“Porcupine” Palm

Epiphyte, Palm, Tree

!!!!rhapidophyllum hytrix copy
A specimen needle palm (Rhapidophyllum hystrix) is pictured above in a photograph taken by Karen Schuster (Class of 2009) at Harry P. Leu Gardens at the Florida Wildflower Symposium on September 26, 2015. Also known as porcupine palm, this slow-growing palm is endemic to the southeastern U.S. ranging as far south as Brevard County. Old leaf bases form long spines, giving rise to its common names and its genus name, Rhapidophyllum which means needle (raphia) – leaf (phylum).
!!!!Tillansdia usenoeides at -Leu Gardens copy
Leu Gardens in Orlando is more temperate and less tropical than Vero Beach. Look carefully at the picture above taken by Karen Schuster for the leaves of a tall sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) tree above the dangling Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides).