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CHAMAEDOREA fragrans

Image of Chamaedorea fragrans

Family

Arecaceae

Botanical Name

CHAMAEDOREA fragrans

Plant Common Name

Fragrant Palm

General Description

Like many other Chamaedorea, sangapilla palm is a favorite shade-tolerant palm for indoor container culture as well as tropical landscapes. A native of Peru, this small, clump-forming, evergreen palm naturally exists on the understory of low and mid-level rainforests, so it is adapted to lower light and high heat and humidity.

The dark green leaves of sangapilla palm are forked like a fish tail at their tips. When conditions are favorable, mature specimens produce fragrant orange flowers are borne in dangling clusters along the slender stems. The plants are dioecious, which means individual plants have either male flowers or female, never both. Lots of small, black fruits appear on the female plants after pollination.

This rainforest species grows best if provided full to partial shade, high humidity and regular moisture. It will thrive if provided fertile, well-drained soil with an average to slightly acid pH. Sangapilla palm is ideal for container culture, indoor or out, and looks beautiful in shaded foundation beds and borders in tropical locations. The overall ornamental effect of this palm is that of a well-mannered small bamboo. It creates an elegant, somewhat transparent screen if planted in rows along for courtyards, pools or outdoor rooms.

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 - 6

  • 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

    8'-10' / 2.4m - 3.0m

  • Width

    8'-15' / 2.4m - 4.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Orange

  • Fruit Color

    Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Green, Tan, Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Houseplant, Screening / Wind Break, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No