This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, wax and wood, i.e., wax-tree). Palmdcese. Wax-Palm. Tall palms with ringed stems and pinnate leaves.
Spineless, the trunk covered with wax: leaves clustered at the top, 15-20 ft. long when full grown, equally pinnate; pinnae long, rigid, sword-shaped, bases recurved and tips pointed, dark green above and glaucous beneath, the petiole very short and sheathed: flowers mostly unisexual, on spikes nearly or quite covered by the simple spathe; flower-parts 3; stamens 9-15: seed as large as a hazel-nut, round, bony, inclosed in a soft or crumbling integument. - Perhaps 4 or 5 species in the Andes of Colombia and Ecuador.
HBK. (Triartea andicola, Spreng. I. Klopstdckia, Hort. Klopstdckia cerifera, Karst. Beethovenia cerifera, Engl.). The celebrated wax-palm of the Andes, and a good greenhouse subject: said to reach nearly 200 ft.: trunk slender, swollen at the middle: leaves 6-8 in., the crown, the under sides silvery-scurfy-The waxy covering of the trunk gives it a marble-like and columnar appearance. The wax, used as an ingredient in the making of candles, is an article of commerce. It is said that Diplothemium caudescens (Ceroxylon niveum, Hort.) is sometimes sold for the wax-palm by plant dealers. C. ferrugineum, Regel, is probably referable to Iriartea. It appears not to be in the trade. C. andicolum is a free grower under cultivation, and is a very ornamental subject. It thrives in a warm moist house, and the seeds also germinate well under similar conditions. L H B