Lady Palm, Bamboo Palm
An attractive and easy to care for indoor palm, the Rhapis excelsa features thick fan shaped leaves which have characteristic saw-toothed blunt tips.
Unlike the solitary thick trunks characteristic of many palms, Rhapis excelsa has many upright stems, providing a very lush appearance and gives it the nickname ‘The Bamboo Palm’.
Originating in cultivation in China, Rhapis excelsa is not known in the wild. During the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan they gained popularity and were used to decorate palaces.
The genus ‘Rhapis’ is Greek for ‘needle’, whilst the species name ‘excelsa’ comes from Latin meaning ‘tall’; odd since outdoors it would only grow to a max height of about 3 metres, making it one of the smaller palms.
The multiple stems are possible because of its subterranean plant stems called rhizome offshoots, from which the clusters of stems emerge. When the stems age they lose their fibrous coating and become reminiscent of bamboo, hence the nickname ‘The Bamboo Palm’.
Care & Size Guidance
Rhapis excelsa is one of the more shade tolerant palms, and can handle dry air, making it an excellent choice for darker rooms.
Water when the top few centimetres of its soil is dry to the touch, making sure it drains well and doesn’t collect at the roots.
Rhapis excelsa is a very slow growing palm, but mature specimens can reach up to 3-4 metres after many years of growth.