Paurotis Palm, Acoelorrhaphe wrightii

Paurotis Palm (Acoelorrhaphe wrightii) also known as Everglades Palm, Madiera Palm, and Silver Saw Palmetto, is a single species of plant from the genus Acoelorrhaphe. It is native to Central America, southeastern Mexico, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and extreme southern Florida. It was once plentiful in Florida, but many plants were taken for the nursery trade. It is now protected in Florida in the wild. It grows in swamps and forests that flood periodically. The species is named after the American botanist Charles Henry Wright.

It is a small to medium sized palm that grows in clusters 16 to 23 feet, and rarely to 30 feet tall. It has slender stems that are less than 6 inches in diameter. The leaves are fan-shaped with segments joined to each other for nearly half their length, and are 3 to 6.5 feet wide. They are light green above, and silvery below. The leaf stem is 3 to 3.5 feet long, and has orange, curved, sharp teeth along the edges. The flowers are tiny and greenish. The trunk is covered with fibrous matting. The fruit is pea-sized, and starts orange in color and becoming black by maturity.

Photo Copyright and Credit