Rhapis humilis

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Figure 1. Nice large plant of R. humilis, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.

R. humilis is similar to R. excelsa but canes-are thinner, although not as slender as R. subtilis. Canes of R. humilis are also taller than canes of other Rhapis species, being up to 6 metres tall with each covered with fine closely clasping fibres. Leaves are of similar size to R. excelsa but are divided into more segments, up to twelve leaflets per leaf. Leaves are dull dark green, thin in section and have pointed tips that gently droop, imparting a very graceful look to this palm. All known cultivated plants are males, hence all plants have come from vegetative offset propagation.

Rhapis humilis requires similar culture to Rhapis excelsa, however it resents hot weather, especially if its also dry, and, in summer, regular misting of the foliage is beneficial to maintain healthy growth and appearance. Rhapis humilis also is quite fussy about the quality of water with hard water quickly causing leaf tip browning. This is a very promising plant for temperate areas.

Figure 2. Beautiful close-up of R. humilis
Figure 3. R. humilis leaf closeup
Figure 4. R. humilis

Contributed by:

Heinz-Dieter Froehlingsdorf, (from Palms & Cycads No 39. Apr-Jun 1993)
Mike Gray (Figure 1,2,3&4)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, JSTOR, Trebrown

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