Johannesteijsmannia magnifica, ‘Silver Joey’
Habitat and Distribution
Rainforest in southern Peninsular Malaya.
As the name suggests this is a magnificent plant, not just one of the finest palms, but also one of the most spectacular plants around. It is a trunkless palm, with enormous spear shaped, entire leaves up to 3 metres long, (the first metre of which is petiole) and up to 2 metres wide. The underside is covered in fine white hairs which gives it a silvery appearance. These leaves arch over and leave any viewer with an unforgettable sight.
Warm (tropical / warm sub-tropical), sheltered, shady, and moist, but well drained. Keep out of the wind. Intensely dislikes root disturbance. Be very careful when potting up or out.
Comments and Curiosities
"Joey Palm, the genus 'Johannesteijsmannia' has been divided into four kinds: altifrons, lanceolota, perakensis and this particular magnifica. The Magnifica, especially, is an endangered species because it regenerates only slowly and has become popular as a decorative plant. It is plucked out from the jungle floors and in fact destroyed. There are several programmes now in effect which try to save it. A number of botanical gardens treasure this Johannesteijsmannia magnifica. Similar in most respects to Johannesteijsmannia altifrons but, if anything, even more spectacular.
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