The cat or cataract palm takes its name from its natural habitat along flowing streams in its tropical forest habitat in southern mexico; it is classified as a rheophyte, a plant growing in or besides running water. This is but one of over 100 species of chamadorea, the largest palm genus in the new world, a number of which are popular ornamentals. A virtually trunkless suckering palm, the cat palm has arching delicate green pinnate leaves up to 40 inches length, forming a dense foliage of overlapping crowns, reaching about 3 feet in height. Male and female plants occur together and the female bears yellow flowers and stalks turn bright orange after pollination; fruits are small (3/8 inch in diameter) ovoid, dark green and black at maturity. In cultivation, this palm needs regular watering and prefers organically rich soil. The cat palm is excellent massed in beds, as a ground cover, a foliage plant and in planters and pots. It is frost sensitive. Propagation is by seed or offshoots.