Rootspine Palm, Guáguara Palm, Broom Palm, Silver Star Palm

Cryosophila warscewiczii

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cryosophila (kry-oh-so-FY-luh) (Info)
Species: warscewiczii (vark-zeh-wik-ZEE-eye) (Info)
Synonym:Cryosophila albida




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 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

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


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

Bloom Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms all year


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

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

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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


Thousand Oaks, California

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Myers, Florida

Naples, Florida

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 16, 2008, JoseMaria from Ciudad Neily,
Costa Rica wrote:

These palms occur in the rainforests of Costa Rica(Pacific lowlands)
Farmers clearing land to plant crops or pasture respect them and leave them .
I guess becuase they are beautifull, lustery leaves and white underside.In the forest I saw an 8 meter high specimen, with seedlings around.
I would not recomend them for gardens because of the spines,only for collectionistas and Botanical gardens.The seeds are covered with leaves, will send photo.


On Aug 22, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This beautiful and charming, medium sized fan palm from Central America has curious roots-transformed-to-spines that cover the slender trunk. The soft leaves are dark green above and silvery-white below and form a compact crown. Elegant and attractive, essential in the palm collection, excellent for the subtropical and tropical garden and one of the few fan palms that really do well indoors.


On May 29, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is the most commonly grown species of Cryosophila in southern CAlifornia and it is a striking specimen palm, with circular, deeply and irregularly split fan leaves and nearly pure white undersides. This palm is susceptible to hot, dry winds, but has some good frost tolerance as well as tolerance of low light situations, making it an excellent indoor palm. It seems totally resistant to spider mites which are the bane of most indoor palm species. This palm, like all Cryosophilas, has rootspines near the bottom of the trunk (the darker and wetter it's kept, the higher up the trunk the spines emerge). This palm is native to Costa Rica and Panama.