By Nicholas Bullock
Hello everyone I'm looking for a rhapis excelsa'Tenzan'. It seems that these species are also hard to find. Let me know if you have one and like to discuss it with you! Thank you!!
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.
I've been fascinated by this tiny mutant variation of the familiar Rhapis excelsa but over the years managed to kill several when I repotted and/or separated the clumps. Last fall I bought another pot of this densely clumping palm from Jeff Searle and swore to handle it extra carefully. On the surface, this variation looks like a rat's nest of grasslike leaves. On closer inspection you will see among the strap leaves tiny palmate leaves of 3-4 leaflets belonging to 6" tall, 1/8" diameter stems of individual palms. This afternoon I brought my Super Dwarf out of the jungle to inspect and trim away excess dead leaves. And what did I find? In the center of the clump one little stem was producing an infructescense of 5-6 green seeds. I've never seen that before so I grabbed my phone and 4X reading glasses to document this find. Unfortunately for all of us, I've read that Rhapis Super Dwarf is female only so those seed are infertile. But it shares the same structure as its gigantic cousins. It wasn't easy capturing this one stem among 100s of others so I marked some of the photos.
Rhapis excelsa "Super Dwarf" w/seeds, Cape Coral, FL
I have a Rhapis excelsa with a root stem (or whatever it’s called) that’s roughly a foot long and growing sideways. Can I cut a few inches off of this offshoot stem? I know palms are generally root sensitive, but Rhapis is supposedly tolerant of being divided. This thing won’t fit in any of the empty pots I have, and an oversized pot for such a small palm would just encourage root rot (and look ridiculous).
This root is nearly the same size as the palm.