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, double-seeded). Pol-mdcese, tribe Areceae. Low or almost stemless pinnate oriental palms.
Leaves terminal, unequally pinnatisect, silvery-scaly below; segments opposite, alternate, solitary, or the lower ones in groups, cuneate at the base, obovate-oblong or oblanceolate, sinuate-lobed and erose, the terminal one cuneate; margins recurved at the base; midnerve distinct, nerves flabellate; sheath 6hort, fibrous: spadices with a short, thick peduncle and thick branches; spathes numerous, sheathing the spadix; flowers rather large; calyx 3-lvd., corolla with 3 stiff petals; ovary 2-3-celled: fruit ovoid or oblong, 2-3-, rarely 1-, seeded.
Fig. 1260. Didymochlaena lunulata. (X 1/4)
Didymosperma is a genus of East Indian palms of moderate growth, containing possibly eight species, most of which are stemless or else forming but a short trunk, the pinnate leaves rising from a mass of coarse brownish fibers that surround the base of the plant. The leaflets are of irregular shape, bearing some resemblance to those of Caryota, and the plants frequently throw up suckers from the base. The members of this genus are not very common in cultivation. The species that is most frequently seen is the plant known to the trade as D. caryotoides, an attractive warmhouse palm that has also appeared under the synonym Harina caryotoides, and has lately been referred to Wallichia, which see. While young, at least, the didymospermas enjoy a warm house and moist atmosphere with shading from full sunshine, though one species, D. oblongifolia (or Wallichia), is frequently found in Sikkim at an elevation of 3,000 feet above the sea. Propagated usually by seeds; occasionally by suckers, which are kept rather close for a time after their removal from the parent plant.
See G.C. II. 24:362 for description of garden forms.
Wendl. & Drude (Wallichia por-phyrocdrpa, Mart.). stems reedy, 3-6 ft.: leaves 5-8 ft. long; leaflets 9-15, about 6 in. long, distant, narrowly oblong, long-cuneate, blunt, or sinuately 2-3-lobed, truncate, denticulate, glaucous beneath. Java.
Hook. A dwarf robust palm, 2-3 ft., covered with rusty pubescence: leaves 1-2 ft. long, glabrous above, glaucous beneath; leaflets 1-3 pairs with an odd terminal one, 7-10 in. long, 3-5 in. broad, wedge-shaped, sharply toothed. Assam. B.M. 6836. - One of the smallest of all palms.
D. Hookeriana, Becc. Resembles a Caryota, about 3 ft. high. Malay Penins. Plant scarcely known in cult, in Amer. but per-haps cult, in Eu. Jared G. Smith