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Lipstick Palm - Cyrtostachys renda
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Written by Real Palm Trees   


Many people agree that the stunning beautiful tropical lipstick palm is among the most rare and exotic palm trees of the Arecaceae family. With only a few species having a red crownshaft, none are yet as vibrant and red as the lipstick palm. Scene vary rarely in North America; the lipstick palm can make a great addition to any home located in zone 11 and above. Given the right environment, the lipstick palm can live and grown in any indoor space. Similar in traits as the bamboo palm; they have a high tendency to clump next to each other. For this reason, the lipstick palm tree is great for screening areas such as a spa or jaccuci. The Lipstick palm is a must have for any palm tree collector or palm tree enthusiast. The Lipstick palm is also great for the pool area, patio, or even a Zen garden oasis. Below I have listed a few "Do It Yourself" tips for planting a palm tree in your next interior design project.

DIY - Landscape Design

An outdoor landscaping design concept would be to plant the lipstick palm outdoors in light shade to full sun by a pond or lake. The lipstick palm naturally grows in swamps in zone 11 and above. So the placement of the lipstick would have to be along a pond or lake, in a nice row of clumpings. It's ever green leaves and bright red crownshaft make an excellent contrast to any location placed. If you do not have a pond or lake, you may place the lipstick palm anywhere you see fit, as long as constant watering is applied. For best results, I would keep the lipstick palm in its original container or pot as it was grown in. I would then purchase another pot that is larger and more appealing to add to my patio or garden. Followed by transplanting the palm tree with out hurting the root ball; I would place the lipstick palm in the corner by other foliage as to give the palm further contrast. By doing this, you will not only insure the growth of your palm tree but it will be much easier to maintain and move when temperatures drop below 60 degrees F. Adding the lipstick palm tree to your landscape design will instantly give you the feel of the tropics.

DIY - Indoor Design

The lipstick palm looks breathe taking in almost any indoor environment. If placed in the right location and in the right pot, it can create a beautiful masterpiece. This type of palm tree is fussy and needs the right environment to grow in. As long as there is a constant water supply along with some humidity, the lipstick palm tree will do absolutely perfect. Temperatures may not drop below 60 degrees F, as this will be fatal for the palm tree. My design experience with the lipstick palm is limited to a few palm tree enthusiasts, who would not take no for an answer. The possibilities are endless, as long as there is a will to maintain such beautiful and rare palm. The end result is well worth it and much deserved. There are infinite variations of pots you can choose to accent the lipstick palm tree. Some variations to consider are the type of material, color(s), pattern(s), and size. If the pot will be visible in your design, than choosing the right pot is critical for your overall appearance of the lipstick palm and your interior design. Depending on your interior design, will be the deciding factor of what pot will fit your design the best. After choosing the right pot, look for an area in the room where light is plentiful. Roughly 4 to 6 hours of natural light is needed to keep the lipstick palm looking healthy. Also, provide about 1 to 2 foot radius spacing around the lipstick palm so the leaves don't touch any other object. This is a helpful tip to reduce the tip of the lipstick palm from browning. I hope these ideas help you on your next interior design encounter with the lipstick palm.

Please, feel free to comment on this article. Any new design ideas, comments, or appreciation is welcomed.

Lipstick Palm Overview:

Lipstick Palm Tree Naming Conventions:

Palm Name: Lipstick Palm - (lip-stick) (Palm)
Common Name(s): Sealing Wax Palm, Lipstick Palm, Red Sealing Wax Palm
Botanical Name: Cyrtostachys renda - (sir-toh-STAY-kiss) (REN-duh)
Synonym(s): Cyrtostachys lakka

Lipstick Palm Tree Plant Classification:

Linnaean Taxonomy SystemLinnaean Taxonomy System:

Superdomain: Neomura Palm Tree Information Theoretical Group
Domain: Eukaryota - (Eu-kary-ote) Palm Tree Information 4 Organisms - Animals, plants, fungi, and protists
Kingdom: Plantae (Plants) Palm Tree Information 3 Groups - Streptophyta (Green Plants), Rhodophyta (Red Algae ), and Glaucophyta (Green Microscopic Algae)
Subkingdom: Streptophyta (also known as Streptophytes, Metaphytes, or Viridiplantae) Palm Tree Information Green Plants
Super Division: Embryophyta (also known as Embryophytes) Palm Tree Information Land Plants
Division: Tracheophyta (also known as Tracheophytes or Tracheobionta) Palm Tree Information Vascular plants - higher plant life
Division: Spermatophyta (also known as Spermatophytes or Phanerogams) Palm Tree Information Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta (also commonly known as Angiosperms) Palm Tree Information Flowering plants
Plant Class: Monocotyledons or Monocots (also known as Monocotyledoneae or Monocotyledones) Palm Tree Information One embryonic seed leaf
Palm Family: Arecaceae - (ar-ek-AY-see-ee)
Palm Genus: Cyrtostachys - (sir-toh-STAY-kiss)
Palm Species: renda - (REN-duh)

Lipstick Palm Tree General Description:

The lipstick palm tree is commonly referred to as the red sealing wax palm and as the sealing wax palm. This palm tree is also known for its brilliant red colored crownshaft. The Lipstick palm gets its name from the traditional Chinese sealing wax which is very similar to the vibrant red crownshaft of the lipstick palm tree. This palm tree is considered rare and exotic, due to its availability and the time it takes for a seed to germinate. Naturally growing upwards to about 40-50 ft, the lipstick palms stands out above all the rest. Native to swampy areas of Malaysia, Borneo, and Sumatra; the lipstick palm requires high temperatures and high humidity to thrive. It is not tolerant of cold, drought or wind. It loves the rich moist soil and requires a constant supply of water. The leaves of the lipstick palm are 4-5 feet long, feather like, and deep green in color. The underneath color of the leaf is a lighter grayish green. The fruit of the lipstick palm tree is oval and shiny brown color when ripe.

Lipstick Palm Tree Habitat:

Palm Continent of Origin: Asia
Palm Country of Origin: Malaysia, Borneo, and Sumatra
Indoor/ Outdoor: Both
Palm North America Outdoor Hardiness: USDA Zone 11: above 40 F (4.5 C)
Palm Europe/ UK Outdoor Hardiness: Europe Zone 11: above 40 F (4.5 C)
Palm Cold Toleration: Approximately 45-60, F

Lipstick Palm Tree Physical Appearance:

Palm Height: 15 - 30 ft
Palm Spread: 5 - 15 ft
Palm Trunk: Naturally forming in clumpings, the trunk of a mature lipstick palm some what resembles that of the bamboo. In its natural environment, the slender trunk of the lipstick palm will grow up to 50 ft high. The trunk color is green to brownish green with conspicuous white rings 2 to 3 inches wide. The long crownshaft is the source of the plants common name. It extends up through the leaf stem and is crimson, like a tube of lipstick. The crownshaft of the lipstick palm is a brilliant un-forgetting red. It is smooth, slender and slightly bulged at the base.
Palm Foliage: Variance of greenish colors; deep green to light green
Palm Foliage Growth Direction: Grows upward more than outward
Palm Flowering: Male and female bare green flowers
Palm Fruits: Shiny black when ripe, less then one inch in length, oval shaped
Palm Fruits Edible: The lipstick palm fruit is not edible
Palm Leaf Type: Pinnate

Lipstick Palm Tree Growth Attributes:

Palm Speed of growth: Slow
Palm Radial Spacing: 5 - 10 ft
Sun Exposure: Partial shade to full sun when mature
Drought Toleration: Not drought tolerant
Salt Toleration: Not salt tolerant
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer

Lipstick Palm Tree Caring and Maintenance:

Palm Caring: Moderate, in the right environment
Soil: The Lipstick palm likes rich, moist and loamy soil. The lipstick palm tree also requires regular fertilizing.
Soil Types: Rich and high in nitrogen
Water: Regularly water soil, and spray leaves for optimal results
Fertilizer: Use 100% organic or organic based fertilizers for best results
Potting and Planting: The Lipstick Palm can be potted and planted in landscapes and in interior surroundings; it requires plenty of rich soil and water when potted, enough soil to cover it's roots and the bottom start of it's trunk. Do not bury the Lipstick Palm tree's trunk inside the dirt.

Lipstick Palm Tree Environmental Impact:

The natural habitat of the lipstick palm tree lies around coastal swamp areas of Malaysia and southern Thailand. This palm tree is considered a rare an exotic palm tree and collected by many palm tree enthusiast. It also makes for a screen or hedge for privacy. The lipstick palm should be grown indoors due to a fungus which resides with in the palm that becomes active below 60 degrees. The lipstick palm does not face any near future extinction nor does it have any major pests or disease problems.

Lipstick Palm Tree Seed, Cultivation, and Propagation:

Palm Seed Size: The average size is 0.5 inches long
Palm Seed Attributes: The seed is brownish in color with an oval non-structured appearance
Palm Seed Harvesting: Seeds are obtained from within the fruits. The fruits grow plentiful on the stalk
Palm Seed Propagation: Seeds are slow to germinate, sometimes taking 9 months to one year. Fresh seeds may germinate more quickly, but are still slow. Seeds have a better chance of germinating if the process is done by human intervention.
Palm Seed Shelf Life: If not properly treated, the lipstick palm seed does not have long shelf life.
Palm Seed and Growing: The lipstick palm can be grown indoors, in the right conditions. If grown outdoors the temperature can not drop below 60 degrees F.

Lipstick Palm Tree Nurture and Nature:

Nurture vs. Nature: A some what fussy palm tree, the lipstick palm typically thrives when kept under normal natural outdoor conditions. The lipstick palm will also thrive indoors with the assureity of growing rather than nurturing in a changing foreign environment.
Palm Transplanting: Transplanting a lipstick palm tree does require a little bit more attention then most palm trees. Being that the lipstick palm tree is generally a sensitive palm tree, complications may occur during the transplantation phase. Naturally growing in swampy areas, the lipstick palm, if transplanted would require a good soaking and regular watering 2-3 times a day for roughly 3-4 weeks. Some good tips if transplanting, are adding organic compost and root hormone to promote root extension. Also the lipstick palm is not drought tolerant, so keep a ready supply of water available. For best results the lipstick palm is better left in the container it has been grown in.

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