Natural Habitat: Naturally found in the Mexican states of Chiapas and Veracruz, as well as small areas in Southeastern Costa Rice. It is highly endangered in habitat, due to its over harvesting for cultivation.
Description: A very small solitary palm that only reaches 4-5 feet tall, making it one of the smallest palms in the Chamaedorea family. The tenella has small deeply notched, undivided attractive glossy green leaves. The palm will develop a very slender green trunk over time, usually no wider then a pencil, with prominent gray leaf scares. As the palm matures, the leaves emerge from the crownshaft in an upwards fashion, creating a nest like area on top of the palm.
These tiny palms are usually seen growing in small clumps or clusters in habitat, and are usually planted in a similar fashion within cultivation. The tenella is a great potted palm, and has been proven to fare well indoors, making it a great palm for collectors who live outside the tropics.
Environment: The tenella enjoys a very shady moist area where it can avoid any direct sunlight throughout the day. It is cold hardy to the low 30’s and should be protected during any harsh winter weather. Zones 9b-11. As a potted palm, it enjoys a humid shady area where it can get some decent non-direct sun light throughout the day.