Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Old Man Palm, Thatch Palm
Coccothrinax crinita

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Coccothrinax (koh-koh-THRY-naks) (Info)
Species: crinita (krin-EE-tuh) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

3 members have or want this plant for trade.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 14 photos.
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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Frenchbb On Aug 18, 2013, Frenchbb from Indian Harbour Beach, FL wrote:

We live on the beach in central FL. We have an old man that is about 12 - 15 years old, and he is beautiful! We had our 1st blooms 2 yrs ago, this is our 3rd yr. this year we have real seeds! We had to invent a way to keep the squirrels off as they kept eating the seeds. Our tree started to shoot out seed shoots around late June early July. We have about 6 shoots this year. Only 3 or 4 kept their seeds. Of those they all have just a sparse amount of seeds. This is now mid-August and they are getting to be the size of big plump grapes and starting to turn purple. Should we pick deep purple seeds or wait til they fall on the ground, and hope we beat the squirrels to them? Once we have the seeds off the tree, what is best way to grow new palm? Germinate the seed or put directly into pots? If pots, what is best medium to use? Remember, we live beachside and we have sand, not soil, and it is salty sand & air with sulfer water being used to water yard & plants.

Positive islandgirl37 On Jul 18, 2011, islandgirl37 from Marathon, FL (Zone 11) wrote:

One of my favorite palms. I had one that had grown to around 12' and it got scale down in the crown. By the time I noticed it, it was too late, the bud was damaged and it didn't make it. It was heartbreaking watching it perish.

We went to Botanics in Homestead and walked down muddy berms(it had rained the night before) with hundreds of Old Man palms and found an amazing one that stood out from the others. A hard freeze was predicted for Homestead the next day and I wanted to get it before the freeze hit them. The rain had ended, the front was just passing as we chose it.

It's been planted about 8' from the open ocean for over 7 years. It has had salt spray all over it and even salt water, crazy winds and it is doing great. It is also my male dog's favorite place to lift his leg. It's about 8' now.

One thing I want to mention is this is not a heavy feeder and VERY prone to leaf tip burn. I don't give this the same Palm food that I do my other Palms. I give it Dyna Gro only and feed it more often. This year I had my landscaper feed my other Palms and he got some of it too close to my Old Man and I got some tip burn.

Once a year I give it a very small dose of Manganese and Magnesium Sulphate, 1/4 the suggested amount for the size of the tree.

Very drought and salt tolerant. Mine is planted in full sun but gets a little shade in the late afternoon from a nearby, tall Coconut Palm(messiest palm in the universe, I have a love hate relationship with Coconut Palms.... love the shade, nothing bothers them, but mess, messy, messy!!!!).

Positive jungleboy_fl On Nov 16, 2004, jungleboy_fl from Naples, FL wrote:

Undemanding and easy in south FL, this is a great palm for smaller gardens. As with most of the Cuban palms, this species is accustomed to hot humid summers, and dry warm winters. Growth is painfully slow at first, then moderate as it matures. I've found with adequate water and fertilization, I get 8 fronds per summer. These can be quite expensive, especially since they seem to be popular at high-end retail nurseries. Out of all my palms, this is certainly not the rarest, but often, the most admired by locals. Highly recommended.

Positive palmbob On Sep 29, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a great palm for tropical areas of the world, and, though it also performns well in some temperate areas, like Southern California, it is SLOW! There are two varieties of this palm, the normal, and one call 'brevicrina', a 'miniature' form. Both are very well represtented in the Fairchild tropical gardens in Miami. My personal experience with this plant is that, aside from slow, it is pretty care free and does well in both shady and sunny conditions with an average amount of water.

This is called the old man palm because of it's unique fibre enveloping the trunk and haning down, making it look a bit like a big beard. It als makes this otherwise narrow-stemmed palm look bulky and stout. However, I refer to it as an old man's palm... since only an old man can show this off as anything recognizable as a palm, in my climate. My plants are 10 years old and still look like minature plants, about 5" tall, only vaguely resembling palms. I will indeed be an old man before some novice comes along and will be able to recognize these as palms.
The leaves of this palm are particularly stiff and perfectly round with deeply divided and keeled leaves. It is a beautiful palm.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Thousand Oaks, California
Big Pine Key, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Brandon, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Loxahatchee, Florida (2 reports)
Marathon, Florida
Mulberry, Florida
Naples, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Satellite Beach, Florida
Venice, Florida (2 reports)

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