Am I insane?

Discussion in 'PALM TREES - WHERE TROPICAL STARTS' started by Drengor, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. Drengor

    Drengor New Member

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    Greetings,

    I am rather inexperienced in regards to palms, but a few years ago purchased a seedling while on vacation, which grew fairly rapidly and I enjoyed having. Alas, it didn't survive my absence on the next vacation.

    I have tried to find the same palm to try again, but wasn't able to determine the species. I now have a Neanthe Bella (Chamaedorea elegans), which, at least as a seedling, isn't too dissimilar, but it is definitely not the same species. The previous palm definitely grew faster, and was significantly darker green. I also believe the leaves were a bit longer and narrower... but that's more impression than certainty.

    Now for the part that's making me question my sanity... I remember the previous plant's new growth splitting into two pinnate leaves... but nothing I've found indicates any palms do that. Specifically, the new leaf grew straight up looking like a blade of grass, split into two stems that then bent apart, then had the pinnate leaflets split.

    The only thing that seems remotely similary is a thread in this forum entitled 'twin spears'. This species apparently frequently has two seperate spears growing at once, though not the same leaf splitting.

    Does anyone know of a palm species that grows pairs of pinnate leaves? Is there a term for this?
     
  2. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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  3. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

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    Welcome Drengor. To answer your question in your profile, no this is not a trick. This is a well visited forum dedicated to the discussions about palms. Without a photo, it would be complete speculation as to what species of Chamaedorea you had. However, our friend Ed has spent years developing the Palm Encyclopedia. There are 43 species of Chamaedorea species he has entered so far. You may want to click on this link to see if you can spot your palm: http://www.palmpedia.net/wiki/Category:CHAMAEDOREA

    Let us know if you find it. I'm curious as to what palm you had.
     
  4. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

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  5. Drengor

    Drengor New Member

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    Thank you for the replies.

    I wasn't referring to Bifid, or bipinnate for that matter... the leaflets were fully seperated. I just swear they grew two at a time from a single shoot, branching to opposite sides. And I've found absolutely nothing that indicates any palms do that, which is why I have had to question that memory.

    I have looked through a lot of the palmpedia wiki, along with other sources. Unfortunately, the most distinguishing characteristics seem to be for much older plants than the seedlings I had. Couple that with memory from several years ago, and it's resulting in very little progress.

    If I wasn't insane, and there were species that, at least in seedlings/juveniles, grew leaves in pairs; I might have actually had a strong enough lead to narrow the field and identify it.

    I can say it was acquired in Florida at some touristy roadside shop in 2007. Up here in the midwest those are mostly jerky outlets, but down there they sell citrus in them. Last year they were selling Neanthe Bella, but it doesn't appear to be the same plant (though they are growing well).
     
  6. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    I guess I am unsure as to what you are asking. Did they "grow" two at a time from a single shoot, or "open" two at a time from a single shoot. All palms have a "single shoot," none as a spear. And sometimes as a juvenile the leaflets will open at different rates - perhaps appearing as if they are opening two at a time - and when done display a full frond.
     
  7. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

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    My guess would be that your gone but not forgotten palm was Chamaedorea cataractrum, the Cat Palm.
     
  8. Drengor

    Drengor New Member

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    The coloring and leaf shape is very similar. The one thing that made me question it being a cat was the wiki saying cats were trunkless. My plants were quite young, but seemed to have a couple inches of what I'd have considered 'trunk'... But perhaps that is all the trunk they would have grown, and it is considered trunkless.
     
  9. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    Location:
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    Somethings you could tell us is:
    1) What was the diameter of this trunk?
    2) And was there only one trunk - or did this palm sucker?
     
  10. Drengor

    Drengor New Member

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    The 'trunk' was pretty thin... no more than 3/16" I'd say. As I said, the plants were juvenile/seedlings. No suckers, but I believe those require an older plant to form. I think I'll try to find some cat seedlings just to compare.
     
  11. Drengor

    Drengor New Member

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    5
    I did find a picture of a young catpalm that seems to fit my memory.

    http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/183575/

    The middle of the three plants seems to resemble the 'trunk' mine had.. and the older one on the left seems to indicate the trunk doesn't get much taller than that.
     
  12. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    Here is a shot of my cat palm trunks. This is about as much trunk this palm produces. As the palm ages and grows the older part of the trunk stem end up as a above ground root ball. Never noticed any double spear growth, but in the summer they grow fast and it may be possible at that time. IMG_9351.JPG IMG_9354.JPG IMG_9357.JPG
     

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