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 sheathed). Pal-maceae, tribe Cocoineae. Spineless pinnate palms, low or stemless, or often with ringed, stout, solitary or fascicled trunks.
Leaves terminal, pinnatisect; segments crowded, lanceolate or ensiform, acuminate, glaucous or silvery beneath, margins recurved at the base, midnerve prominent; rachis 2-faced, strongly laterally compressed; petiole concave above; sheath fibrous, open: spadices erect, long or short-peduncled, strict, tnickish; spathes 2, the lower coriaceous, the upper cymbiform, beaked, ventrally dehiscent; bracts short, coriaceous; flowers rather large, cream-colored or yellow, more showy than almost any other palm: fruit ovoid or obovoid, small. - Species 5. Brazil.
Diplothemium is a group of very handsome palms. In size the members of this genus seem to vary as much as those included in the Cocos group. D. mariti-mum, which is found along the coast of Brazil, is but 10 feet in height when fully developed. This genus is without spines, the leaves being pinnate, very dark green on the upper side and usually covered with white tomentum on the under side, the pinnae being clustered along the midrib in most instances. In a very young plant of this genus the ultimate character is not at all apparent from the fact that the seedling plants have undivided or simple leaves, this characteristic frequently obtaining in the case of D. caudescens until the plant is strong enough to produce leaves 4 or 5 feet long or about one and one-half years from germination. Frequently the plant bears both sorts of leaves while young. A warm greenhouse, rich soil and a plentiful supply of water are among the chief requisites for the successful culture of diplothemiums. D. caudescens is the best known of the genus, and when space may be had for its free development it is one of the handsomest palms in cultivation.
See G.C. II. 24:394 for horticultural account of the group.
Mart. (Ceroxylon niveum, Hort.). Wax-Palm. stem 12-20 ft. high, 10-12 in. thick, remotely ringed, often swollen at the middle: leaves 9-12 ft., short-petioled; segments 70-90 on each side, ensiform, densely waxy white below, the middle ones 24-28 in. long, 1 3/4 in. wide, the upper and lower ones shorter and narrower, all obtuse at the apex. Brazil. R.H. 1876, p. 235.
D. littorale, Mart. A small graceful palm with finely dissected leaves and very bright yellow flower-clusters making it attractive during the spring months. B.M. 4861. - Hardly in cult, in Amer.
Jared G. Smith.