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Coccothrinax argentata: Silverpalm

Edward F. Gilman, Dennis G. Watson, Ryan W. Klein, and Deborah R. Hilbert


This slow-growing, small, native Florida palm can reach 20 feet in height but is usually seen at 6 to 10 feet with a spread of 6 feet. The slender silverpalm has distinctive dark blue-green, drooping, delicate, deeply divided palmate leaves which have a beautiful silver color beneath, providing a bright glint in the landscape when the leaves sway in the wind. The 6-inch-wide trunk is either smooth and grey or is sometimes covered with woven, burlap-like fiber. The small, white flowers are borne in profusion on 2-foot-long stalks, hidden among the leaves during the summer. The small, round, purple fruits ripen in late summer and fall.

Figure 1. Young Coccothrinax argentata: Silverpalm
Figure 1. Young Coccothrinax argentata: Silverpalm. 
Credit: Stephen Brown, UF/IFAS 


General Information

Scientific name: Coccothrinax argentata

Pronunciation: koe-koe-THRY-nacks ar-jen-TAY-tuh

Common name(s): Silverpalm, thatchpalm

Family: Arecaceae

USDA hardiness zones: 10B through 11 (Figure 2)

Origin: native to North America

Invasive potential: native

Uses: deck or patio; specimen; container or planter; highway median

Figure 2. Range
Figure 2.  Range



Height: 6 to 15 feet

Spread: 6 to 7 feet

Crown uniformity: symmetrical

Crown shape: palm, upright/erect

Crown density: open

Growth rate: slow

Texture: coarse


Leaf arrangement: spiral (Figure 3)

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: entire

Leaf shape: star-shaped

Leaf venation: palmate

Leaf type and persistence: broadleaf evergreen, evergreen

Leaf blade length: 18 to 36 inches

Leaf color: green, blue or blue-green, silver

Fall color: no color change

Fall characteristic: not showy

Figure 3. Foliage
Figure 3. Foliage and fruit of Coccothrinax argentata: Silverpalm. 
Credit: Stephen Brown, UF/IFAS 



Flower color: white/cream/gray

Flower characteristics: not showy


Fruit shape: round

Fruit length: less than .5 inch

Fruit covering: fleshy

Fruit color: purple

Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; not showy; fruit/leaves not a litter problem

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: branches don't droop; not showy; typically one trunk; thorns

Pruning requirement: little required

Breakage: resistant

Current year twig color: not applicable

Current year twig thickness:

Wood specific gravity: unknown


Light requirement: full sun, partial sun, or partial shade, shade tolerant

Soil tolerances: clay; sand; loam; alkaline; acidic; well-drained

Drought tolerance: high

Aerosol salt tolerance: high


Roots: not a problem

Winter interest: no

Outstanding tree: no

Ozone sensitivity: unknown

Verticillium wilt susceptibility: resistant

Pest resistance: free of serious pests and diseases

Use and Management

This palm is most suited for residential and commercial landscapes where the unusual blue foliage can be appreciated. It makes a nice accent in a shrub border, and can be massed together to create a dramatic colorful impact. Place it in a low-growing groundcover to provide an exclamation point in the landscape.

Growing in full sun or partial shade, silverpalm will tolerate any well-drained soil. The palm will grow straight up and provide a beautiful blue accent, even in areas receiving only two or three hours of sun. It is highly salt-tolerant and is especially useful for coastal locations and for soils with a high pH.

Propagation is by seed.

Pests and Diseases

No pests or diseases are of major concern.

Publication #ENH335

Release Date:February 26, 2024

Related Collections

Part of Southern Trees Fact Sheets

  • Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises
Organism ID

About this Publication

This document is ENH335, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Revised December 2023. Visit the EDIS website at

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Deborah R. Hilbert, UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center; Department of Environmental Horticulture; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Michael Andreu
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