Reinhardtia gracilis

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Reinhardtia (rine-HARD-tee-ah)
gracilis (grah-SIHL-iss)
Reinhardtia gracilis 2010 7.JPG
In habitat. Photo-Palm Key Images
Scientific Classification
Genus: Reinhardtia (rine-HARD-tee-ah)
gracilis (grah-SIHL-iss)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Windowpane Palm

Habitat and Distribution

Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Southeast,
Photo by Jeff in Costa Rica
Mexico Southwest, Nicaragua, and Panamá.


Understory, unusual divided leaves (4 sections) that resemble Christmas bows, clusters of many leaves, small “windows” on leaves are unique to this species, branching inflorescence, Reinhardtia simplex has irregularly divided leaeves with toothy margins and lacks “windows.” Editing by edric.


Shady, sheltered and moist, but well drained. Zone 9b

PFC for PP.png

Comments and Curiosities

There are four subspecies, Reinhardtia gracilis var. gracilior, (Belize, Honduras, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest), Reinhardtia gracilis var. gracilis, (Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua), Reinhardtia gracilis var. rostrata, (Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panamá), and Reinhardtia gracilis var. tenuissima, (Mexico Southwest).

A palm with unusually divided leaves resembling a Christmas bow belongs in the genus Reinhardtia. The tiny “windows” at the base of the leaflets identify this species as Reinhardtia gracilis. (Palm key Images)

"The windowpane palm is called that because the leaves are fishtail shaped and have small holes in them near their base. This is a palm I have tried several times to grow here in the San Fernando Valley above Los Angeles, and it WONT grow here. There are a few pockets in the So Cal area where you can grow this palm (has to be protected from frost and low humidity). It is a very slow palm, and snails love it. Tap water tends to cause it to brown-tip badly. It is really a better palm for the tropics. Suckering palm with stems about 3-4' tall and 1/4" thick." (Geoff Stein)

"A small and dainty palm from rain and cloud forests of southeastern Nicaragua to northwestern Colombia. Reinhardtia gracilis has leaves with usually only two broad leaflets per side that have distinctive "windows" at the base. The var. rostrata is distinguished by its bigger leaves and seeds. Under humid and shady conditions it is easily grown and develops quickly into an exceptional container plant or a most stunning understorey palm for the subtropical or tropical garden." (

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

Dr. Andrew J. Henderson, Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas.

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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