This upright palm produces tall, bamboolike stems topped with arching fronds, which are divided into leaflets in more or less opposite pairs. The fronds are pale yellow-green and up to 4ft/1.2m long. Previously called Areca lutescens, this plant is sometimes also known as the areca palm, golden feather palm, or yellow palm.
With its bold, striking outline, chrysalidocarpus makes a good specimen plant. It is fairly slow-growing, so large specimens tend to be expensive to buy.
Old fronds at the base of the plant turn brown and shrivel, and should be removed. Their removal leads to the development of the typical reedlike stems.
The canelike stems of mature plants are marked with notches, indicating the position of previous leaf stalks.
Mottled, grayish, dry-looking leaves may indicate attack by red spider mites. Keep the pest at bay by providing a humid atmosphere.
HEIGHT To 5ft/1.5m or more after several years.
POTTING MIX Soil-based.
REPOTTING Move into a pot one size larger every other year in spring. Top-dress annually once the pot is as large as is practical.
PROPAGATION When repotting, detach suckers (ideally, those about 12in/30cm high with good root growth) complete with roots from the base of established plants and pot them individually.
KEEPING PLANTS These palms are hardy and will last for many years.
Chrysalidocarpus lutescens Palmae BUTTERFLY PALM PLANT CARE
- Bright filtered light.
- Minimum temperature of 55°F/13°C.
- Keep the soil moist at all times during the growing season. In winter reduce watering in lower temperatures.
- Mist the foliage daily to maintain a humid atmosphere.
- Apply liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks in the growing season.