Jungle Music Palms and Cycads Nursery

Nursery Hours:
Monday -Saturday 10AM-3PM

Phone: (619) 291-4605
Fax: (619) 574-1595
Email: phil.bergman@junglemusic.net

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New Plant Arrivals at Jungle Music

PLANT BLOG for Palm Trees, Cycads & Tropical Plants at our San Diego Plant Nursery.

We are currently offering many exotic and unusual species of palms, cycads and tropical plants
OFFERINGS CHANGE EVERY FEW DAYS SO RETURN FREQUENTLY!


 

NEW PALMS FOR SALE 

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HOW THIS BLOG WORKS

  • Show reader our new plant arrivals
  • Also present desirable and requested species
  • New additions with photos added every few days
  • Jump to older parts of this from links below
  • Includes palms, cycads and tropical plants
  • Species presented in reverse order, most recent at top

LEARN ABOUT PALM TREES AND CYCADS / BOOKMARK THIS PAGE

  • Brief comments given about species presented
  • Information on sun and cold tolerance given when known
  • Pictures of mature specimens given when possible
  • Ease of growth discussed where applicable

PRICING
  • On some, prices given below

SPECIALS

  • Occasional special offers made in this blog
  • Specials expire when removed from this section
  • To get special pricing you must mention this special at time of purchase
  • Specials apply to both drop in visits and mail order 

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  • No international shipping
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Current Time Blog

November-December, 2011
September-October, 2011
June-August, 2011

 

 

    WE'RE PROUD   
Since this website began in 1997 as one of the first websites on palm
trees and cycads in the world, we've had over 7 million different visitors.  We
thank all of you.  Our actual nursery began twenty years earlier in 1977
and since it's inception we've  always promoted education about the plants.
We hope you find this blog fun, easy to read and educational.  .

THIS THREAD HAS OLDER POSTS FROM JANUARY TO FEBRUARY 2012.
FOR CURRENT POSTS, CLICK ON "CURRENT TIME BLOG" ABOVE

 

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2012

 

TRITHRINAX CAMPESTRIS
When I first got into palms, I was fascinated by any genus that had the word "thrinax" in it.  This included Coccothrinax, Trithrinax, Thrinax, etc.  I just had to learn about these plants.  Well, Trithrinax is a genus with three species with fan shaped leaves.  We offer all three species for sale, but today will briefly discuss Trithrinax campestris.  This is a blue colored suckering fan palm from Uruguay and Argentina in South America.  It is a semi-dwarf species getting to about ten to twenty feet height.  It loves heat and sun and is surprisingly cold hardy into the teens F.  The ends of the leaf segments hard a sharp tip that you have to watch out for.  This is not a shade palm and with less than adequate sun will lose its blue color.  Make sure you give it enough room for lateral expansion.  Growth rate is medium but steady.  It is a very difficult palm to find.

Shown here is an assortment of sizes.  Also shown are specimens in gardens.  The largest nursery plant here already sold, but I thought I'd show it anyway.  We do have nice 5g for sale that can easily be shipped.
Trithrinax campestris 5g Trithrinax campestris 25g
Trithrinax campestris 5 gallon Trithrinax campestris garden Trithrinax c. small garden

 

VEITCHIA, THE GENUS
This is an Old World genus of about eight different species, most of them from the South Pacific Islands.  By far and away, the most commonly requested species is Veitchia merrillii (re-named Adonidia merrillii in more recent times).  Surprisingly, for those of us in Southern California, this species known as the "Christmas Palm" and "Manila Palm" is the worst choice of the group.  This is because it is the least cold tolerant.  It is a very attractive palm and people see it on tropical vacations and want to grow one.  But, after decades of growing, I can say this palm rarely succeeds in growing in this locality.  Shown here is a nice garden specimen of this species.  We do offer them for sale, but mostly as a houseplant.

Almost any of the other Veitchia is worth a try in Southern California.  There are many enthusiasts successfully growing them.  These are all crown shafted palms, typically with small to medium trunk thickness, height typically twenty to thirty feet with a head of medium sized pinnate leaves.  They like sun and cold tolerance is to about a freeze or slightly lower.  Below are photos of Veitchia mcdanielsii (Sunshine Palm), V. joannis, arecina, and other species.  We have a pretty good assortment of Veitchia for sale so do contact us if you like this genus.   
Veitchia merrillii garden
Veitchia merrillii
Veitchia merrillii 10g
Nursery plant, Veitchia merrillii
Veitchia mcdanielsii
Veitchia mcdanielsii
Veitchia arecina 15g
Veitchia arecina 15g
Veitchia arecina garden
Veitchia arecina in a garden
Veitchia vitiense
Veitchia vitiense 
Veitchia vitiense 15g
Veitchia vitiense  
Veitchia joannis
Veitchia joannis 

 

ARCHONTOPHOENIX MYOLENSIS
This species is a type of King Palm.  The normal
King Palm which everyone knows is A.
cunninghamiana.  All King Palms are from
Australia.  The thing that is very nice with the
A. myolensis is the beautiful emerald green
crown shaft.  The trunk is also quite nice.  Cold
tolerance is into the mid twenties F.  If one can
give this palm partial or part day sun, it will be
the most exquisite appearing. Along the coast
it will tolerate full sun.  Shown is one of a very
few 15g plants which we have.  These are 8 to 9
feet tall, $175.  So, if you want a type of King
Palm, this is many people's favorite one to use.
When people research it, most find they prefer
King Palms other than the commonly offered
Archontophoenix cunninghamiana.  But, the latter
is the one offered at almost every nursery around,
so you have to seek out the nicer species.
We have all types for sale. 
Archontophoenix myolensis King Palm

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2012

TRACHYCARPUS WAGNERIANUS
I'm showing this species again because,
since I showed the 5g plant, people wanted
to know if I had larger.  I do!  Shown here is
a 15g plant with a close-up of the hairy trunk
and a larger, 15 year old specimen I have
for sale.  The 15g size can be shipped, although
shipping is not cheap with big plants.  The
shown boxed specimen is indeed very old.
It has perhaps 3 feet of trunk.  The last
photo shows the tiny nature of the leaves
of this species and why so many people
refer to this palm as "cute".  I think they're
right.  The last photo is a 5g, easy to ship.
Trachycarpus wagnerianus Trachycarpus wagnerianus trunk
Trachycarpus wagnerianus box Trachycarpus w. leaf Trachycarpus wagnerianus 5g

 

DYPSIS LEPTOCHEILOS
This is one of my favorite species of rather
new introductions from Madagascar.  Known
as the Teddy Bear Palm, this is a single trunk
species that gets to about 20 - 25 and has a
reddish fuzzy crown shaft.  The trunk can be
a beautiful silver color when properly grown.
It's cold tolerance is into the mid to upper 20's
F.  It can tolerate full sun along the coast.  Shown
is a 15g plant.  We only have a few.  These are
$195.  This species is somewhat hard to find
nowadays.  I am showing a few garden pictures
as well.  I also have the 5g size for sale.

Dypsis leptocheilos Dypsis leptocheilos
Dypsis leptocheilos Dypsis leptocheilos base in garden Dypsis leptocheilos

 

DIOON CALIFANOI
I have previously shown this species.
ago.  I just wanted to show another garden
shot of this species and remind you that
we are having a special on seedlings.
I can ship these anywhere in the U.S.
Shown to the immediate right is a band sized
seedling.  Normal price for these is $65. 
Special price is $45, over 30% off! 
Just mention this website to get this price.


Perhaps this will become one of your favorites
as well.  See post on this species below for
more pictures.
  
Dioon califanoi dioon califanoi

 

ENCEPHALARTOS CAFFER
This is another dwarf South African species. 
Often referred to as "cute", this species
always stays small and is a green cycad
with a touch of gray or blue to the leaves. 
It's another sun loving species for that
small spot in the garden.  Shown is the
band size of caffer, about 3 years old. 
These are normally $85, but mention this
special and they are $65, 24% off!.
 
Also shown is a mature garden specimen.
As you become familiar with cycads,
you'll come to find that this is a very
rare species at nurseries. 
Encephalartos caffer Encephalartos caffer

 

LEPIDOZAMIA HOPEI
This species of cycad gets enormous!  I mean,
really tall.  There are specimens with heights
to almost 60 feet.  Leaves are six to ten feet
long.  Leaflets are soft and without spines or armor.
For this reason, it is felt to be a very user friendly
cycad.  But, you must give it adequate room
to grow.  Shown is a cit pot size of this fairly
rare cycad.  Compared to the Lepidozamia
peroffskyana
, the hopei leaflets are wider. 
This is the best way to tell them apart when
they are young.  Shown is a mature specimen
but realize over centuries they get taller than
this plant.   We have available citrus pot size
$175 and much larger plants up to boxed
coning size.
Lepidozamia hopei Lepidozamia hopei

 

ENCEPHALARTOS LEHMANII
This is one of the four "basic blue" Encephalartos
coming from the Natal province in South Africa. 
This group of four species includes E. lehmannii,
princeps, horridus,
and trispinosus.  All are
brilliantly blue in color of the leaflets.  E. horridus
and trispinosus are known for their spiny and
barbed leaflets.  E. lehmannii and princeps are more
simple leaves with pointed leaflet tips. I've previously
shown pictures of some of these below, but thought
I'd show the seedling E. lehmannii here.  These are
normally $55 but if you mention this website
promotion, they are $45, 18% off!. 
A mature specimen is shown to the right. We have
many sizes of this species for sale, so if you
want a mature or larger plant, let us know.
 
  
 
Encephalartos lehmanii Encephalartos lehmanii

 

AFRICAN CYCADS
I want to remind people that one of the quickest ways to see all the African Cycads we have for sale is to click on the link to the right.  You'll quickly see three groups of cycads: Larger, Medium, and Smaller Plants.  I don't discuss the plants, but rather just show the photos.  African cycads are truly amazing plants and easy to grow. I hope you enjoy this pictorial feature.  It is quick and easy to view.
African Cycads
Click on Banner above to view photos of African Cycads

 

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2012

ADVANTAGES OF UTILIZING CYCADS IN THE LANDSCAPE
I'm often asked why is there so much interest in cycads and what are the advantages of using them in the garden.  Here's a few comments on this:

Water conservation.  Some species can go a week or two with no watering.
Getting a tropical look while conserving water.  You don't have to have a cactus garden.
Overall, small sizes compared to palms and trees.  It's often easy to sneak one into the garden.
Rare, exotic & very collectible.  As a group, cycads are the most coveted plants on the planet.
Easier maintenance than most plants, including palm trees.
Very easy to grow if you follow basic principals.
Colorful and stunning male and female cones
Symmetrical shapes on most species.
Blend nicely with almost any other type(s) of plants.
Some adapt to sunny and shade conditions.
They make excellent potted plants.

Fun and enjoyable.
Assorted cycads

ENCEPHALARTOS GRATUS
This is a quick growing, medium sized green cycad from Central Africa, including Zambia and Mozambique.  Leaves are fairly straight and upright.  They will lay down to make room for newly emerging leaves (see photo).  Trunks are somewhat stocky, up to 2 feet thick with a height under 5 feet.  Leaves are five to six feet long.  They are a very quick growing species.  The plant shown here has seen a temperature of 24 degrees with no burn whatsoever.  My estimate is they will tolerate temperatures in to low 20's F.  Right on the coast they do tolerate full sun.  If grown inland, you might consider part day sun or strong filtered light.  But, this is not a shade cycad.  We have all sizes for sale, from seedlings up to 20 year old boxed plants.  Shown here is a 24 inch box specimen with a 14 inch caudex and several garden photos.
Encephalartos gratus box Encephalartos gratus caudex box
Encephalartos gratus Encephalartos gratus  

 

ENCEPHALARTOS MANIKENSIS
This is another Central African green cycad from Zimbabwe and Mosambique.  Like E. gratus above, it typically has a trunk under four feet tall with green leaves.  But, the trunk is thinner than E. gratus and, in general, the leaves are shorter so you get an overall smaller plant. It is likewise a very quick growing cycad and very easy to grow in the garden.  In habitat it is found at elevations to 4000 feet, so this species does have some degree of cold hardiness, once again into the low 20's F.  Note should be made that it is difficult to distinguish male from female cones until pollen is seen.  This is a very pretty and attractive cycad for use in the landscape.  Shown here is a 24 inch boxed specimen with an age of approximately 20 years.  It has seen 24 degrees F. with no leaf damage.  Also shown are several smaller nursery plants and a few garden specimens.  A final note is that this species is known to be a variable appearing species with different leaf forms and appearance.  For this reason, collectors will sometimes use the term "manikensis-type cycad" in reference to plants that appear to be E. manikensis.  Several close up photos show you leaf/leaflet shape and size.  One picture shows newly emerging leaves. 
Encephalartos manikensis box Encephalartos manikensis box caudex
E. manikensis 15g E. manikensis 15g e. manikensis leaf
Encephalartos manikensis garden E. manikensis new flush E. manikensis leaf

 

CLUSTERING DIOON MEROLAE
There are several ways a cycad can develop multiple stems over time.  Some day I'll discuss this as a topic.  But, this morning I wanted to show you a Dioon merolae that has formed multiple heads.  This happened many years ago when a plant experienced some king of trauma or infection to the primary crown of the plant.  This resulted in the plant (as a means of survival) putting out multiple heads.  Now, ten to twenty years later, you see the result.  In another 20 years this will be an absolutely stunning plant with multiple stems.  I will show several photos of this clustering Dioon and then a picture of a classic single trunk plant for comparison.  The clustering plant below appears to have approximately six different caudexes forming.  Only the two largest presently have leaves.  I have seen this occur with many different types of cycads.
Dioon merolae box, clustering Dioon merolae box clusternig base
Dioon merolae base cluster, box Dioon merolae box  

 

DYPSIS LUTESCENS
This is a suckering species of Dypsis that is
desirable because it doesn't get too tall.  Most
specimens in the San Diego area are between
12 and 18 feet.  it will typically produce
anywhere from five to 20 stems.  It tolerates
temperatures into the mid-twenties F. and
prefers good sun if along the coast.  Shown
here is are 20g plants about 8 to 9 feet tall.  We
also have 3 g plants and 15g plants for sale.  This
is a good "neighbor blocker" type of plant
because of it's fullness.  If one wants a "thinner"
plant, stems can be removed.  Shown below are
two clumps of this species growing in Southern
California.  We have various sizes for sale,
including a few 20g that are about 8 feet tall
as shown.  Note that this species definitely has
some yellow coloring to the stems and trunks,
so if you don't like yellow consider alternative
species like Dyspis onilahensis, pembana,
baronii
or lanceolata.  We have them as
well.   
Dypsis lutescens, mutiple plants Dypsis lutescens
Dypsis lutescens Dypsis lutescens  

 

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2012

CRYOSOPHILA, THE GENUS
THE STAR PALM
Very rarely do you read or hear about this genus of smaller fan palms from Mexico, Central America and northern South America.  They are thin trunked, small to medium height palms that, as their main characteristic, have circular divided fan leaves with a prominent silver color to the underneath side of the leaves.  They also have modified aerial roots near the base of the trunk that appear to be large spines.  The circular leaves are typically divided into two halves and each of these halves is divided into multiple leaf segments.  Because of the modified spines near the base, this palm is also known as the Rootspine Palm. 

There are about ten different species in this genus and it is sometimes difficult to tell them apart.  Some species have a more prominent silver color to the underside of the leaf.  We've found that many Cryosophila will take a freeze and can be grown in the Southern California area.  They prefer part day sun or strong filtered light.  Right on the coast they may tolerate full sun.

Shown are several nursery examples of this genus.  The third row of pictures are of the genus.  The last two photos were taken in HI by TB.  I am showing lots of photos of this genus because they are almost impossible to find in nurseries and are seldom visible for readers to view.   
Cryosophila albida 5g
C. albida (aka C. warsceickzii) 5g
Cryosophila albida
Underside of leaf of C. albida
Cryosophila stauracantha
C. stauracantha, 5g
Cryosophila
Cryosophila species, 5g
Cryosophila stauracantha underside leaf
Underside leaf C. stauracantha
Cryosophila species Cryosophila species cryosophila species
     
Cryosophila warscewiczii Photo by TB
C. warscewickzii, photo by TB
Cryosophila warscewickzii by TB
C. warscewickzii, photo by TB
 

 

 

TRITHRINAX ACANTHICOMA
This South American fan palm is native to
Brazil and some adjacent areas.  It gets a height
of about 20 feet and a spiny trunk that has a
random, bizarre look.  There are needles of
good size on the trunk.  The crown is medium
sized and sort of resembles a Trachycarpus,
but bigger in size.  Shown is a nice, shippable
7g size plant.  We also have 15g and 5g sizes.
Fruits are a cream color and attractive.  Also
shown are several larger garden specimens.
This species likes sun and is very cold hardy,
with reports of it tolerating 15 degrees F.
It is the perfect alternative to the Trachycarpus
palm and is a medium rate grower.  We also
have smaller and easily shippable bands and
5g plants.  The last 3 photos were taken in
Balboa Park, San Diego.  I would consider
this a juvenile sized plant.
Trithrinax acanthicoma  Trithrinax acanthicoma 
Trithrinax acanthicoma Balboa Park Trithrinax acanthicoma trunk Trithrinax acanthicoma leaf

 

ZOMBIA ANTILLARUM
This is an unusual suckering fan palm from
the West Indies.  It's height is typically about
ten feet.  The trunks are known for their unusual
pattern of matting and spines.  Cold hardiness
is down to about a freeze and they like full sun
and heat.  Shown here is a 5g plant.  Also shown
is a mature plant and a close-up of the trunk.  The
last photo is a juvenile tree.  This species is very
unusual and interesting, isn't it?  If you live in
Southern California, there is a chance you can
grow it.  
Zombia a  Zombia a 
Zombia trunk  Zombia antillarum  

 

ZAMIA MURICATA
This is a small to medium sized South
American tropical Zamia from
Venezuela.  It grows in filtered light
and is somewhat cold hardy.  There has
been no problems growing this in my
San Diego location.  It gets leaves that
are about four feet long and seems to
sucker a lot.  It is fairly exotic appearing
and difficult to find.  Shown here is a
one gallon plant, a citrus pot size plant,
a close-up photo showing the leaflets,
and a larger domestic plant.  For those
of you who live close to our nursery,
this is definitely one for you to try.
It's one of the more cold hardy of the
tropical Zamia.  I think this is because
its natural habitat is high elevation, from
the mountains in Venezuela.
 
zamia muricata 1g  Zamia muricata cp
Zamia muricata leaf  Zamia muricata   

 

Important Note:  As an experiment, about three months ago I posted a similar addition to this thread to learn how carefully people read what is printed here.  I had some responses.  So, I am doing it again.  If you send me an email in the next several days and tell me that you read this, I will email back to you a discount coupon good for 15% off any new purchase at the nursery or mail order.  It will expire in mid-March and is not applicable to previous purchases or orders already placed and will not apply to special orders.  My email address is:  phil@junglemusic.net

 

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2012

ENCEPHALARTOS VILLOSUS
This species of South African cycad has many characteristics that make it unique.  It does not make a vertically tall caudex.  Rather, it tends to be spherical or ball shaped.  These trunks tend to stay on the smaller sized compared to other species, seldom over 12 to 16 inches in diameter.  Another nice thing about this species is its ability to perform well in filtered light.  It can tolerate full sun along the coast, but does not demand it.  Also very attractive are the gold colored cones that this species produces.  Shown here are two specimens at the nursery, a male and female specimen, that demonstrate this color.  Finally, leaves of this species tend to stand up vertically.  With time, older leaves will lay down but newly emerging leaves tend to go up and reflex laterally at their ends.  All of these things make this a very nice cycad for filtered light in Southern California.  The leaflets are thin.  Leaf length is typically about six feet, sometimes a bit longer.  Cold tolerance is into the low 20's F.  We have an assortment of these for sale from citrus pot size up to coning sized boxes.  Also shown are some specimens in gardens.  You can imagine the beauty of having this species with the red cones of E. ferox in the garden.  And, the color of the cycad cones can last for three to six months.    
Encephalartos villosus, 15g Encephalartos villosus box
Encephalartos villosus box Encephalartos villosus male
E. villosus male cones
Encephalartos villosus female cone
E. villosus female cone
Encephalartos villosus leaf Encephalartos villosus garden Encephalartos villus mature garden

 

BUTIA CAPITATA X JUBAEA CHILENSIS
A RARE HYBRID WITH COLD HARDINESS
VIDEO OF UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS
In the past several years we have offered an interesting hybrid, Jubaea X Butia, F2.  These were from seeds from an existing mature plant of this cross.  Today I want to talk about the opposite cross:  Butia X Jubaea, F1.  These are the primary offspring from seeds from a fruiting Butia pollinated with pollen of Jubaea.  This produces a blue or blue-green plant with keeled leaves, leaflets similar to Jubaea, hooks on the tips of some of the leaflets and occasionally a folding over of the individual leaflets as they emerge from the spear.  Sometimes this can even persist for a while.  The base of the leaf stems also take on some of the characteristics of the Jubaea.  They have less modified barbs and are smoother in texture. 

I've discussed this cross before, but here are more pictures of this cross.  It is a unique and rare hybrid.  This hybrid will show great vigor and be a fast growing plant (compared to Jubaea chilensis) with a thick trunk, retained leaf bases and a blue or blue-green color.  They will be very cold hardy, possibly into the mid to lower teens F.  For those in colder areas, this is the perfect plant. 

I am also trying something new today.  I am posting a link to a website video I made the other day to show the characteristics of these hybrids and discuss and show photos of the peculiar leaflet "hooks" and the "folded leaflets".  It will show footage of the hybrid, Butia, Jubaea and the blue Jubaea.  You'll see differences between these different plants.  Below is the link.  It'll take a minute or so for buffering, but is worth the wait.  This information (as far as I know) is nowhere else on the Internet.

BUTIA X JUBAEA VIDEO TUTORIAL, CLICK HERE  ( 5 - 10 minute video, will take about one minute to download)
Butia X Jubaea 15g Butia X Jubaea hooks
  Butia X Jubaea folded leaflet  

 

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2012

PRESTOEA MONTANA
Prestoea is a genus closely related to Euterpe and of New World origin.  This species is called the Puerto Rican Cabbage Palm.  Formally, it is described as having a "modified" crown shaft or no crown shaft.  But, as specimens grow, they seem to me to have what I would call a crown shaft.  They natively live in the mountains in Puerto Rico and get to a height of approximately forty feet with a 10 inch trunk diameter.  Of note, some species of Prestoea sucker and some live at much higher elevations.  However, success at growing these other species in Southern California have been less than optimal.  P. montana is being grown in our locality.  It likes part sun or filtered light and is very slow growing.  I'd estimate it's cold tolerance to be the mid to upper twenties F.  Shown here is are both 15g and 5g plants with views of mature specimens. 
Prestoea montana 15g Prestoea montana
prestoea montana leaf prestoea montana crown shaft prestoea montana

ALOCASIA WENTII
This is a species of Elephant Ear Alocasia.  Some feel it comes from the island of New Guinea but others feel that it is a hybrid of unknown origin.  The reason I mention it is because it is known to be quite cold hardy, perhaps even adaptable to growing zone 7B.  It is a small plant, typically under 3 feet.  The dorsal side of the leaves are green while the underside is purple-black.  It prefers to stay dry in the winter and likes filtered light.  It is a nice companion plant for any garden.  Shown is a 5g plant and several smaller plants. 
Alocasia wentii Alocasia wentii back leaf

 

ALOCASIA CALIDORA
REGULAR AND DWARF FORM
ELEPHANT EAR ALOCASIA
Here I will talk a bit about Elephant Ear Alocasia.  They are not particularly rare but, for many gardens, add a tropical flare.  Surprisingly, when you check on the Internet, you will see various spellings for the word "calidora".  The common species is a big leafed Alocasia that gets to about 8 feet and suckers freely.  It likes water, but not to be real damp when it is cold.  It will take temperatures into the upper twenties and prefers filtered light.  Right along the coast you can grow it in full sun.  Leaves can get up to three feet in side.  Stems will grow vertically a few feet.  There is also a dwarf form of this species.  It is sometimes called "Alocasia Cal-O-Dera".  It's advantage is that it will only get to a height of three feet and does tolerate some sun.  Shown here are both forms.  The 3rd and 4th picture are the dwarf form.  Note that they are shaped a bit differently and are smaller in size.
Alocasia calidora leaf Alocasia calidora
Alocasia calidora dwarf Alocasia calildora dwarf  

 

CERATOZAMIA SPECIES WIDE LEAF
I want to show you a few pictures we took yesterday of a very attractive wide leaf Ceratozamia plant.  It resembles a C. latifolia, but the leaf shape and width are different.  It is a very gorgeous plant.  I only have this one plant.  It's in a 15g pot.  I'd estimate its cold tolerance is the low 20's F. and it would like filtered light.  If it is an example of Ceratozamia latifolia, it is a  particularly nice example because the leaflets are very long, wide and gently hang down toward the ground.     
Ceratozamia wide leaf 15g Ceratozamia wide leaf leaflets

 

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2012

ENCEPHALARTOS PAUCIDENTATUS
This South African cycad species gets its name from the Latin derivation of "pauci" for "few" and "dentatus" for "teeth".  This translates into a descriptive name meaning few spines on the leaflet margins.  It is a medium to large cycad with very mature trunks approaching 20 feet in the wild.  The leaflets have a bit of a gray frost to them.  One prominent feature of this species are the visibly apparent raised veins on the ventral surface of the leaflets, running along the axis of the leaflets.  A photo here demonstrates this.  Leaves are five to eight feet long and straight, sometimes with a bit of upward curve to them.  This is not as apparent as seen on E. heenanii.  This species does well in sun and tolerates temperatures into the low 20's F.  Once you get use to recognizing this species, it is quite easy to identify.  In the wild, this species is very close to the habitat of E. heenanii.  This is a very rare species and difficult to find.  Shown here are several nursery specimens with close up photos of the leaves and leaflets.  Also shown are some garden photos. 

I am showing a lot of photos of this species because the reader may hind it hard on the internet to see good photos of this species and close up details. 
Encephalartos paucidentatus Encephalartos paucidentatus
Encephalartos paucidentatus leaf Encephalartos paucidentatus 15g E. paucidentatus leaf
Encephalartos paucidentatus 15g E. paucidentatus leaf E. paucidentatus cit pot
E. paucidentatus E. paucidentatus E. paucidentatus leaf
E. paucidentatus leaf E. paucidentatus leaf detail veins  

 

 

ENCEPHALARTOS LAURENTIANUS
This, from a leaf length point of view,
is the largest cycad in the world.  For
decades this was sort of a "mystery"
species because no one had one, there
were none for sale, and no one had really
seen one.  But, over the years, a few seeds
have become available and this plant is
being grown by a few people.  Trunks can
get to almost thirty feet and are about two
feet thick.  But, the hallmark of this species
are it's huge leaves, typically fifteen to
twenty feet long.   It is native to the Congo. 
As a juvenile plant, the leaflets are unique
and a good way to recognize this species. 
I have shown pictures of a few nursery plants
that we have.  Also, there's a picture below
of a rather juvenile plant in a domestic
garden.  I apologize that I don't have a picture
right now of an immense mature specimen. 
But, trust that they do get very large and
need room to grow.  Cold tolerance is
presumed to be about to freezing.  It likes
sun along the coast and perhaps some
protection or part sun inland.  We have some
smaller plants for sale that could easily be
shipped within the U.S.  
Encephalartos laurentianus Encephalartos laurentianus
Encephalartos laurentianus Encephalartos laurentianus Encephalartos laurentianus

 

CARYOTA NO
Yes, this name is typed correctly.  It is a
peculiar name for a palm.  This Fishtail
Palm is one of my favorites.  When I first
saw it in Java at the Bogor Botanical
Garden, I couldn't believe how beautiful
it was.  It has a bit thinner trunk than many
of the other single trunk Fishtails, but the
leaves reminded me of a fern in the sky.
It gets to about 30 feet and can be grown in
Southern California.  It's cold tolerance is
into the upper twenties F.  It, for me, started
in part day sun and grew into full sun.  My
tree is presently making flowers.  I'd
Estimate cold tolerance to be upper twenties
F., compared to upper teens F. on many clones
of the popular C. urens.  Shown here is a 20g
plant with close-ups of the leaves.  Sorry,
but this plant has sold already.  Also
shown is that plant in Bogor that I saw in
the 1980's and a locally grown plant in
Southern California.  Note that the juvenile
foliage of the nursery plant will mature
into the multipinnate leaves shown below.
We have 5g, possibly 15g for sale of this
species.
Caryota no Caryota no
Caryota no Caryota no Caryota no

 

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2012

BSIMARCKIA NOBILIS MAYOTTE ISLAND
ALTERNATIVE TO THE BLUE BISMARCKIA
Many people are familiar with the popular blue colored Bismarckia nobilis from Madagascar.  Bismarckia is described as a "monotypic" genus.  This means there is only one species in the genus.  There are two forms on mainland Madagascar: the blue form and the green leaf form.  The green leaf form is known to be less cold tolerant than the blue.  The green form will show cold damage below 32 degrees.  The blue form has been known to endure temperatures into the low 20's f.  

Off the coast of Madagascar is an Island known as Mayotte Island.  A population of Bismarckia grow on this island.  But, they are different and not identical to the green Bismarckia from mainland Madagascar.  The seeds are different; by report flanged rather than smooth.  And, small plants are known to have bifid leaves in contrast to the strap leaves of the mainland blue form.  Mature palms of this variety have green leaves and a thinner trunk.  They are stunning and tropical appearing.  I've had reports that this species will survive a freeze, although the minimum temperature is not known as of yet.  I will give a link below of a website in Thailand that has photos of the Mayotte Island form growing side by side with the classic blue form.  I, myself, don't have pictures of this variety in specimen sizes. 

By report, the Mayotte Island form might be better suited for moist coastal areas.  It has large green leaves and a thin trunk, usually under a foot diameter. 

Shown here is a whole assortment of photos of this Mayotte Island form of Bismarckia.  These are from 15g plants.  I'm showing a few photos of the classic blue form for comparison as well as some of the mainland green form in domestic locations.  For people who love Madagascar palms, this might be one to try.

Link to Mayotte Island Bismarckia link, PalmScapes   This photo shows the blue classic form on the left and two green Mayotte Island Bismarckias on the right.

We have these for sale only in 15g size and by special order.

  
Bismarckia Mayotte island 15g
Bismarckia nobilis Mayotte Island,
green species
Bismarckia nobilis blue 15g
For comparison, blue Bismarckia nobilis.  Note
how the leaves are blue, not green.  And, the
petioles are blue as well.  With cold weather,
sometimes this form will take on a purple color.
Don't confuse this with the coloration of the
Mayotte Island Bismarckia. 
Bismarckia mayotte island leaves
Note how this is a green colored species
Bismarckia mayotte island base
Note that this variety has a lot of red color
on the base of the trunk and petioles
Bismarckia mayotte island
There's a hint of blue in the leaves, but
the predominant color is green
Bismarckia green by T.B.
Green Bismarckia, photo by T.B.
Green Bismarckia
Green Bismarckia in Madagascar
Bismarckia blue, photo by TB
For comarison, classic blue Bismarckia, photo by TB

 

ENCEPHALARTOS LONGIFOLIUS HYBRID
A STUNNING BLUE CYCAD
At the nursery we have a hybrid E. longifolius that is just stunning.  We do not know the lineage for sure, but suspect is it E. longifolius X E. trispinosus by appearance.  I wanted to show it to you because it is so blue and so impressive.  The plant is in a 15g container and has an 8 to 9 inch caudex.  The leaflets have a longifolius appearance except for the spined lobes on the inferior margin of the leaflets.  In terms of the parentage of such a hybrid, it is always by arrived at conjecture unless you know of the history of the cross.  This could also have E. trispinosus as the female seed bearing parent.  In any case, the color is brilliant blue.  We only have one of this cross. 
Encephalartos longifolius hybrid Encephalartos longifolius hybrid
Encephalartos longifolius hybrid    

 

DIOON HOLMGRENII
This is a Mexican cycad that is related to Dioon merolae and extends to the western slopes of the Sierra Madre mountains.  It has thin leaflets and upright leaves.  Trunks can get up to 20 feet, although this would take centuries to accomplish.  Most garden specimens have no more than five feet of trunk.  Emerging leaves have tomentose wool on them.  With weather and time this furry wool will wash away and give stiff silver-green leaflets.  Leaf length is typically four feet in length.  Older leaves will hang downwards. 

Shown here is a 15g plant and one garden specimen.  Note on the close up photograph that the leaflets have fine spines.  Also note how the leaf is very flat in cross-section.  The related species of Dioon merolae, purpusii and califanoi also have such spines, but their leaves are keeled while the holmgrenii is more flat as shown.  The last photo shows a containerized Dioon califanoi with it's deeply keeled leaves compared to the flat leaves of holmgrenii.    
Dioon holmgrenii Dioon holmgrenii leaf
Dioon holmgrenii leaf close up Dioon holmgrenii Dioon califanoi
keeled leaves of D. califanoi

 

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012

CHAMAEDOREA NATIONSIANA
This is a thin trunked, single stem Chamaedorea native to Mexico and Belize.  It gets a trunk diameter of about one inch and maximum height of ten to fifteen feet.  Note how the tips of its leaves have points on them.  These are known as "drip tips" to facilitate rain water running off the leaf.  This species is a filtered light plant with cold tolerance down to the mid-twenties F.  It is very rare.  Shown are nursery photos.  The first three photos are of a 15g size.  The last photo is a 5g plant. 
Chamaedorea nationsiana leaf Chamaedorea nationsiana 15g
Chamaedorea nationsiana leaf Chamaedorea nationsiana 5g  

 

 

CHAMAEDOREA ERNESTI-AUGUSTII
This is a dwarf, miniature size, shade-loving
species from Mexico that has simple, entire
leaves.  Typically these are seen with heights
under 3 feet but over decades they can become
5 to 6 feet tall.  This is a very "cute" species that
one can sneak into almost any small shady spot
in the garden.  It is cold tolerant to the upper
20's F.  We've found they look nice planted
as multiples or small colonies.  .  
Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii C. ernesti-augustii

 

CHAMAEDOREA BRACHYPODA
This is a small suckering species that prefers
shade and, like the species above, has entire
small leaflets.  It forms thin trunks that typically
get to about 5 feet tall or a bit more.  It's leaflets
are small and stems typically hold five or six
leaflets.  It is very attractive.  If you have very
hard water, you might see brown tipping on the
leaves.  Cold tolerance is the upper 20's F.
We have a few larger specimens of this
species for sale.  We have a few large specimens
for sale.
Chamaedorea brachypoda Chamaedorea brachypoda

CHAMBEYRONIA HOOKERI
This is a magnificent palm from New
Caledonia.  It is a medium sized mature
tree and is most known for its blonde
colored crown shaft.  Some would consider
it to be a variant of C. macrocarpa.  Either
way it is really special.  It typically sports
a new red emerging leaf and perhaps is
slower growing than the macrocarpa
Cold hardiness is approximately the mid-
twenties F, perhaps a bit lower.  I've
received reports of it tolerating full sun
along the coast.  We have a very limited
selection of these for sale.  I'm showing
a picture of a typical new red leaf,
which lasts for several weeks.  The
garden picture was taken in Hawaii.  I've
found that plants grown in Southern
California typically get to about 25 feet. 
Local trees have formed fruit here. 
These are large, red, and very attractive. 
Chambeyronia hookeri Chambeyronia hookeri
hookeri new red leaf  

 

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2012

 

CERATOZAMIA HILDAE
WITH DIFFERENT LEAF FORMS
This is a very cool smaller New World cycad that prefers filtered light and never gets over about five feet tall.  Native to Mexico, this species was named after the daughter of the first commercial importer of this species into the U.S.  The caudex is under eight inches and leaves are usually three to five feet long.  The most interesting characteristic of this species is the grouping of the leaflets on the leaf stem.  They can be single but are typically clustered together in a 'bow tie" type fashion.  From plant to plant, you will see differences in appearance.  Like other cycads, there are male and female plants.  This is an ideal species for the floor of the garden where a small plant is needed for that special spot.  Don't hide this species away from the walkway or you'll never see it.  Shown here is an assortment of nursery plants followed by photos of this species in gardens.  On the nursery plants, note how each plant looks a little different, especially in the number of leaflets and their arrangement. Cold tolerance is into the
low 20's F.  
Ceratozamia hildae cit pot Ceratozamia hildae
Ceratozamia hildae cit pot Ceratozamia hildae 15g Ceratozamia hildae leaf
Ceratozamia hildae single leaflets Ceratozamia hildae leaf Ceratozamia hildae garden
Ceratozamia hildae garden Ceratozamia hildae leaf  

 

RANDOM NURSERY PHOTOGRAPHS
WITH A LOOK AT OUR STAFF & FRIENDS
I thought I'd share with you some random photographs taken over the years at our nursery.  This will include shots of plants, staff, our Open House and a few other things.  I hope you enjoy them.  On some, I will include a caption.  This will be a large thread, so I'll not be discussing any more species today.  Shown will be pictures around the nursery, nursery friends and a few that might make you laugh.  You'll see long time staff including my son Jesse, Danny, Rusty, Joaquin and others.  Also I'll show a few close friends of the nursery.
Assorted cycads Street one color
Assorted tropical Cycad street street two
Open House Open House nerogelia color
My son Jesse
My son Jesse
Jesse and Danny
Danny and Jesse
Rusty and plants
Rusty with plants
Joaquin and cycad
Joaquin with Zamia elegantissima
Shon with plant
Shon
Matty B and others
Friends of nursery, Bob, Paul and Matt
Danny
Danny
Rusty with eye patch
Unhappy Customer (?)
Rusty Saint Patty
Contented Customer (?)
Phil'
Phil Bergman
Morgan age 3
My grandson Morgan
Open House Staff
Open House Staff
Bill sanford
Bill
Lisa funny shot
Lisa
Jesse smiling
Jesse
Assisting customers
Busy at work
Dean Auer
Dean A.
Girl with donut
Girl with a chocolate donut
Rusty inspecting plant
Rusty examining plant closely
Danny and Micah
Danny and Micah
Joaquin
Joaquin, with nursery for 18 years
Phil Bergman
Phil, the author of this thread
Rusty, the Human Turtle
Rusty, the Human Turtle
Assorted Plants
Front of Nursery Staff in red car
Danny's new car in front of nursery
Morgan and cycads
Grandson Morgan
Front of Nursery Staff loading car Street 2
Another satisfied customer
Loading car, no problem!
nursery customers Assorted palms

 

 

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2012

BECCARIOPHOENIX
THREE DIFFERENT MADAGASCAR SPECIES
This genus of fairly large palms from Madagascar was first felt to be a monotypic genus with just one species.  It was called "Beccariophoenix madagascarensis".  It was then discovered that the plants being sold as this were not the same as the plant described by Dransfield in his publication on the Palms of Madagascar.  So, there were known to be two species.  But, in recent years a third species, B. alfredii has been described.  Unfortunately, good photos of mature specimens of all three are lacking in publications and on the Net.  So, I'll show you what I can.  Beccariophoenix species "windows" was the first species available commercially.  Shown is a good sized 15g plant of this variety/species.  The second species discovered was called "no windows" because it didn't have the window-like gaps in the leaves of juvenile foliage.  I am showing two shots of this species.  It turns out that this species is the described "Beccariophoenix madagascarensis".  More recently, B. alfredii has been described and I am showing this in a 5g pot.  All three look different at any stage.  Along the coast, all three would like some sun (or full sun).  Cold tolerance is yet to be known for sure, but they seem to take temps down to the mid to low 20's f.    
Beccariophoenix windows variety
windows
Beccariophoenix windows leaf
windows
Beccariophoenix no windows
no windows
Beccariophoenix no windows
no windows
Beccariophoenix alfredii
B. alfredii
Beccariophoenix windows
Beccariophoenix "windows"
Beccariophoenix no windows
Beccariophoenix "no windows"
Beccariophoenix species
Beccariophoenix sp. undetermined,
probably "windows"

 

RAVENEA GLAUCA
This is a small to medium sized,
single trunk pinnate palm from
Madagascar.  It is proving to be
quite popular because it has a thin
trunk and doesn't get too tall.  It is
easy to grow, rather fast growing, and
tolerates full sun unless you live in the
far inland areas.  Mature height is to
about 20, perhaps 25 feet.  Cold
tolerance is the low 20's f.  We have
available nice 15g and a limited number
of 20g plants.  These are excellent
size.  Shown are several potted plants
as well as a garden plant.  The last
photo is a plant in a garden in Encinitas,
CA.  It is not yet mature.  I highly
recommend this as an easy to grow
and pretty species for the garden.
Note the absence of the "foot" on
the close-up of the base of the
containerized plant.  Compare this
with the plant below.
ravenea glauca ravenea
Ravenea glauca

 

RAVENEA SPECIES, UNKNOWN
We are very excited about these plants that
we have available.  They seem to resemble a
species we previously had called "Ravenea
species New",
but also resemble Ravenea
monticola.
  These are good size 15g plants.
We anticipate these will peak out
at a height of 25 to 30 feet and have a
medium sized trunk.  Cold tolerance is
not known for sure, but would anticipate
this species taking temps down into the mid-
twenties F.  We only have a few
available.  The last photo shows a fruiting
Ravenea monticola.  On the close-up
of the base of the nursery plant, note
the "foot" adjacent to the trunk base. 
Many Ravenea have this "foot". 
Ravenea species Ravenea species
 

 

 

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2012

CHUNIOPHOENIX NANA
This morning I am going to show you another consignment plant
that is very rare.  Chuniophoenix is a genus of palms from China and Viet Nam.  They are fan palms, sucker and tend to be small.  The species C. nana only gets to a height of about four feet.  Whenever you see the word "nana" in a name, it refers to "small".  And, you'll never see a tall specimen of this species.  It has thin trunks and is often confused with Rhapis species.  Shown here is a mature specimen of this species (first photo).  Contact me for information on pricing.  It prefers partial or filtered light.  This plant has already seen temperatures to the low 20's F. and has been outdoor grown.  Note the fan shaped leaves and thin trunks.  Also shown are photos taken at our greenhouse of specimens of this species (previously sold).  But, they show the petite nature of the leaves and the thin canes.  Also note the blossom, a sign of this plant's maturity.       
Chuniophoenix nana Chuniophoenix nana
Chuniophoenix nana Chuniophoenix nana  

 

CHAMAEDOREA SEIFRIZII
It has taken me over six months to ever even mention this species.  I must admit the reason is that this is not one of my favorite species.  It is the classic nursery trade species for the "Bamboo Palm".  My favorite 'Bamboo Palms" are C. hooperiana and costaricana.  But, this species does have the advantage of being super petite with a maximum height of eight feet and pencil thin stems.  For this reason, it is the nursery standard.  So, we continue to grow it.  Shown here is a 5g plant from our nursery.  Outdoors, this species is susceptible to fungal problems.  It prefers filtered light and is cold hardy into the mid to low 20's F.
Shown as well is an outdoor grown specimen and a photo of stems that have a fungal infection.  When a plant gets this infection it tends to look scrappy.  It might not die, but it just doesn't look like it's thriving. 
Chamaedorea seifrizii Chamaedorea seifrizii
Chamaedorea seifrizii Chamaedorea seifrizii stems  

 

MYSTERY ENCEPHALARTOS SPECIES
With over a quarter million plants for sale including 25,000 cycads, on occasion we will come across a plant where the label is lost and we have no idea what we have.  This morning I am going to show you such a plant.  We found it about a week ago inside our greenhouses.  It was lost in a full sun area and no one had inspected it for quite a while.  I am showing you photos of this 15g plant.  We are quite confident it is an Encephalartos, but are not sure what species it is.  Perhaps this is just an anomaly or "freak" plant suffering from neglect or cultural problems.  We are not sure.  It has absolutely no spines or prickles on the leaflets or stems.  Its petioles are furry with white hairs.  It has cupped oval leaflets.  Cultural problems can give leaf or leaflet anomalies, but I am not aware of such difficulties causing hair to develop on the petioles.  If you have an idea about what this is, please send me an email.  I have asked several outside "experts" what they think it is and no one has even a guess.  I am showing this plant out of interest, not because it's going to win a beauty contest.
Unknown cycad Unknown cycad
unknown cycad unknown cycad unknown cycad
unknown cycad    

 

ENCEPHALARTOS NATALENSIS
I will quickly show you here a good sized specimen
of an Encephalartos species that is very easy to
grow and has excellent cold hardiness down to
about 22 degrees.  It is Encephalartos natalensis.
This species likes sun and heat.  Over a few decades
it is not unusual to get a trunk a meter tall.  In a
container, they are slower growing.  This specimen
is about 20 years old and has a trunk of about
14 inches.  The leaf height is 7 feet.  The second
photos shows the same species in a garden.  This
is considered a green South African cycad and
would make a great addition to any garden.
Encephalartos natalensis Encephalartos natalensis

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2012

I thought this morning I would show a few quick selections of very nice plants that are hard to find, easily grown in the appropriate areas in Southern California, of nice size and very desirable.   

BURRETIOKENTIA KOGHIENSIS
I've shown this species before, but not a large 25g size as seen
here.  This plant is a gorgeous single trunk species, crown shafted with a thin trunk from the island of New Caledonia.  This species is endangered, is quite tall and gets to over 50 feet when mature.  It prefers part sun or full sun along the coast and is cold hardy into the mid-twenties F.  It is a good grower, medium speed.  The crown shaft is covered with white tomentum.  The nursery plant shown here is seven to eight feet tall and almost impossible to find in nurseries.  Shown as well are various shots of this species taken in habitat about ten years ago by myself or my son Jesse.  The last photo shows the white crown shaft, rare in the plant world.     
Burretiokentia koghiensis Burretiokentia koghiensis wild
Burretiokentia koghiensis blossom Burretiokentia koghiensis habitat Burretiokentia koghiensis crown shaft

 

EUTERPE EDULIS
This South American species is native to Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.  It is definitely grow-able in Southern California.  I had a tall specimen that produced fruit for about a decade.  It is a very thin trunk species with a long, tubular crown shaft that is either green or purple in color.  It is elegant and a good grower.  The key is to get the right sun exposure.  Mine seemed to like starting in part sun and work its way above the canopy.  Shown here is a 15 gallon plant along with a mature specimen and the fruit produced.  I am also showing a 25g nursery plant (already sold) to show what this species looks like as it grows.  It is very graceful and elegant.    
Euterpe edulis 15g Euterpe edulis
Euterpe edulis seeds Euterpe edulis 25g  

 

CYPHOPHOENIX NUCELE
This is very gorgeous crown shafted palm species from New Caledonia.  It gets to about 20 to 25 feet in height and has upright leaves with a dark green color.  It is closely related to Cyphophoenix elegans.  This species is cold hardy to about 27 degrees, perhaps slightly less cold tolerant than C. elegans.  It is a very attractive palms and grows at a medium rate.  Shown here is a large 15g plant that we have available presently.  If you remember, I showed you the 5g size several weeks ago.  Also shown are an assortment of pictures from specimens growing in Southern California private gardens.  Note that this species also has a white colored trunk and crown shaft.  It is very cool.    
Cyphophoenix nucele 15g Cyphophoenix nucele
Cyphophoenix nucele juvenile plant cyphophoenix nucele crown shaft  

 

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2012

 

Veitchia vitiensis
For those of you who have visited our nursery, you realize that
we have one of the most comprehensive selections of rare palms
and cycads anywhere within the U.S.  This is a 15g example of a
palm that I doubt you'll find of this size anywhere.  It is an extremely beautiful crown shafted palm from Fiji.  Normally it would get a trunk of 8 to 10 inches diameter.  This plant is displaying a very thin, gracefully curved trunk with a beautiful crown shaft.  It has seen 33 degrees and has not burned.  Enjoy this plant; we only have one like this.  It is about 8 feet tall in
the container and has a colorful crown shaft.  Many feel this is among the most beautiful palms in the world.  Shown as well are
pictures of more mature plants in a garden.  I'd estimate the age of our plant is 10 years.  Smaller plants may be available.
Veitchia vitiensis Veitchia vitiensis crown
Veitchia vitiensis Veitchia vitiensis Veitchia vitiensis
Veitchia vitiensis    

 

MONSTERA DELICIOSA
This is a large leafed, climbing epiphytic species of plant
that is similar to Philodendron sellom below, but is not
actually a Philodendron at all.  It comes from Mexico south
to northern South America.  It gets large aerial roots and
will go right up a trunk to seek sunlight.  I would not say that
it is rare, but to many is a definite plant for the garden.
Shown here is a nursery specimen.  Note how the leaf shape
is different from the Philodendron sellom below.   Leaves of
this species do get large like the sellom.  The first photo to the
right is the Monstera, the second P. sellom.  
Monstera Philodendron sollum

 

ARCHONTOPHOENIX ALEXANDRAE
THE ALEXANDRAE PALM
This species is another member of the "King Palm" family.
Previously I have talked about various other species of
Archontophoenix.  This species is native to the Queensland
area of northern Australia.  I have even seen naturalized colonies
on the Big Island in Hawaii.  It is quick growing and very attractive.  It is a tall palm, often to a height of over sixty feet.
It is slightly bulged at the bottom of the trunk where its diameter is about a foot.  The underside of the leaves are a silver glaucous color.  One variety of this species, A. alexandrae var beaticiae has a "step off" of the growth rings at the bottom, almost like steps on a ladder.  This species crown shaft is green, often with a bit of purple mixed in.  Shown here are photos of a good sized 20g plant as well as a trunking specimen 15 gallon.  Also shown are a naturalized stand of this species on the Big Island in Hawaii and a nice looking specimen in a garden in Southern California.  Of note, fruiting trees producing viable seeds are known to exist in Southern California.  Once you know about King Palms and see all of the more rare varieties, all of which you can grow, you will probably never plant the common A. cunninghamiana that is sold in the outlet stores.  This species is cold tolerant into the mid-
twenties F. and prefers at least half sun.    
Archontophoenix alexandrae Archontophoenix alexandrae 20g
Archontophoenix alexandrae  Archontophoenix alexandrae 15g double  Archontophoenix alexanadrae double 15g 
Archontophoenix alexandrae HI  Archontophoenix alexandrae So Cal   

 

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2012

PHILODENDRON SELLOUM
This is an interesting type of Philodendron for those of you who like big leafed, climbing species.  It's been available for many decades, but more recently is hard to find.  It can develop three foot leaves with a stem that is 4 to 5 inches thick.  It likes to climb and will go slowly up a trunked palm tree.  In my garden, I have several that have ten foot long trunks.  They show interesting old leaf base scars and have lots of aerial roots.  Unfortunately, because of where they are located, I couldn't get a photo of a mature plant for you.  Shown here are some 3-5 gallon plants that are ready for the garden.  Perhaps later today or this weekend I'll show pictures of another similar species, Monstera deliciosa.  However, P. selloum is much more interesting to me because of its trunk size and deeply divided large leaves.    
Philodendron solleum Philodendron solleum

 

CAPOXYLON MACROSPERMA
This is a very pretty crown shafted palm
tree of medium size.  The crown has
slightly recurved leaves.  It tolerates
temperatures to about freezing.  It comes
from the island of Vanuatu.  Shown here
is a nice 5g plant and a mature specimen
This is a very rare species to find
at nurseries.  It is possible to grow this
species if you live in an ideal area along
the Southern California coast.  It has a
medium rate of growth.  It is very exotic
appearing. 

 

ENCEPHALARTOS NATALENSIS
Yesterday I showed you a very large specimen
of this species.  Here is another variety with
a different leaf form.  It also has a large caudex.
This one is about 20 years old and has a 14 inch
trunk.  Leaf height is about 7 feet as shown.
The second photo is a garden specimen of
the same species. 
Encephalartos natalensis Encephalartos natalensis

 

 

RHOPALOSTYLIS SAPIDA
This species is from New Zealand
and is a medium sized, prominently
crown shafted palm that gets to a
height of about 25 degrees.  Along
the coast it can take full sun, inland
it prefers filtered light or part day
sun.  Cold tolerance is somewhere
between 22 and 24 degrees F.  Shown
first is a 5g plant, about 3 feet tall,
price is $65.  Also shown are mature
plants in Balboa Park, San Diego.  At
the nursery we have smaller sizes
available as well as a pretty good
assortment of larger ones.  We also
have R. baueri and cheesemanii. 
These last two species have a
different appearance and are
less upright in the crown.  Below I am
also showing a 15g and 20g size of
R. sapida
.
Rhopalostylis sapida rhopalostylis sapida
Rhopalostylis sapida, 15g R. sapida R. sapida

 

BLECHNUM FERN
This fern species is somewhat difficult to find but
very useful and attractive in the garden.  It takes filtered
light and tolerates a freeze.  The main appeal of
this plant is it's size and appearance.  Its leaf span is two,
maximum three feet and it is typically never taller than
five feet.  Its overall appearance is reminiscent of a cycad.
For this reason, many find it to be appealing.  Shown here
is a five gallon plant, a size that we have available.  There
are multiple types of Blechnums.  I apologize but I don't
have the species name on these plants.  
Blechnum fern  

 

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2012

 

CHAMAEDOREA ALTERNANS
This is a thin trunked, solitary stem species of
shade loving palm that comes from the eastern
coast of Mexico.  It gets to a height of about
ten feet or a bit more.  The trunks are approximately
one inch in diameter and have an interesting
characteristic where (often) multiple flower spikes
emerge at the leaf nodes along the stem.  See the
photo here.  The leaflets are broad and green.
Shown here are an assortment of various sized
plants with close-ups to demonstrate this species.
It is closely related to Chamaedorea tepejilote.
It prefers filtered light and is cold hardy into the
mid twenties F.  We have a variety of sizes on this
hard to find species.  It is ideal for a thin strip area
where there is not too much room for planting.   
Chamaedorea alternans Chamaedorea alternans
Chamaedorea alternans male blossom Cham alternans Rusty Chamaedorea alternans leaflets

 

CHAMAEDOREA TEPEJILOTE

This is a very attractive single trunk Chamaedorea whose natural habitat spreads from Mexico through Central America and down into northern South America.  It is most commonly seen as a single trunk species, but a suckering species does exist.  As a single trunk species, it is quite tall, getting up to 20 feet or more.  The trunk is thick and even gets up to three inches.  The leaves are long and somewhat flexed toward the ground with a length of four to five feet.  The leaflets can be up to two feet long, have an "S" shape coming to a point, a flat in cross section and dark green in color.  Likewise, the trunks are very dark green with prominent white rings.  An interesting thing is that almost always one sees a faint yellow stripe  down the dorsal side of the petiole and rachis.  This can help identify this species but is also seen in other species.  The blossoms are large and branched.  A male blossom can explode with pollen, almost like a cloud of dust.  Pollination usually occurs without assistance if males and female plants are nearby.  The inflorescent of this species are edible.  The seeds are dark black in color (when mature) on orange bracts.  This species is easy to grow, cold tolerant into the mid to upper twenties F, and likes only shade.  Direct sunlight will burn it.  It is an excellent houseplant if one has enough overhead room.  Compared to C. alternans, it is a more powerful plant with a thicker and taller trunk.  It is also another species where planting more than one plant per pot is very attractive.  One photo shows the suckering species with a tiny sucker at the stem base.

 

Cham tepejilote trunk Chamaedorea tepejilote 15g
Cham tepejilote female seeds Cham tepejilote 15g Cham tepejilote yellow stripe
Cham tepejilote leaf Cham tepejilote suckering

 

CYPHOPHOENIX NUCELE
This is very gorgeous crown shafted palm species from New Caledonia.  It gets to about 20 to 25 feet in height and has upright leaves with a dark green color.  It is closely related to Cyphophoenix elegans.  This species is cold hardy to about 27 degrees, perhaps slightly less cold tolerant than C. elegans.  It is a very attractive palms and grows at a medium rate.  Shown here is a 5g plant and a specimen we photographed in habitat.  This is another species that is very difficult to find for sale. 
Cyphophoenix nucele Cyphophoenix nucele

 

ENCEPHALARTOS AEMULANS
We've seen a lot of palms lately, so I thought I'd add on a handsome cycad this morning.  This South African species of cycad is similar to Encephalartos natalensis but with smaller spines and softer leaflets.  It gets a trunk height of about five feet and is considered a medium sized green cycad.  It is easy to grow and has cold tolerance into the low 20's f.  In my experience, it is a nice substitute for  natalensis where a smaller plant is needed.  Shown here is an assortment of sizes of this species.  The largest specimen, directly below this paragraph, has about six foot leaves.  It is approximately 20 years old and has been grown outdoors at our nursery for the last ten years.  The last photo is a five year old 15g plant.  This species prefers sun and heat. 
Encephalartos aemulans 15g Encephalartos aemulans leaf
Encephalartos aemulans, box Encephalartos aemulans Encephalartos aemulans 15g

 

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2012

DYPSIS PLUMOSA
"DYPSIS SPECIES FINE LEAF"
This morning I'd like to talk about a Dypsis species that
we've been growing for over ten years.  When we first got
seeds of this species, it was named "Dypsis ambositrae".  But,
as the germinated seeds grew into bigger plants, it was
apparent that this was not what the books described as
D. ambositrae.  It turned into a puzzle as to what species
this fine leaf Dypsis actually was.  It was called "Dypsis species
fine leaf" and "Dypsis species fakey" by palm enthusiasts
and discussion groups.  With the help of the taxonomists, it finally got its own species name: Dypsis plumosa.  It was named this because of the very plumose appearance of the leaflets
on the leaf stems, somewhat similar to the Foxtail Palm. 

It is a medium sized Dypsis species with a thin trunk.  Its crown
shaft is silver colored.  The leaves are plumose and anticipated
height is about 20 feet.  Its trunk is typically about 5 inches
in diameter.  It does not sucker.  It prefers full sun and is a bit
cold tolerant, probably into the low 20's F.  It is a good grower.  The only peculiar thing is that, as a juvenile plant, it is very thin
for its height, giving the apparency that it is frail and wimpy.
But, in time and with good culture, it produces a very handsome, strong adult plant.  Shown here are photos of a 20g plant that
is about 7 to 8 feet tall.  Note how thin the trunk is at this
stage.  This plant is about 7 years old.  We have small and
large nursery plants available on this species.
   
Dypsis plumosa Dypsis plumosa 20g trunk
Dypsis plumosa garden  Dypsis plumosa crown  Dypsis plumosa 

 

ALLAGOPTERA ARENARIA
THE SEASHORE PALM TREE
This is a dwarf palm species that comes from southern
coastal Brazil where it grows on sandy dunes near the
ocean.  The Latin derivation of the word "arenaria" refers
to sand, descriptive of its local habitat.  This species
rarely gets over 6 feet tall.  Most people think that it is
a suckering species.  Strictly speaking, this is not true. 
Stems can split, but it is not known as a suckering species.
But, when you look at a mature specimen, it is very thick
and bushy and appears to be suckering.  The leaflets are
thin and arranged in a very plumose, fluffy fashion.  Flowers
emerge from the leaves and are very apparent and peculiar
appearing.  This species likes heat, good draining soil and
full sun as you would expect.  It's cold tolerance appears to
be into the upper teens F, although this is not thoroughly
documented.  It is a rare species to find at a nursery.
Shown here are five year old 5g plants.  Also shown arre
mature plants and a flower showing immature seeds.  This
makes a good species for a spot in the garden where one
wants a sun-loving species that won't get big.
 
Allagoptera arenaria  allagoptera a. 5g 
Allagoptera arenaria   allagoptera arenaria  allagoptera arenaria 
allagoptera blossom  allagopera arenaria   
 

CHAMAEDOREA POCHULENSIS
From time to time our nursery will offer privately
owned consignment plants to the public.  This is
such an example.  Shown here is a Chamaedorea
species similar to C. costaricana.  It comes from
western Mexico and is a suckering species with
tall thin trunks.  Although not documented, it is
rumored that this species was used as part of the
hybridization to form the famous "Chamaedorea
Irving Cantor" cross.  The pure species gets to
about 12 to 14 feet height and has dark green leaves. 
It's an ideal plant for a filtered light environment
and can be grown as a houseplant.  This plant is 8
to 10 feet tall and in a 15g container.  Contact us
for further information on this plant.  This plant
would qualify as a Bamboo Palm type of plant. 
But, it is far superior to and prettier than the
common Bamboo Palm, C. seifrizii.   
Chamaedorea pochulensis  Chamaedorea pochulensis 
     

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2012

COPERNICIA PRUNIFERA
THE CARNUBA WAX PALM
Since I discussed Copernicia last time, I thought I
would discuss another fairly cold hardy, blue species
from this genus.  This palm is from South America
and gets a rather thin trunk (about 10 inches) and to
heights of 30 feet or taller.  The trunk retains old
leaf bases, typically displayed in a spiral fashion going
up the trunk.  Leaves are blue or blue-green.  It prefers
hot sun and in cold tolerant into the mid-twenties F.
Shown here first is a 5g inside the greenhouse.  It has
green foliage, typical of a blue plant grown in the
greenhouse.  Next is a 15g plant showing blue color
because it is out in sun.  Remember, blue color comes
from the waxy substance put out by the leaves to
prevent desiccation.  So, blue plants are typically
"green" in the greenhouse.  You'll see this likewise with
Brahea armata and Encephalartos horridus.  Also
shown is a mature specimen.  The middle photo below
shows detail of the trunk.  For those who like blue palms,
this is an example of an unusual species you may be able
to grow.
  
Copernicia prunifera Copernicia prunifera 15g
Copernicia prunifera garden Copernicia prunifera trunk copernicia prunifera garden antoher

 

DIOON SPINULOSUM
Although not a very rare plant, this species of cycad is
extremely interesting because of the plant height it can
attain.  It is known that specimens in the wild have
heights of over 40 feet, making it the second tallest
cycad in the world.  And, with this height, it is a thin-
trunked species with trunks typically under 12 inches
in diameter.  It is a green species and known to prefer
filtered light, perhaps tolerating full sun in coastal
areas.  Its leaves are normally four to five feet long
when mature, perhaps somewhat longer on mature
specimens.  It has a slow to medium growth rate.  To
get a plant with 2 feet of trunk will take the grower
several decades.  Of the Dioons, it is probably one of
the least cold tolerant species but can tolerate temps
into the mid-twenties with ease.  I first am showing
a one gallon plant, easy to ship.  Then a citrus pot size
followed by a box at the nursery.  Then you'll see two
garden shots, the last by a nursery friend J.O. with
a plant in full sun in Mexico.    
Dioon spinulosum Dioon  spinulosum cit pot
Dioon spinulosum box Dioon spinulosum Dioon spinulosum photo by JO

 

CHAMAEDOREA RADICALIS
TRUNKING, NON-TRUNKING
FORMS
This is a single trunk and typically
dwarf Chamaedorea.  However,
there is a stem forming variety. 
The regular form only gets to about
three to four feet.  The trunking
form gets to about eight to ten feet.
I've also found that the trunking
radicalis has thinner leaves and the
trunk appears different, even as a
juvenile plant.  Shown here is first
the regular variety and then the
trunking variety.  I hope you can
see the difference between the two. 
We have both for sale.  Both are
fairly cold hardy, probably into the
upper teens F.  The regular form can
take sun along the coast.  When the
regular form blossoms, the female
holds the flowers and seeds above
the leaves. This is fun to see.  The
seeds are black and the bracts are
orange.  The last photo is a larger
specimen of the trunking form. 
 
Chamaedora radicalis Chamaedorea radicalis trunking
Chamaedorea radicalis trunking  

 

ENCEPHALARTOS NATALENSIS
A Large Mature Specimen
This cycad species is from South Africa
and is a fast growing green cycad species.
It is hard to find, being available usually
only at a cycad specialty nursery.  Growth
rate in the ground is quick and it forms a
good sized trunk in ten to twenty years.
The crown size is medium to large in size
and the leaves are a dark green.  Shown is
a large specimen that we obtained from a
private estate.  It is in a box and has about
a foot and a half of trunk.  Of note, there
are multiple varieties of E. natalensis,
each one a little different than the others.
In most areas one would grow this species
in full sun.  Cold tolerance is into the
low 20's f.
I am also showing other photos of this
easy to grow species. 
Encephalartos natalensis Encephalartos natalensis leaf
Encephalartos natalensis box Encephalartos natalensis garden plant  

 

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2012

COPERNICIA ALBA
Copernicia are tropical fan palms and most of them
are single trunked.  C. alba is a tall, single trunk species
from this group.  This species likes heat and sun, and
can reach heights above 70 feet.  For this height, the
trunk is rather thin, typically about 12 to 16 inches.  It
will retain old leaf bases which eventually fall off,
giving it a clean look.  For a very tall palm, this is an
unusual and different looking species.  Cold hardiness
appears to be to the mid to lower 20's F., although
cold data statistics are sparse.  Shown here are
several 2g plants.  Also shown are mature specimens
in gardens.  This is a rare species and hard to find.  For
those in cooler areas, you might want to consider it.  We
have limited numbers for sale.
Copernicia alba 2g Copernicia alba 2g
Copernicia alba Copernicia alba  

 

DIOON SONORENSE
We have discussed the genus of Dioon previously.  I am
particularly fond of these cycads.  As a group, some get
quite tall, others are short.  Yesterday we discussed Dioon
tomasellii
.  Remember, Dioon sonorense used to be grouped
as a type of tomasellii.  In 1998 it was given its own status as
a species.  Dioon sonorense is from the Sonora and Sinaloa states of Mexico.  It lives at rather high elevations in hot and dry
climates.  Trunks are usually short, under four to five feet. 
Leaves are straight, sometimes with a bit of a twist along the
axis.  Leaf color is green to blue, depending on the locality of
the variety one has.  They prefer sun and cold tolerance is
down to the low 20's F. or perhaps even colder.  This species is
difficult to find for cycad enthusiasts.  Shown here are a citrus pot and mature plants with examples of green and blue plants.
Dioon sonorense Dioon sonorense leaf
Dioon sonorense Dioon sonorense  

 

 

CERATOZAMIA, THE GENUS
A Fantastic Group of Cycads for
Filtered Light

I presented Ceratozamia to you several
months ago and thought you might like
to see them again.  Rather than discuss each
species, I am going to show you a lot
of plants from one genus.  Ceratozamia
is a genus of cycads that are New World,
mostly from Mexico and Central America.
They are exotic appearing cycads that
typically prefer filtered light and in some
cases full sun.  Most species have wide
leaflets, some have narrow leaflets.  Most
have spines on the petioles and cones that
have prongs visible.  There are a multitude
of species in this genus, many yet to be
formally described and named.  Taxonomists
in Mexico have begun naming more species
recently.  For most, cold hardiness is into the
low 20's F.  I am going to show you a whole
assortment of nursery plants that we either
have or have had in this genus.  We have
thousands of plants in this genus for sale
of many species.  My hope is that you'll
develop an affinity for these plants and
think about ways to use them in your
garden.  I am showing you mostly smaller
affordable plants.   We do have a lot bigger.

I could show countless photos here of
this fantastic genus.  But, a dozen or
two will give you an idea of how they
look.  I've included species names, but
note that many are undetermined or not
yet named.  Many of these species are
ideal for that small spot in the garden that
doesn't get much sun and needs an
attractive plant to finish off the area.  
Ceratozamia mexicana
Ceratozamia mexicana
Ceratozamia hildae
Ceratozamia mexicana
Ceratozamia mexicana
Ceratozamia "pacifica"
Ceratozamia "pacifica"
Ceratozamia species
Ceratozamia species
Ceratozamia sp. corriente
Ceratozamia sp. "corriente"
Ceratozamia species
Ceratozamia species
Ceratozamia latifolia
Ceratozamia latifolia
Ceratozamia species
Ceratozamia species
Ceratozamia dwarf species
Ceratozamia dwarf species
Ceratozamia species
Ceratozamia species
Ceratozamia hildae
Ceratozamia hildae
CEratozamia kuesteriana
Ceratozamia kuesteriana
Ceratozamia microstrobilus
Ceratozamia microstrobilus
Ceratozamia palma sol
Ceatozamia palma sol
Ceratozamia plumosa
Ceratozamia plumosa, juvenile foliage 
Ceratozamia species Belize
Ceratozamia species Belize 

 

Ceratozamia robusta
 Ceratozamia robusta, upright leaves
Ceratozamia miquelliana
Ceratozamia miquelliana 
Ceratozamia species thin leaf
Ceratozamia species
thin leaflets 

At our nursery we have a vast assortment of very cool Ceratozamia.  We have everything from seedlings to big, coning boxed specimens.  If you have any questions about
specific species, feel free to email or call us.  Our email link is at the bottom of every page of this website.

 

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2012

DIOON TOMASELLII
This is a Dioon species from Mexico, including
the Pacific Coast area.  Formerly, there were two
species included with the name "tomasellii".
This included this species described here as
well as a variety from Sonora, D. tomasellii
variety "sonorense".  The latter has more recently
been given it's own species status and is
actually quite different appearing.  Trunks on this
species never get too big.  You'll probably not see
one over six feet tall.  The hallmark of this species
are the leaflets which are narrow and lanceolate shaped.
The have a gentle curve downwards and for this reason
are called the "poor man's E. inopinus" because of a
similar leaflet shape and orientation.  Although both
of these species are rare, Encephalartos inopinus is
almost impossible to find.  Dioon tomasellii is a very
slow growing cycad.  It likes heat.  In habitat it is
usually seen in filtered light.  Along the coast, some
have grown it in full sun.  It throws new leaves
which are soft and furry.  But, it may take several
years between throws of new leaves on large
specimens.  Shown here are photos of 5g plants
which have taken me six years to produce.   On the
close-up, look at how the leaflets have a gentle
downward curve to them, the hallmark of this
species.   The last 2 pictures are of a 15g plant
and a very  old specimen in a botanical garden.

   
Dioon tomasellii Dioon tomasellii
Dioon tomasellii leaves Dioon tomasellii Dioon tomasellii

 

     

 

HOWEA BELMOREANA
This umbrella shaped species is from the
island of Lord Howe and is in the same
family as the Kentia Palm.  However, there
are striking differences, mostly in the
appearance of the leaves and crown.  This
species has a curve of the leaves toward the
ground, giving it the umbrella shaped crown.
It is also a bit more cold hardy, possibly to
as low as 24 degrees.  It can take full sun
along the coast and wants protection inland.
Shown here is a super 15g plant as well as
very nice sized 1g.  The specimen photo
demonstrates the shape of the crown of
leaves.  The larger containerized palm is
about 7 feet tall and already shows the
curved nature of the leaves.  This species
can also be grown as a houseplant.  BTW,
we are having a Sale on the 1g size.
Regular sized plants are $25 (normally
$40) and huge one gallon plants are $35
(normally $50).  The latter are about 2
to 3 feet tall and very nice and easily
shipped right to your door! 
Howea belmoreana Howea belmoreana

howea belmoreana

 

 

PHILODENDRON RED CONGO
This is another very desirable Philodendron
that likes filtered light and is quite showy.
They are only intermittently available on the
market.  We presently have some 2g plants
for sale.  They are easy to grow and take
temperatures down to about a freeze.  The
plants definitely have a red color to the
underside of the leaves and stems.  Shown
are the 2g size we have available and a larger
plant to show its beauty.  Both this species and
the previous Philodendron would be considered
"Companion Plants", plants that fill spots in
the garden that are too small for a palm or
cycad.  We have the 2g size for $25.
 
philodendron red congo philodendron red congo
ACROCOMIA ACULEATA
I'm a little reluctant to mention this species,
but feel I should.  It is so hard to find these
here in CA.  Seeds can take up to 4 years to
germinate.  And, when they do, you only get
about a one to five percent germination rate.
We just potted up two new seedlings.  I don't
have a photo of these right now, but will show
a previous 2g plant that we sold.  Also
shown is a mature plant.  This species is known
for it's spines on the trunks.  It likes full sun.
If you want one of these, act quickly as the
few I have will be gone in a few days.  Growth
rate is good and they like full sun.  Very
few collectors have an Acrocomia
Acrocomia Acrocomia

 

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2012

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HYOPHORBE INDICA
JUST AVAILABLE!
Several weeks ago I showed you a boxed specimen
of this attractive crown shafted palm from Reunion
Island.  It doesn't get too tall, likes full sun and
tolerates temperatures into the mid 20's F.
When young some varieties show a red-brown
color to the stem and base.  It does not make a very
large palm with typical heights about twenty feet.
It is also a quick grower.  Shown here are some
oversized 5g plants with chunky bases.  I only have
a few of these.  Also shown is that boxed specimen.
Trunk size is thin, perhaps six to eight inches.
This species prefers heat and sun along the coast.
It would qualify as a short to medium sized palm
but is very quick growing to reach an overhead
size.  These 5g plants have been outdoors for
approximately 3 years and have seen 27 to 28
degrees already.  They are ready for the garden!
5g plants are $75, very good sized.
Hyophorbe indica 5g Hyophorbe indica 5g
Hyophorbe indica 5g Hyophorbe indica box  

 

ALOCASIA WENTII
COLD HARDY ALOCASIA
This exotic companion plant is surprisingly cold
hardy and can be grown in zones 7B.  It is exotic
appearing with strongly veined leaves that are
green on the dorsal size and dark, near-black on
the underside.  It gets to about 3, perhaps 4 feet
tall and prefers filtered light.  It responds to
heat and adequate moisture. We have available
plants in an affordable 2g size.  These are very
attractive and the perfect plant to place below
other taller trees to compliment the garden.
If your garden doesn't have beautiful companion
plants on the garden floor, you've yet to see
how beautiful you can make it. 
Alocasia wentii Alocasia wentii
Alocasia wentii    

 

CYCAS PANZIHUAENSIS
A COLD HARDY CHINESE CYCAD
I first heard about this cycad about twenty years
ago.  Back then, few people had familiarity with
Chinese cycads because most were not available
to be seen or studied.  The interesting thing about
this species was that it is surprisingly cold hardy.
I had heard of people in areas like colder parts of
Texas and even the United Kingdom growing it
well outdoors.  It ends up that this species is
probably an even more cold hardy species than
the common Sago Palm.  This means it will
tolerate temperatures into the teens F.  Along
the coast it tolerates full sun, but can do well
in part sun or filtered light.  It also doesn't get
as large and massive as the common Sago.  The
leaves are green, sometimes with a blue hint
when grown in sunlight.  Shown here is a 15g
plant and a smaller 2g size.  Also here are
pictures of more mature plants in a botanical
garden in Florida.  One picture shows the
caudex.  Note how it has a red-orange color,
typical of this species.  I can easily mail order
plants right to your door, any size of this species.
      
Cycas panzihuaensis Cycas panzihuaensis 2g
Cycas panzihuaensis 15g Cycas panzihuaensis caudex red Cycas panzihuaensis

 

MONDAY, JANUARY 30, 2012

NEW ARTICLE!  REPOTTING CYCADS
A frequent question I am asked is how and when to repot
a cycad.  Often people don't know how to tell if their
plant needs to be stepped up and they've just never done
it.  For this reason, I have written a pictorial article with
photos showing each step of the process.  I've also
described how to make cycad soil and given examples
of how you can tell if it's time to repot your plant.  This
article is part of our continual attempt to do more than
just sell plants.  We are committed to sharing educational
and horticultural information to all people who visit our
website.  Now almost 20 years old, we were one of the
first websites about palms and cycads in the world. I hope
you like the article.  Feedback is always welcomed. 
Repotting Cycads Banner
Click picture to view article


LIGULARIA
Ligularia is an interesting group of
plants coming from Europe, Asia and
Africa.  There are many different species
in this genus.  The ones we sell are second
and third generation plants from our own
stock.  They have a Lily Pad type of leaves
and produce yellow daisy-like blossoms in
the Fall.  They prefer some protection from
the full sun and can grow in filtered light.
They do like moisture and can be considered
an "indicator plant" that tells you when your
soil is getting dry.  They'll droop over.  If you
then give them some water, they bounce
right back up by morning.  They are easy to
grow if you keep them adequately watered.
We have affordable smaller sizes for sale.
If you start with a few plants, over time and
with vegetative propagation, you can have
many colonies of nice size plants.  They are
a great companion plant and ideal for parkways
by the street.  We should have one and two
gallon plants available for sale.  We have
1g plants for $20 and 2g for $25.
Ligularia
Photo by RT
Ligularia

 

DYPSIS SPECIES "LANCEONADA"
The name above is one we coined at the nursery
because this plant, although similar to Dypsis
lanceolata
, has some striking differences.  First,
it's petioles and upper stem area are darker in
color (brown to sometimes red) and they are
hairy.  They do sucker like regular
lanceolata.
But, the big difference seems to be in culture.
They take more sun than lanceolata, are faster
growing and easier to grow.  Some along the
coast are growing them in almost full sun,
something not possible with regular lanceolata.
Who knows if it's a variety or something else.
We have 1g plants and a limited number of
5g and 15g plants.  Shown here is a fine
one gallon plant.  Hopefully you can see the red-
brown fuzz in the crown shaft area.  We are very
excited about this introduction.  BTW, the
name here includes "nada" meaning that it's
not the real lanceolata or at the minimum,
a variety type plant or a hybrid.  Below are
several photos of regular D. lanceolata.  Note
how this form doesn't have the red color on
the crown shaft area on the last photo.
Addendum: after talking to lots of folks, it
appears there are probably two forms to this
species, one being the brown fuzzy form and
the other a silver green variety.  Perhaps
this represents 2 varieties of the same speices
or perhaps 2 different species.  Time will tell.
Big one gallon plants are $35.
Dypsis lanceonada Dypsis lanceonada
Dypsis lanceolata 15g Dypsis lanceolata nursery plant trunk  

DYPSIS BARONII
This species, in my opinion, should be
considered a "complex" rather than a
single species with one appearance.
We have come to find that D. baronii
has many morphological varieties. 
Differences involve color of the crown shaft
or stem, leaf appearance, caliper of the
trunks, color of the petiole and leaf
appearance.  Shown to the right is one
with dark, red stems.  Also shown are
larger specimens.  You will note how
all of these look a bit different.  I have
found similar "complex" status with
D. decipiens, onilahensis and others.  The
containerized plant here is a one gallon; we
also have 5g and 15g on this species.  This
species does sucker, typically gets to ten-
fifteen feet, likes partial sun or filtered
light in interior areas, and is a medium
rate grower.  Cold tolerance is into the
mid-twenties F.  The two photos below
are native habitat pictures.  The second
photo to the right is in a local garden
in our area.  Nursery plants of other sizes
are shown as well.  
Dypsis baronii Dypsis baronii
Dypsis baronii Dypsis baronii Dypsis baronii 5g
Dypsis baronii nursery Dypsis baronii 15g  

SATURDAY, JANUARY 28, 2012

SOMETHING DIFFERENT TODAY:  I think today I will quickly just show you some photos of tropical companion plants.  At this website, we have a comprehensive article on which plant species do well as companion plants.  But, this will show you pictures of some of our material that we offer during the year.  Some is seasonal.  It's constantly changing.  I'll not make comments, just show the plants.  I hope you like it.

Philodendron black cardinal
Philodendron black cardinal
Philodendron species
Philodendron species
Blechnum fern
Blechnum Fern
Anthurium species
Anthurium species
Flowering Anthurium
Flowering Anthurium
Anthurium
Flowering Anthurium
Philodendron species
Philodendron species
Alocasia wentii
Alocasia wentii
Alocasia brownii
Alocasia brownii
Alocasia dwarf
Alocasia dwarf
Nerogelia
Nerogelia
Bromeliads
Assorted Bromeliads
Philodendron species
Unusual Philodendron species
Succulent
Succulents
Philodendron species
Philodendron species
     

TO SEE MORE PICTURES OF TROPICAL COMPANION PLANTS,
GO TO OUR HOME PAGE AND CLICK ON THE TROPICAL
PLANTS ICON UNDER NEW ARTICLES

 

FRIDAY, JANUARY 27, 2012

HELICONIA SCHEIDIANA
The Power of Plants
I thought you might enjoy seeing a
picture of the fairly cold hardy species
Heliconia scheidiana.  Check out these
two photos as they demonstrates the
strength of the underground rhizomes and
roots.  It is also a good example of a plant
that has outgrown its container size.  This is
a 15g plant.  It's been in the container for
about 2 years from a 5g pot. Note how the
plastic container is amazingly bulging at the
sides.  What we did with this is divide the
plant into four parts and repot each part into
a seven gallon container.  All divisions should
do fine.  Heliconia are very easy plants to
divide.  In fact, all of our plants start with
domestic rhizomes removed from plants
in Southern California.  They will easily
take a freeze and most species like sun.
We do have a few miniature species that
only get 3 feet tall.  All have colorful and
attractive blossoms and are a great
companion species for the garden.  Below
is a Heliconia blossom from a friend of
mine, G.B., who loves growing these plants.
This is from his Southern CA yard.
 
 
 
heliconia scheidiana 15g overgrown heliconia scheidiana 15g overgrown
heliconia blossom, GB
Heliconia rostrata
   

 

PACHYPODIUM LAMERI
THE "MADAGASCAR PALM"
There are all sorts of plants that have been
given the name of a "palm", when in fact
they are not palms at all.  Examples are
the Pony Tail Palm, the Traveler Palm,
and many others.  This succulent from
Madagascar is another example of this
name theft with the attachment of the
word "palm" to its name.  Regardless,
this is an interesting species and is
often sought by collectors.  It is a plant
with a very spiny trunk.  This trunk can
branch.  It has fragrant white blossoms
and carries leaves typically at the top of
the plant.  Shown here is a 15g plant
about six feet tall.  If you Google this
plant, you will see all sorts of pictures
of the flowers.  The last photo below
shows the spines of the trunk.  This
species likes sun and heat.  It does NOT
like being watered when it is cold.
Cold tolerance is a bit below a freeze.
Pachypodium lameri 15g pachypodium lameri 15g
pachypodium lameri 15g    

 

CHAMAEROPS CERIFERA
By most, this species is felt to be
a different species than its cousin,
Chamaerops humilus.  We say this
because it is very blue in color and
tends to be more compact and shorter.
It is similar, however, in that it is very
cold hardy, down to about 15 degrees.
We have 5g, 15g, and boxes for sale.
Shown is a very shippable 5g and a
mature plant showing the color.  This
species loves sun and heat.  It is
very easy to grow.   Below are examples
of very shippable sized plants.  If you
live in a colder area, this species is
a must for you.  In my experience,
this makes a smaller, more compact
clump than the standard Chamaerops
humilus.
  And, of course, it has an
intense blue color when in bright hot
sun.  An average mature plant is
under 8 feet tall.
Chamaerops cerifera Chamaerops cerifera 
Chamaerops cerifera, various    

 

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

 

STANGERIA ERIOPUS
This is a rather small and fern-like
appearing cycad from South Africa.
At maturity, its caudex is usually no
larger than six to seven inches.  The
leaves are typically under four feet,
often just two to three feet.  So, it is
a nice cycad for a small area.  And, it
is un-armed and user friendly.  Shown
is a citrus pot size, which is coning size.
This plant has a female cone.
Many of our plants have coned.  This
size is $175 to $200.  We do have smaller
sizes as well.  A mature plant is shown
in the second picture to the right. 
Along the coast, this species tolerates
sun or near full sun.  Inland locations
find filtered light the best.  Cold
tolerance is into the mid-twenties F.
The third photo shows a close up of the
leaf and its fern like appearance.  The last
photo is of a band size, about 3 years old.
This size is $45 to $55.  Try one of these,
they are very cool plants.  If you like
larger plants, I might be able to come
up with a sexed pair for you and then
you would be able to set viable seeds.
Stangeria eriopus Stangeria
Stangeria Stangeria eriopus  
GAUSSIA MAYA
In the "old days", this species was
known as Opsiandra maya, a name that
I really enjoyed.  It is a single trunk palm
that can be grown in Southern CA.  It
has the interesting habit of getting a very
swollen base.  This swelling will truly
"disappear" when the plant ages, actually
shrinking away.  Shown is a rare boxed
specimen.  We have several of these
as well as smaller sizes for sale.  Along
the coast it takes full sun.  Cold tolerance
is into the mid-twenties F.  The plant you
see saw temperatures outside in 2007 of
24 degrees.  The third photo is of a
containerized plant in the greenhouse.
Note the swelling at the base, typical
appearance for this species.  
Gaussia maya Guassia maya
Gaussia maya    

 

ENCEPHALARTOS FEROX
This is a medium sized rare cycad from
South Africa.  It is most known for two
characteristics: it's leaves look line a
Holly Fern and the bright red cones that
this species produces.  I've found that
the female cone tends to be red and the
male more of an orange-red color.  But,
this is variable.  This plant prefers filtered
light in most areas but can take full sun
right along the coast.  Cold tolerance is
into the low 20's F.  Mature size will
typically be a caudex that is 10 to 15
inches with a crown spread of six to eight
feet.  The leaflets are dark green and
armed with small spines.  Some different
varieties show variation in the leaf form
with some plants having more narrow
leaflets and others wide.  Some leaflets
are even curled or almost tubular.  The
third and fourth pictures show this
curly leaf form.  The next photo shows
the famous red female cone.  The last
2 photos below were taken at our
nursery of a wide leaf variety of this
species.  Note how attractive and wide
the leaflets are.  It's a great plant.
Encephalartos ferox Encephalartos ferox
Encephalartos ferox Encephalartos ferox curley Encephalartos ferox cone
E. ferox wide leaf form E. ferox wide leaf  

 

KENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS
This is a single trunk, crown shafted pinnate
palm from New Caledonia.  This island is
where other great species like Chambeyronia
and Burretiokentia come from.  Height in
Southern California is about 25 feet with a
rather thin trunk for this height.  The leaves
and crown tend to be upright.  Cold tolerance
is into the mid to low 20's F. and it prefers
sun along the coast.  Inland areas should be
given part day sun or strong filtered light. 
This species is fairly easy to grow with good
growth rates.  Shown to the right are first a
5g plant and then a 15g plant.  We only have
a few 15g still left.  Below are a few photos
of larger trees in gardens.  The second photo
shows a plant that is just starting to show
trunk but illustrates the upward nature of
the crown of leaves.
Kentiopsis oliviformis Kentiopsis
Kentiopsis mature Kentiopsis  

 

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

CRYOSOPHILA ALBIDA
THE STAR PALM
The genus of Cryosophila consists of
about nine species from Mexico south
through Central America and into northern
South America.  This is a fan palm of medium
size with prominent white color to the underside
of the leaves.  The trunks are think and show
some modified spines that can form aerial roots
if given enough time.  This is a very attractive
palm.  This species, also known as Cryosophila
warscewiczi
, prefers AM sun or filtered light
and has potential to get to 30 feet height.  It is
somewhat cold hardy, probably into the mid-
twenties F.  Shown here is a 5g plant with one
shot showing the intense white underside of the
leaf.  Below is a photo by HJD of one showing
this white color.  The last photo is a shot of an
undetermined species of this genus, showing
its overall size.        
Cryosophila albida Cryosophila albida
Cryosophila albida by HJD Cryosophila  

 

CLINOSTIGMA SAVORYANUM
THE PACIFIC BEAUTY PALM
This exotic single trunk, crown-shafted species
comes from Bonin Island near Japan.  It has been
proven possible to grow this species in better
areas of Southern California.  It is very exotic
appearing with a prominent green crown shaft.
Interestingly, there are several species of
Clinostigma that can be grown here. 
Clinostigma savoryana can potentially get to
a height of 30 feet or more and prefers a sunny
location.  Cold tolerance is down to about a
freeze.  Shown here is a 15g plant that we have
at the nursery.  This plant has been outdoors for
about a year and seen a temperature of 32 degrees.
We have other sizes as well.  Clinostigma would
be one of the more exotic and unusual of palm
types possible in this area.  To the right is a
juvenile plant in a garden in So Cal.  Also shown
below is an undetermined species of Clinostigma
showing how beautiful this genus can look. 


Clinostigma    
Clinostigma savoryanum 15g Clinostigma savoryanum

 

SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012

CYCAS DEBAOENSIS
I've discussed this species before, but took
some more photos to show how really interesting
this species is.  This Chinese species has a fairly
small stem, typically under a foot in size and
is usually subterranean.  It puts out upright
leaves than can stretch up vertically more than
ten feet.  They tend to go straight up with a gentle
arch.  The leaves can be up to four feet wide. 
Pictures here demonstrate the most interesting
thing about this cycad: leaves that brach to the
third order.  It is very similar to Cycas multi-
pinata,
also from China.  If you inspect the
photos here, you will note that the main petiole
or stem branches, and off of these branches it
branches again.  This is what makes these
leaves appear full and fluffy.  This species
will usually throw one leaf at a time and seldom
holds over three leaves.  It is super rare and tends
to be expensive to purchase.  Just a little over a
decade ago it was near impossible for one to
obtain even a seedling of this species.  It can
be grown in filtered light, which it prefers, and
has some cold hardiness into the low 20's F.
Cycas debaoensis Cycas debaoensis
Cycas debaoensis Cycas debaoensis Cycas debaoensis
Cycas debaoensis Cycas debaoensis  

 

CYCAS BIFIDA
AKA CYCAS MULTIFRONDIS
I think this is a good time to tell you about another
similar species that does not have branching of the
stems like Cycas debaoensis above.  If you jump
back a decade or two, there was this group of
Cycas called the "Micholitzii Complex".  Plants
within this complex were rare, seldom seen and,
it was rumored, even had some with branching
stems.  Then there were others that didn't branch.
But, all were felt to be a "Michoitzii", one way or
another.  Cycas bifida has multiple leaflets off the
primary stem, but that stem doesn't bifurcate or
trifurcate.  Thus, it is NOT multipinnate in nature.
To the casual glance, it may appear to be similar
to a debaoensis, but it is not.  It, of course, is also
an Asian cycad but with a larger caudex than
debaoensis.  It's leaves do extend vertically and
in our locality this species should be grown in
filtered light. Natural habitats are southern China
and Viet Nam.  Most importantly here I want for
you to notice that the stem does not branch. 
Rather, there are dichotomous or divided leaflets.
At the nursery, we have various sizes of both of
these species available.
 
 

Cycas bifida Cycas bifida
Cycas bifida    

 

MACROZAMIA MONTANA
We just got in a few of this rather
unusual Macrozamia from Australia.  The
nice thing about this species is that it doesn't
get too awfully large.  It will peak out at
about 8 feet of height maximum.  It likes
full hot sun and is cold tolerant easily
into the low 20's f.  Shown is a 15g plant.
macrozamia montana macrozamia montana

 

FRIDAY, JANUARY 20, 2012

 

BRAHEA DECUMBENS
Suckering, Dwarf, Cold-Hardy
We have available a few of the 5g size
of this fabulous dwarf palm that turns
blue as it gets older.  Sporting from
Mexico, this rare and hard to find species
is perfect for people who see cold
temperatures in the mid to upper teens F.
They never get over about six feet tall
and are definitely blue when larger.
Shown is an example of one for sale.
Be aware that they must reach a certain
size before becoming blue.  Small plants
are always green.  They like sun and take
temperatures down to about 17 degrees F.
Brahea decumbens 5g Brahea decumbens
Brahea decumens

 

JUBAEA CHILENSIS
CHILEAN WINE PALM
This is a real king among palm
trees with the thickest trunk of any
palm species.  It is extremely cold
hardy and sought after by collectors
from all over the country.  It tolerates
temperatures of about 15 degrees,
is pinnate, gets to about 60 feet and
has a trunk diameter of four feet or
more.  Shown is a very large 15g
plant, price $200, basal diameters
are about six inches or a bit more.
Note that this particular plant sold
since I took the photos, but we have
others that are very nice.    
We also have nice 5g (easily
shipped) and a few  box specimens.
The specimen photos speak for
themselves.  The last photo is
representative of our 5g size.
Jubaea chilensis Jubaea chilensis
Jubaea Jubaea
Jubaea chilensis 5g

 

THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 2012

SYAGRUS ROMANZOFFIANA X
SCHIZOPHYLLA
"COCONUT QUEEN"
The growing of hybrid palm trees is an
interesting topic.  Nature has provided us
with natural hybrids in habitat.  Two species
sharing a native location share pollen and
the hybridization occurs.  Other times it is a
man-inspired cross with someone physically
transferring pollen from one species to another.
There are "inter-species" and "inter-generic"
hybrids.  The latter tend to be more popular
because the offspring are often very different
than either parent.  The species I'm discussing
here is a cross within a genus and, it is my
understanding, done intentionally.  The very
popular cross "Foxy Lady" Palm actualy
occurred in a domestic setting with a mature
Veitchia located next to a fruiting Foxtail.
The rest is history.   

There is a Queen Palm hybridizer in Thailand
who has done lots of crosses with the common
Queen Palm, Syagrus romanzoffiana.  When I
first heard of this cross I wasn't too excited
because logic would tell you that the cross would
not be attractive.  But, to the contrary, this hybrid
is very appealing and pretty.  I presently have a
few one gallon plants of this cross.  I apologize
that I don't have a picture of a mature plant of this
hybrid, but this would require taking someone
else's photo, which I won't do.  If interested, you
might be able to Google and see a mature specimen
of this cross.  The cross gives a medium to large
pinnate palm that tolerates full sun and is more
exotic appearing than the Queen Palm.  At this point
I cannot comment on cold hardiness.
Coconut Queen  

 

ACOELORRHAPHE WRIGHTII
THE PAUROTIS PALM
This is a monotypic genus (only one species in
a genus) that is a suckering fan palm.  It is native
to the Everglades area of the SE United States,
Mexico and Central America.  It is a medium tall
palm with heights typically up to about 15 feet.
It likes sun, heat and water.  When you examine
this species, it's as if Nature provided you with
a bigger sun tolerant Lady Palm.  Trunks are
typically about three to five inches and covered
with fibers and matting.  The petioles are mildly
armed.  The leaves are green with some blue mixed
in.  The leaf size is about three feet.  Surprisingly,
this species has a bit of cold hardiness, probably
into the low twenties F.  I've found that the key
to growing this species is giving it adequate water
and sun.  It stalls if planted in the shade.  Shown
here is a nice 3 gallon plant with some pictures
of mature specimens.  It would be a great choice
for people who want to "hide the neighbor".  The
second photo to the right was taken in Balboa Park,
San Diego, CA.  This plant is over 30 years old.
It demonstrates how this species doesn't get very
tall over many years.   
Acoelorrhaphe wrightii Acoelorrhaphe wrightii Balboa park
Acoelorrhaphe wrightii    

 

SABAL DOMINGUENSIS
This tall fan palm is native to Cuba and the island
of Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican Republic).  It
gets its name from the name of a city located in
Dominican Republic.  It is related to the tall fan
palm Sabal causiarum.  It's trunk is very thick
and the crown of leaves large.  It, over many
decades, attains a height of well over forty feet.
It likes sun and seems to have cold tolerance into
the teens F.  Sabal species have always interested
people in colder regions of the United States.
For this reason we try to grow a lot of different
types of Sabals.  Shown here is a 5g juvenile
plant and a photo of mature specimens.
Sabal dominguensis Sabal dominguensis

 

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2012

TODAY SOMETHING DIFFERENT! 

AFRICAN CYCADS
I have spent the last several days working on
a quick pictorial thread showing actual
examples of African Cycads we have for sale
at the nursery.  I don't discuss the plants,
rather I just show photos.  African cycads
are truly amazing plants and easy to grow.
If you click on the banner to the right,
it will connect you with this brand new
series showing lots of Encephalartos and
Stangeria, both native to Africa.   I hope
you enjoy this pictorial feature.  It is
quick and easy to view.
African Cycads
Click on Banner above to view photos of African Cycads

MONDAY, JANUARY 16, 2012

BIRDS NEST ANTHURIUM
(garden of Ed Moore, San Diego)
This is a very desirable tropical plant, an
Anthurium species from a long time friend
of mine in San Diego, Ed Moore.  It ends up
with leaves about 4 feet long.  The seeds are
small and red.  I do not know the species
name.  It likes filtered light and is a great
companion plant and a fine addition to
the garden.  Photos shown are of strong
5g plants, $45.  I'd estimate cold hardiness
into the upper 20's F.  BTW, Ed Moore was
one of the first members of the International
Palm Society. 
Anthurium Anthurium
Anthurium anthurium  

 

ENCEPHALARTOS ALTENSTEINII
This South African cycad species makes a
very large mature plant, so it needs some
room in the garden.  It prefers full sun along
the coast and takes temperatures into the low
20's F.   Mature plants can have several meters
of trunk and the crown width is about 8 to
10 feet.  It is a quick grower.  It's leaves are
green in color and the trunk can get 2 feet in
diameter.  Shown here is a chunky 15g plant.
We have plants of this species available in all
sizes with very nice seedlings starting at
$35 to $45.  Also shown are a box specimen
from the nursery, leaf detail close up, and
a mature specimen in a garden. 
Encephalartos altensteinii Encephalarto altensteinii
Enceph altensteinii Enceph alt leaf Enceph altensteinii

 

LIVISTONA DECIPIENS
(LIVISTONA DECORA)
This palm is native to Australia and is
also known as the Ribbon Palm.  It is a
fan palm.  The terminal leaflets hang
downwards, thus given the ribbon
appearing look to the leaves.  It is a fast
palm and easy to grow.  Cold hardiness
is into the teens, F.  It prefers full sun. 
Shown here are a 5g plant as well as a
15g.  Also shown are a picture of a
mature specimen in a large nursery box
and one in a garden.  In a nursery plant,
I like to recognize this species by
looking for the typical curved spines
on the petiole, a thin leaflet fan palm,
and wispy strands of hair hanging
randomly from the leaves. For those
is a colder area, this might prove to be
not only a good looking palm, but one
you can grow.  It's a piece of cake in
areas like San Francisco and Houston.
Livistona decipiens Livistona decipiens
Livistona decipiens Livistona decipiens   

 

SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2012

AFRICAN CYCAD STARTER PACK:  NINE RARE AND DIFFERENT SPECIES, SPECIAL DISCOUNTED PRICE!

Below are nine very rare and unique African cycads that are in the band size.  These seedlings are between one and three years old.  There are five blue species. 
These can all be grown in Southern California.  We are offering these nine cycad species below, similar to the ones shown in the photographs for a
special package
price of $375, almost 20% off individual prices. 
These can be easily shipped anywhere in the U.S.

This collection includes species for sun, some for shade with five great sought-after blue species.  The blunt tip blue E. longifolius , by itself, often commands a huge price.  It is super rare and seldom available.  If you like cycads, this is a great way to start a collection.  Cold tolerance on most is into the low 20's F.  I am showing you the seedling plant and an example of what the species will look like when it matures.  I hope you enjoy these photos.

Encephalartos concinnus
Encephalartos concinnus
Encephalartos ferox
Encephalartos ferox
Encephalartos trispinosus
Encephalartos trispinosus
Encephalartos horridus
Encephalartos horridus
Encephalartos lehmanii kirkwood
Encephalartos lehmanii kirkwood
Encephalartos senticosus
Encephalartos senticosus 
Encephalartos lanatus
Encephalartos lanatus 
Encephalartos blue longifolius, blunt tip
Encephalartows longifolius, blue blunt tip 
Stangeria eriopus 
Stangeria eriopus

Nine African Cycads - Special
Nine rare African cycad starter collection 
JUST CALL US TO ORDER YOURS!  (619) 291 4605

 

ARCHONTOPHOENIX MAXIMA
PERHAPS THE BEST KING PALM
We grow about six different types of "King
Palms".  I.e., six different Archontophoenix
species.  All are a bit different from the others.
The most common one seen in nurseries is
Archontophoenix cunninghamiana.  This is the
one you'd see if you drive around in So Cal
looking for a King Palm.  But, it is not the
prettiest species and does have problems with
leaf tip burning in full sun.  A. purpurea has
a purple color to the crown shaft and
A. myolensis has a very clean, emerald green
crown shaft. Both have silver color on the under-
side of the leaves. 

Enter Archontophoenix maxima.  I said it
could be the best of all.  I say this because it is
a larger species, has a very thick trunk (almost
resembling a Royal Palm), has a larger crown
of leaves, holding more leaves and each leaf
is more robust and longer.  But, one thing that
really is a preference is that it has much less of
a tendency to brown tip in full sun. This is not
only my personal experience, but also that of
others in So Cal who have grown this species.
The crown shaft is a silver-green color.  It is a
fast growing palm.  Shown here are some photos
of nursery plants followed by multiple photos
showing a mature plant.  Note the crown size and
the thickness of the trunk.  Of note, seeds from
my plant are larger than the regular King Palm
seed.  This species is a winner!  The last photo
shows this species from afar.  Look at the
other Kings beyond it to compare the two.
This species outgrows the regular King Palm
and will get much taller. Note how the leaves
are a darker green with no tip burn and no
yellowing.  All of these things make it "maxima"
for sure and, I think, the best species to choose
when you want a King Palm.  

So, if you want a King Palm, come by and get
this one.  All species are definitely NOT the
same!  We have various sizes for sale and can
ship easily ship them.  I'd estimate cold tolerance
to about 25 degrees, similar to the common
King Palm.
Archontophoenix maxima Archontophoenix maxima
Archontophoenix maxima A. maxima crown shaft A. maxima trunk
A. maxima, leaf A. maxima A. maxima

 

CERATOZAMIA SPECIES
Ceratozamia are New World cycads, most
typically from Mexico or Central America.
The leaf stems on most are spiny and one
also sees prongs or spines on the cones.
Leaves and leaflets vary depending on which
species is examined.  Some attractive plants
have wide, long green leaflets and are very
tropical and exotic appearing.  Culturally,
Ceratozamias are quite cold hardy.  Many
species tolerate temps into the low 20's f.
The majority of species prefer filtered light
or AM sun.  Some species will take full
sun along the coast.  Stems rarely get over
two to three feet tall.  Leaves can be six to
eight feet long on the larger species.  Shown
here is a boxed specimen, a female plant.
You can see how exotic appearing it is.
Below a few taller palm trees, this would
be a wonderful addition to the garden.  This
plant has coned and is a female.
 
Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species
CHAMBEYRONIA MACROCARPA
This is another great species to grow in the
garden.  Known as the Blushing Palm, the
Red Leaf Palm
or the Flamethrower, this
species is a must for all enthusiasts.  It is a
reliable grower with a gorgeous crown shaft,
wide leaflets that are very thick to the touch,
and a burgundy colored new emerging leaf.
There are several varieties, but today I am
talking about the one with the dark green
crownshaft, C. macrocarpa.  This species is
from New Caledonia, an island with many very
nice species for us in Southern California. 
The only complaint I've ever heard about it is
that growth rate is rather slow.  Most grow it
in filtered light, but along the coast it will take
full sun.  Cold tolerance appears to be to the
low 20's f.  It is more cold hardy than the King
Palm.  Shown are several nursery plants
showing the new red leaf, and a more mature
garden specimen. We have available a whole
assortment of sizes at the nursery.
Chambeyronia  Chambeyronia 
Chambeyronia  Chambeyronia  chambeyronia 

 

THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

 

DYPSIS LEPTOCHEILOS
Sometimes known as the "Teddy Bear Palm",
this species is an absolute must for any
garden in the coastal area of Southern CA.
It was introduced about twenty years ago
and has proved to be a gorgeous plant.  It
in thin trunked, gets to about 20 feet tall,
and has a rusty-orange-red fuzzy crown
shaft. The trunk is a silver blue color with
prominent rings.  Cold hardiness is into the
mid-twenties F. and along the coast it can
take can full sun.  Inland locations would
require some sun protection.  Most
enthusiasts would list this species on the
"top twenty" list for sure.  It is becoming
somewhat hard to find lately.  Shown here
is a 25g plant forming some trunk.  I'm
showing various pictures so you can get
a feel for the plant.  Also shown are some
garden specimens.  Although we have
very limited supplies, we sell 5g, 15g and
25 g sizes.  The last picture is a habitat
photo from Madagascar donate by JS.
Dypsis leptocheilos Dypsis leptocheilos trunk
Dypsis leptocheilos in garden, juvenile
RHOPALOSTYLIS SAPIDA
SHAVING BRUSH PALM
FEATHER DUSTER PALM
We've discussed this great palm previously on
this blog, but I wanted to show a few more
pictures.  This species is from New
Zealand.  It gets to about 25 feet, but this
will take several decades.  When I think of
this species, I remember most the upright
leaves and the thick, bulging crown shaft. 
Rhopalostylis sapida would also be on most
people's top twenty list.  It can tolerate full
sun if you are within five to eight miles of
the ocean in Southern CA.  Most people
in other areas give it morning sun or
filtered light.  Getting trunk from a planted
nursery plant may take five to seven years.
Cold tolerance is about 22 or 23 degrees F.
The most common mistake is giving it too
much sun if you live in a hot area.  Shown
here is a nursery plant, 25g and a much
smaller 5g plant from our place.  We also
have 15g size for sale, shown below.  Be
aware that there are several forms of this
species and we them for sale as well.
They differ in the appearance of the leaves
and overall size.
Rhopalostylis sapida 25g Rhopalostylis sapida, 5g
     

Rhopalostylis sapida rusty 15g rhopalostylis spaida Rhopalostylis sapaida

DIOON MEROLAE
This is a slow growing New World cycad species
that comes from Mexico.  It is very attractive.  One
of the things that is particularly nice about this species
is that the crown size is compact and not that large. 
For this reason, it fits into a small sunny location
in the garden where no other plant would work.  Its
leaves are a silver-green in color and it holds many 
leaves.  An extremely old plant might have a foot or
two of trunk.  In the wild there are specimens that are
possibly a thousand years old with many meters of
trunk, often leaning over toward the ground.  But,
from a practical point of view, it is a small plant. 
Cold hardiness is into the low 20's F. and it prefers
full sun except for harsh desert climates.  We offer
many sizes of this species from seedlings up to
trunked plants that are many decades old. 
The last photo is a citrus pot size.  For mail orders,
this is a perfect size to ship.
 
Dioon merolae  Dioon merolae 
Dioon merolae  Dioon merolae  Dioon merolae 

 

PHILODENDRON CANNIFOLIUM
aka PHILODENDRON MARTIANUM
At the nursery, we do try to obtain interesting and
rare tropical foliage plants as much as we can.
Posted here is a great species to add to the garden
in a filtered light environment.  This Philodendron
is a rosette type of plant as opposed to a climbing
species.  It develops very thick stems and wide
leaves.  It is quite rare and hard to find.  We
are offering nice 7g plants, at least five years
old.  Although I don't know cold tolerance for
sure, I'd estimate it can easily take a freeze.
This species doesn't get a lot bigger than you
see here and can occupy a space about 4 foot
diameter.  I like this species and would
recommend it for the garden.  

Philodendron cannifolium Philodendron cannifolium

 

 

TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2012

ENCEPHALARTOS KISAMBO
We have found that this Central African
cycad species is a quick growing plant
and has a very green leaf with a distinctive
appearance.  It is easy to grow and has
some frost tolerance, probably into the
mid twenties F.  It can develop an six
foot trunk with leaves than can be
eight to ten feet long.  It will tolerate
sun except in inland areas.  To the right
is first a nice citrus pot plant, then a
15g plant.  Below is a picture of a
garden specimen, a close-up of
the leaf of a 15g container plant,
and a male cone.  We have all sizes
for sale up to boxed specimens.  
Encephalartos kisambo cit pot Encephalartos kisambo
Encephalartos kisambo Encephalartos kisambo leaf Encephalartos kisambo cone
     
TWO GREAT BLUE CYCAD SEEDLINGS!
ENCEPHALARTOS HORRIDUS
ENCEPHALARTOS LEHMANNII,
        KIRKWOOD
FORM
Just available are two fantastic blue species being
sold in seedling stage.  Both are very
difficult to find.  E. horridus remains the
number one sought-after cycad species.
We are offering them for sale at $55.  Also
available is the most desirable form of the blue
Encephalartos lehmannii.  This is the kirkwood
form with its good size and nice re-curve to the
leaves.  These are also $55 each in the band size. 
Our supplies are limited.  So, if interested, contact
us soon.  We can ship these anywhere within the U.S.
Shown here are first a picture of a mature E.
horridus
with a close up picture of the spiny
leaf.  Then I have several pictures of Encephalartos
lehmannii
with one close up of the leaves.  Both
species are intensely blue, especially in full hot
sun.  These species are easy to grow and cold
tolerant to the low 20's F.
 
WEBSITE SPECIAL: GET #4 OR MORE OF
THESE TWO SPECIES AND SAVE 10%  posted
pictures below of these new seedlings and
also shown another great blue species,
Encephalartos trispinosus.  The latter are
3-4 you seedlings, ready to be bumped into
larger containers.  Mix or match, it's ok.  This
offer expires in one week.
Encephalartos horridus Encephalartos horridus leaf
Encephalartos lehmanii Encephalartos lehmanii Encephalartos lehmannii
E. horridus
E. horridus, band size seedling
E. lehmannii kirkwood
E. lehmannii, kirkwood, band
E. trispinosus, seedling band
E. trispinosus, seedling, band

 

PRITCHARDIA, THE HAWAIIAN PALM
This genus is mostly native to Hawaii, but some species
extend into the South Pacific.  At our nursery, we
specialize in the native species from Hawaii because
they are more cold tolerant and easier to grow in
Southern California.  All are tropical fan palms
and all are very desirable.  For those of you who "only
like feather palms", think again.  These plants are
gorgeous and add a real diversity to the garden.  There
are about 25 or so species in this genus, and at any time
we typically offer ten or more species for sale.  They
tend to be small to medium sized palms, typically
under 20 feet of height with thin or medium sized
trunks.  The leaves are near entire and often flat in
their shape.  They are easy to grow and some tolerate
temperatures into the mid-twenties F.  In coastal areas
they take full or part day sun.  Inland they may be grown
in strong filtered light.  We have all sizes from seedlings
to boxed sized plants.  Shown here are an array of sizes
and species.  Come visit us and you'll be pleasantly
surprised to see that we have hundreds of this genus
for sale.  Over the past 3 decades we have sold
thousands of Pritchardia  of all species and
everyone loves them.  We are one of the only nurseries
in the country that offers so many species and
sizes of Pritchardia.   By the way, Pritchardia are
the only true palm species native to the Hawaiian
Islands.  All other palm species were introduced by man!
  
Pritchardia pritchardia
pritchardia leaf pritchardia pritchardia 5g

 

MONDAY, JANUARY 9, 2012

DIOON SPECIES
The plant shown here is a very special plant.
Not only is it gorgeous, but it also very
different.  We are not quite sure what it is.
It shows features of both Dioon merolae and
Dioon edule.  The leaflets are not spiny but
reflex downward like D. merolae.  This
specimen is very full and has many leaves. 
Its caudex is about 8 inches and it's in a 7g
container.  I'll show a close-up of the leaf.
If similar to other similar plants, its cold
hardiness would be into the low 20's F.  It
wants full sun in most areas.  I only have
one such plant as shown.
Dioon species Dioon species
CARYOTA GIGAS
Caryotas are a Fishtail Palm.  This species is
a rather recent arrival to the nursery trade.  It
is from northern Thailand.  It is known for its
very beautiful appearance and for the thickness
of the trunk.  Known previously as the "Thai
Mountain Giant Palm", the "Black Stem
Caryota" and the "King Kong Fishtail", it is
a very sizeable palm that needs room to grow
and tolerates full sun in most areas.  It's growth
rate is fast.  Cold tolerance is about 22 degrees.
Trunk diameter is 2 to 3 feet and typical overall
height is 35 to perhaps 40 feet.  Shown is a good
sized 15g plant, perfect to plant in the garden.
Also shown are several photos a mature
specimen and a close up of the leaf.   Note that
the leaves are very large, sometimes up to
15 feet in length and very wide.  It is interesting
to compare this gigas to the Caryota urens
below.  The latter is quicker growing vertically,
has a thinner trunk and shorter leaves.  C. gigas
has an enormous trunk, longer and broader
leaves, produces more shade, and doesn't get
as tall.  Make sure you plant either of these two
species a good distance from the house.  
Caryota gigas Caryota gigas
Caryota gigas Carytoa gigas  

 

CARPENTARIA ACUMINATA
This is a single trunk, pinnate, crown-
shafted palm species from northern
Australia.  It gets to 40 feet or more and
has a rather thin trunk.  It is a fast grower.
Cold tolerance is slightly below a freeze.
It is uncommonly seen in Southern CA.
It is a species that should be started in
strong filtered light and then allowed to
grow upwards into full sun.  Shown is
a 5g plant and a mature specimen.  This
species is seldom seen for sale in CA.
I am also showing a close up photo of
the crown shaft and red fruit.
Carpentaria acuminata Carpentaria acuminata
Carpentaria    

 

 

FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2012

 

CARYOTA URENS, FISHTAIL PALM
Caryota are a genus, and all are a type of Fishtail
Palm.  This species is single trunk.  It is
monocarpic.  This means that, after about two
decades, the plant flowers and dies.  Caryota urens
makes a very tall tree and is extremely fast growing.
In Southern California it is the fastest of any palm
in terms of vertical growth.  Its trunk matures to
a height of fifty feet or more and is about 18 inches
thick.  It will get taller and has a thinner trunk
than the presently popular species, Caryota gigas.
Shown here is an exceptional 25g plant.  It is
about 16 feet tall.  We also have nice 15g plants
for sale.  The second photo shows a near mature
specimen in Encinitas, CA at a private residence.
There are actually two trees, side by side.
Caryota urens 25g Caryota urens

 

JUBAEA X BUTIA HYBRID
Over the past several years we have offered
for sale hybrids of these two species in the
form of F2 hybrids.  This means that plants
were grown seeds of a mature plant of this
cross.  F1 hybrids would occur as the initial
cross when Butia pollen gets to the receptive
blossom of a mature Jubaea chilensis.  This
can occur naturally with insect vectors or by
someone physically applying the pollen to the
Jubaea blossom.  Logic would tell you that
it would be much more common to obtain
spontaneous J x B than B x J because of the
rarity of mature Jubaea in most people's
communities.  These would appear in a crop
of commercial Jubaeas where some "just don't
look normal".  The plant shown here, I have
determined from the grower, was an intentional
cross utilizing Pindo Palm pollen.  Because of
keen interest in this cross, I am making this
discussion longer than I normally do.  When
I got this first plant in, I didn't have information
on the parentage, but has since determined that
it is indeed the hybrid of these two parents.

Shown here is a 15g specimen of the hybrid 
Jubaea X Butia, with the pollen bearer parent
being Butia capitata.  This is an F1 hybrid.
When looking at a hybrid (perhaps you are just
looking at a random plant that you have come
across), it is an interesting exercise to look at
this the plant and try to document that it is
indeed a hybrid.  One does this by knowing
the characteristics of the apparent parents
and by systematically examining plant parts
including the leaves, leaflets and stem.  So,
let's examine the plant to the right.  Note
the color of the leaves.  They have a blue color,
not typical of Jubaea.  Also, the leaves are very
keeled in cross section.  The proximal petioles
also have rough, wooly and hairy barb-like
structures seen typically on Butia species but
not on Jubaea.  Also, the leaves are recurved
downward toward the ground.  This is a trait
of Butia capitata.  But, one interesting and easy
thing to check for are "hooks" on the ends of the
leaflets.  (see photos).  Butia do not have these
while Jubaea have been found to carry this trait.

This will be a very fast growing plant, 3x faster
than a normal Jubaea.  It'll have an equally thick
trunk but will retain leaf bases, unlike Jubaea.  It
will also prove to be very cold hardy, better than
either parent by itself.  I've received reports of
this cross tolerating 13 degrees F.  It's trunk
may reach 3 feet in diameter with a height of 25
feet or more.  This actual plant sold almost
immediately after we acquired it yesterday, but
I will be getting a few more in this week.  Call 
me if interested.  I have included one photo
below of a specimen in Southern CA, that I
found and think is a Jubaea X Butia.  If so, it
will be getting much taller over time.  The single
best trait to look for the spot this hybrid is noting
a very thick trunked pinnate palm with retained
leaf bases on the trunk, unlike the smooth
Jubaea chilensis.  Compare the trunk in this
grouping to the Jubaea trunk below.





Jubaea X Butia, 15g Jubaea X Butia leaf 15g
Jubaea X Butia 15g, base Jubaea X Butia hooks Jubaea x Butia hooks
Jubaea X Butia JXB 15g  

 

JUBAEA CHILENSIS
CHILEAN WINE PALM
I think now would be the appropriate time to
discuss the pure Jubaea chilensis so you can
compare it with the hybrid above.  I have written
a very comprehensive article on this species,
found elsewhere at this website.  I'll put the
link to this article at the end below.  This species
is from South America and can get over
fifty feet tall with the thickest trunk of any
palm species.  Specimens over four feet diameter
have been reported.  They are very slow growing
and it takes decades to get a nice, mature plant.
Mature trunks are clean of leaf bases, the color
of the leaves is almost always green, the leaves
are essentially flat in cross section or have a
minimal keel to them.  The petioles are unarmed.
At the nursery we have all sizes for sale and
occasional broker large mature specimens.
Shown here first is a 5g plant which is easily
shipped for mail order.  Next is a 15g which can
also be shipped, but costs a lot more for shipping.
The third photo shows how the leaves are flat in
cross section and more or less upright with
minimal re-curve.  The leaf stems are rather clean
at the base and have no barbs.  The final tree
shows a specimen in San Diego.  This particular
plant has a bit of blue color.  But, I said Jubaea
leaves are green.  I'll discuss this story another
day.  Do note how the trunk is clean appearing,
free of the retained leaf bases seen on the hybrid.
Jubaea like full sun and are cold tolerant to about
15 degrees F.  Note how the hybrid is a bit more
cold hardy.

LINK TO JUBAEA ARTICLE
     

Jubaea chilensis 5g  Jubaea chilensis 15g 
Jubaea chilensis leaves  Jubaea chilensis 15g base  Jubaea chilensis 
 

 

 

THURSDAY, JANUARY 5, 2012

 

HEDYSCEPE CANTERBURYANA
This great palm is one of my favorites.  It is
native to Lord Howe Island.  This is the same
island habitat as Howea species.  In contrast
to the Kentia Palm, Hedyscepe are a crown
shafted palm that has a silver trunk.  Along
the coast they tolerate full sun but would like
protection inland.  Cold tolerance is the mid-
twenties F.  Growth rate is not fast.  Shown here
is a 20g plant just starting to form trunk.  We
have various sizes down to one gallon.  Also
shown is a nice domestically grown tree.
Hedyscepe canterburyana 20g hedyscepe

 

ENCEPHALARTOS LONGIFOLIUS
Like Hedyscepe above, this cycad species is
one of my favorites.  It is from South Africa,
an easy cycad to grow, and in most areas likes
full sun.  Its leaf color varies from green to
blue, with many somewhere in between.  The
leaves are curved toward the ground and in
many specimens there is overlapping or
stacking of the leaflets.  Some varieties
have a rather blunt (non-pointed) tip to the
leaflets and this form is sought after by
collectors.  All the photos shown here are of
nursery plants.  This species is so cool that I
thought I'd just show you a whole bunch of
plants.  I hope you like this species because
it looks great in the garden.  Most of these
plants are large, but we have everything from
seedlings up to coning sized specimens as
shown here.
Encephalartos longifolius pot Encephlartos longifolius 15g
Encephalartos longifolius Encephalartos longifolius box Encephalartos longifolius
E. longifolius E. longifolius E. longifolius leaf
E. longifolius, cit pot E. longifolius box E. longifolius bue

 

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4, 2012

RHAPIS EXCELSA, THE LADY PALM
Today is a busy day, so I only have time to post
a super special for you to consider.  The Lady Palm
thrives indoors and is a great patio or garden palm. 
It typically gets to a height of about eight feet and
prefers filtered light.  Shown here are our 3-5 g size.
These are about 30 inches tall in the pot. 
Regular price is $65.  SPECIAL FOR 3 DAYS:
$29.99 EACH. 
Cold tolerance is into the
upper teens F.  We have limited numbers, so don't
miss out.  Call for mail orders.  
Rhapis excelsa 3g Rhapis excelsa 3g, several

 

 

TUESDAY, JANUARY 3, 2012
MORE ON WOODII HYBRIDS AND PALMS

 

ENCEPHALARTOS ALTENSTEINII
X
WOODII
Pollen from a pure male E. woodii has been used to
pollinate a variety of cones from other Encephalartos
species.  I am going to show you a few here.  Obviously,
I cannot show mature specimens as they may not exist
elsewhere or I might not know of them.  Typically an
F1 hybrid will take on characteristics of both parents.
One sees this with palms as well.  The cross shown here
is between Encephalartos altensteinii and E. woodii.
With hybrid work, one really doesn't know what the
offspring will look like until they are grown.  And, plants
from various seeds from the resulting hybrid cone
may look quite different.  Genetic penetration from
the parents might be variable.  Remember, all of your kids
don't look the same!  I am going to show close up photo
of the leaflets as well. 
Encephalartos altensteinii x woodii Encephalartos altensteinii x woodii

 

ENCEPHALARTOS ARENARIUS X
WOODII
This is an interesting hybrid because of the prominent
spines on the arenarius.  Obviously, one would expect
to get a green hybrid, and this is what occurs.  And, one
would expect a plant with prominent leaflet lobes.  We
see this as well.  Shown is a citrus pot size of this hybrid
with a close up of the leaflets.  Note how these lower
leaflets have (already) very prominent wide lobes on
the edge of the leaflets. 
Encephalartos arenarius x woodii Encephalartos arenarius x woodii

 

ENCEPHALARTOS HORRIDUS X WOODII
THE "HORWOOD" CYCAD
Hybrids of E. woodii are perhaps left up to the imagination
of the hybridizer, often dependent on what receptive
females are available.  This cross might be such a case.
I show it here because it is sought after and has a
distinctive appearance.  Here you can see we got a
very prickly lobed leaflet.  But, the color is not as blue
as a horridus. 
Encephalartos horridus x woodii Encephalartos horridus x woodii


 

 

SUMMARY Encephalartos woodii is an extremely rare, expensive and sought after species of cycad.  All pure woodii plants that you may come across have come from one known original male plant located in South Africa.  No female plants are known to exist.  This species is extinct in the wild.  Male plants produce pollen.  This pollen has been used by enthusiasts on receptive females of other Encephalartos species.  This is typically done out of curiosity and the desire to produce offspring which are beautiful and unique in the plant world.  The concept of crossing pollen with Encephalartos natalensis (the genetically closest cycad to woodii) is a more scientific approach to try to "recreate" what was somehow lost in evolution.  Hybrids (back crosses) to the third order are now being grown.  The thinking is that someday we'll be back to a nearly pure Encephalartos woodii again.  And, this will give the world female plants for further propagation of the species.  Time will tell.  In the meantime, there are some fascinating hybrids with other species available from time to time.

 

 

BUTIA ERIOSPATHA
This species from Brazil is a good sized palm, similar
to B. capitata, but with less silver to the leaves.  It is known
for having a brown wooly material on the flower spathe.
Cold hardiness is well into the teens F.  shown here is a 5g
plant.  Also pictured is a mature specimen showing the
leaves curving downward toward the ground.   
Butia eriospatha Butia eriospatha

 

MONDAY, JANUARY 2, 2012
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

 

ENCEPHALARTOS WOODII
MALE PLANTS AND HYBRIDS
I have been wanting to cover this topic for quite
a while.  It is indeed fascinating.  One of the most
difficult to find, rare and most expensive cycads in
the world is Encephalartos woodii.  There is only
one single plant known to exist from habitat and that
plant is in a botanical garden in Durbin, South Africa.
It is a male and no female plants are known to exist.
It does produce pups and offsets from this original
plant have traveled around the world.  And, these plants
have produced male cones and pollen.  But, there have
never been any females found.  The only way you
can obtain an E. woodii is to purchase an offset of off
the original male plant or one from one of its progeny.
They cost many thousands of dollars to buy.  In this
first part here, I am showing you the pure male plants
from domestic collections.  This species is a large
cycad with a preference for sun and heat.  The leaflets
overlap to some extent and have prominent wide
barbs.  It is a green cycad species.     
Encephalartos woodii Encephalartos woodii

 

ENCEPHALARTOS NATALENSIS X WOODII
Because it is impossible to produce seedlings of pure E.
woodii,
enthusiasts have used the pollen from a mature
pure E. woodii to cross with other similar species.  It is
felt that Encephalartos natalensis is genetically the closest
to E. woodii.   Therefore, and historically, pollen has been
used to pollinate receptive female cones of this species.
Shown here is a superb 15g E. natalensis x woodii.  Also
shown is a smaller citrus pot of this F1 hybrid.  It has
always been felt that doing such a hybrid gives a "normal'
collector the chance to have a plant that has similarities
to woodii.  
E. natalensis x woodii

 

(ENCEPHALARTOS NATALENSIS X WOODII)
X ENCEPHALARTOS WOODII
This is a type of F2 hybrid.  A female of the F1 hybrid above
(E. natalensis x woodii) is pollinated with pollen from a pure
mature male E. woodii.  It is sometimes called a "double
back-cross".   The thinking is that the progeny will be even
more genetically like pure E. woodii.  We have had a very
limited number of these for sale over the years.  Some day,
perhaps we'll have a triple back cross which will begin to be
more identical (hopefully) to pure genetics of woodii.  As you
can imagine, each new generation of hybrids takes many years
to produce.  To my knowledge, no triple back crosses have been
available for sale as of yet.  Shown here are several plants from
the nursery over recent years of the double back cross.  As these
mature I suspect they'll show stacking of the leaflets and
prominent barbs on them as well.    
E. natalensis x woodii x woodii E. natalensis x woodii x woodii

 

E. natalensis x woodii x woodii E. nat x woodii x woodii  

LATER TODAY OR TOMORROW I WILL DISCUSS AND SHOW MORE E. WOODII HYBRIDS

 

CHECK BACK FREQUENTLY AS MORE FEATURED PLANTS WILL BE ADDED EVERY FEW DAYS.

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Phil Bergman

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