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(Neanthe bella)
ht: 1-2m - smaller than species typical (2-3cm)
ha: a selection with a third to half the species vigor, thus being preferred for homes or small conservatories.

frs: fruit smaller and less globose than species typical
ll: frond pinnae 10-12cm long - shorter than species typical
or: Graf says it originates from the mountain forests of Mayaland in Guatamala.


(C. tenella)

Conservatory, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, Virginia. June 2003. This is a classy choice for the entranceway to this magnificent indoor garden just opened a month before this image was shot.

While this species is not new to indoor palm collectors (all 36 of you) it is virtually unknown to most indoor plant firms and the rest of us in the gardening world. The "Miniature Fishtail Palm" has a beautiful texture that shines with some amazing light reflections, a tough constitution, ample flowering, and a very restained habit atypical of this towering family of plants.

It is a nice alternative to a pot full of Asphidistra, Calathe, or a Spath unlkely to flower much. It will keep folks guessing and mix up the usual foliage mass that has gotten so boring in so many indoor places.

Click image to enlarge.


ht: 16-36 in.
ha: a dwarf, compact palm, forming small rosettes of apparently simple leaves or fronds.
lc: glossy dark green with a distinct silvery to blue metallic sheen. The rugose surface gives many reflections and colors.
la: fronds split or bifurated into 2 lobes
fq: flowers even as young plants, giving some botanical interest
geo: Mexico
lu: useful in large containers in conservatories and building lobbies on account of the restrained habit and leaf color. Graf
lu: as usual says it best: "One of the smallest palms...a tough and unusual small decorative plant".