Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - June 21, 2008

From: midway park, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Identification of palm plant
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello! I just bought a tiny 10" tall feather leafed palm. I did my research first though, and thought I was buying an areca palm. Now after doing more research, I really have no idea what type of palm I have purchased! All the tag says is 'tropical foliage'. It has about 20 stems,really thin, each with 2-3 (no more than 3 on any of the stems) long fronds with a feathery look to them. I potted it into a 6" pot, thinking it would grow fast and then I could re-pot into a 17 qt pot in late winter or spring when it is a bit more established. There are so many that I have seen online that look the exactly like mine! The closest are the neanthebella or the chamaedorea cataractarum. One only grown 6 feet, the other 12'. One wants lots of light and the other doesn't. I need to know what you think I have so I can properly take care of it! Thanks so much! -Amy

ANSWER:

The two species you name, Chamaedorea elegans (neanthebella or parlor palm) and Chamaedorea cataractarum (cat palm or cataract palm), are not native to North America and, as such, are not in our area of expertise. Our focus is on plants native to the United States (including Hawaii and Alaska) and Canada. Our mission statement reads: "The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes."

My suggestion is to take your question to the University of British Columbia (UBC) Botanical Garden discussion forums. They have a category called "Plant Identification" under Gardening Miscellany. The quote from their web page says: "The garden provides these forums for people from around the world to discuss plants and gardening with input from UBC researchers, staff and volunteers and other contributing experts." The site allows you to post photographs to aid with the identification and they discuss all sorts of plants—cultivated, exotic, non-native and native.

 

More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Deadwood for Degus
February 01, 2013 - I have a very specific and hopefully easy question. I just brought home some degus (small adorable rodents) and they have a severely restricted list of woods they can chew on safely. The safe trees th...
view the full question and answer

Need resource to learn about plants to grow in Panama City, FL.
February 28, 2011 - Please provide me with a resource to go to and learn what I can plant and will thrive in Panama City Beach area (sand). I enjoy color and flowering plants as well as a variety of greenery. I am movin...
view the full question and answer

Source for Brasil tree, Condalia hookeri
February 23, 2005 - I have been searching for this tree everywhere, but cannot locate a dealer/retailer/nursey that sells this tree. Its name is Brasil tree (Condalia hookeri) and it is native to the southern US, ...
view the full question and answer

Seed source for non-native Cenipa americana
July 11, 2005 - The Genipa americana plant or seeds, do you have it on sale too?
view the full question and answer

Source for Frostweed plants or seeds from Portland TX
June 23, 2013 - I am looking for somewhere I can buy Frostweed plants or seeds. I live in Portland, TX, but frequent San Antonio and the Hill Country. Can you help me with this?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.