Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lady Palms

Rhapis

A small genus of 12 species of Palms native to southern China and southeast Asia.
Mosr prefer partial shade, some also thrive in full sun while others foliage may bleach.
All prefer fertile, well drained soil on a site protected from excessive wind and a climate with abundant humidity. The Lady Palms are not often bothered by pests or disease. Propagation is from division ( faster ) or seed ( slow )

Rhapis excelsa ( Lady Palm )
A milti-stemmed shrubby Palm that is native to southern China. Some records include:
fastest recorded growth rate - 2 feet; 11 years - 10 feet; largest on record - 18 x 15 feet with stem diameters of 2 inches.
The stems are thicker than that of Rhapis humilis. This Palm spreads in the same manor as Bamboo due to underground shoots but does not become invasive.
The leaves, up to 2 feet across, are divided in to 5 to 11 ( typically 10 ) blunt-tipped, stiff segments, up to 24 x 3 inches.
The foliage is bright green.
The small, creamy-white , saucer-shaped flowers are borne in panicles.
Hardy zones 9 to 12 ( tolerating as low as 16 F ) in partial to full shade on moist, acidic or alkaline, deep, light, well drained soil. Prefers a site protected from excessive wind but is moderately drought and salt tolerant. It has been reported to survive in Canada on Salt Spring Island in southwest British Columbia. Plants typically reach 20 inches in the 2nd year from seed.

* photo taken on Jan 2009 in Deefield Beach, Florida

* photos taken on Jan 3 2011 @ Deerfield Beach Arboretum, Florida




'Variegata'
Foliage is striped white.

Rhapis humilis ( Slender Lady Palm )
A milti-stemmed, spreading, clump-forming Palm that is native to southern China. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 1 foot; largest on record - 25+ x 15 feet ( rarely over 15 feet in height ) with a trunk diameter of 10 inches.
The leaves, up to 18 inches in width, are divided in to drooping, thin, pointed segments.
The foliage is deep green.
Hardy zones 8b to 12, preferring partial to full shade on consistantly moist soil.
Propagation is from division, seed is rare due to the rarity of female seed.

Rhapis subtilis ( Dwarf Lady Palm )
A milti-stemmed shrubby Palm, typically around 3 x 3 feet, that is native to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Some records include:
largest on record - 7 x 7 feet.
This Palm spreads in the same manor as Bamboo due to underground shoots but does not become invasive.
The leaves, up to 10 inches across are divided in to 3 to 12 blunt-tipped, stiff segments.
The foliage is bright green.
The small, creamy-white , saucer-shaped flowers are borne in panicles.
The fruits are white.
Hardy zones 9 to 12 ( tolerating as low as 16 F ) in partial to full shade on moist, acidic or alkaline, fertile, well drained soil. Prefers a site protected from excessive wind. It is not tolerant of drought or salt.

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