Cyrtostachys renda, also known by the common names red sealing wax palm and lipstick palm, is a palm that is native toThailand, Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo. It is the only species of the genus Cyrtostachys that can be found to the west of the Wallace Line, the faunal boundary separating the ecozones of Asia and Wallacea. Cyrtostachys renda‘s name isderived from several words: the Greek prefix κυρτό- (cyrto-) meaning bent or curved, the Greek word σταχυς (stachys) meaning “an ear of grain”, and “renda” a Malayan Aboriginal word for palm, which happens to be homonymous to thePortuguese word “renda,” meaning income.
Because of its bright red crownshafts and leaf sheaths, Cyrtostachys renda has become a popular ornamental plant exported to many tropical regions around the world. Although it is not the source of sealing wax, the red sealing wax palm got its name because its crownshafts and leaf sheaths have the same color as the wax used to seal letters close and later (from about the 16th century) envelopes.