Verschaffeltia splendida

Verschaffeltia splendida
Source: Drew Avery

Verschaffeltia splendida or Seychelles stilt palm is one of the most spectacular palm trees with large undivided leaves when young, a thorny stem and stilt roots at the base of the trunk.

In its habitat is an endangered species.

It requires tropical conditions: sun, heat and moist but well drained substrate. But it is not too difficult to grow it as a houseplant.

Description:

The trunk is rather thin and wears thorns. At the base of the trunk appear stilt roots.

The leaves are quite large, up to 2.5 m long, and not divided on young plants.

Large seeds germinate easily and the young plant grows quickly.

Nomenclature:

Common names:

Seychelles stilt palm, Splendid palm

Synonyms:

Regelia magnifica, Regelia majestic, Regelia princeps, Stevensonia viridifolia

Etymology:

The name Verschaffeltia was given in honor of Ambroise Colette Alexandre Verschaffelt (1825-1886), grower and founder of the Belgian horticultural journal “L’Illustration horticole”.
Splendida comes from the Latin word splendere (brightness).

Origin:

The Seychelles

Habitat:

Grows in submontane forests on steep slopes and canyon walls, between 300 and 600 meters. It grows usually solitary, rarely in colonies.



Hardiness:

USDA Zone 10-11, 4 °C

Verschaffeltia splendida leaf

Verschaffeltia splendida leaf

Care:

Soil:

Good drainage

Exposure:

Sun, partial shade

Water:

Water regularly: keep the substrate moist but not wet.

Fertilizer:

Fertilize every 2-3 weeks during growth with a universal liquid fertilizer.

Repotting:

When the pot is too small.

Wind:

Provide a sheltered place to avoid tearing of the leaves by the wind.

Propagation:

Seed

Sowing instructions:

  • soak the seeds for 3 days, refresh the water every day
  • sow the seeds in a light and moist substrate
  • cover the pot to retain moisture
  • 25-35 °C
  • germination time: 1-3 months

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