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Coccothrinax sp. 'Cera Blanca'

Snow White Palm

Undoubtedly the most spectacular of the Coccothrinax, this amazing, smallish to medium-sized palm sports rigid, palmate leaves that are shiny silvery gray below and the most intense silvery, thick waxy white above. Native to the Sierra de Jatibonico in central Cuba, it grows in savanna and scrubland on serpentine soils. Botanically, it may represent a new, undescribed species. It may also be another form of Coccothrinax macroglossa but it differs clearly in the very thick, waxy layer on its rigid leaves and its coarser leafsheath fibers from the plants called Coccothrinax macroglossa 'Azul' from around Camaguey further to the east. Coccothrinax sp. 'Cera Blanca' is also much more consistent in leaf coloration than the plants in the Camaguey population, where one can find anything from plants with nearly green leaves to quite intensely waxy ones. Also unresolved remains the question where the plants called Coccothrinax sp. 'Azul' by author and Cuba palm authority Paul Craft fit in that are said to grow in Sancti Spíritus province. In cultivation, like other Cuban Coccothrinax it is best adapted to the tropics and in fact is one of the few plants with a silvery white leaf that will flourish even in humid tropical climates. It can also manage warm temperate conditions as long as it is not exposed to more than an occasional light freeze. It is quite resistant to drought and well drained soil is essential. A sunny spot is recommended. Like most Coccothrinax it is slow growing at first but speeds up considerably once a trunk is formed. With a maximum of about 4 m tall, it is perfect even for small gardens.

 
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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

 
       
 

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We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches


Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.


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