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Emerald Palm

Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality

Michael S. Reid

Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis

Maturity & Quality


Chamaedorea spp. Chamaedorea is a small-leaved member of the palm family with leaves that perform well in the vase. Three other members of the palm family (coconut, date-palm, and oil-palm) make up the commercially important species for food consumption in North America.

Quality Indices

Chamaedorea palms are harvested in the wild as well as being produced in plantations. Fronds are harvested when fully expanded, mature, and dark green. Fronds of Chamaedorea should be dark green, clean, and uniform. Avoid fronds whose leaf tips showing marginal necrosis or dead areas and fronds that are beginning to turn yellow.

Grading and Bunching

There are no formal grade standards for Chamaedorea, but uniformity, size, color, and absence of defects are important criteria of quality. Bunches of Emerald palm contain 25 stems.

Ethylene Sensitivity

Exposure to ethylene has no deleterious effects on Chamaedorea fronds.


No pretreatments are recommended for Chamaedorea fronds.

Storage Conditions

Because Chamaedorea is a tropical foliage, it is sensitive to chilling damage if stored at low temperatures for extended periods. Fronds may be stored for 1 to 2 weeks at 12.5°C and high humidity.


Fronds are packed densely, usually without sleeves of paper, in standard horizontal fiberboard boxes.

Special Considerations

Early death of the fronds, drying, and inrolling of the individual leaves (pinnae) is the result of water stress: make sure stems are recut before arranging them as this can quadruple their life. The species is chill sensitive, so hold at proper temperatures.


October 2004

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Except for these specified uses, no part of the textual materials available on the UC Postharvest Technology Center Web site may be copied, downloaded, stored in a retrieval system, further transmitted or otherwise reproduced, stored, disseminated, transferred or used, in any form or by any means, except as permitted herein or with the University of California's prior written agreement. Request permission from UC Postharvest Technology Center. Distribution for commercial purposes is prohibited.

The information in this fact sheet represents our best understanding of the current state of knowledge at the time of the latest update, and does not represent an exhaustive review of all research results. Links to any of these UC Postharvest Technology Center pages are permitted, but no endorsement of the linking site or products mentioned in the linking page is intended or implied by such a link.

How to Cite

Author(s) names. Initial publication or update date (located at the top). Title. Link to the specific Produce Fact Sheet webpage (Accessed date)

Example: Cantwell, M. and T. Suslow. 2002. Lettuce, Crisphead: Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality. (Accessed January 18, 2014).

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