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Trithrinax campestris 2.jpg
Trithrinax campestris in a garden, grown as ornamental palm
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Subfamily: Coryphoideae
Tribe: Cryosophileae
Genus: Trithrinax

Trithrinax brasiliensis Mart.
Trithrinax campestris (Burmeist.) Drude & Griseb.
Trithrinax schizophylla Drude in Mart.
Trithrinax acanthocoma Drude

Trithrinax is a genus of flowering plants in the subfamily Coryphoideae of the family Arecaceae. The name is derived from ancient Greek, where tri means three, and thrinax trident. It was named in 1837 by Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius, a German botanist and explorer.[2]

Trithrinax species are spiny fan palms native to South America. They are resistant to cold, heat, wind, drought, poor soils and other adverse environmental conditions. Seeds germinate fast, but their overall growth rate is distinctly slow.[3]


Common features of Trithrinax species include:

  • Flowers: Inflorescences, in the order of hundreds of units. Flowers with three sepals, three petals, six stamens and three carpels.
  • Stem: Dead foliage is kept as a thick and spiny coat around the trunk.
  • Leaves: Fan shaped (palmate), composed of strong resistant fibers.
  • Shoots: Red coloured.
















Simplified phylogeny of the New World thatch palms based on four nuclear genes and the matK plastid gene.[4]

In the first edition of Genera Palmarum (1987), Natalie Uhl and John Dransfield placed the genus Trithrinax in subfamily Coryphoideae, tribe Corypheae and subtribe Thrinacinae.[5] Subsequent phylogenetic analyses showed that the Old World and New World members of Thrinacinae are not closely related. As a consequence, Trithrinax and related genera have been placed in their own tribe, Cryosophileae.[6]


Trithrinax species are spread along vast subtropical zones of South America: Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina. They prefer dry, open or forest clearing, environments, with moderate to cold winters.[7]


Leaf fibers are used as raw material for textiles, rustic clothing, and handicrafts. Oil can also be extracted from seeds. Fruits are sometimes used locally, fermented, to produce alcoholic beverages.[7]


  1. ^ Martius, Historia Naturalis Palmarum 2:149. 1837. Type:T. brasiliensis
  2. ^ Moore, H. E., Jr. 1963. An annotated checklist of cultivated palms.
  3. ^ Riffle, Robert L. and Craft, Paul (2003) An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms. Portland: Timber Press. ISBN 0-88192-558-6 / ISBN 978-0-88192-558-6
  4. ^ Cano, Ángela; Bacon, Christine D.; Stauffer, Fred W.; Antonelli, Alexandre; Serrano‐Serrano, Martha L.; Perret, Mathieu (2018). "The roles of dispersal and mass extinction in shaping palm diversity across the Caribbean". Journal of Biogeography. 45 (6): 1432–1443. doi:10.1111/jbi.13225. ISSN 1365-2699.
  5. ^ Uhl, Natalie E.; John Dransfield (1987). Genera Palmarum: a classification of palms based on the work of Harold E. Moore Jr. Lawrence, Kansas: The L. H. Bailey Hortorium and the International Palm Society.
  6. ^ Dransfield, John; Natalie W. Uhl; Conny B. Asmussen; William J. Baker; Madeline M. Harley; Carl E. Lewis (2005). "A New Phylogenetic Classification of the Palm Family, Arecaceae". Kew Bulletin. 60 (4): 559–69. JSTOR 25070242.
  7. ^ a b Jones, D. L. 1994. Palms throughout the world.