Carludovica ‘Jungle Drum’ « Gardening with Wilson

A new palm-like houseplant with attractive, uniformly green but relatively stiff and pleated leaves that are curiously split halfway in the center to give two lobes has surfaced in our local nurseries. The identity of this new introduction is given as Caulodovica ‘Jungle Drum’ but its true identity is still under debate. Although it is named as a cultivar of Caulodovica, there are sources on the Internet that suggest that it can also be either an Asplundia or Cyclanthus.

Little information about the care of this new houseplant is available at present and no one really knows for sure how big it will really grow. To infer some information, I referred what is known about the most common cultivated Carludovica species, C. palmata, commonly known as the Panama Hat Plant. A member of the Cyclanthaceae family, its young leaves are used to make the Panama brimmed hat. A native of tropical America, it thrives in the shady and wet lowland forest understorey and can grow up to about 2 m.

From this, I safely guess that Caulodovica ‘Jungle Drum’ will probably grow well under roughly the same environmental conditions. So far, I have grown ‘Jungle Drum’ in a well draining, fertile and moisture-retentive soil mixture which consists of burnt earth and well rotted compost has yielded relatively good results.

Because it is an understorey plant, I expect my plant to burn if placed under too bright an area.