Chamaedorea nationsiana

Geoff Stein - Author & Editor

Pronunciation: kahm-uh-DOOR-ee-uh nay-shun-zee-ANN-uh

Common Name: Corn Palm

Chamaedorea nationsiana is a fairly rare Chamaedorea in California, but it is unclear why, as it is a very good specimen palm for shady but open gardens. This is one of the larger Chamaedoreas with fairly large leaflets. It makes a very good indoor palm as well.

Appearance and Biology
  • Habit: solitary with a crown of 3-5 feather leaves
  • Height: 12'
  • Trunk: single; 1" thick; dark green, ringed with each ring being a small plateau
  • Crownshaft: 6"; light to lime green; bulbous base, wider than stem below
  • Spread: 4'-6'
  • Leaf Description: pinnate; flat; upright and arching; deep green; leaflets have lines along their length; leaflets about 2"-3" wide and somewhat elongated ovoids; 3'-4' long
  • Petiole/Leaf bases: 1'; smooth and rounded except at very base where channeled; light green
  • Reproduction: dioecious
  • Inflorescence: usually below crownshaft, but not always; simple (rarely branched); 18" long; arching when full of fruit
  • Fruit: globose in compact group along main stem; green turning black when ripe; 1/2"
Horticultural Characteristics
  • Minimum Temp: 29F
  • Drought Tolerance: moderate
  • Dry Heat Tolerance: low
  • Cool Tolerance: moderate
  • Wind Tolerance: low
  • Salt Tolerance: unknown
  • Growth Rate: slow to moderate
  • Soil Preference: moist and well draining, but tolerates some dryness and clay
  • Light Requirement: shade to filtered light (leaves tend to burn in sun)
  • Human Hazards: none
  • Disease or Horticultural Problems: leaf tip necrosis (water quality versus too much sun)
  • Transplants?: fairly good
  • Indoor?: very good choice
  • Availability: rare