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Copyright © Jeff Marcus, Floribunda Nursery
Stained Glass Palm
Certainly one of the most spectacular of all small palms, this gem comes from the understory of rainforests in Costa Rica and Panama between sea level and 900 m (3000 ft.). It grows a finger-thin stem to about 2 m (7 ft.) tall. The unstalked, entire leaves are bifid at the tip and can get to about 60 cm (2 ft.) long and 17 cm (7 in.) wide. They are mottled in light and dark green tones. The new leaf shows magnificent colorful mottling in red, orange and yellowish tones that remind of a stained glass window. While locally relatively common in the wild, it is still extremely rare in cultivation because seeds are hard to find and are said to be somewhat difficult to sprout. The Stained Glass Palm does best in a humid, tropical climate and needs a protected spot out of direct sun.