An interesting-looking plant, this evergreen perennial has a bulbous base that stores water (which means you don't need to water it very often) and has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit. A topknot of slender, sword-shaped leaves that look like a pony's tail cascade around the stem, these measure around 1m in length. This palm does not need humid air, so copes well with centrally heated rooms. Dr Hessayon describes it as "A curiosity rather than a thing of beauty". It only flowers on mature plants.