Of 100 or so species, only the following two are generally seen. They are slow growing and costly, but with good care will last for many years, both indoors and out. Short trunks (may be completely or partially beneath soil level) are usually marked with scars from old leaf bases. Trunks are topped with circular crowns of leaves that resemble stiff fern fronds or small palm fronds.
- From southeastern coastal Mexico.
- To 3 feet high, 6 feet wide.
- Short, sometimes subterranean stem.
- Fronds to 3 feet long, usually much less; have as many as 12 pairs (usually fewer) of extremely stiff, leathery, dark green segments to 412 inches long, 1 12 inches wide.
- Segments may have a few teeth toward the tip.
- Best in a fairly sunny spot, but with protection from hottest midday sun.
- From Florida, Cuba, West Indies.
- To 4 feet high, 6 feet wide.
- Short trunk is largely below soil level.
- Fronds to 3 feet long, with as many as 30 pairs of dark green segments to 5 inches long, 114 inches wide.
- Good seaside plant; tolerates salt spray.
Outdoors, plant in organically enriched, fast-draining soil. Grown as houseplants, they need bright light (with protection from hottest sun), occasional misting, and monthly feeding in spring and summer with a general-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer. Water when soil becomes dry to the touch; reduce watering in winter.