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Chamaedorea Species, Metallic Palm, Miniature Fishtail 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)


Tropicals and Tender Perennials


Water Requirements:

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

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Partial to Full Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Gold (yellow-orange)

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Berkeley, California

Encino, California

Hayward, California

Oceanside, California

Reseda, California

San Anselmo, California

Santa Rosa, California

Tarzana, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Upland, California

Big Pine Key, Florida

Bradenton, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida

Delray Beach, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Grant, Florida

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 4, 2016, Engarden from Santa Rosa, CA wrote:

I've had a pair of these palms for about ten years. They are 5ft. Tall. The male plant produces branched stems of orange pollen flowers every year. The female plant a single spike of pistillate fls. Every year I try to pollinate for seeds. I've gotten nothing all these years. What am I doing wrong?
Sure want to get seeds and start more of this beautiful and interesting Palm.
Leaf discoloration shows up in poor soil, under potted plants. IRONITE, and some fertilizer have restored color.


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.


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

A great little palm for shaded gardens in Sydney.


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 lon... read more


On Feb 20, 2004, kniphofia from (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 :(


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 ... read more