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made from the soft, tough leaves. The berries are large and sweet and edible.
The tree is more plentiful in the Bahamas.
Its first recorded existence in the United States was delayed until the
Everglades and the keys were explored. Not until the 1870's was it recorded
in the flora of continental United States. The tree is found in the rocky pine
woods near Miami and grows also on the Marquesas Island group west of Key
West. The trunks are used as piles for small wharves and for turtle crawls.
Ancestors of the silver palm in Florida may have come from the West
Indies. The leaves are dark-green, glossy on top and silver on the under side
[sic]. The gray, symmetrical trunks average from ten to twelve feet in height
and terminate with a crown of gracefully placed leaves. The silver palm will
grow in almost any soil, provided that the climate is suitable.
Within a comparatively few years, the geographical limits of the species
have extended northward over 70 miles, or 100 miles north of its former center
of development in South Florida. Formerly, the Miami River was the northern
limit of its growth in the State. It has taken extensively to the banks of the
canal extending westward form Biscayne Bay. The fruit is black and meaty
and much sought by birds and animals. Migratory birds may have brought the
seeds northward from the West Indies.