can tolerate partial shade to full sun, and cold temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Along with a strong tolerance for drought and salt, the Old Man Palm is a perfect accent palm for the seashore areas of Sanibel and Captiva.

If you are looking for that special accent piece or conversation starter in your landscape, we recommend this palm as a key focal point.

In The Garden is a joint effort by all at the local garden center, at 3889 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel. For information, contact 239-395-5859.

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