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CHAMAEDOREA elegans

Image of Chamaedorea elegans

Carol Cloud Bailey

Family

Arecaceae

Botanical Name

CHAMAEDOREA elegans

Plant Common Name

Neanthe Bella Palm, Parlor Palm, Table Top Palm

General Description

The elegant parlor palm is a small evergreen palm that’s a favorite for interiorscape as well as tropical and subtropical landscapes. It is native to the rainforests of Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, but sadly it’s rare in the wild due to deforestation and over-collecting.

The pinnate fronds of this palm are light to medium green and, or feather-like, with narrow leaflets. They are held upright but gracefully arch downwards. In the warmth of late spring, tiny yellow flowers are borne on a branched stem that reach just beyond the fronds. The plants are dioecious, which means individual plants have either male flowers or female, never both. When the flowers start to wane, the stems become orange, and the female plants produce lots of small, round, black fruits.

Parlor palm performs poorly in direct sunlight, growing best in shady or partly shady conditions. Provide it with well-drained, humus-rich soil that is not highly alkaline. It is among the most popular palms worldwide for houseplant culture. In frost-free climates, it makes a nice small accent palm for shady borders under larger trees, or as a foundation plant. It can also makes a fine patio plant.

The fruits contain calcium oxalate crystals and there may be health concerns with the ingestion or handling them. To learn more see: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/EP/EP23800.pdf

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Palm or Cycad

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    6'-10' / 1.8m - 3.0m (6)

  • Width

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Mexico, Central America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes