Cyrtostachys renda, also known by the common names red sealing wax palm and lipstick palm, is a palm that is native to Thailand, Malaysia,Sumatra and Borneo. It can grow to 16 meters (52 feet) tall. It grows in dense clusters, and has a scarlet to bright red colored crownshaft and leaf sheath, making it distinct from all other species of palms.
Because of its bright red crownshafts and leaf sheaths, Cyrtostachys renda has become a popular ornamental plant exported to many tropical regions around the world. Although it is not the source of sealing wax, the red sealing wax palm got its name because its crownshafts and leaf sheaths have the same color as the wax used to seal letters and envelopes closed.
Local communities in Sumatra eat the growing tip of the stem (palm heart), and the stems of Cyrtostachys renda are utilized to construct the floors of their shelters known as bagan that are used for fishing activities. The outer part of the stem is used for making darts.
Cyrtostachys renda was listed as threatened by the IUCN in 1995 but was removed from the IUCN red list in 2000.
There are six Cyrtostachys renda planted in the Merwin Palm Collection, and of those four are juveniles and two are mature palms.
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