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Keys Thatch Palm, Brittle Broom Palm

  • ​Common Name: Keys Thatch Palm (other common names: Brittle Broom)
  • Scientific Name: Leucothrinax morrisii
  • Family Name: Arecaceae
  • Origin: native to the Florida Keys, West Indies, Bahamas, and Caribbean
  • Height: 20’ – 35’
  • Width: 8’ – 12’
  • Growth: slow
  • Zone: 10B - 11
  • Light Needs: Full sun – Partial shade
  • Salt Tolerance:  high
  • Soil/PH/Texture: prefers clay, sand, or loam soils alkaline – acidic that is well drained
  • Soil Moisture: average water needs, likes consistently moist soil if possible but can withstand drought
  • Drought Tolerance: high
  • Pests/Diseases: free of any serious diseases or pests
  • Growing Conditions: easy to grow and low maintenance
  • Characteristics: Grown for the foliage the fronds of this palm dark green – blue on top and are a silver/white underneath that shimmers, arranged alternately, simple, fan-shaped, 18” – 24” in length on a top of a slender and smooth trunk. It has white/yellow spring-time flowers that appear in clusters of panicles, 3’ – 5’ long and are insignificant, followed by round, small, fleshy yellow and white fruits that are ¼” – ½” in length.
  • Propagation: by seed
  • Wildlife: it furnishes food and cover for wildlife; the fruit pulp is eaten in Florida by the introduced Mexican Red-Bellied Squirrel and the Eastern Box Turtle and in the Bahamas by the Bahamas Amazon Parrot.
  • Facts: The leaves are still used to make brooms, thatch, and mats. Its fruit pulp contains oxalate making it capable of causing a burning sensation on the skin of sensitive people.
  • Designer Considerations: use as a container plant for a patio or deck, as a specimen, plant in groups of 3 as an accent plant, in a bed with low-growing ground cover, street tree, or on a highway median. Because of it being highly salt tolerant it is great for beachfront property.

Location


Keys Thatch Palm, Brittle Broom Palm