Joey on a Stick
Native only to the undergrowth of rainforest on two small hill ranges in the Ipoh area of Perak in northwestern Malaysia, this spectacular palm is similar to Johannesteijsmannia altifrons but develops a slender aboveground trunk that can reach about 4 m (13 ft.) tall, making it the largest of the genus. Its short inflorescences are produced from among the leaves and carry small, scented flowers that develop into rather large, curiously warty fruits. While in its native range it has been common enough that the very large undivided, diamond-shaped and strongly pleated leaves have been put to the rather profane use of thatching local dwellings, today, like so many palms, it is seriously threatened by the destruction of virgin rainforests without which it cannot regenerate. In cultivation, it is more cool-tolerant than its habitat suggests, and will grow happily in a warm subtropical climate and, of course, anywhere in the tropics, in a shady, wind-protected situation. Because seeds have not been available for propagation, it has remained exceedingly rare though, the most uncommon of the Joey palms, and is seen only in very few collectors gardens around the world.