There are over 100 species of small palms, both single stemmed and clump forming palms, in this genus. They occur from rainforest in Mexico and Central and South America. Many have ornamental smooth green, bamboo like stems. They are grown for their leaves, which are pinnate or resemble a fish tail that undivided except for being forked into 2 lobes or unlobed, often arching, either tufted or alternate, and borne on erect and flexible, sometimes scandent stems. Insignificant, 3 petaled flowers are borne in spike or panicles, different sexes on different plants, followed by small fruits, to ½” across, where not hardy grow young specimens as houseplants.
Indoors grow in soilless potting mix in bright filtered or indirect light, shaded from hot sun. In the growing season, water freely and apply a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly, water sparingly in winter. They are tolerant of occasionally drying out.
Prone to spider mites, mealy bugs, scale insects, fungal leaf spots, root rot, and stem cankers.
C. elegans ‘Bella’ – Collinia elegans ‘Bella’ – Neanthe Bella – Parlor Palm – Mexican Dwarf Palm – This dwarf species is a popular house plant. It is a slender stemmed palm from grows 3′ feet tall and wide. It produces terminal tuft of pinnate, rich green fronds, 18-24″ long, composed of 21-40 linear to lance shaped leaflets. Insignificant yellow flowers are borne in erect, simple or branched panicles, 8-12″ long, from spring to autumn, followed by small spherical black fruit. Tolerates low light levels and degrees of neglect.