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Rhapis multifida clustering or multiple seeds


David_Sweden

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I've been thinking about getting a Rhapis multifida since in some pics it looks beyond beautiful and should do nicely without any direct sun in my apartment. And a few months ago I thought I was in luck when I saw this being sold in Germany:

579f0cced27c0_rhapis-multifida-2PPP.thum

However I didn't really like the look of it, despite having all those stems. Too much stems too little leaves I think, for my apartment but probably nice outdoors. But now a thought crossed my mind: Could it be that this is not true clustering, that they have planted several seeds to save time? Or have they cut off unhealthy fronts to a too large extent? For comparison here are some pics I found of astonishing specimens:

8029246843_0db7e3dc89_c.jpg.71f5de98ca1aajfbdbed.png.962b20032efc227fde5fd8b0a58jade_palm_tree.jpg.9b98749d03591eb317e04jade_empress_palm1.jpg.21a6ca92440c2965516291483260.jpg.b9cd3d1bf0b7acc2297d1522

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Yeah that's what I was thinking. And maybe also they pulled off a lot of fronds if not green enough for the pic, all in all making it look like more stems that leaves. Still, since they are so rare, I'm thinking about buying one, cut off a bunch of stems keeping just one palm with clusters, and then after a year or so hope to have twice as many leaves per stem. Should be no danger to the remaining palm as long as I am sure I cut the right ones. I wonder what the soil quality will be like when it contains dying roots from the sacrificed palms though. In nature it would just be a normal thing but in a pot? Might impair drainage when the hardish roots turn softish I'm thinking..

The other pics look like normal clustering (only one seed) right?

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Dear David,

Thanks for the visuals. Rhapis is also my fav palm.Glad that you are buying it..:greenthumb:

Love,

Kris. 

love conquers all..

43278.gif

.

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Yeah it's amazingly pretty (when grown naturally, not by bastards who fill the bucket with seeds). Or if anyone has tips about anyone else selling Multifidas (over 1 meter) to Europe? Not that I mind ordering from e g the US but it's a bit illegal unless you pay for expensive certificates. (And palmswholesale on ebay seems to either be on vacation or left for good, wonder which.)

I hope it's not like 20 seeds so that only 5% remains after the operation.. :-/

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TWO female? What now, isn't one female enough anymore? Don't want to overwhelm the male one :D

Seriously though, I wonder how proper growers do: Do they have only one seed, or a few?

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I'm guessing you mean the first pic probably is around 10 seeds or so? I think you're right then. But what about the other pics, does it look like one seed or a few seeds?

Here's some more very nice ones:

Rm01.thumb.jpg.7f34f93feb2483b6bdf2695e9Rhapismultifida.jpg.e8ad5cc918453145ebd1RhaMul.jpg.e7743a48e0904f6a064e6138e08d9

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1 hour ago, Pal Meir said:

All of the photos have more than one individual plant, I think. The optimum would be (two or) three Rhapis in one wide pot.

Here the nurseries follow what you have mentioned. ..

20160710_113131.thumb.jpg.f5b78bf1a423cb

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love conquers all..

43278.gif

.

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Thanks. Yes 2 or 3 sounds reasonable to me for many palms, like Kentia and dwarf date. And I wonder why no one sells Parlour Palms with 2 or 3 seeds, it is usually like 20 seeds or sometimes 1. Thought it might be different with clustering ones though, like my ~2 foot Lipstick, which has 8 suckers and counting, seems like a bad idea to have more than one such palm in a pot.

Kris, I can't really see in the pic, is it like 3 or 10 seeds? And they are Rhapis Excelsa, right (both pots)?

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David:

That plant looks seriously potbound. I've encountered plants like that in collections by old people who never repot anything. ("Well, maybe back in 1983. Wife still alive then.")

If the price is right, it might be worth getting it and either putting it into a much bigger pot, or splitting it into two or more parts and repotting those. Rhapis take a while to recover from that, but they live a long time. They're a good plant for indoors, no two ways about that. And they'll take the infamous Dry Heat of Doom in the winter time.

Maybe take advantage of the EU's open market and drive to where it is and pick it up, with a nice vacation with a significant other . . . .

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Interesting Paul and nice photos. I thought you were kidding when you recommended 1 male with 2 females. :blink: The first photo even looks like two seeds (my Lipstick has an array of heights on the suckers which makes it easy to tell they're suckers). Is it common that the male of a clustering species is not clustering as you say for the R cochinchinensis?

Dave, the price is a bit high, €250 plus shipping, but I know of no options. I know it is not a high price for a R.M. of 130-140cm plus pot if it was in shape since they grow slowly but considering the work it needs and the time before it will look healthy I think it's a bit much. Will ask palmswholesale (aka Coconut Climber) when/if he's back from vacation tho. Is that guy a member here?

I don't know if I dare to aim at splitting it up into several live parts especially if severily root bound, my plan was rather to sacrifice some part by simply cutting it off but not messing with the roots, just add some soil around the root ball.

PS I make an effort to keep humidity above 40% almost always, and during the winter between 50 and 65% fo a few hours most days in the daytime (they can't photosynthesize if they close their stomata, like grandma always said..). And they send palms well packaged, I'm not too worried about that. More troubled about the fact that more than every other several-year-old plant I buy from within the EU is infected by some serious bug, usually mealybugs. I blame the EU for not allowing growers to use any pesticides that work. Plants from outside the EU never had any bugs. I have found efficient ways to exterminate them but I don't like having to do that.

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When I look at the 1st photo I'm thinking now that the leaves very upright. All other Multifidas have an abundance of drooping leaves which makes me think they cut off a lot of dried up leaves before taking a photo. This pic is of a single seed plant grown in Sweden from seed age 12 years:

57a1a61b98ccb_Rhapis_multifidaEgnersmode

This is one sucker that he cut off to sell (I was offered to buy it but realized it would not get the nice "bush look" in my life time):

57a1a627de14a_Rhapis_multifida_1Egner.th57a1a62e9ae42_Rhapis_multifida_2Egner.th

And I also think the leaves on the 1st photo are very small in relation to the stems. I have noticed that plants I buy often grow much more compact at my place compared to at the grower and thought it could be either due to me having more light and/or more blueish light (they get daylight in combination with 4000K ceramic metal halide), or due to the grower using tricks to make it grow tall faster. Look at my Lipstick palm which I got 13 months ago, the first pic is from when I just got it (from another German grower, bundled with mealybugs) and the second pic shows how the fronds which developed here are lower but with bigger leaves (or more than 1 pair of leaves) and sturdier:

150625b.thumb.jpg.bb10a671fec769d9403631Lipstick.thumb.jpg.2abb615ebd011d7cde9e5

I think youre right it would be best to go to the grower by car and pick out a specimen on site, but I don't think I'll have time for that.

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I forgot to mention the Swedish grower said he regretted he hadnt kept grow lights also at the lower parts over the winter since the lower fronds died off. Which means a normal Multifida would have fronds not only at the top of the stems like in the 1st pic. Considering how hard I think it must be to keep a Multifida free from brown tips, I bet they pulled off a bunch of leaves before taking pic (maybe also due to too shallow lighting). Still I guess in time it might look good. I wonder if the gap between the top fronds and the lower sucker fronds will ever be filled, but it might well look good anyway, when more and drooping fronds come.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went to a rather small shopping mall yesterday which had the most common plants including lots of Rhapis exelsa and Kentias. But one of them looked different. Must be a Rh multifida, right? Growing from only 1 or 2 seeds? Major surprise to find that here.

Allum1.thumb.jpg.b35561789c0e0f5baba7f75Allum2.thumb.jpg.5d3049ba87b6ab47bf56cf0

This has leaves also at the lower parts of the stems - something that is missing in the first pic of this thread (and what the Swedish grower siad he lost due to improper lighting during the winter). Nice looking except versy sparse both fronds and leaves, not like the nice bushy ones above. I wouldn't dream of being able to identify palms in general but what could this be if not Rh multifida?

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I would split it up. Just take your time and use water to help seperate rootball. You will then find out if it is multiple plants or one plant with multiplenty stems. Either way you can successfully get multiple plants from one.

David Simms zone 9a on Highway 30a

200 steps from the Gulf in NW Florida

30 ft. elevation and sandy soil

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I am also looking for Rhapis multifida suppliers in Europe and just ordered this plant online.

They describe it as "finger palm (Rhapis humilis or also Rhapis multifida)", don't know if they are implying those are synonymous or if they are unsure themselves which one they are selling. Since I ideally want one of each and don't have either in my collection yet, I went ahead and bought one.

Once the actual plant arrives, I might post a pic in this forum for the experts to help me figure out what it is. 

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11 minutes ago, Nessie42 said:

I am also looking for Rhapis multifida suppliers in Europe and just ordered this plant online.

They describe it as "finger palm (Rhapis humilis or also Rhapis multifida)", don't know if they are implying those are synonymous or if they are unsure themselves which one they are selling. Since I ideally want one of each and don't have either in my collection yet, I went ahead and bought one.

Once the actual plant arrives, I might post a pic in this forum for the experts to help me figure out what it is. 

Hello Nessie, the Rhapis in your online link looks to me like R multifida. Maybe the seeds were sold to the nursery as R humilis.

My photos at flickr: flickr.com/photos/palmeir/albums

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Thank you, Pal Meir, I'd be thrilled if that is what the actual plant turns out to be! Anything beyond the standard green Rhapis excelsa is so difficult to find. 

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Very nice and "bushy" plant you found. About half the height compared to the top pic but also significantly cheaper. I think I might get that one. By the help of Google I can see they had it in stock since Dec 2nd 2015 so maybe no major hurry though, except for the 20% discount that ends today.

PS Make sure also the lower leaves get light so that it doesn't end up like in some other pics above

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David_Sweden, this is one of the online shops I have been checking for Rhapis during the past months, and until very recently they only had the larger "Finger Palms" listed (marked as "sold out" for ages though). The smaller one I posted the link for can only have been on offer for a few weeks, max. It appears they have them in stock on and off only. I don't know how quickly they usually sell out, but to be on the safe side placed my order quickly after spotting the plant (just before the current weekend discount, of course :P).

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Let us know how it went! Hope it looks like in the pics.

You can search within specified dates on Google and that way see they had this for €99,90 height 80cm with pot from Dec 2nd.

Unfortunately, Palmenmann have a lot of very bad reviews:

https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/shop.palmenmann.de

http://www.dooyoo.de/online-shops/palmenmann-de/

http://www.mydealz.de/deals/palmenmann-de-olivenbaum-als-bogen-olea-europea-10-00-6-90-vsk-max-3-st%C3%BCck-pro-bestellung-598135

I've had reasons not to believe Trustpilot much before though, and it's funny how everybody's made only 1 review there, but with the number of negative reviews I do get worried. But on Dooyoo there's "kimpoldi" (rating 1 of 5) who's made 1956 reviews, which can't be disregarded, but there's also Sarah Wertmann with rating 4 of 5 and 18 reviews (if I understand the word "Premiumberichte" correctly). Then there is "netzzwerg82" on mydealz.de who made a lot of comments so he's trusted not to be a competitor etc and he is quite negative. People seem to complain mainly about packaging, transport time and condition of plant but also items not available, bugs, poorly taken care of by grower and refunding.

On the other hand Rh multifida is probably not the most sensitive plant to being in a box for a week or so. They have facebook page with some nice pics (they have disbled reviews though):

https://www.facebook.com/DerPalmenmann/

Seems they buy a lot from Spanish growers, maybe the get different batches, could explain if they are not always in stock. I tried finding it in Spain by googling but no luck.

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Hm, now you got me slightly concerned about the state my new Rhapis might arrive in. I've ordered from Palmenmann twice and both deliveries were fine - in one plant, the plastic pot was a bit cracked but I was reporting anyway so that was no concern for me. Fingers crossed indeed that all will be well again this time!

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Sorry, didn't mean to alarm you - I actually wrote the post before I saw you ordered one, then edited it. It does seem they have more bad reviews than normal (and companies on Facebook can not edit reviews they can only disable the whole review section, which is a suspiscious thing to do).

Please tell us how it goes, maybe even post a pic of your new plant. If it looks anything like the pics on their site I am up for ordering one, even without the 20% discount. It is one of the most beautiful Rh multifida/humilis/siamensis I have seen of that size.

For comparison here is Palmenmann's pic:

fingerpalme_RHAP-HUMI-5317_1.thumb.jpg.b

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26 minutes ago, Nessie42 said:

That is a beautiful plant you found there, Pal Meir. The market doesn't have an online shop, does it?

I don’t think that they will ship plants themselves. But you can contact them. I saw the palm in their Bochum market.

http://www.schley-gartencenter.de/kontakt/kontakt/

The price was €129 (not 128):

57b0ae2f83261_Rhapismultifida2016-08-03I

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My photos at flickr: flickr.com/photos/palmeir/albums

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2 hours ago, David_Sweden said:

Please tell us how it goes, maybe even post a pic of your new plant. If it looks anything like the pics on their site I am up for ordering one, even without the 20% discount. It is one of the most beautiful Rh multifida/humilis/siamensis I have seen of that size.

I will be checking my Palmenmann account for the status of my order about every five minutes until it ships, and then the tracking code. Once I get my excited hands on it I will post a picture here (provided I work out how) for your expert opinions.

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3 hours ago, Pal Meir said:

I don’t think that they will ship plants themselves. But you can contact them. I saw the palm in their Bochum market.

http://www.schley-gartencenter.de/kontakt/kontakt/

The price was €129 (not 128):

57b0ae2f83261_Rhapismultifida2016-08-03I

Thanks, Pal Meir. I really wish I could go and see the plants they have in stock for myself (checked Google Maps just for fun and it would be almost five hours' drive one way, not accounting for breaks and traffic jams :D). Maybe if I hung around the garden centres here more, I'd eventually spot some too. Whenever I do check, I'm lucky if I even see any Rhapis excelsa. 

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Hope it's on the way Nessie? Meanwhile here are some more pics.

I'm thinking now maybe it is natural for them to often grow in a way that looks like the first pic, i e long stems and not much leaves except at the top. Here's a pic from the wild in Hawaii:

57b85d4262c22_Rhapis_multifidaHawaii.thu

It looks great outdoors but indoors (or in a smaller garden) i would definitely prefer it to have more leaves all over. Here are some more nice and "bushy" ones:

57b85de69fbe6_Rhapismultifidaseedman.com57b85df380902_RHAPIS_multifidaSingapore.57b85ded0faa9_Rhapis_multifidappediacali57b85de5028dd_rhapismultifidapalmcentre.57b85df4dfddf_Rhapis-Multifida12inchicag57b85de10636b_Rhapismultifida7gjunglemus

I didn't know the fronds grow this big. On this photo it seems each leaf has the length of 2 human hands almost:

57b85de2bdcbd_rhapismultifidanurseryplan

Im most other pics they look a bit smaller though, maybe length of 1-1½ hands. Palmenmann's look like almost 20cm.

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My palm is here already, arrived on Wednesday actually. I was waiting until I can get a nice pic of it to share along with the good news here, only with my work at the moment I rarely get home before dark and today it started raining just when I usually get the best light in my apartment. 

My order from Palmenmann went without a hitch. I ordered the plant Friday afternoon, got an order confirmation straight away and a status update to confirm full payment within minutes. On Tuesday I got another email that my order had been shipped, along with the DPD tracking code, and Wednesday early afternoon the box arrived safe and sound within the one hour window DPD had told me it would. The poor DPD delivery guy had to lug it up four floors because the elevator at work was (once again) not working. 

I liberated the plant from the box as soon as I got home. It is about 85 cm tall with the pot, about 65 cm without. I will have to rely on your expert opinion here to work out whether it is Rh multifida or Rh humilis (once I manage to take and post a decent pic), but either way I am very pleased with it. ^_^

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Nice! Awaiting pics :-)

Regarding how to tell the difference between Rh multifida and Rh humilis I don't think I could. The owner of Palme Per Paket says here that they are often mixed up. I thought Rh humilis were all male but apparently since 20 years back females were discovered in the Chinese nature. Both multifida and humilis have more than 10 leaves per frond usually, and Rh multifida is "somewhat of a miniaturized version of Rh humilis" says Palmbob here. Based on what he and Palmpedia say Rh multifida normally become 1,2 to 1,5 metres but up to 2,5m in nature, Rh humilis become 5 and even 6 meters.

The comment from Mandrew968 on Dave's Garden here implies that beyond species (like excelsa, multifida and humilis) and subspecies (which I don't think there are for Rhapis) there also are varieties within species, and growers select the ones they like the best and call them cultivars, and if this occurs naturally I think that's what you call subspecies. I don't know Mandrew968 but he also has an account on Palmtalk and apparently has 3 gardens in Florida so he and Pal Meir sound very knowledgeable on Rhapis.

Based on this and other things I think my personal conclusion is that I don't care if they call it humilis or multifida, I will buy the one I think looks best and looks like it has the potential to look great in a few years. Although it would be nice to get one that stops at around 2 meters :-) so I prefer multifida. And I think they often sell multifidas tagged humilis (not the other way around) since humilis is more expensive, and it doesn't grow that fast, so I'm not too worried about that. Maybe it is even a safe bet to assume Palmenmann's "humilis" is actually a multifida?

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