“Swollen Silver Thatch Palm”
Natural Habitat: Naturally found in savannas and open forest throughout the Dominican Republic. It is severely endangered in Habitat, due to deforestation.
Description: A solitary palm, which can reach heights over 20 feet tall in habitat, but tends to stay much shorter in cultivation. The spissa is one of the more unique members of the Coccothrinax family, due to its unusual trunk that develops a large swollen midsection. The swollen midsection develops in the middle of palms light gray trunk with a skinnier trunk above and below the swell. Some spissa’s do not develop the large swollen midsection, possibly due to mistreatment or being out of habitat, which has been reported. The crownshaft emerges 14-18 palmate light green leaves with silver undersides.
Environment: The spissa enjoys a sunny well drained area where it can get plenty of sun throughout the day. It is drought tolerant once established and can be planted in full sun away from regular water sources. As a seedling it should be watered regularly. It is cold hardy to the mid 30’s, and should be protected during any temperatures under 35 to prevent burning. Zones 10-11 marginal 9b.