Plant Profile

Acoelorraphe wrightii

(uh-SEAL-uh-rafe) (RIGHT-ee-eye)

Paurotis Palm

Subfamily Coryphoideae

Unplaced member of Trachycarpeae

“A pretty hardy clumping fan palm native to Florida and Central America which can make a excellent specimen palm in the right location. If uncontrolled and watered regularly, clumps can become rather large and dense- nearly impenetrable. However, does well if pruned regularly and can even be grown as a few stemmed plant, trimming off suckers as they come up, making an interesting specimen for smaller spaces. Not a good palm for the desert unless watered nearly daily.” – Palmpedia

“The paurotis or Everglades palm is a clustering, fan-leaved palm with very slender (2–3 inch diameter) stems. It can reach heights up to 30 feet, with a spread of 20 feet. The light green leaves have blades about 2 feet across on spiny petioles up to 3 feet long. The stems are covered with fibers and persistent leaf bases. In the spring paurotis palms produce large inflorescences of creamy white flowers that extend well beyond the foliage. These are followed in the summer by ¼-inch round fruits that pass through green and orange stages but turn black when completely ripe. Paurotis palms are rather slow-growing and are not tolerant of salt spray.” – IFAS

“The native range of this species is S. Florida, Caribbean, S. Mexico to Colombia. It is a shrub or tree and grows primarily in the wet tropical biome. It is has environmental uses and as a medicine.” – Kew

Origin Map from Kew Royal Botanic Gardens