Common Names: metallic palm, miniature fishtail palm
Family: Arecacea/Palmae (palm Family)
Palm Tolerant of Shade and Low Light Conditions Can be Grown in
Containers Grows Well Indoors. Has Ornamental (non-edible) Fruit Has
evergreen foliage Has Unusual or Interesting Foliage Flowers
The popular and much loved metallic palm is the only palm we know
that has foliage with a dark metallic blue green sheen like the
color of gunmetal. This single stemmed palm has leaves in the shape
of a chalice or fish's tail being simple, undivided and notched at
the tip. Other forms of this palms have leaves that are pinnately
compound (feather shaped) with 4-7 linear or S-shaped leaflets. The
erect leaves grow almost straight up to as much as 30 in (76 cm)
long and 10-16 in (25.4-40.6 cm) wide. The stems of the metallic
palm are 12-18 in (30.5-45.7 cm) long and up to 1 in (2.5 cm) in
diameter. Metallic palm has attractive red, purple or orange flowers
that yield small black fruits. The elliptical fruits are about a 0.5
in (1.3 cm) long and 0.3 in (0.8 cm) in diameter.
Metallic palm occurs naturally in thick wet forests along the
Atlantic slope and lowland rainforests of Mexico. Metallic palm
often grows in limestone soils up to 2000 ft (610 m) above sea
Metallic palm thrives in moist, humus rich soil and is tolerant of
alkaline limestone soils. Naturally undemanding for nutrients,
metallic palm responds very well to regular applications of palm
fertilizer. Metallic palm grows naturally in the understory of dense
forests, and is tolerant of deep shade and low light conditions.
Light: Metallic palm grows well outdoors in deep shade or
medium-bright light. As a houseplant, it thrives with 10-12
hours/day of artificial light.
Moisture: Metallic palm prefers uniformly moist, not wet, soil that
has good drainage. It grows best in moderate to high humidity and
indoor specimens benefit greatly from daily misting.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 9 - 12. Mature and established plants have
been reported to tolerate temperatures down to 28ºF (-2.2ºC) for
four days with no leaf damage. They will not survive temperatures
below about 20ºF (-6.7ºC), though.
Propagation: Metallic palm can be propagated by seeds. Seeds are
easiest to germinate if planted within 4-6 weeks after the fruit is
blue metal palm fruits
Metallic palm's black fruits make snazzy contrast to the bright
Naturally tolerant of low light conditions, metallic palms are
perfect for understory plantings and ideal as houseplants. Metallic
palm stands out as a small accent plant due to its remarkable
metallic evergreen foliage that provides spectacular backdrop for
flowering plants in shade gardens. The metallic palm also will grow
beautifully on the eastern side of a house where it will get little
or no sunlight.
This well-known and much loved palm is an endangered species and the
only known palm with leaves having a blue-green metallic sheen. The
metallic luster shows up particularly well when the leaves are
moist. This small unique palm is one of the easiest to care for and
makes one of the most ideal and durable house or shade palms known!
The genus name Chamaedorea comes from the Greek words that mean
'near-the-ground gifts', and refers to the easy-to-reach fruits
(pronounce it "kam-ah-DOOR-e-ah").
The fruits are NOT edible and the sap and juices may irritate