Syn. Aiphanes horrida, Aipahenes caryotifolia
Common name: Ruffle palm, Spine palm
Native to: Columbia, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela
Aiphanes are a type of spiny palm trees that are native to the tropical regions of Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean. There are 26 species in the genus Aiphanes, which range from small understorey shrubs with subterranean stems, to sub-canopy trees that can be as tall as 20 metres.
Aiphanes horrida, a single gray trunk covered with large black spines. Trunk is topped with a very attractive crown of light green fronds. Leaves are pinnate, or feather-like, with rows of leaflets emerge on either side of the axis. Leaflets are ruffled, broad at the tips and grow on a pale spiny stalks.In the summer, it produces small yellow flowers. Male and female flowers are born on the same inflorescence. Flowers are followed by round bright red with an orange endocarp fruits that are about 1/2 in in diameter with a single seed inside.
Native / exotic: Exotic
Aspect: Full sun to partial shade
Flowers: Small yellow flowers on an inflorescence
Foliage: Evergreen, pinnate with rows of leaflets on either side of the axis
Growth habit: Upright, with a crown of light green fronds
Hardiness: Hardy but not drought resistant; requires warmer more humid climates and well-sheltered
Height: Up to 25 metres / 80 feet
Spread: Up to 5 metres / 18 feet
Soil requirements: Prefers consistently moist well-drained soils. Keep well mulched
Uses: Accent and structural plantings.