The Chamaedorea seifrizii, also known as the “Bamboo Palm” or “Reed Palm”, is a relatively small, graceful palm that grows to an average of 7 feet in height. Each stem is long and slender with “nodes” very similar in appearance to bamboo. This palm naturally spreads by suckers or offshoots also similar to bamboo, and is native from the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico into Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. In part of its range, it thrives in swampy settings, but elsewhere it occurs under seasonally arid conditions. That versatility likely explains why this palm is among the most drought-tolerant of Chamaedoreas.
This species is commonly used as an indoor potted palm because of its exotic look and anti-pollutant abilities. It is very common in malls, offices, homes and courtyards. According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, it removes formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the air and is also said to act as a natural humidifier.
The genus name Chamaedorea is derived from the Greek words chamai meaning “on the ground”, and dorea meaning “a gift”, in reference to the fruit. However accessible the fruit may be, the flesh of the fruit can irritate the skin and should not be handled.
Want to “virtually explore” the Merwin Palm Collection? Search through our archive of Palm Facts of the Week, featuring palms hand-planted by W.S Merwin. To search through the Online Merwin Palm Database, visit this link.
If you’re inspired to help The Merwin Conservancy preserve and care for the Merwin Palm Collection into the future, please consider making a tax-deductible donation.