By Pal Meir
What is your palm with the thinnest stems? My record holder is a 15 year old Rhapis micrantha. The 1st stem (grown directly from seed, no offshoot) has a diameter of 4.6 mm, much less than the stem of a 3½ year old Chamaedorea tuerckheimii with 5.0 mm. (An old no more existent Rhapis subtilis had 4.7 mm.)
I guess good other candidates were Chamaedorea stolonifera and some Calamus spp.
Hello, my friends. Does anybody have a comprehensive list of Chamaedorea hybrids? I know that something like this has been published in Don Hodel's 1992 book. Do you have this list with an update?
I was checking my pots of palm seedlings this morning and I found this albino seedling in my pot of Cham klotzschianas. Albino seedlings are, unfortunately for the plants affected, not as rare as you might think. Albinism in palms occurs because a genetic defect in the seed produces a palm that is unable to manufacture chlorophyll. Lack of chlorophyll in green plants means the defective plant is unable to photosynthesize and feed itself. Right now this little guy is living off food storage in its seed. When that is used up the seedling will wither and die. After taking the following photos I put the pot of seedlings back under canopy and will let the albino one get the most out of its spark of life. Guess I'm a softie.
Chamaedorea klotzschiana albino seedling, Cape Coral, FL
These are lovely little understory palms that deserve wider renown. They are surprisingly cold hardy: down to 28F. Current thinking lumps what were two species, C. geoniformis and C. tenella into just C. geoniformis even though these palms are distinctly different to uneducated eyes, including mine. I have two C. geoniformis vs. seven C. tenella. The geoniformis are much larger all around. C. tenella is almost impossibly dainty, sporting 3-4" leaves atop tiny stems thinner than a pencil
I just finished fall maintence on these little guys then took the following photos. These palms are well worth growing
Chamaedorea geoniformis x2 and Chamaedorea tenella x7
Chamaedorea geoniformis (left) & Chamaedorea tenella (right)
Chamaedorea geoniformis x2
I went to the spring Palm Beach palm & cycad sale and one vendor had gorgeous Lytocaryum hoehnii in 3g pots. I'd never seen this species before. He also had Lytocaryum weddellianum in 1g pots. I've tried weddellianum before with dismal results and have since learned they have issues with my sweltering summers and prefer a more temperate climate. Still, I bit the bullet and grabbed one of each species. At home I repotted them and stashed them deep under canopy in my back yard jungle. So far, the hoehnii seems to be growing fine and looking good and may be a good candidate for my heat and humidity as long as it is kept in shade. The weddellianum is still alive and while it threatened a spear pull several months ago, is opening a new leaf. But it has scarcely grown since I bought it. I hope it can make it until cooler weather in late Oct. and be happier over winter. I don't think either species will accept my alkaline soil and will have to spend their lives in pots. Good thing they stay small. Yesterday I pulled them out of their shady canopies to take photos. These are for you, Pal Meir.
Lytocaryum hoehnii, Cape Coral, FL
Lytocaryum weddellianum, Cape Coral, FL