Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Miniature Fishtail Palm, Metallic Palm
Chamaedorea metallica

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Chamaedorea (kam-ee-DOR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: metallica (meh-TAL-ih-kuh) (Info)

3 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Partial to Full Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

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There are a total of 26 photos.
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4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive BayAreaTropics On Oct 29, 2012, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Does fine in the SF Bay Area. To get the metallic color it needs a few hours of sunlight. I wish I had more.

Positive CoconutFreak1 On May 11, 2011, CoconutFreak1 from Central Coast, NSW
Australia (Zone 10b) wrote:

A great little palm for shaded gardens in Sydney.

Neutral suncatcheracres On Feb 21, 2004, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I haven't grown this actual plant, but have started several types of Chamaedoreas from seed--I have some C. elegans ripening right now on my little parlor palm--which is 7 years old and still under three feet tall--and whoever has seed available to them just needs to be patient, as about half of my seedlings took over a year to germinate. The other half took about five to eight months. I just had them outside in zone 9b in some pots in a protected area where they received rain and the hose when it was dry, as I had been told they might take quite a long time to germinate. But all of the Chamadoreas are quite graceful and beautiful, so they are worth the wait, especially as they can be quite expensive to buy as full grown plants. I didn't stratify, so I'm sure that was what took so long--they had to go through a natural cold cycle outside.

Positive kniphofia On Feb 20, 2004, kniphofia from Morpeth
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

I love this plant, it's one of my favorite houseplants. The leaves have the most amazing metallic sheen.

I wish it wasn't so attractive to mealy bug though :(

Positive palmbob On Jul 28, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is one of the preimere indoor palms, and can be found in many fancier malls throughout Southern California. Many Chamaedorea species make good indoor palms, but this one seems to survive in total darkness (Ok... maybe not that amazing). It's called the metallic palm because it has a sheen on it's very dark, green leaves that makes it look a bit like metal. These are wonderful garden palms, taking up very little room and adding a good deal of tropical interest to even the smallest gardens. However, at least in Southern California, they do not tolerate ANY sun at all, so I would edit that section, whoever added it, to NO SUN. They do appreciate lots of water, and don't like snails a whole bunch (Chamaedorea palms as a rule are particularly tasty to snails). However, they do seem to be one of the hardier species of Chamaedoreas when it comes to snail sensitivity... leaves are much thicker in this species than most others. THis is one of the most carefree and easy Chamaedoreas or any small palm, to grow in southern California.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Berkeley, California
Encino, California
Hayward, California
Oceanside, California
Reseda, California
San Anselmo, California
Tarzana, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Upland, California
Big Pine Key, Florida
Bradenton, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Delray Beach, Florida
Grant, Florida

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