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Broadleaf lady palm (Rhapis excelsa)

Palem jari or broadleaf lady palm or little lady palm (Rhapis excelsa) is a species of plant in the Arecaceae, forming dense clumps with broad, fan-shaped, dark green leaves, growing up to 4 meters and a stem diameter of 30 mm.

R. excelsa is a multi-stemmed clump with glossy leaves divided into broad, ribbed segments. Leaf segments are single or few in young plants and increase to a dozen or more in mature plants. Segments are divided on the petiole.

Dlium Broadleaf lady palm (Rhapis excelsa)


Slender petioles with a length of 20-60 cm. New leaves emerge from the fibrous sheaths that remain attached to the base. As the plant ages, the petals fall off to reveal a bamboo-like stem.

Small inflorescence at the top of the plant with fleshy flowers which are arranged spirally and contain three petals fused at the base. Ripe fruit is fleshy and white. This species prefers to propagate via underground rhizome branches.

The stem height reaches 2.5 m with a frond diameter of 15-21 mm and 8-12 mm without fronds. The leaf sheaths loosely wrap around the stem, usually with outer and inner fibers of equal thickness, producing a squarish web, some young sheaths with flatter and coarser outer fibers and tomentum, the ligule not remaining intact at maturity.



Petiole up to 4 mm wide, margin often smooth, rarely scabby, often contains brown papillae. V-shaped or semicircular blade, variable in size, often with a prominent palm, segments 4-13, crease 11-25, up to 375 mm long, broad, sides relatively straight, slightly tapering at base and apex, apex sometimes clustered, usually truncated, with regularly toothed secondary divisions, primary divisions up to 2.5-61 mm from base of blade, sometimes with brown papillae at base and along ribs, sometimes scaly along adaxial ribs, thick texture, adaxial and abaxial surfaces have color which are similar, often with a yellow tinge, adaxial sometimes darker, transverse leaf veins conspicuous.

Male and female inflorescences are similar in general appearance and branch into 2 or 3 orders. Tubular prophyll, overlapping base of first bract rachis, relatively thin texture, reddish-brown, sometimes darker at base, inner surface smooth, outer surface with tomentum often only at distal end.

Rachis bracts 2-3, sometimes with incomplete distal bract, similar to profile. Overall length rachis up to 260 mm, diameter 4-8 mm. Rachillae 7.5-110 mm long, 0.8-1.9 mm in diameter, usually glabrous, pale brown, sometimes with a small patch of tomentum caducous. Solid flowers on rachillae.

Male flowers are round when young, elongated when mature measuring 5.2 x 3.8 mm. Petals up to 2.8 mm, lobes up to 2 mm, usually with regular margins. Corolla sometimes narrows into a short stalk up to 1 mm long. Filaments, rows up to 2.2 mm shorter, rows longer, up to 2.5 mm, broad, up to 0.4 mm, adaxial keel, triangular cross-section. Pistillode sometimes present.

Female flowers up to 3.6 x 3.2 mm. Petals to 2.3 mm. Corolla with receiver stem up to 1.1 mm. Staminode is present. Fruit sometimes with 3 developed carpels, often only one reaching maturity, up to 8-10 x 8 mm, borne on a short receptive stalk up to 2 mm long, translucent shiny epicarp, small papillose, with inconspicuous black lenticels.

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Subfamily: Coryphoideae
Tribe: Trachycarpeae
Subtribe: Rhapidinae
Genus: Rhapis
Species: Rhapis excelsa

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