Rhapis excelsa 'Lady Palm' - The Lady Palm is native to China and wasn't introduced to America until the early sixties. In China, the Lady Palm was a popular ornamental and landscape palm and serves that same purpose today in America. R. excelsa grows at a medium rate and can reach heights of 7 feet or so. The shiny green leaves grow on thin trunks and form massive clusters. The trunks are decorated with leaf scar patterns and coated with brown fiber. If the Lady Palm is grown in full sun, they will turn yellow. For best growth and color, plant in shade to part shade and water regularly. Great container plant and does well as interior plant.
Palms are the universal symbol of the tropics. Palms are very important agricultural commodities in the tropics and are second only to the grasses or grains in economic importance. As landscape plants, palms are prized for their unique architecture and the intricate texture and form of their leaves and stems. Their beauty, durability, and variety rank then among the most highly valued of all landscape plants in subtropical and tropical regions. Palms are great for landscaping.
Palms are not typical trees. Instead of branching out, they grow huge leaves from a giant bud at their apex. The palm grows taller as this bud keeps producing new leaves and the lowest leaves die and fall. Next to the grasses, the palm family is most important in its usefulness to man. In some tropical countries the entire economy is based on palms, with the trees supplying food, shelter, and clothing. Worldwide, palms are an important source of food, vegetable oil, and sugar. They also provide timber, fiber, rattan cane, carnauba wax, and button ivory. We use them for everything from fuel and shampoo to the coconut seasoning of cakes and curries. Palms are planted as ornamentals for indoor and outdoor use to provide a tropical atmosphere.