Cocothrinax crinita
Hairy Thatch Palm

This Bearded Old Man Will Breathe New Life into Your Landscape

Cocothrinax crinita is a somewhat rare palm tree in U.S. gardens. It is commonly called the Old Man palm because of its bearded trunk. The fan-shaped fronds of the hairy thatch palm are used to cover roofs in its native Cuba.



<i>Cocothrinax crinita</i> ringed by bromeliads in Ft. Lauderdale. This Old Man palm is growing in a bed of bromeliads outside the New River Inn--one of the oldest buildings in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Other names for this Cuban native are: Palma Petate, Guano Barbudo and Guano Petate.

Most palms are grown for their foliage. This rare novelty palm is grown for its hirsute trunk.

A thick mat of somewhat curling wooly fiber which ranges in hue from white to brown completely conceals the straight, single trunk of this Thatch palm.

Picture of a young hairy thatch palm. This "beard" is present even on very young specimens.

This conversation piece trunk is topped by a crown of weeping fans which are only divided at the outer third.

The fronds are glossy green on top with gray tinted undersides.

The short petioles which hold these dramatic leaves aloft are toothless. This, coupled with its shade tolerance make it a good

Yellow flowers appear each summer and are replaced by half inch, round fruits by fall. The inconspicuous berries are purple when ripe.

A Group of Old Men

A group of old man palms.

This is 1 of the few palm trees which is not easy to grow from seed.

With a mature height of 20 feet or less, the old man palm is a great choice for smaller landscapes.

If you are planting more than 1, space them at least 4 feet apart.

Old Man Palm Care

Buy a 5' Old Man Palm - Medium Palm Tree

Palma Petate is an easy palm to grow. It will take sun or part shade. It grows well in humid and dry climates alike and can even be used as an indoor palm.

This palm enjoys warm weather and fast draining soil. It is reliably hardy in zones 9b-11.

It is drought tolerant but will grow more quickly if you water it.

Growth can be painfully slow with this species. Buy the largest plant you can afford or you may be old before it becomes the showpiece you intend it to be.

Cocothrinax crinita is salt spray tolerant.

Palm Tree Store

Other Types of Palms:

The Petite Florida Thatch Palm is Perfect for Landscaping Small Yards

Edible and Ornamental Date Palms

The Golden Butterfly Palm

Yucca rostrata: a Yucca that Looks Like a Palm

Go from Cocothrinax crinita to Botanical Journeys Plant Guides Home