Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Palm
Chamaedorea plumosa

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Chamaedorea (kam-ee-DOR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: plumosa (plum-OH-suh) (Info)

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

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

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Blooms all year


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 17 photos.
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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive BayAreaTropics On Sep 19, 2012, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Easy to grow,can take deep shade. Shallow rooted as a trunking one of mine was pushed over by cats? raccoons? maybe a dog that got into my yard?
Attractive trunk when grown in shade..lime green and ringed with a sugar cane look.
As far as how to grow in the landscape,to each his own feeling is..if you grow in groups as some recommend,you lose all the palm effect. It becomes just another bamboo. Just my opinion.

update 2013: It turned out the damage was caused by gophers eating the roots. I transplanted it..and I could see the roots at one time were nubs. Yet,it did not die and had grown a new set of roots. Now in near full sun,looks ok.

Positive TropiSocal_dave On Aug 18, 2010, TropiSocal_dave from Garden Grove, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

By far, C. plumosa is the fastest growing of my many palms. I think they are best in groups of three or more because they are thin. These palms seem to appreciate lots of moisture.

Positive palmbob On Nov 4, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is one of the most robust species of Chamaedorea, growing 'fast' and able to tolerate full sun, even in inland Southern California. It is one of the newest described Chamaedoreas but is already quite common in the landscapes of palm nuts. It looks a bit like a single culm of bamboo topped with a wispy tuft of sparsely plumose leaves. It makes a nice specimen in an open landscape, but will also do well in shadier gardens. Though it can handle some drought it appreciates a lot of water (but I have rotted one from over-watering in clay). It's one of the most versitile palms for So Cal. I have no experience with this palm in other parts of the US or the world.

This is one of the few species that I am even able to tell male and females apart (that is usually a feat I leave for those who are real palm experts). Female flowers are upright while the male flowers are larger and tend to be somewhat pendant. For some peculiar reason, males seem to far outnumber the females of this species, at least here in southern California, and the latter are sometimes difficult to find, for those who want to propogate this species.

Like all Chamaedoreas this species is dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants). Many local palm enthusiasts love to mess with nature and cross polinate all sorts of Chamaedorea species to make interesting hybrids. Some of the hybrids actually turn out to be more hardy and better looking plants than either of the parent species, but I am not aware (yet) of anyone doing that with this particular species.


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

Berkeley, California
Brentwood, California
Hayward, California
Huntington Beach, California
Los Angeles, California
Rancho Cucamonga, California
San Anselmo, California
San Pedro, California
Simi Valley, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Upland, California
Ventura, California
Visalia, California
Brandon, Florida

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