Greek rhapis – needle, apparently referring to the leaflets.
Dwarf to small spineless and toothless clustering palms. Trunks slender, bamboo-like and with persistent adhering grey or black sheath fibres. Crownshaft absent. Leaves fan-shaped and without a midrib, divided almost to the base. Leaflets 2-many, ribbed. Flowers unisexual, the sexes on different plants. Panicles short, arising among the leaves. Fruit a small, round, 1 seeded berry.
Grow naturally in dry forests, often on limestone. A genus much in need of revision.
Popular palms widely grown for indoor decoration.
Fresh seed germinates readily. Clumps can be readily divided.
Dwarf to small palms with slender fibre-covered stems and deeply divided fan-shaped leaves.
About 12 species distributed in southern China, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Sumatra.
Bailey (1939a), McKamey (1989), Hastings (2003).
Source: (2005). Arecaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.