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The Best House Palms

Although the number of palms cultivated is very large, very few indeed--only about a dozen--will give satisfactory results in the house. The fact that a palm will live--or rather, takes a very long time to die--under abuse, has misled people into thinking that they do not need as much care as other house plants. This is a mistake. Palms may be considered in two classes, the fan-leaved and the feather-leaved, or deeply cut, sorts. Of the former there are but three sorts good for house culture. Latania Borbonica, the Chinese Fan-leaved palm, is the best known. It is one of the hardiest, standing a temperature as low as forty-five degrees at night. It is broad in habit, and the large leaves are deeply cut and drooping at the edge, making a very attractive plant. Livistona rotundifolia, the Miniature Fan palm, is a more compact type of the above; not only the leaves but the whole plant being round in habit and growing quite dense. It is a beautiful lively green in color, and making a neater plant, is in many ways more desirable for the house than Latania Borbonica. It requires more warmth, however, and should be kept up to 55 degrees at night if possible. Chamaerops excelsa has the distinguished feature of forming shoots at the base, thus having foliage where most palms are bare, and in old specimens unattractively so. Its leaves are shaped like those of Borbonica, but are smaller, and the leaf stalk in proportion is longer. It is a good strong variety.

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