Trithrinax brasiliensis

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Figure 3. T. brasiliensis in habitat.



T. acanthocoma

Common Names:

Brazilian Needle Palm

Distribution & Habitat:

Open forest at between 700m and 1000m altitude along the southernmost end of the mountain range in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The palm is threatened by forest clearance,fires and cattle grazing.


An attractive, small to medium sized, solitary palmate palm, with an unusual woven fibre wrapping the trunk, fibre falls away very easily to reveal a finely detailed pattern of old leaf bases. Leaves are greyish green, very deeply divided, with each individual leaflet being split into two long thin "fingers". The spines are only found at the apex, and due to their feeble nature tend to fall away very quickly. It grows large bunches of white/pale green oval fruits about 1.5cm long, the seeds being the largest of the genus.


Sunny, moist, but well drained position. Drought and frost tolerant. Slightly alkaline soil. Slow growing, seedlings in cultivation can take 3 years to produce the first palmate leaf. Suitable for sub-tropical all the way thru to temperate gardens.

Figure 2. T. brasiliensis leaf close-up.
Figure 3. T. brasiliensis infructescence in Naples Botanic Gardens.
Figure 4. T. brasiliensis in habitat.

Contributed by:

Nigel Kembrey,
Hardypalms (Text & Figure 1,2,3&4)
Angelo Porcelli (Figure 3)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, IUCN, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk