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The Exotic Rainforest
Plants in the Exotic Rainforest Collection

Chamaedorea microspadix Burret
Bamboo Palm, Hardy Bamboo Palm


A clumping palm that somewhat resembles a bamboo, Chamaedorea microspadix is a tropical plant that can tolerate a fair amount of cold.  Reaching a height of approximately 8 feet, C. microspadix can even tolerate a light frost.  Tropical plant enthusiasts who live in climates that receive only periodic cold spells (Zone 8) can grow this one outside as a landscape plant without fear. The Bamboo Palm grows in ever expanding clumps with elegant bamboo-like slender stem shafts. The fronds have an unusual matte finish on the leaves which are arranged in an irregular pattern up and down the stem. The leaves are pinnate (leaves on one leaf stem arranged like a feather) are up to 2 feet in length.  The trees require both male and female flowers to reproduce. These flowers are borne on separate plants.  Female flowers eventually produce a fruit in the form of a bright reddish-orange berry about 1/4" in size.  The fruit contains tiny seeds which if allowed to germinate and grow will produce new plants in about 2 months.  As a result of the seeds our plants constantly increase the size of their clumps.  The hardy palm is a native of eastern Mexico and is commonly found in forests and rainforests. Although not particular about the soil it is grown in, the plant will flourish in well drained fertile soil.  In South Florida growers often grow this plant in fairly nutrient poor Florida sandy soil.  The palm does not like bright sun and prefers filtered sunlight or shady locations.  Give the plant plenty of water and avoid allowing it to completely dry out.  Chamaedorea microspadix is easy to grow and produces a very graceful tropical bamboo-like growth form that can even be used as a house plant in large bright rooms.  The plant at the lower left of the photo is Alocasia gageana.

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