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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Blooms of Chrysalidocarpus lutescens- the Areca Palm

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Areca Palm, taxonomically known as Chrysalidocarpus lutescens is a beautiful landscape plant of Arecaceae family, native to Madagascar(USDA 2010).It  is also known as Golden Palm or the Butterfly Palm due to fantastic bending of its rachis and leaflets.

This beautiful landscape plant is introduced in India and it can be seen growing majestically in gardens, lawns, and along boundaries etc. It can be grown both out- and indoors. in tropical and sub-tropical regions. It can grow up to a height of 5 to 12 meters. It has multiple stems that emerge out from its base. Some people grow it in flower pots though the plant does not look very comfortable in that condition.

Leaves of Areca Palm are compound, with arched rachis - 2to 3 m long and pinnate with 40 to 60 pairs of leaflets. The plant produces offsets that can be used for propagation after cutting off when mature.Foliaage is bronze- green with shiny texture.

Areca Palm grows well in sun. However it can also be grown in partial shades in mildly acidic soil having pH range from 6.1 to 6.5. It is a drought tolerant plant. It blooms from late spring to early summer. The bloom colour is yellow-orange to bright yellow.

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Propagation of the plant is mostly done by cutting and sowing rhizomes, tubers, corms, bulbs or offsets. Seeds can be collected from ripe fruits but they do not store well for a long time and hence need to be sown early.

Key Words: Palm, USDA, arched, shade, offset

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