Gardening Articles

The Feather Leaved Palms

Many of these are of more recent introduction than the old favorite fan palms, but they have won their way to a growing and deserved popularity. Phoenix Roebelenii is one of the newest. It is destined, I venture to say, to become the

most popular of all palms for the house. It has frequently been described as having "the beauty of Weddelliana and the hardiness of Kentia." That perhaps describes it, but does not do it full justice. It has several times the amount of foliage that Cocos Weddelliana has, and is a more robust grower. It has, unlike that palm, leaf stalks growing all the way to the bottom, the lower ones gracefully recurved and the upper ones spreading airily. It is very easily cared for, and on the whole wins on a larger number of counts than any other house palm. Phoenix Rupicola has gracefully arching, drooping foliage and is very handsome, the dark green leaves being even more feather-like than those of Cocus Weddelliana. It is also one of the hardiest. Areca Verschaffeltii is unique in having a creamy colored mid-rib. It must be given the best of care, but will well repay any extra pains taken with it. The Kentias, K. Belmoreana, the Thatch-leaf palm, and K. Forsteriana, the Curly palm, are the hardiest of all the house palms and sure to give satisfaction. The former is of dwarf, sturdy habit, with broadly divided, dark green leaves borne up well on stiff stems. K. Forsteriana is of stronger growth, spreads more, and the divisions of the leaf are broader. Cocos Weddelliana is the most artistically graceful of the house palms. The finely cut, feathery leaves spring well up from the pot and from the slender erect stem. It is a small palm, and grows slowly. I think I should give it a place among the three choicest palms for the house, although, unfortunately, it is not as hardy as some of the others. It is the best palm to use as a center for fern dishes. Seaforthia elegans, the Australian Feather palm, is a tall growing and stately variety, which does well in the house. Caryota urens is commonly known as the Fishtail palm, and on account of that distinguishing characteristic deserves a place in any good collection. It is a large growing sort and will utilize more root room than most of the others. It is not so strong as most of the others described, but will succeed well if precautions are taken not to let it get chilled in cold weather.

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Next: Cacti

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