RHAPIS EXCELSA (family: PALMAE)
Rhapis excelsa is a multi-stemmed dioecious (Ed: or hermaphroditic
depending on seed grown variety) palm that grows to a maximum height
of between 3 and 4 metres, each stem or cane is slender ranging
from 10-30mm in diameter, depending on growing conditions and
variety. The canes are usually covered by a coarse matted fibrous
material which is actually the outer base of each leaf sheath.
In Rhapis excelsa this leaf sheath fibre tends to be loose and
rather ragged looking. The leaf sheaths are fairly persistent
but when they do fall a dark green conspicuously ringed stem of
leaf base scars is exposed: very similar in appearance to bamboo
canes, hence the other common name bamboo palm. Individual canes
can be closely ringed. or rings may be moderately spaced, depending
on growing conditions.
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