The Chrysalidocarpus (kriss-ah-lid-oh-KAR-poss) lutescens is the only species of Chrysalidocarpus that is an indoor plant and it is sometimes called the Areca Palm. Other names for the Chrysalidocarpus include Dypsis Lutescens, Areca Lutescens, Yellow Palm, Golden Feather Palm or the Butterfly Palm.
It is an evergreen with reed-like stems topped with yellow-green fronds which have a feather-like appearance. As the stems age, they begin to change their appearance similar to that of bamboo. They have small white flowers that are produced on stalks between the leaves and in the wild it can reach a height of 30ft.
The Chrysalidocarpus grows naturally in tropical areas such as Madagascar and the Solomon Islands. It is a very popular outdoor plant in frost-free areas such as Australia and parts of Central and South America.
The Areca Palm produces yellow flowers during late spring and early summer and months later it produces fruit that turns yellow/orange when ripe. It is cultivated from seeds or by division. As a houseplant it is available throughout the year, although it may become dormant over winter.
The plant belongs to the Arecaceae family and there are around twenty species of Chrysalidocarpus throughout the tropics and sub-tropics.
As the Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens is slow growing, it is suitable as an indoor plant. It is able to grow in both full sun and
partial sun, although it does prefer full sun filtered through a curtain or blind. As a tropical plant, it prefers temperatures of around 20°C. It is able to tolerate a variety of soils and does need regular feeding. It should not be overwatered and you will need to mist the leaves on a regular basis. Once a year, you should change the top of the compost, or repot your Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens into a larger pot. Once any side suckers grow to around 1 ft. in length and have a dense root ball, they are suitable for removal and propagation.
Did You Know?
- The Chrysalidocarpus filters xylene (which has toxic properties) from the air.
- The name Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens means ‘golden fruit’ in Greek and was given the name because it produces yellow fruit in the wild.