Jungle Music Palms and Cycads Nursery

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Phone: (619) 291-4605
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SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

 

TRITHRINAX CAMPESTRIS
I talked about this species recently, but wanted to mention it again because it is so rare to see plants like this available.  We have super blue 5g and 15g plants presently.  These take hot, blazing sun, will live in the desert, are cold hardy into the mid-teens F., and can be grown in humid areas like TX or FL.  Shown here are both of the sizes we have available. 
Trithrinax campestris Trithrinax campestris
Trithrinax campestris Trithrinax campestris Trithrinax campestris

 

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    


ZAMIA LEAF APPEARANCE

There is a tremendous array in the appearances of the leaves of this genus.  In terms of orientation, some are very upright. 
Others, like Zamia pseudoparastitica, are very dependent and hang downwards, way below the stem.  Many new leaves
as they flush from the stem are green.  But, others are gold, bronze, brown or red emergent.  These colors are transient and
typically revert to a green color over time.  Leaf length can be as short as one foot long in some dwarf species.  Others have
leaves of six or more feet.  Leaflet appearance is also variable.  Most species have serrated edges, but many are smooth
without teeth.  Pictures below will show the variation in the appearance of leaves.  Of note, some of the most sought after
species have wide, exotic leaflets.  The leaf stems of Zamia are typically armed with small spines.  Some species have
almost or completely smooth petioles.  One species shown below, Zamia picta (Z. variegata), has variegated yellow splotches
on the leaflets.  Below are pictures of an assortment of Zamia leaves.  I hope you like them. 

Zamia cremnophila leaves
Zamia cremnophila leaves

Zamia dressleri newly emergent leaf
Zamia elegantissima leaves
Zamia elegantissima leaves 
Zamia muricata leaf
Zamia muricata leaf 
Zamia picta leaf
Zamia picta leaf 
Zamia skinneri red form leaves
Zamia skinneri leaves 
Zamia splendens leaf
Zamia splendens leaf 
Zamia vasquezii leaves
Leaves of Zamia vasquezii 
Zamia obliqua
Zamia obliqua 
Zamia pseudoparasitica
Zamia pseudoparasitica in a basket
Zamia kickxii
Zamia kickxii
Zamia skinneri Robert Martin
Zamia skinneri, red emergent by R. Martin

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

 

BRAHEA CLARA
More Tolerant of Humidity Than B. armata?
This is a single trunk, blue fan palm from the area of Sonora in Mexico.  It is closely related to Brahea armata and some would consider it a variant of the latter.  But, there are others who praise the interesting characteristics of this "species".  First and foremost is that fact that people in the southern U.S. say this species tolerates the humid summers bettter than the desert-loving Brahea armata.  People in the San Francisco bay area say it grows better there and doesn't seem to demand as much hot weather in the summer.  Brahea armata has to have hot summers.  Others claim it's faster growing than armata, and this is probably true.  There are some who feel this fast growth is because of natural hybridization with Brahea brandegeei in the wild.  Others will tell you that the petiole is longer, has a different color and the crown is more open. 

So, what does one make of all this?  You have to be the judge.  All I can say is that I got in some very nice and chunky 15g plants as shown here.  These reportedly were from wild collected seeds.  This will be a medium sized, full sun palm that takes temperatures into the mid-teens.  And, if you like blue and live in the South, perhaps this is the species to get.  BTW, there are very few photos of this species on the Internet.  The last photo shows a 15g Brahea armata for comparison.
Brahea clara 15g Brahea clara 15g
Brahea clara 15g Brahea clara 15g Brahea clara 15g
Brahea clara by TS at RPS
photo by TS at RPS
Brahea armata 15g
For comparison, Brahea armata in a 15g pot
 

 

ZAMIA PAUCIJUGA
EASY TO GROW, RARE DWARF CYCAD
This is a dwarf Zamia from Mexico, specifically on the Pacific Coast side of the central Mexico near Puerto Vallarta.  It natively lives under oak trees in filtered light.  Mature caudexes are three to four inches.  Leaves are typically two, maximum three feet long.  Leaflets are leathery, green and have fine spines on the apical half of the leaves.  Males cones (shown here) are about 10 cm long and light brown in color.  This species tolerates strong filtered light or perhaps full sun along the coast.  Inland areas require protection from bright sun. 

I just got in some mature Zamia paucijuga.  It is so rare that ones sees such plants for sale.  By report, these plants are from habitat collected seeds well over ten to fifteen years ago.  They have already seen cold weather in the mid to low 20's F.  These were grown in rather bright sun.

I might warn you that, if you do an Internet search on this species, you are going to see some mislabeled plants of this species.  Some will even have long thin leaflets with pronounced drip tips.  These are not true Zamia paucijuga.  Hybridization of Zamia occurs frequently.  As far as I know, these plants shown here are pure and true to the species.
Zamia paucijuga Zamia paucijuga
Zamia paucijuga Zamia paucijuga Zamia paucijuga
Zamia paucijuga leaflets    

 

BONZAI ROCK FICUS
TWENTY YEARS IN A SMALL POT
I don't pretend to be a bonazi expert nor do we have a bonzai nursery.  About twenty years ago I bought a Ficus plant that I was told was a 'Rock Ficus".  I was told that, if you planted it on top of a rock, the roots would wrap around the rock in a very unusual manner.  I did not do this at the time.  Recently I came across a plant that I was told had been in this pot for twenty years.  It looks like that rock Ficus from years ago.  It has the most unusual exposed trunks or roots as shown.  It almost resembles the legs of an animal.  I thought it was so interesting that I bought it and brought it to the nursery.  It is as shown.  I am not sure of the species name of the Ficus.  It's a one of a kind thing and is for sale.  It might make a wonderful patio plant or perhaps a one-of-a-kind interior plant in a very bright window location.

I know this type of plant is off-theme, but once in a while I like to show something to surprise you. 
Bonzai rock Ficus Bonzai rock Ficus
Bonzai rock Ficus Bonzai rock Ficus Bonzai rock Ficus

 

PHOENIX THEOPHRASTII
PERHAPS THE MOST COLD HARDY PHOENIX
Recently I talked about this species.  Please scan below a few weeks ago.  I just wanted to show some new 15g plants that I got in that are really nice.  This species is suckering (typically) and is from the island of Crete.  It is a bristly palm with lots of spines.  It has a pronounced yellow color in its petioles.  But, most important to people in cold areas, it is possibly the most cold hardy of all the Phoenix, even better than the Canary Palm.  It is somewhat smaller than Phoenix dactylifera and the leaves are green in color.  Shown here are views of the new plants I got in. It likes sun and cold tolerance should be about 15 degrees F.  The last photo shows a single trunk plant (RPS website), perhaps pruned this way or perhaps naturally single trunk.  You can see that it is a medium sized palm species. 
Phoenix theophrastii Phoenix theophrastii
Phoenix theophrastii Phoenix theophrastii phoenix theophrastii by TS at RPS
Single trunk plant by TS at RPS website

 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2012

 

SABAL URESANA
This extremely blue species of Sabal is from northwestern Mexico in the states of Sonora and Chihuahua.  In fact, I had a collector in New Mexico who told me he thinks the natural distribution of this species extends across the U.S. border into New Mexico.  But, this is not documented.  This species has very long petioles with divided fan leaves attached at their ends.  The leaves are blue or blue-green on both sides.  The ends of the leaves flex downward, so the leaves appear as if they are hanging down toward the ground. 

If you ever get one, it's important to get a blue one.  Seeds collected at botanical gardens are often hybrids and usually give you a green plant.  Wild collected seeds usually give blue plants.  When you get the real thing, super blue, they are blue from infancy.  Even first leaf seedlings are blue.

Plants can get over thirty feet tall and in habitat are much taller than this.  Trunks get up to eighteen inches thick.  They like heat and sun.  Cold hardiness is good, into the upper teens F.  But, cold along with wet weather can be difficult for this species.  We just got in some 5g and 15g plants.  They are not huge plants but a very nice clone of this species.  Note the nice blue color.  We may also have a few seedlings available.
Sabal ursesana 5g
5g size
Sabal ursesana 5g
5g size
Sabal ursesana 15g
15g size
Sabal ursesana  

 

SANSEVIERIA HALLII
From time to time, I like to show other types of plants, many of which fall into the "Companion Plant" category.  Sansevieria, related to Agave, are such a plant.  They are known for natural variegation with banding/striping of their leaves.  Leaves tend to be upright, have mottled colors or stripes, and have a preference for sun.  Sometimes the leaves are flexible and bend.  Other times they are thick and robust.  Sansevieria do not form trunks.  Sansevieria hallii get to about 2 feet tall, like good draining soil, prefer full sun and tolerate a freeze.  Shown here is this species with its thick, green and silver leaves.  This is an unusual appearing species that most people haven't seen.  If well received, we might start carrying more Sansevieria of rare types.  
Sansevieria halliiSansevieria hallii
Sansevieria hallii  
   

 

BRAHEA BRANDEGEEI
THE SAN JOSE PALM
This rather thin trunked, medium height fan palm is native to Southern Baja California and to Central Mexico.  Trunk heights are up to thirty feet with a diameter of one foot.  Leaf color is lime green and leaves are held on three foot petioles, away from the center of the plant.  Leaves themselves are not large, typically about three feet wide.  The underside of the leaves is slightly gray colored.  Fruits are black and large for a Brahea.  They are about one inch in size.  Trunks often retain old leaf bases as shown.  Thus, they don't usually have a smooth trunk.  An excellent collection of this species can be found at Balboa Park in San Diego.  The mature plants shown here are all from this palm rich park.

From time to time we have some of these available.  Shown here is a 15g plant.  As you might guess, the leaves are soft and a bit pliable.  Growth rate is medium.  They like good draining soil and are a bit drought tolerant.  But, I'd say they need more water than
Brahea armata or edulis.  Cold tolerance is down to the low 20's F.  
Brahea brandegeei Brahea brandegeei
Brahea brandegeei Brahea brandegeei Brahea brandegeei
Brahea brandegeei Brahea brandegeei  

 

NANNORRHOPS RITCHEANA
THE MAZARI PALM 
If you go to any palm reference book, it will describe Nannorrhops as a "monotypic type of fan palm".  This means there is only one species in the genus.  As a nurseryman, I have always known that there is the "green form" and the 'blue form" of the Mazari Palm.  Interestingly enough, the blue form has been found to be more cold hardy.  It is a suckering palm that gets to about ten feet tall.  Habitats include Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

About five years ago another type of Nannorrhops was introduced.  If you look at the fourth picture below, you'll note that the color of this plant is a white-silver.  This has become known as Nannorrhops arabica in the trade.  I don't think that this is widely recognized as a new species as of yet.  But, the color is dramatically different.  It comes from a different area in the Middle East.  I do have both the classical "blue" (more of a gray color) and the "arabica" for sale.  The five gallons shown just arrived and are the gray form.  They are six year old plants.  It's hard to find the Mazari with any age.  On the N. arabicas, we only have one gallon size for sale.  This species likes heat, sun and is cold tolerant into the teens F. 

A good way to recognize this species is this: Note that it's a suckering fan palm, not too tall, with shades of blue or gray to the leaves.  Note that the ends of the leaflets are stiff, but not dagger quality.  Then look at the upper stems, just where the lower leaves have emerged.  If you see wooly, tan colored tomentum, it is a Nannorrhops.  The last picture shows this wooly tomentum material.    
Nannorrhops ritcheana Nannorrhops ritcheana
Nannorrhops ritcheana Nannorrhopsarabica Nannorrhops ritcheana
Nannorrhops ritcheana Nannorrhops ritcheana Nannorrhops ritcheana

 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2012

 

DIOON EDULE
SUPER BLUE FORM
Dioon edule is a slow growing cycad from Mexico and is typically green in color.  We recently got in some very blue ones.  As these photos show, this cultivar is a very appealing blue-green color.  The plants had been grown in full sun and have leaves about two to three feet and caudex size of four to five inches.  Interestingly enough, the caudexes are very fury.  Dioons have a slow growth rate.   A caudex of twelve to eighteen inches is an extremely old plant.  Overall plant height is often under five feet.  They do cluster and form other trunks.  Cold hardiness of this species is one of the best; probably into the upper teens.  Also, they are excellent at handling desert sun.  The latter capability is almost unique to Dioon edule and its cultivars or subspecies.    
Dioon edule blue Dioon edule blue 
Dioon edule blue  Dioon edule blue  Dioon edule blue 

 

SABAL CAUSIARUM
I have discussed this remarkable species before, but because I just got in some great 5g and huge 15g plants, I felt I had to mention it again.  It is unique in the palm world because of its huge, thick trunk that is light tan to white in color.  Like the Copernicia baileyana which I recently showed you, the trunks of this species are stunning.  The trunks get over thirty feet and can be over two feet thick.  The crown of rounded leaves is beautiful against the sky.  Leaf color is green to blue-green.  There is a prominent petiole. 

This species likes full hot sun and can tolerate desert heat.  Its cold hardiness is into the mid-teens F.  The first four photos are the 15g plants followed by two photos of the 5g size. I can ship either size anywhere within the U.S.
Sabal causiarum  Sabal causiarum 
Sabal causiarum  Sabal causiarum  Sabal causiarum 
Sabal causiarum  Sabal causiarum   
 

 

DYPSIS PRESTONIANA
This highly sought-after, single trunk species from Madagascar is very beautiful.  It falls into the category of "you have to get a small one because no big ones are around".  At present time, this is certainly true.  From time to time we offer band or 1g size and only rarely do we have 5g or 7g available.  It's just not one of those species where you can say "I'll go find a big boxed one".  We are presently offering band sized plants for sale as shown.  And, I suspect they'll sell out long before we get the opportunity to shift them up.

This species comes from mid-elevation in southern Madagascar and is proving to be a great species for Southern California.  It has a height of over 30 feet, a thick trunk that is about 12 to sixteen inches thick with prominent rings, plmuose upright leaves and a colored crown shaft.  Cold tolerance appears to be into the mid-twenties but is not yet worked out.  Mature trees tolerate full sun along the coast.  Although not an inexpensive species, it is certainly one to consider.  The mature photos are from the RPS website.
Dypsis prestoniana  Dypsis prestoniana 
Dypsis prestoniana  Dypsis prestoniana  Dypsis prestoniana by TS at RPS
by T.S. at RPS website 
Dypsis prestoniana by TS at RPS
by T.S. at RPS Website 
   
 

MONDAY, AUGUST 27, 2012

 

COPERNICIA BAILEYANA IN BAND SIZE
10 DAY SPECIAL!
Copernicia baileyana is the king of the Copernicia genus. The trunks are thick, tall and almost white in color.  It is a gorgeous plant.  And, anyone who has ever germinated or grown this species knows that they are unbearably slow.  For three years after germination all you see are a few blades of grass.  And, it is extremely difficult to find this species for sale anywhere.  The seedlings shown here are six years old, already showing a few palmate fan leaves.  They are large for a band container.  And, they can be easily shipped.  For a review of this species just scan down a ways below in this thread to where I'm offering 5g for sale.

Regular price $40
Sale price $25
Copernicia baileyana band Copernicia baileyana band
Copernicia baileyana band Copernicia baileyana band Copernicia baileyana band

 

BRAHEA EDULIS
THE GUADALUPE FAN PALM
This is not what I'd call a super rare species of palm, but for some reason they are near impossible to find.  We have a limited number of nice 15g plants for sale.  An example is shown here. Brahea edulis is a slow growing, shorter fan palm that is native to an island just off the coast of Mexico south of San Diego, CA.  It is found natively nowhere else.  The trunk is medium sized and mature trees obtain a maximum height of under fifteen feet.  The colony of plants shown here are located near Mission Bay Park in San Diego.  I'd estimate they are about forty years old.  This species likes full sun, can tolerate desert conditions and is cold hardy to the mid-teens F.  They are also reasonably drought tolerant.  Like other Brahea, large specimens are very difficult to successfully transplant.  Presently the only size we have available are the 15g plants.  But, we do have other Brahea species in smaller containers.

Brahea edulis 15g Brahea edulis 15g
Brahea edulis 15g Brahea edulis Brahea edulis7

 

BRACHYCHITON RUPESTRIS
About three decades ago I visited Seaborne Nursery up in the Lake Hodges area of San Diego County.  It has long since vanished as a nursery.  A fellow who ran this nursery, Bill Seaborne (now deceased) convinced me to try a few of this interesting species.  I planted them and within about five to ten years found they have the most peculiar, large and swollen trunks.  The leaflets are quite fine; but the trunk is massive.  It has a green snake skin type of texture and is a fast growing tree.   I have a few 15g trees for sale.  They are shown here.  I am also showing you pictures of mature trees off the Internet.  This species is not known for flowers, but rather for it's peculiar swollen trunk.  It can get to fifty feet tall, likes sun, and has a cold tolerance that is probably into the low 20's F.  
Brachychiton rupestris Brachychiton rupestris
Brachychiton rupestris by
photo by anbg.gov website
Brachychiton rupestris by Adelaide Zoo, Australia website
 by Adelaide Zoo website, Australia
 

 

SABAL BERMUDANA
THE BERMUDA PALM
Native to the island of Bermuda, this nearly extinct species is a medium sized fan palm that gets to about twenty feet in height and has a one foot thick trunk.  Its leaf color is green or blue green.  It tends to be larger than Sabal palmetto.  It has round leaves and a fairly clean appearing trunk.  Growth is quite slow for a Sabal.  It prefers full sun and is remarkably cold hardy, probably into the mid teens F.  There are reports of it going to about 16 degrees.  Shown here are some 15g plants.  An interesting thing that I found, while taking these photos, was the presence of long, white whispy hairs around the leaves and petioles.  This is similar to the hairs you see with Livistona decipiens.  I have not seen this characteristic in print, but have photographed it hear for you to see.  Another interesting thing is the very clean and sharp edged petioles.  They are cupped on the ventral side. 

Over the years many have asked for this species and I've only been able to supply smaller sizes.  These recent arrival 15g plants are very nice.  They won't last long.  
Sabal bermudana Sabal bermudana
Sabal bermudana Sabal bermudana Sabal bermudana
Sabal bermudana Sabal bermudana Sabal bermudana
Sabal bermudana Sabal bermudana  

 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 26, 2012

 

BUTIA BONNETTII
SPECIES?  VARIETY?  BEST FOR COLD?
Enter another type of Butia.  Over three decades ago, I began hearing about Butia bonnettii.  Many questioned whether it's actually a species or just a variety of Butia capitata at best.  Reference books typically don't even mention it  at all.  Some believe it is a definitely different plant.  The Northern California Palm Society website decribes it and claims it's a great palm for up there.  I don't really know for sure, but can recite here what others have said about it.

It doesn't get as tall as capitata, usually just to 10 feet
It is more green than capitata, i.e. less intensely blue
It has a smaller crown and shorter leaves than capitata
It might be the most cold hardy plant in the genus


In any case, I got in a few really big 15g plants of what is said to be Butia bonnettii.  I am showing them here.  I have also borrowed an internet photo of a specimen plant in Northern CA from the Palm Society Northern California website.  This plant is apparently in Vacaville, CA.. 
Butia bonnettii Butia bonnettii
Butia bonnettii Butia bonnettii Butia bonnettii by Dennis Valdez
Photo by Dennis Valdez from PSNC website

 

BUTIA X SYAGRUS
MULE PALM OR BUTIAGRUS
One of the most popular hybrid palms in the world is a cross between Butia capitata and the common Queen Palm, Syagrus romanzoffiana. I wouldn't doubt that the first cross of these two species was serendipitous.   But, when enthusiasts figured out that this cross was not only beautiful but super cold hardy, enthusiasm grew.

It is important that you remember when making a cross, the parent that "produces the seeds" is a critical thing.  The seed-bearing parent is mentioned first when quoting the cross.  If it's a cross between two pure species, this is called an F1 cross.  So, the mule palm is an F1 cross between the Pindo Palm and the Queen Palm with the Pindo producing the seeds.  The opposite cross is not nearly as desirable and just results in a funny looking Queen Palm.

The Mule Palm is unique in that it really doesn't look like either parent.  It is quite tropical appearing and surprisingly cold hardy to about 16 degrees F.  Because of the latter hardiness, it is quite sought after by people in cold areas.  It gives a cold hardy pinnate palm that looks tropical.  This hybrid likes full sun, can even take desert sun in areas like Phoenix, and is pretty fast growing.  We were lucky enough to get in some very nice 20g plants as shown in the first six photos.  The larger ones are plants we've had in the past and on occasion are available.  The mature plants show how robust this hybrid is (hybrid vigor) and how tropical they look over time.  We only limited numbers of these available. 
Butia x Syagrus Mule Palm 20g Butia X Syagrus Mule Palm 20g
Butia X Syagrus Mule Palm 20g Butia X Syagrus Mule Palm 20g Butia X Syagrus Mule Palm 20g
Butia X Syagrus Mule Palm 20g Butia X Syagrus Mule Palm Butia X Syagrus Mule Palm
Butia X Syagrus Butia X Syagrus Mule Palm  

 

HYPHANAE CORIACEA
A TYPE OF GINGER BREAD PALM
Hyphanae is a genus of branching palms most commonly thought of as being from Africa.  But, their distribution also extends into Madagascar and parts of the Arabian Peninsula and India.  This genus can be small or large and trunks can be solitary, sucker or even branch above the ground.  This is referred to as "dichotomously branched".  In other words, the trunks can fork above the ground like a common tree.  This is quite unique in the palm world.  All species tend to come from hot and dry localities and do not do well with heavy rain in conjunction with cold. 

Hyphanae coriacea specifically is from eastern Africa and Madagascar.  It can be either short or tall, depending on the culture it receives.  The leaves are silver-blue.  Plants have been known to reach thirty feet of height.  This species does sucker as shown in the photos.  It has the ability to branch above the ground, but this is usually not seen.  This species likes hot dry sun.  A bad condition for it would be a persistent rain during a cold winter.  This may rot the plant.   It thrives in areas like Palm Springs or even in parts of Arizona.  The "Ginger Bread" reputation of the palm comes from the fragrance of the large, leathery seeds.  Cold hardiness is estimated to be 25 degrees F.

We were fortunate to get in some really nice suckering plants of this species in 15g.  The photos show their color.  The mature pictures show how it suckers and can get quite tall.  
Hyphanae coriacea Hyphanae coriacea
Hyphanae coriacea Hyphanae coriacea Hyphanae coriacea
Hyphanae coriacea Hyphanae coriacea Hyphanae coriacea

 

ZAMIA PUMILA
This species of dwarf cycad is from the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean.  It has prominent green leaves that are typically about three feet long and clumps freely with stems of six to eight inches in height.  The leaflets are small and may have tiny teeth toward the apex.  As you can see from this containerized plant, they can make a very full plant because of their suckering nature.  Each stem holds about eight leaves. The plant shown has many small trunks.  It is cold hardy into the upper twenties F. and is usually grown in filtered light.  In coastal areas it may take full sun.  It is an ideal plant where a small but "cute" plant is needed for the garden floor. 
Zamia pumila Zamia pumila
Zamia pumila Zamia pumila by Emily Earp, Floridanature.org website
By Emily Earp, Floridanature.org Website
 

 

DYPSIS SPECIES "DARK MEALY BUG"
This newly described "species" from Madagascar is a very large, crown shafted, single trunk palm with curved leaves that point toward the ground.  It has a white crown shaft.  The leaflets are dependent and weepy.  Young plants show dark markings on the petiole, thus the descriptive name above.  It has been recently introduced through seed merchants.  No large specimens are viewable that I know of in Southern California.  We have a very limited number of these for sale.  Cultural information is not yet available.  The photo of the mature plant is by Tobias Spanner RPS.
Dypsis species dark mealy bug Dypsis species dark mealy bug
Dypsis species dark mealy bug Dypsis species dark mealy bug by Tobias Spanner
Photo by Tobias Spanner
 

 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 2012

A DAY FOR SOME RARE BUTIA SPECIES

 

BUTIA YATAY
A VERY COLD TOLERANT BLUE BUTIA
We were very lucky to obtain some gorgeous 5g Butia yatay that really show their blue color.  This species, native to Southern Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, is the tallest Butia and has the longest leaves and biggest crown.  A well grown Butia capitata gets to about an average of 20 feet height.  Butia yatay reaches close to 40 feet by report.  Cold tolerance is into the mid-teens F. and is felt to be equal to B. capitata.  Leaf color is similar, many times blue in color. 

As this is a species not commonly found or grown, there are very few pictures available of mature plants.  Shown here are the gorgeous 5g plants we just got in.  Please note the blue color and leaf shape.  Shown are two photos of domestic plants, one by T.S. of RPS.  If you like this species, get one now as I suspect they'll be gone quickly.  We can ship these right to your door.

By the way, this species is being successfully grown in the United Kingdom.
Butia yatay 5g Butia yatay 5g
Butia yatay 5g Butia yatay 5g Butia yatay 5g
Butia yatay by Tobias Spanner RPS
Butia yatay by Tobias Spanner RPS
Butia yatay Butia yatay by Gaston Tores PACSOA
Butia yatay by Gaston Tores PACSOA
Butia yatay by Gaston Tores PACSOA
Butia yatay by Gaston Tores PACSOA
   
 

BUTIA ARCHERI
A COLD HARDY DWARF BUTIA
This interesting dwarf species of Butia comes from the savanna areas of southeastern Brazil.  It has a trunk of three feet or less, three foot long keeled leaves that are blue-green in color, and has very short petioles.  The pictures here by Ed Brown in habitat in Brazil show that this species is not overhead.  Shown is a very nice 5g plant.  This species wants full sun and is cold hardy into the teens.  It is essentially impossible to find nice 5g plants and the plant shown here is a nice, very chunky specimen.  I, myself, have had so few of these over the past 30 years that I cannot say too much on culture, other than give them full sun with good draining soil.  They do have some degree of subterranean trunk, which might help with cold hardiness.
Butia archeri 5g Butia archeri 5g
Butia archeri 5g Butia archeri 5g Butia archeri 5g
Butia archeri 5g Butia archeri by Ed Brown PACSOA
Butia archeri by Ed Brown PACSOA
Butia archeri by Ed Brown, PACSOA
Butia archeri by Ed Brown, PACSOA

 

BUTIA PARAGUAYENSIS
This species is interesting because, in the wild, it is known as a dwarf species that forms minimal trunk.  But, when it is grown domestically, it forms a trunk about the size of Butia capitata.  It, as you'd guess, comes from Paraguay, with habitat extending into Brazil and northern Argentina.  The color is a blue-green, not as silver as Butia capitata.  The leaves are strongly arched as shown.  The first photos in the third row below shows a fairly small plant in a garden.  The photo by Tobias Spanner shows a much larger plant. 

We have available extremely nice 15g plants.  I have shown one that is a "double" with two plants in one pot. 

Culture includes full sun and good draining soil.  Cold hardiness is into the teens F.  I am anticipating that I might have some 5g of this species available as well.  Shown are only the 15g size. 
Butia paraguayensis Butia paraguayensis
Butia paraguayensis Butia paraguayensis
A double specimen, 2 plants in one pot
Butia paraguayensis
Butia paraguayensis Butia paraguayensis by TS RPS
Butiaparaguayensis by TS RPS
 

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

 

Good Morning to readers of this Blog.  This morning I won't be posting any species.  But, later today we should be
getting in some exciting new palms and cycads.  This will include several very interesting cold hardy species.  I will
also be posting a few Blog specials that could interest you.  So, please return to visit us tomorrow morning.
Phil Bergman
Jungle Music

 

Assorted plants assorted plants assorted color
 

 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2012

 

CYCAS PETRAEA
This is an unusual Cycas species from colder parts of northern Thailand.  In locality, freezes are experienced and it's reported this species will even tolerate snow.  About a year ago our nursery was very lucky to obtain some fabulous specimens of this species.  Many sold, but we still have a few plants left so I thought I'd mention them again.  Pictures are shown here.  Never before have plants like this been offered for sale. 

Cycas petraea can get trunks over 15 feet tall in dozens of decades.  More typically, domestic plant trunks are under three feet tall.  Leaves are flat and green and about four to six feet long.  Crowns consist of dozens of leaves.  The bases of the trunks have a peculiar swelling to them as seen here.  They can form a classical "water vase trunk" which is fat and swollen and then gets thinner above.  Culturally, this species likes nice draining soil, temperatures above a freeze and part day or filtered sun.  The last picture shows a seed grown plant of smaller size.  As mentioned above, we only have a few left.  As an interior cycad, this would be one to try.  This is probably one of the coolest Cycas species around.
Cycas Petraea Cycas Petraea
Cycas Petraea Cycas Petraea Cycas Petraea
Cycas Petraea Cycas Petraea  

 

RAVENEA JULIETIAE
This is a rather thin trunked, tall pinnate palm that is rarely seen and native to eastern Madagascar.  How I found out about this species has always made this species special to me.  About twenty years ago at a meeting in Florida, just before the book, Palms of Madagascar, was released, I met and talked to its authors, John Dransfield and Henk Benjtee, both of Kew Gardens in the U.K.  Both of these taxonomists and field researchers had heard about this unusual Ravenea species.  They drove for hours trying to get a look at it, always with no results.  Out of frustration, they stopped the car on a remote dirt road, got out the binoculars and started an intense scanning of the horizon, hoping for a glimpse of this yet to be described species.  With them was Henk's wife, Julie.  In frustration, they were about to give up their search.  Then, Henk's wife pointed to a large specimen just feet from the car and by the side of the road.  She said, "Maybe it's this one".  And, it was!.  Right in front of them was the specimen they used to describe this species.  And, because of her "assistance", it was named after Julie.

Trunk height is thirty feet with a diameter of only about six inches.  Leaves are recurved a bit and leaflets are widely spaced.  Leaf color is green.  We've found this species to be very slow growing.  We recently obtained some 5g plants that are six or seven years old.  The close up of the base shows how this species is "keeled" like most other Ravenea.  The first two habitat photos were taken by Henk Bentje and are from the Kew Gardens website.  The last photo was taken by a long time friend of mine, Rolf Kyburz, and is from PACSOA.  As this species is so rare in cultivation, little is known abut its specific requirements.  I'd estimate its cold tolerance to be into the twenties F.  I anticipate it will tolerate coastal sun.  If you live in a hotter, inland area I'd recommend giving it partial sun protection.
Ravenea julietiae 5g Ravenea julietiae 5g
Ravenea julietiae 5g Ravenea julietiae by H. Beenjte Ravenea julietiae by H. Benjtee at kew Gardens
Ravenea julietiae by Rolf Kyburz PACSOAu
photo by Rolf Kyburz, PACSOA
   

 

LEPIDOZAMIA PEROFFSKYANA
A "USER FRIENDLY" LARGE CYCAD
I enjoy talking about this species because it is one of my favorites.  It is a large species over time.  I say 'user friendly" because this is one of the few species that has absolutely no spines; none of the leaflets, none one the stems.  A leaf brushing across your face feels no more intense than brushing past a Maiden Hair Fern. We have a huge selection of this species.  I am going to show you an assortment of plants.  Below are a few of the main characteristics of this species:

*Large species with trunks slowly getting to over ten feet
*Leaf length typically six to eight feet, sometimes bigger.
*Trunk diameter to 18 inches
*Smooth petiole with no spines
*Great for strong filtered light or full sun along the coast
*Large interesting cones
*Leaflets soft and glossy green in color
*New leaves emerge upward, older leaves lay more horizontal
*Easy to grow

I've found that even customers who say "I only like palms, not cycads" tend to love this species.
 
Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana
Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana
Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana
male cone
Lepidozamia peroffskyana

Lepidozamia peroffskyana
female cone
Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana

 

 

COPERNICIA ALBA
THE CARANDAY PALM
This is probably the most cold hardy of any of the Copernicia.  It is native to the South American countries of Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina.   We just got in some very nice 15g plants, so I thought I'd present the species here.  It is a very tall palm (can get up to 100 feet) yet has an extremely thin trunk, usually less than 12 inches.  The upper trunk can hold on to old leaf bases, but on older specimens most of the trunk shows a clean gray appearance.  The leaves are about three feet wide, green above and blue-green to blue below.  The deeply divided leaves are about three feet wide..  Petioles are mildly armed.  Photos here show the leaf characteristics.

Like other tall, thin palms, this species can be planted in a group of several together.  It wants full sun and is cold hardy well into the lower twenties and even the upper teens F.  It can tolerate desert climates.  We also have available smaller plants for sale.  If you compare this to the Copernicia baileyana recently discussed.  The two are totally different appearing palms within the same genus.
Copernicia alba 15g Copernicia alba 15g
Copernicia alba 15g Copernicia alba 15g Copernicia alba 15g
Copernicia alba 15g Copernicia alba 15g Copernicia alba 15g
Copernicia alba 15g    

 

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 22, 2012

 

ENCEPHALARTOS LEBOMBOENSIS
LARGE PLANT WITH EMERGING CONES
At the nursery, whenever a mature cycad throws a cone, it's always exciting.  With so many plants around, we sometimes forget which ones are male and which are females.  About three weeks ago, this African cycad showed evidence that either cones or leaves were coming.  In about a week, it was evident that these three, yellow colored cones were emerging.  So far, they appear to be male cones, but you never want to say that for sure until they fully develop.  In a few weeks, we should know for sure. 

This is not a large cycad species.  In fact, it is relatively compact for an Encephalartos.  The leaves of this plant are only three feet long and the overall crown width is five feet.  It is in a 25 g container.  This species wants full sun along the coast and has a cold tolerance to the low 20's F.  It is not hard to grow.  The caudex diameter of this specimen  is 12 inches.  In the last row of photos below I am showing male next to female cones and a mature plant.  Note with the female cone photo you get just a glimpse of red through the cone scales.  These are seeds within and are definite proof you are looking at a female cone. 

E. lebomboensis:  We have plants for sale from large mature specimens down to small starter plants.

 
Encephalartos species male cones Encephalartos species male cones
Encephalartos species male cones Encephalartos species male cones Encephalartos species male cones
Encephalartos lebomboensis
male cones
Encephalartos lebomboensis
female cone
Encephalartos lebomboensis
plant with three male cones

 

CERATOZAMIA SPECIES
A CYCAD WITH AN EXOTIC APPEARANCE
Shown here is a large Ceratozamia species in a 15g pot with about six foot leaves.  There are quite a few Ceratozamia plants which don't kew out nicely into a definite taxonomic spcies.  This is one of those plants.  It has a caudex size of nine inches and an overall crown width of eight feet.  Lots of people love this genus because they are exotic and tropical appearing.  We have a great assortment of these for sale from large to small. 

Here are a few general comments about Ceratozamia:

Along the coast, most like filtered light
Leaflets vary from thin to wide
Leaves are sometimes dependent, hanging downward
Petioles are armed with small spines
Cones have spines of them
Caudexes never get very large, rarely over two feet
Sometimes newly emerging leaves are red or brown
Cold tolerance on many is down to the lower 20's F.
They are typically not fast growing

With these characteristics, sometimes this is the perfect cycad to put under overhead canopy to make the garden floor appear more lush and exotic.  Over time, I'll show more interesting plants of this genus.  
 
.
Ceratozamia species 15g Ceratozamia species 15g
Ceratozamia species 15g Ceratozamia species 15g  

 

SYAGRUS BOTRYOPHORA
This is a rare species of single trunk, pinnate palm from lowland Atlantic Brazil.  It has been called one of the top ten most beautiful palms in the world, although I'm not sure that I'd totally agree with this.  It is fairly new to the market and rather difficult to find.  It gets quite tall, over forty feet, yet has a surprisingly thin trunk of less than twelve inches.  Leaves are about ten feet long and come off the trunk at a 45 degree angle and then arch toward the ground.  The leaves are keeled and green in color.  The trunk is prominently ringed. 

Given ample heat and lack of severe cold, this is a very fast growing species.  It is known to put on four feet of trunk a year or more.  If you look at the fourth picture below, you will see many leaves that are green and still attached to the trunk over a long trunk distance, almost forming a "ladder-like" appearance to the leaves where one could easily climb the trunk.  This may be the result of its rapid growth.  The trunk surface is fibrous but turns smooth over time with a gray-brown color.  Shown here are a 15g plant and a larger double.  This species does want full sun or perhaps filtered light with the opportunity to grow into full sun.  Cold tolerance is uncertain, but felt to be in the mid to perhaps lower 20's F.  We have an ample supply of these for sale.  The last photo shows a 5g plant.  Note how, like most
Syagrus, it has strap type juvenile leaves. 

One last comment.  This species has been called the "Slender Queen Palm" and the "Pati Palm".  I have no idea where the latter name came from and personally don't like this name.  
Syagrus botryophora Syagrus botryophora
Syagrus botryophora Syagrus botryophora Syagrus botryophora
Syagrus botryophora Syagrus botryophora  

 

SYAGRUS CORONATA
THE LICURY PALM
This is another lowland Atlantic coast Brazilian species like the species above, but comes from a more arid locality in habitat.  This species gets to about forty feet height and has a one foot thick trunk.  Its leaf color is blue green and sometimes gray.  The underside of the leaves is silver.  The most prominent feature of this species is the retained old leaf bases that swirl around the upper trunk below the leaves.  When these fall away a knobby character to the trunk is left behind.  This is a full sun species and can be grown in more arid areas.  It is cold tolerant into the mid-twenties, perhaps even to the low 20's. F.  Juvenile foliate is strap like.  Then, when older, pinnate leaves appear.  This species can tolerate drought but responds to ample water.  Its growth rate is medium.  Shown here is a one gallon and 15g plant.  Also, I've shown multiple photos to show the crowns of leaves as well as the retained leaf bases.  The fruits of this species are very large, almost egg sized and orange in color.  One picture below gives you a glimpse of the fruit. 
Syagrus coronata Syagrus coronata
Syagrus coronata Syagrus coronata Syagrus coronata
Syagrus coronata Syagrus coronata Syagrus coronata

 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2012

 

BUTIA CAPITATA BLUE
UNUSUAL SUPER BLUE FORM OF PINDO
Many people are familiar with the Pindo or Jelly Palm, Butia capitata.  It is a pinnate palm with a medium sized trunk, arching leaves and a typical height of fifteen to twenty feet.  It is extremely cold hardy, easily tolerating temperatures into the mid-teens F.  Fruit of this species is edible and sometimes used to make jelly.

What is unusual about the plants we just got in is their intense blue color.  Normally this species is a gray-green in color.  These plants are truly silver-blue.  I am showing you some 20g and well as a few 5g plants.  If you want a "blue garden", take a few of these along with some Bismarckia, Brahea decumbens, Chamaerops cerifera and Copernicia alba and your done!  We've got them all.

All of the photos here except the last one show Butia capitata with the intense blue color.  The last photo shows  the more commonly seen color of the Pindo, a blue-green.  If you like these, let me know.  i only have a few plants.  Finally, if you are interested in hybridizing palms, think about utilizing this as your Butia stock.  Think of the color possibilities with Jubaea, Parajubaea, etc.  .
Butia capitata blue Butia capitata blue
Butia capitata blue Butia capitata blue Butia capitata blue
Butia capitata blue Butia capitata blue Butia capitata green
Butia capitata normal blue-green color

 

DIOON SPINULOSUM
SPECIAL DISCOUNTED PRICE ON THIS BATCH OF 5G PLANTS
We just got a good deal on some 5 gallon sized Dioon spinulosum.  They have been outdoor grown in part day sun.  The caudexes are about 2 inches and the leaves are two feet or longer.  This is a slow growing green leafed species of Dioon from Mexico and perhaps into northern Central America.  An extremely old domestic plant will have three feet of trunk.  Plants in the wild are known to have trunks well over ten feet.  Crown width is about six to eight feet and cold tolerance is into the low 20's F.  These also can make a nice interior plant.

WEBSITE SPECIAL: THIS BATCH OF 5G PLANTS ARE $44.99 FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS.

These can easily be sent right to your door.  The last photo shows a typical 15g plant.  These 5g plants will look like this in several years. 
Dioon spinulosum special 5g Dioon spinulosum special 5g
Dioon spinulosum special 5g Dioon spinulosum special 5g Dioon spinulosum
An older Dioon spinulosum at the nursery

 

CHAMAEDOREA BENZEI
A MEDIUM SIZED CHAMAEDOREA THAT WILL TAKE SUN
About twenty years ago, Don Hodel published his famous reference book on the shade loving Chamaedorea palms.  But, his work was not done.  There were more species to describe.  He returned to Central America to do his field work and described several more amazing plants.  One of these, Chamaedorea benzei, was named after Jim Benze, a friend of mine who accompanied him on his trip.  This unique species has become one of the most sought after and easy to grow species by palm enthusiasts.

This is a solitary trunk species that resembles an overgrown Chamaedorea radicalis.  Unlike the radicalis, this species forms a short trunk and gets to about 8 feet plant height.  Its leaves are three to five feet long.  The color is green.  It is a very gratifying species because it is quite easy to grow.  It can tolerate filtered light or full sun along the coast.  Trunks are one to one and a half inches in diameter and leaves are about five feet.  They tend to be held in an upright position.  Cold tolerance appears to be into the mid to upper 20's F.  This is another species that looks good as a colony of multiple plants together as seen here.  The main multiple specimen here has both male and female plants.  These females gave seeds.  I am showing you a community pot of new seedlings that should be available for sale in about six months.  You can see that there is going to be excellent germination.  BTW, this is a super hard species to find.  For some reason, there have been no seeds available commercially for many years. 
Chamaedorea benzei Chamaedorea benzei
Chamaedorea benzei
female blossom immature seeds
Chamaedorea benzei
female blossom immature seeds
Chamaedorea benzei
Chamaedorea benzei Chamaedorea benzei
male blossom
Chamaedorea benzei
Chamaedorea benzei Chamaedorea benzei Chamaedorea benzei 


 

BISMARCKIA NOBILIS
SPECIAL PRICE $65 FOR THESE 15G PLANTS
We just got in a special group of 15g Bismarckia nobilis from another growerThey are not up to our normal standards of size for a 15g plant.  So, we are selling them cheap.  For the next two weeks, we're charging just $65 for these for smaller 15g plants for the next two weeks.  This is the same as a 5g plant but a lot bigger with a larger root ball.  They are about 24-30 inches tall above the ground and showing good color.  They are sun grown and in a heavy soil mix.  We don't have many, so come by and get this great blue species of palm at a great price.  I'll show a few photos of mature plants for those not familiar with this species.  It likes full sun and is cold tolerant to about 25 degrees, perhaps a bit lower.
Bismarckia nobilis Bismarckia
Bismarckia    

 

MONDAY, AUGUST 20, 2012

 

IF YOU LIKE KING PALMS, YOU MUST READ THIS NEXT THREAD!

ARCHONTOPHOENIX MAXIMA
PERHAPS THE BEST KING PALM OF ALL!
 
This morning I again want to tell you about a superior
crown shafted species that almost everyone should grow.
There are six types of King Palms and we grow them
all.  I.e., we have six different Archontophoenix
species. 
Many people think that there is only
one type of King Palm
, the one you might see commonly
at nurseries. 
This is not true.  There are actually
six different species within this genus.  All are a bit
different from the others. 
We feel the species I
am describing today is not only extremely attractive,
 but by far the best growing species
.

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 Archontophoenix species are
definitely NOT the same! 
We have various sizes
of Archontophoenix maxima 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

Archontophoenix maxima
A 5g Archontophoenix maxima
Archontophoenix maxima A. maxima crown shaft A. maxima trunk
A. maxima, leaf A. maxima A. maxima

 

THREE SPECIES OF TRITHRINAX BELOW!

TRINTHRINAX CAMPESTRIS
This South American suckering fan palm comes from Argentina and Uruguay.  From these locations, you might suspect it could have quite a bit of cold hardiness, and this is the case with not only this species of Trithrinax, but of the genus as a whole.  Availability of seeds of this species has been sparse to nonexistent.  And, as a young plant, it is quite slow growing.  Consequently, to get a good sized container plant can take a decade or more.  We were fortunate to locate some very nice 15g plants as shown.  I'd estimate their age at 12 years.  They are dividing and very chunky at the base.  They are totally acclimated to full hot sun and are intensely blue.  This is a perfect selection for someone who lives in an interior area with lots of heat.

Overall height of this species is up to twenty feet.  Multiple stems are produced, but usually the number is just several.  Leaves are small, typically about two feet wide.  The segments of the leaves are pointed and sharp.  Trunks retain old leaf bases but, like
Washingtonia, eventually fall off.  This is a drought tolerant species and can take temperatures well into the 100's F. and cold tolerance is into the teens.  We also have 5g and seedlings.  It is extremely rare to find beautiful 15g plants as shown.  Of note, most specimens I've seen are blue.  The last two photos show a mature plant that is blue-green in color, probably due to the fact that it's not getting full sun.
Trithrinax campestris 15g Trithrinax campestris 15g
Trithrinax campestris 15g Trithrinax campestris 15g Trithrinax campestris
Trithrinax campestris Trithrinax campestris Trithrinax campestris 15g

 

TRITHRINAX SCHIZOPHYLLA
aka TRITHRINAX BIFLABELLATA
I wanted to re-mention this species today because we just got in a few very large 15g plants.  In the palm world, there is an argument over whether T. schizophylla and biflabellata are the same species.  Taxonomists have presently lumped the two together into the species of T. schizophylla.  This species has a wide distribution from Bolivia, across through Paraguay and into southern Brasil and Argentina. 

This is a suckering species.  Like T. campestris, it is so unusual to see that few nurserymen have ever heard of it.  There is almost no information on the Internet about it.  It is a palmate palm, suckers, and gets to about 15 feet tall.  Compared to Trithrinax campestris, shown above, it is less blue.  But, the leaves are blue-green as shown here.  We have over the years had small plants of this species available.  Recently we acquired some very nice 5 gallon plants as well as these large 15g.  These are already suckering with one to two stems.  This species likes sun, can tolerate some drought, and is probably cold hardy into the low 20's F.  An acquaintance of mine, Gaston Torres, took the habitat picture below in Argentine habitat.  (from PACSOA Website).  For those of you who want something different and experience cold weather, this is another unusual species to try. They are not quite as cold hardy as C. campestris. 
Trithrinax schizophylla 15g Trithrinax schizophylla 15g
Trithrinax schizophylla 15g Trithrinax schizophylla 15g Trithrinax biflabalata
Trithrinax biflabalata Trithrinax biflabalata Gaston Torres
Photo by G. Torres in habitat
 

 

TRITHRINAX ACANTHICOMA
AKA TRITHRINAX BRASILIENSIS
To finish off the genus of Trithrinax, I thought I'd mention the third and last species of this genus.  It is a single trunk species from southeastern Brasil. Although taller plants are reported, the usual height I've seen in cultivation is 25 feet or less.  The trunk is about a foot in diameter and covered with fibers, matting and irregularly oriented needles.  The latter is a very prominent feature.  I find it quite intriguing.  But, for some people it's just too much and "scares" them.  If you look at the last photo below you will see the spines.  This is a full sun species and tolerates inland and even desert climates.  Although it's distribution is further north (in S.A.) than T. campestris, it has very good cold tolerance.  This species has tolerated the upper teens F.  It is a fairly quick grower, faster than the other two species by far.  Its leaves are larger than other species above and typically are about four feet across.  If I were to give an comparison to a more common palm, it's like a Windmill Palm on steroids and with a spiny type trunk.  But, It's more robust than the Windmill and has larger leaves.  Shown here is a 7g nursery plant.  We have available seedlings, 5g, 7g, 15g, 25g and perhaps a few very large boxes. 

I've been growing this species for 35 years and have always known it as T. acanthicoma and have chosen to stick with this name.  But, taxonmists (who love to change names on a regular basis) now call it "T. brasiliensis".
Trithrinax acanthicoma Trithrinax acanthicoma
Trithrinax acanthicoma Trithrinax acanthicoma Trithrinax acanthicoma
     
Trithrinax acanthicoma 25g Trithrinax acanthicoma 25g

 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 19, 2012

 

ENCEPHALARTOS FEROX
A CYCAD WITH RED CONES
In the past month or two, I've talked about this South African species of cycad that produces red cones.  With E. ferox, sometimes the cones are orange, sometimes red, and sometimes something in between.  They can even be a prominent fire engine red color.  This morning I wanted to show you something a bit unusual for us at the nursery.  We have a good sized, 9 inch Encephalartos ferox that is in the process of producing a new female cone.  We usually don't see this until a plant gets into a bigger container such as a 30g or box. With this plant, the cone color will intensify in the next few weeks.  With this species in the garden, you'll see such a red cones every one to three years.  They last for about six months and are often a foot to eighteen inches tall.  Below I'm showing close up photos of both a male and female cone after removal from the plant.  They have a pen of about six inch size next to them to show their size.  The female looks more like a pineapple, the male an old corn cob.

Cultural needs include filtered light or part day sun along the coast.  Inland areas mandate filtered light or partial sun.  Cold tolerance is down to the low 20's F.  This 15g plant is a great plant for the garden.  I can ship it anywhere within the U.S.  With Encepalartos ferox, we also have other plants in band, 5g, 15g, 20g, 30g and box sizes.  So, if you want to try this cool species, let me know.  I have a plant that's affordable for everyone.   
Encephalartos ferox female cone Encephalartos ferox female cone
Encephalartos ferox female cone Encephalartos ferox female cone Encephalartos ferox female cone
female cone
Encephalartos ferox female cone
different plant

Encephalartos ferox male cone
male cone
Encephalartos ferox female cone
different plant

 

DIOON EDULE
THE PERFECT SUN-LOVING, SMALL SIZED AND
COLD HARDY CYCAD
There are a lot of great attributes to this Mexican cycad.  For many garden enthusiasts, this is the perfect species.  I am going to mention below why this is so.
1.  It remains small.  A huge old plant may have 18 inches of trunk.
2.  The size of the crown of leaves is small, rarely over three to four feet.
3.  It tolerates full blazing sun, even in inland desert areas.
4.  It is extremely cold hardy, easily into the upper teens
5.  It's an ideal species for a small, hot sunny location.
6.  You don't have to worry that it will overwhelm an area
7.  It's not overly "prickly". 

To the right and below I'll show you some containerized plants of various ages and sizes.  We have a vast assortment of these in all sizes for sale.  We also have various locality subspecies for sale.  It you live in an area where you see heat but also cold winter weather, this could be the perfect species for you. 
Dioon edule Dioon edule
Dioon edule Dioon edule Dioon edule
Dioon edule Dioon edule Dioon edule
Dioon edule Dioon edule
Dioon edule with female cone
Dioon edule
Multiple plants, side by side

 

COPERNICIA BAILEYANA
THE BAILEY FAN PALM
If you mention this magnificent and large fan palm to any palm enthusiast, he will immediately praise this gorgeous species.  Native to Cuba, it has a thick and fairly tall trunk with beautiful large, upright leaves.  When I first saw this species in specimen size at Fairchild Botanical Garden in Miami, I was awestruck.  I will share pictures from that trip with you below.  It was a great tragedy when Hurricane Andrew blew down some of these huge relics.  As I recall, staff at the garden were able to salvage some of them by up-righting the trunks and bracing them.

Trunk size on this species is up to about fifty feet with a trunk diameter of two feet.  The trunk is clean and smooth, tan in color.  Leaves are circular, upright, and the crown size is about fifteen feet.  Leaves are green and the large crown is a bit crowded appearing but gorgeous.  The underside of the leaves is slightly glaucous.  Also note how the petioles are very light colored, almost white, with small black armor.  The leaf stems are very attractive.

One seldom sees this species for sale because growing it from seed is painfully slow.  We recently obtained some outdoor grown 5g plants that are showing numerous fan leaves. It has taken seven years to produce this size of plant.  This species likes sun and appears to be cold hardy into the mid, possibly the lower 20's F.  If you like this species, you just have to obtain what's available and be patient.  It's like growing a Jubaea.  It just takes time to get an enormous specimen, but if you give it good culture you should be successful.  Fortunately, growth rate in the ground is faster than in pots.

We have limited numbers of these for sale.  If you would like to try one of these really special plants, let us know soon.
Copernicia baileyana 5g Copernicia baileyana 5g
Copernicia baileyana 5g Copernicia baileyana 5g
C. baileyana on right
Copernicia baileyana
Copernicia baileyana 5g
Juvenile plant in ground in Southern CA
Copernicia baileyana 5g
Close up of petioles younger plant
Copernicia baileyana 5g
Juvenile plants in habitat
Copernicia baileyana Copernicia baileyana 5g Copernicia baileyana  

 

HEDYSCEPE CANTERBURYANA
ONE OF THE BEST PALMS FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
This great palm is one of my favorites.  It is native to Lord Howe Island.  This is the same island habitat as Howea species, but Hedyscepe look entirely different.  In contrast to the Kentia Palm, Hedyscepe are a crown shafted palm that has a silver trunk.  A picture below shows how, in the right sun exposure, this species maintains a silver trunk.  Side by side, it's impossible to guess that they are from almost the same locality as the Howea.  Along the coast they tolerate full sun but would like protection inland.  Cold tolerance is the mid-twenties F.  Growth rate is not fast, but steady.  They seem to grow better if given some sun.  Selecting the right exposure in inland areas is tricky.  Shown here to the right and below is a 20g plant just starting to form trunk.  We have various sizes down to one gallon.  I have shown a few of these sizes as well.  Also shown is a nice domestically grown tree.  Smaller shippable sizes are available. 

Another cool thing about this species is that it produces beautiful large red fruits, about the size of a golf ball.  Many trees throughout Southern California have produced this fruit. All the photos of mature trees here were taken in Southern California.  At the nursery we have a good assortment of sizes for sale of this species.

So, why is this one of the best palms for Southern California?  Because it is gorgeous, not overly big, has a silver trunk and crown shaft, is reasonably cold hardy and looks unlike most other things in the garden.  Simply put, it's a real winner.
Hedyscepe canterburyana 20g hedyscepe
Hedyscepe silver trunk Hedyscepe leaf Hedyscepe base 20g
Hedyscepe canterburyana Hedyscepe canterburyana Hedyscepe
hedyscepe canterburyana hedyscepe canterburyana hedyscepe canterburyana

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2012

 

HYOHORBE INDICA "RED"
Nice 15 gallon Sized Plant
On August 11th I discussed this species at length.  I had a customer call and ask if I had any 15g of the red form.  So, I did a look around and found this is the last one we have.  It's about seven feet tall planted out.  Note the black-red color of the stem.  As I discussed before, this species gets to 20 feet tall, has perhaps a six to eight in thick trunk, must have sun in coastal areas or part sun inland, is cold tolerant to approximately 25 degrees (like a King Palm) and is a fairly fast growing.  The dark red color typically reverts to green over time. 
Hyophorbe indica red 15g Hyophorbe indica red 15g
Hyophorbe indica red 15g Hyophorbe indica red 15g  
     

 

PHOENIX RECLINATA
AFRICAN WILD DATE / SENEGAL DATE PALM
It is actually quite amazing that, in the past year, I haven't once discussed this suckering and armed pinnate palm from South Africa. This is probably because it's not one of my favorite species.  But, if one has a very large yard with lots of room, this is a popular choice.  It is easy to grow and really has an impact on the landscape.  It has multiple stems and can reach a height of over thirty feet.  As the name might imply, outer trunks tend to 'recline" away from the center of the plant.  You can see this on the mature plants below.  Individual trunks are rough with old fibrous material.  Leaves can be over ten feet long, although shorter is the rule.  You can prune out interior trunks if the plant is getting too busy.  When you work on this species, be extra cautious because the long spines on the petioles can hurt you.  Eye protection is key!  Selection of the appropriate location for planting is critical.  Do not put this species right next to a walkway.  In a far corner, along a fence, or in the middle of a large open area would work fine.  Remember, this can potentially become a very large plant.

This is a full sun palm that likes good drainage and tolerates high heat.  It's cold tolerance is to about 20 degrees F.  If a plant gets shaded out from the sun, it will most likely linger with poor growth or just die.  Shown to the right is a 15g plant as well as a good sized 5g plant.  The latter can be easily mail ordered.  The mature specimens below show how this species appear.  The last two photos are from Balboa Park in San Diego, CA   If you like types of Date Palms, I've written a comprehensive article on the species.  It's posted elsewhere at this website.
Phoenix reclinata
15 gallon plant
Phoenix reclinata
15 gallon plant
Phoenix reclinata
15 gallon plant
Phoenix reclinata
5 gallon plant
Phoenix reclinata
5 gallon plant
Phoenix reclinata Phoenix reclinata Phoenix reclinata

 

ENCEPHALARTOS HORRIDUS
A CAUDEX ROOTING OUT

Many of you may wonder how I, as a cycad nurseryman, come up with plants to sell.  With rare cycads, there are two main methods of propagation of plants.  The first is from seeds. To get seeds, one needs both a male and female plant in cone.  Manual transfer of pollen from the male to the female cone is required in most circumstances.  The seeds take about six months to develop and then another three to six months after removal from the cone for "after ripening".  The embryos in the seeds must mature.  Then the seeds are laid down in a germination mix and in abut six months you have a one leaf seedling.  So, it's well over twelve months from start to sale to have interesting seedlings.  And, these are tiny new seedlings. 

Another technique is to remove an offset or sucker from a mature plant.  This gives an instantly larger plant for sale.  These offsets must be at least three inches or larger for good results.  These are surgically removed from the parent plant and rooted out in pumice.  Rooting takes from six to twelve months. Usually such plants root first and throw leave(s) later.  To the right is a 4.5 inch offset that I've rooted out and is now for sale.  It has established some small roots and has thrown one leaf.  This leaf as well as the plant sex will match the parent plant.  This plant should soon be transferred from pumice into a good cycad soil.  By next year it should throw about four new leaves.  The sixth picture below shows a larger offset that is about to be put into cycad soil.  I've also shown some more mature E. horridus plants.  We have both established offsets and seedlings available of this species.  

This is a blue species that stays relatively small.  In coastal areas it wants full sun.  Inland desert areas require part day sun.  Cold tolerance is down to about 22 degrees F.  Note the color variation of the leaves.  This is dependent on the light when you take the photo but also the intensity of sun where the plant is being grown.  The brighter the sun the more blue the plant. Shade grown plants will turn green. 
Encephalartos horridus 1g Encephalartos horridus 1g
Encephalartos horridus 1g Encephalartos horridus 1g Encephalartos horridus
Encephalartos horridus 1g Encephalartos horridus 1g Encephalartos horridus 1g

 

 

WASHINGTONIA FILIFERA
This is a single trunked fan palm from Baja, Mexico with extension of its distribution into Southern California.  It has a very thick trunk.  It resembles the Mexican Fan Palm (W. robusta), but has larger leaves, a more open crown, a much thicker trunk that seems to shed leaves more quickly and has more cold hardiness.  It will tolerate temperatures into the mid-teens F.  One of the reasons for enthusiasm about this species is its cold hardiness.  In domestic gardens, seeds are often hybridized with robusta.  Seeds from wild locations tend to be pure.  This species is hard to locate.  We have some nice one gallon plants and a few 5g  as well.  Both of these can easily be shipped.  Also shown are a few mature specimens.  The last photo is interesting.  It has a mature W. robusta to the left and what appears to be filifera to the right.  I cannot guarantee that the plant to the right isn't a hybrid.  In any case, not the more open crown and thicker trunk with the filifera.  As the more common Mexican Fan Palm often suffers from cold damage in marginal areas, many feel eager to try the W. filifera in their area.  Obviously, it wants full sun.  Growth rate is a slower than the robusta, but still fairly fast growing.   
Washingtonia filifera 1g Washintonia filifera 1g
Washingtonia filifera Washintonia filifer Washingtonia filifera and robusta
left, W. robusta; right, W. filiferat

 

ENCEPHALARTOS LONGIFOLIUS
This cycad species is makes a stunning specimen
and 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. In these pictures note the variation in
the leaf color, the leaves that curve toward the
ground, and the tight proximity of the leaflets.
If you only want one cycad, this might be a great
choice.
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

 

BONUS SPECIES FOR WEDNESDAY

 

DYPSIS LUTESCENS
THE BUTTERFLY PALM, THE ARECA PALM
New Article at This Website
For those not familiar with this species, it is a medium sized, suckering pinnate palm with typically a yellow color to the stems and petioles that gets to a height of twenty feet or less in most conditions.   Trunks are narrow, self cleaning, and leaves are about six feet long.  There are variations in the appearance and size of this species. 

I recently wrote a comprehensive article on Dypsis lutescens and it is now published at our website.  It describes this species in detail and goes over ways to utilize it in the landscape.  It has dozens of pictures from around the world.  If you click on the link to the right, you'll go straight to the article. 

The bottom two rows of photos below show Dypsis lutescens plants we have for sale including some easily shippable sizes as well as others up to about eleven feet.  Try reading the article to see if you like the Areca Palm.  If you do and think you have the right cultural contions, contact us.  We'll make sure you get the perfect plant for your needs.    
          Dypsis lutescens banner
          CLICK HERE TO VIEW ARTICLE
 
Dypsis lutescens Dypsis lutescens Dypsis lutescens
Dypsis lutescens Dypsis lutescens Dypsis lutescens
Dypsis lutescens Dypsis lutescens Dypsis lutescens

 

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15, 2012

 

A VARIETY OF SABALS IN SMALLER SIZES
PERFECT FOR MAIL ORDER
This morning I am going to do something a little different.  I will show you an assortment of various Sabal species in 5 gallon sizes.  There is keen interest in Sabal with people who live in colder areas.  These are fan palms and many have husky, thick trunks.  Some get quite tall while others are dwarf palms.  Some are green, others almost blue.  Most are vigorous growers when given the right conditions.  But, almost all are pretty cold hardy with many surviving well into the teens F.  Because of these characteristics, people in colder parts of the country tend to love Sabals.  I took most of these photos recently and should have all or most in stock.  Receiving these plants right to your door is as easy as picking up the phone and calling me.  I usually ship the same day (U.S. only) with plants in their containers, not bare root.  With the species below, I'll only make a few major points.  Assume they take full sun unless noted otherwise. 
   

SABAL DOMINGUENSIS
Thick trunk
Blue green leaves
Rounded crown with big leaves
Tall species, over 40 feet

Sabal dominguensis Sabal dominguensis

SABAL MINOR
Native to Southern United States
Small palm
None-existent trunks to perhaps up to ten feet, depending on variety
Small, well divided leaves
Green to blue green color
Blossoms often stand above the foliage
Very cold hardy

Sabal minor Sabal minor
SABAL PUMOS
Mexican, high elevation species
Tall species, up to fifty feet
Thin trunk, typically 8 inches in diameter
Trunk can end up "knobby"
Green leaves


Sabal pumos Sabal pumos
SABAL "RIVERSIDE"
True habitat origin unknown
Taxonomy known but can't identify to native locality
Thick trunked Sabal species
Green to blue green
Medium sized round black seeds
Large leaves
Height to 25 feet
Reported to tolerate down to 16 degrees f.
Sabal riverside Sabal riverside
SABAL PALMETTO
Native to SE U.S. and into the Caribbean
Most domestic plants have ten to twenty feet of trunk
Reports of native plants with heights over fifty feet
Medium sized trunk and leaf
Green color to leaves
Younger plants has retained leaf bases for some time
Sabal palmetto Sabal palmetto
SABAL URESANA
Sabal species with blue leaves in full sun
Native to high elevation northern Mexico
Trunk height to fifty feet
Trunk diameter 18 inches
Long petioles, medium sized leaves
Cold hardy to about 20 degrees F.
Loves heat and sun
Sabal uresana Sabal uresana
Leaves of 15g plant
SABAL CAUSIARUM
Tall fan palm
Extremely thick, gray colored trunk to two feet diameter
Crown fifteen feet wide
Color green to blue-green
Often hard to locate plants
Looks nice in groups of separated plants
Sabal causiarum Sabal causiarum
SABAL XTENSENSIS
Native to Southern U.S., TX
Medium sized
Sabal
Extremely cold hardy
Green colored leaves
Natural hybrid in habitat
Sabal xtexensis Sabal xtexensis
SABAL ROSEI
Slender trunk Mexican species
Height to 40 feet
Trunk diameter 8 inches
Retained leaf bases or clean trunk with knobby leaf base scars
leaf color is green
Fairly cold hardy, easily to 20 degrees F.
Sabal rosei Sabal rosei

 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2012

 

KENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS
PLANT WITH BRONZE EMERGENT NEW LEAF
When I think of red emergent leaves, I normally don't think about the genus Kentiopsis.  It doesn't throw a new red leaf.  But, while taking pictures of the Chambeyronia (below), I came across this Kentiopsis oliviformis with a bronze colored new leaf.  It turns out that there are many palm species native to New Caledonia that have colorful new leaves.  In any case, I shot a few pictures of the 15g Kentiopsis and am showing them here.  I've also shown a few pictures of other nursery plants as well as a couple of mature trees.  This is a fantastic species.  It has a thin trunk, prominent crown shaft, gets to about 25 feet, tends to have upward pointing leaves and is cold hardy to the low 20's F.  It's also a good growing palm once you put it into the ground.  Along the coast, it takes full sun but would need limited sun far inland.  We have very limited supplies of this species. 
Kentiopsis oliiformis Kentiopsis oliviformis
Kentiopsis oliviformis Kentiopsis oliviformis Kentiopsis oliviformis
Kentiopsis oliviformis Kentiopsis oliviformis Kentiopsis oliviformis

 

ZAMIA STANDLEYI
This is a small to medium sized tropical Zamia that comes from several Central American countries.  Its trunk size can get to a bit over a foot, leaves are two to three feet long and about two feet wide, and leaf color is green.  Newly emerging leaves are bronze for a short time.  As you can see from the pictures below, this plant gets to about belt high in the garden.  This means that it can be easily introduced in an understory location.  Zamia standleyi prefers filtered light and good soil drainage.  Cold hardiness is down to about a freeze.  Like other tropical Zamias, you need a frost free garden to grow this species.  Shown to the right is a citrus pot nursery plant and several garden specimens.  I am also including two pictures of two female cones, one from a nursery plant.  Note from the close up photo, leaflets are finely toothed but not overly armed.  This is a very exotic appearing plant.  Very limited numbers are available.   
Zamia standleyi Zamia standleyi
Zamia standleyi Zamia standleyi Zamia standleyi
Zamia standleyi Zamia standleyi Zamia standleyi

 

SMALL AND EASILY SHIPPED STARTER PLANTS ANYONE?
I thought this morning I would show you some starter plants.  These are in our "band" containers.  A band container is a square pot. 
It is 3" x 3" x 9".  A lot of growers have started using these containers because they nicely group together in carrying trays. 
A tray will hold 25 plants (five rows of five plants) and can easily be moved or carried.  The nice thing about these pots for consumers
is that these pots give a nice, high quality seedling and they can be easily shipped.  It is very easy to pack four, nine, or sixteen of these
into a "block" and box them up safely.  And, typically the plants in these band containers are good sized, equivalent to a very healthy
one gallon plant.  I'm going to show you an assortment of band sized plants with minimal comments about the species.

Nannorrhops ritcheana
A suckering palm from the Middle East that has anywhere from a green
color to a prominent blue, gets to a height of about eight feet and is
cold hardy into the upper teens F. and likes sun.
Nannorrhops r. band  
SABAL MINOR
A dwarf Sabal that never gets over about four feet tall, is single trunked,
has fan leaves with prominent flower spikes that come above the foliage.
Native to the southern U.S., this species is cold hardy into the mid teens F.
It wants full sun.
 
Sabal minor band  
TRITHRINAX CAMPESTRIS
This South American palm is a fan palm, suckers, has a very blue color, likes
full hot sun and surprising cold tolerance.  It can take temperatures into
the mid teens F.  Overall height is about ten feet or less.  
Trithrinax campestris band  
ENCEPHALARTOS TRISPINOSUS
This South African rare cycad species is extremely blue when grown in the sun
and never gets overly large.  A plant five feet tall would be a big plant.  It likes
full sun, heat and good drainage.  Cold hardiness is into the low 20's F.
 
Encephalartos trispinosus  
CERATOZAMIA HILDAE
This is a shade loving dwarf cycad that has interesting groups of leaflets along
the stem.  It typically is never over four feet tall.  It is a very "cute" species
and cold tolerant into the lower twenties f.
Ceratozamia hildae  
ENCEPHALARTOS CERINUS
This is another South African cycad.  This is a dwarf species with a trunk
that is typically under six to eight inches in size.  Leaves are about three
feet long and fluffy appearing.  It likes sun and good drainage.  Cold tolerance
is about 22 degrees F.  Cycads are easy to cold protect.
Encephalartos cerinus band  
DYPSIS BETAFAKA
This Madagascar species resembles a more blue colored Dypsis decipiens.
It is a new introduction.  It may sucker over time, this is not well known.
It will want sun and should be cold hardy into the lower 20's F.
Dypsis betafaka band  
DIOON TOMASELLII
A Mexican cycad, this species prefers strong filtered light or perhaps
full sun along the coast.  It is a medium sized plant with leaves about
five to six feet long.  The interesting thing is the curve of the leaflets
in a sickle like downward curve.  This is seen in only a few cycad
seedlings.  Cold hardiness into the low 20's f.
 
Dioon tomasellii band  
STANGERIA ERIOPUS
This species looks more like a fern than a cycad.  It is from South Africa
and is quite easy to grow.  It can take sun along the coast or filtered light
inland.  Cold hardiness is like other species, into the low 20's f.  It is
a dwarf species with leaves about three feet long.
STangeria eriopus band  
BURRETIOKENTIA KOGHIENSIS
This New Caledonian palm is single trunk, pinnate,
and has a white crown shaft.  It is very beautiful and a quick
growing plant.  It likes full coastal sun or part day sun/filtered
light inland.  Cold tolerance is into the mid, perhaps lower
20's F.  It is rare and hard to find.
Burretiokentia koghiensis band  
PRITCHARDIA MUNROII
As you can see here, some of our band plants are huge, bigger than
most nursery's one gallon plants.  This is an example of that.  P. munroii
is native to Hawaii and is a medium sized fan palm that will take full
sun along the coast, wants protection inland, and has a broad, flat
green leaf.  It is a very pretty species and hard to find.
Pritchardia munroii band  
DYPSIS AFFINIS
A beautiful white crown shafted palm that gets to heights of fifteen
feet or less, sometimes suckers, and has thin to medium sized
trunks.  
 
dypsis affinis band  
LICUALA ELEGANS
Exotic fan palm from Asia with wide, flat leaf that likes filtered light and can
tolerate mild frosts.  It is slow growing but worth the wait.
 
Licual elegans band   
DYPSIS SPECIES DARK MEALY BUG
A sought after species of Dypsis from Madagascar.  The mature appearance
of this species is unclear at this time, but most think it will be super
desirable. 
 
Dypsis species dark mealy bug   
 

This will give you a taste of plants in band containers.  What most people don't know is that we have a tens of thousands of band sized plants. 
So, there's a pretty good chance that the species you want might be available in this smaller size.  Most are very affordable in price. 
And, if you get a good number of these, a volume discount would be considered.  Shipping band sized plants is fairly affordable.

 

MONDAY, AUGUST 13, 2012

 

CYCAS DEBAOENSIS
A RARE CYCAD WITH BRANCHING LEAVES
In the cycad world, there are only a few cycads that have branching or multipinnate leaves.  This means that, from the main leaf stem, additional or auxiliary stems are formed, branching off from the main stem, and these additional stems have leaflets. This can even happen to the third order.  For those familiar with palms, Caryota species do this as well.  Shown here is such a species of branching cycad.  This is a rare plant from China.  It prefers filtered light.  Leaves tend to emerge and go straight upwards, usually with a graceful arch.  If you look carefully, you'll see the stems trifurcating, i.e. branching to the third order.  Cold tolerance is into the mid to lower 20's F.  Enthusiasts have been successful in growing this species outdoors in many parts of Southern California.  It doesn't take up much room and may prove to be one of the more unusual plants in your garden.  Overall height is rarely over eight feet.  In the bottom row of photos below is a female cone of this species.  Fifteen years ago it was impossible to obtain a Cycas debaoensis.  Fortunately there are a few enthusiast setting domestic seeds, so from time to time we have them available for sale.
Cycas debaoensis Cycas debaoensis
Cycas debaoensis Cycas debaoensis Cycas debaoensis
Cycas debaoensis Cycas debaoensis Cycas debaoensis

 

CHAMBEYRONIA MACROCARPA & HOOKERI
LOTS OF NEW RED LEAFS ARE EMERGING
ALL OVER THE NURSERY

Chambeyronia, also known as the Flame Thrower Palm or Blushing Palm, are quite popular and known best for their newly emerging red leaf.  Sometimes the color is red, other times almost orange, sometimes pink and occasionally (my favorite) purple-black.  The color is variable between plants and seems to vary somewhat with the season.  Right now at our nursery the Chambeyronia are taking off.   There are red leaves everywhere!  So, I went around with the camera and took a bunch of photos.  I hope you enjoy these.  Incidentally, Chambeyronia take full sun along the coast, filtered light or part sun inland, and are cold hardy into the low 20's F.  If you plant one in early morning sun or strong filtered light, you are usually safe.  Check out the almost black leaf in the third row of photos below; that's my favorite. For those who don't know this species, these new red leaves retain this color for about two to three weeks and then turn green.  It's sort of like a gorgeous flower, their lives in full color are short.
Chambeyronia red leaf Chambeyronia red leaf
Chambeyronia red leaf Chambeyronia red leaf Chambeyronia red leaf
Chambeyronia red leaf Chambeyronia red leaf Chambeyronia red leaf

 

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, medium sized plants on
up to boxed specimens.  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!

I am showing a few mature garden and habitat plants here.
Note how some are quite tall (P. schattaueri) and others
don't get over about ten feet.  Some have very flat leaves,
others are wavy.  Some have small leaves, others as big as
a dinner table.  Another nice thing about Pritchardia is that they
break up the repetitive nature of all the pinnate palms that
populate most gardens.  The contrast is nice and creates a
more diverse garden.     
  
Pritchardia


Pritchardia seedling
pritchardia


Pritchardia species
pritchardia leaf pritchardia pritchardia 5g
Pritchardia schauterii by A. B.
Pritchardia schattaueri by A.
Bredison
Pritchardia beccariana
Pritchardia beccariana
Pritchardia beccariana box
Pritchardia beccariana box
Pritchardia species
dwarf species, 15 years old
Pritchardia martii
Pritchardia martii
Pritchardia hardyi
Pritchardia hardyi
pritchardia glabrata 15g
Pritchardia glabrata
Pritchardia sp. nut brown
pritchardia sp. "nut brown"
Pritchardia beccariana
Pritchardia beccariana

 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 11, 2012

 

HYOPHORBE INDICA
GREEN AND RED FORMS
This is a medium sized, crown shafted, single trunk pinnate palm from Reunion Island.  About twenty-five years ago, before the days of the Internet and emails, I wrote letters to palm enthusiasts and growers all over the world.  They responded back with letters.  Such correspondence often looks weeks, not minutes like today.  This is how one would obtain seeds back then.  I established a relationship with a fellow in Reunion and later received seeds.  When they germinated these seeds, I was shocked to see these small seedlings that were red-black in color.  Later, with different seeds, they germinated green with absolutely no red.  As I was the first (I think) to offer these for sale in the U.S., I marketed them and told of this observation: two color types.  And, what did this mean? 

Now, twenty-five years later, it probably means very little and is just a curiosity point.  We've come to know that yes, there are variations in colors of this species, especially when young.  But, at the mature size, they seem to look more similar than different.  The red ones eventually turn more green than red and the trunks of both turn tan.  But, some red color may remain.  Cold hardiness is similar between the two.  And, of course, the leaves are always and only green. But, it's an interesting observation and story.  For this reason I am showing two boxed specimens from the nursery.   I'll show pictures of different aspects of this species side by side.  They are approximately the same age of about eight years although one is a bit taller than the other.  The upper trunk and crown shaft of the "red" are blackish-red.  The same parts of the 'green" are dark green although pictures make it look darker than it actually is.  I am also comparing one 25g plant for comparison.

Hyophorbe indica gets to a height of about twenty five feet, has a trunk diameter of about six inches, perhaps a bit more, and along the coast demands full sun.  If you grow it in shade, it will probably succumb to rot.  In far inland areas, I would recommend a part day sun application.  Cold tolerance appears to be in the mid-twenties, perhaps slightly lower.  We mostly have larger plants for sale presently.  And, when you pick one out, which color would you get?  Would your red one retain a little bit of that color?  Perhaps.  Buy one and find out.  I will comment that real palm enthusiasts, when they show you their plant, will invariably  say "this is Hyophorbe indica, red form" if that's what they originally got.. So the story lives on.     
Hyophorbe indica
Red Form
Hyophorbe indica
Green Form
Hyophorbe indica
Red Form
Hyophorbe indica
Green Form
Hyophorbe indica
Red Form
Hyophorbe indica
Green Form
Hyophorbe indica
Red Form
Hyophorbe indica
Green Form
Hyophorbe indica
Red Form
Hyophorbe indica
Green Form
Hyophorbe indica
Red Form
Hophorbe Indica
Green Form
Hyophorbe indica by Tobias Spanner RPS
Hyophorbe indica by Tobias Spanner RPS
 
     

 

SYAGRUS CORONATA
THE LICURY PALM
This is another lowland Atlantic coast Brazilian species like the species above, but comes from a more arid locality in habitat.  This species gets to about forty feet height and has a one foot thick trunk.  Its leaf color is blue green and sometimes gray.  The underside of the leaves is silver.  The most prominent feature of this species is the retained old leaf bases that swirl around the upper trunk below the leaves.  When these fall away a knobby character to the trunk is left behind.  This is a full sun species and can be grown in more arid areas.  It is cold tolerant into the mid-twenties, perhaps even to the low 20's. F.  Juvenile foliate is strap like.  Then, when older, pinnate leaves appear.  This species can tolerate drought but responds to ample water.  Its growth rate is medium.  Shown here is a one gallon and 15g plant.  Also, I've shown multiple photos to show the crowns of leaves as well as the retained leaf bases.  The fruits of this species are very large, almost egg sized and orange in color.  One picture below gives you a glimpse of the fruit. 
Syagrus coronata Syagrus coronata
Syagrus coronata Syagrus coronata Syagrus coronata
Syagrus coronata Syagrus coronata Syagrus coronata

 

ENCEPHALARTOS LANATUS

This beautiful South African species of cycad is best known for the silvery throw of new leaves that it displays.  It has a medium sized trunk, usually to a maximum height of six feet.  It does sucker from the base.  Leaves are about three feet long and arching downward.  The leaflets are very narrow and essentially unarmed.  When new leaves emerge they are a brilliant silver in color.  I was absolutely stunned by the beauty of this species the first time I saw a mature plant throw new leaves.  As they age, they become more of a blue green color. 

The native locality for this species experiences extremes in weather from very high summer heat to definite freezes in winter.  In the garden, this species demands sun.  Interestingly enough, it digs and transplants with great difficulty.  Digging a large specimen may kill the plant.  I'd estimate cold hardiness to be in the low 20's.  It is a good species for those in cooler areas who still get summer heat. 

Shown here are several seedlings, one demonstrating the blue color.  Also shown is a very nice citrus pot sized plant with close ups of the leaves.  The last four photographs are of new flushes of leaves.  These were donated by a photographer who took them in habitat, but I no longer have the name of the donor of these great pictures.  Note the charred trunks of these specimens, typically seen with habitat plants secondary to wildfires.  We have a reasonable supply of this species in small to juvenile plants.
Encephalartos lanatus Encephalartos lanatus
Encephalartos lanatus Encephalartos lanatus Encephalartos lanatus
Encephalartos lanatus Encephalartos lanatus Encephalartos lanatus unknown photographer
Encephalartos lanatus unknown photographer
Encephalartos lanatus unknown photographer
Encephalartos lanatus unknown photographer
Encephalartos lanatus unknown photographer
Encephalartos lanatus unknown photographer
Encephalartos lanatus unknown photographer
Encephalartos lanatus unknown photographer

 

NOTE TO READERS OF THIS BLOG:  I've been told by teachers who visit our nursery that many people on the Internet only look at pictures and don't read text.  So, I thought I'd
do a little survey and offer "readers" a discount.  Email me back at
phil@junglemusic.net and I'll email you a coupon good for 10% off any purchase in the next month.  You don't, of course,
have to use this coupon but it will tell me how many people actually read the information I blog here.  Or, if you're not in the market for plants, just email me that you read this note.  Thanks. 

 

FRIDAY BONUS PLANT>

 

ENCEPHALARTOS GRATUS
BEAUTIFUL BOXED SPECIMEN
This is a desirable, quick growing Central African cycad with green leaves.  Like the E. laurentianus, it makes a big plant, but not as big as E. laruentianus described yesterday.  Leaves are about five to eight feet long, trunk size one to two meters tall and diameter two feet.  It is quick growing with a deep green color when grown in part sun.  In full sun, the color is more of a lime green.  I'd recommend growing it with some sun protection if you live inland. 

Shown to the right is a box specimen that just threw some new leaves.  I wanted to show this plant because it's really pretty.  It is a coning sized plant.  We have several boxed plants for sale as well as 15g, cit pot and band sized plants.  There is something for every pocketbook on this species.  The last picture shows a larger garden plant.  Cold hardiness is into the mid to low 20's F.  If you want a fast growing species that attains good size, and does not get enormous over time, Encephalartos gratus might be be a good choice.
 
Encephalartos gratus box Encephalartos gratus box
Encephalartos gratus box Encephalartos gratus box Encephalartos gratus box
Encephalartos gratus  Encephalartos gratus box   

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 10, 2012

 

ENCEPHALARTOS LAURENTIANUS
CYCAD WITH LONGEST LEAVES IN THE WORLD
This monster cycad comes from the Congo in Central Africa.  It not only has a thick, extremely tall caudex, but it also produces leaves that are felt to be the longest cycad leaves of any species.  They get up to about 7 meters long (22 feet).  Trunks can get up to ten to fifteen meters tall and sucker freely.  This is a green leafed cycad and is very fast growing when it receives proper culture.  It likes sandy, well draining soil and is known to throw out multiple flushes of leaves per year.  Leaflets are long and a bit peculiar shaped.  If you look to the right, you'll see how they are different from other species.  Shown here are several nursery plants and a few good sized plants in domestic gardens.  However, mature plants are much larger than these.  We have a very limited number of these for sale.  In the garden, they prefer part day sun.  Too much sun may burn them.  Remember, they are "central" African plants and used to humidity.  Cold tolerance is perhaps into the upper 20's.  They are not as cold hardy as South African cycad species.  Because of rarity, these are never inexpensive plants to buy..
Encephalartos laurentianus Encephalartos laurentianus
Encephalartos laurentianus Encephalartos laurentianus Encephalartos laurentianus
Encephalartos laurentianus Encephalartos laurentianus Encephalartos laurentianus by P.Heibloem PACSOA
By. P. Heibloem PACSOA

 

 

COCONUT QUEEN PALM
AKA CALIFORNIA QUEEN PALM
Syagrus romanzoffiana x schizophylla

This interesting hybrid originated in Thailand by a grower and propagator of rare palms.  It is a cross between the common Queen Palm and an unusual type of palm from the same genus: Syagrus schizophylla.  The offspring have proven to be quite beautiful and have good cold tolerance.  These will be a medium to large palm.  The trunk will be thinner than the normal Queen and the overall size will be less.  The attached photos of mature plants (credit to JI) show that the mature plants do not resemble what we all know as the Queen Palm.  I don't know if I'd say they resemble a Coconut, but they are attractive.

This is a very rare hybrid to come across.  Yesterday we got in an assortment on nice 5 gallon plants as shown.  They are about 2.5 feet tall.  This hybrid likes full sun, is a medium rate grower and has a cold hardiness estimated to be in the low 20's F.  

Coconut Queen
photo by JI
Coconut Queen
Photo by JI
Coconut Queen Coconut Queen Coconut Queen

 

NEW COLORFUL COMPANION PLANTS!!!

As I've mentioned previously on this blog, colorful and interesting companion plants arrive at various times during the year.  One never knows what's going to be available.  We propagate some of this material; other plants are locally grown by other propagators.  The colorful Ti plants are usually grown in tropical areas like Florida and Hawaii.  This applies as well to species such as Crotons and Gingers.  These arrive randomly.  Usually I get in Ti's that are about two feet tall.  Presently we have monsters about six feet tall, almost impossible to find anywhere.  I've been told these won't be available again until next spring.  They are head height.  We can even ship these Ti's right to your door. 

We also got in some great Bromeliads and other interesting colorful plants.  Believe it or not, most of these plants will be gone within a week or so.  The color we care changes from week to week.  It is so difficult to find interesting tropical companion plants.  So, if you want some cool colorful additions to your garden, visit us/call us right soon.  We'll always try to have a good assortment of these plants of one type or another.  .   
Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants
Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants
Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants
Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants
Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants
Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants
Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants Blechnum fern
ginger red nerogelia Succulent

 

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8, 2012

 

RHOPALOSTYLIS SAPIDA X BAUERI
AN INTERESTING AND HARDY HYBRID
Recently, a palm enthusiast brought by several sun grown plants he said were "Rhopalostylis sapida".  However, on inspection I found that they are not Rhopalostlis sapida but rather a hybrid with Rhopalostylis baueri.  I am going to show you here the differences and why I came to this conclusion.

1.  The leaves of these plants are not totally upright but rather have a little curve to them.  In other words, they are not a stiff in an upright manner as what I expect of R. sapida..
2.  The stems and petioles are not gray like sapida, but sort of brown.  R. baueri are definitely a red-brown color.
3.  The leaflets are softer than R. sapida Sapida leaflets are a bit thinner and stiffer than baueri.

I'll compare these three side by side here.  Of interest is the fact that the hybrids were grown totally in full sun since small.  Note that the sapida leaves are more upright as shown below.  The base of the petiole is more gray than brown on sapida.  And the leaflets are stiffer.  You can see how the hybrid is sort of like a blend  of sapida and baueri. with somewhat curved leaves and gray-brown petioles.  But, it's exactly like either adult.  So, for this reason, I feel they are hybrids.  Of note, these hybrids came from the garden of Mardy Darian in Vista, CA, from seed.  He has both adults in his garden.  In the last row below, I apologize that i don't have a close up of the baueri base, but trust me that they are brown, sometimes even dark brown; not gray.

I've found R. sapida to be the best for sun.  So, these hybrids probably got some sun tolerance from the sapida parent.  Also, some people feel that these hybrids are more vigorous growers; the "hybrid vigor" sort of thing.  I suspect mature height of these will be about 25 feet.  Cold hardiness will be into the low 20's F.  If you are right along the coast, full sun would be fine.

 
   
RHOPALOSTYLIS HYBRID RHOPALOSTYLIS SAPIDA RHOPALOSTYLIS BAUERI
Rhopalostylis hybrid Rhopalostylis sapida Rhopalostylis baueri
Rhopalostylis hybrid Rhopalostylis sapida Rhopalostylis baueri
Rhopalostylis hybrid Rhopalostylis sapida Rhopalostylis baueri
Rhopalostylis hybrid Rhopalostylis sapida Rhopalostylis baueri

 

RAVENEA RIVULARIS
THE MAJESTY PALM  
About twenty-five years ago, I was one of the first nurserymen in the U.S. to grow this species.  There was talk at the time that this would be "the palm of the future".  This did not evolve except that it has been mass produced in large numbers and sold through many wholesale nurseries.  But, inherent problems kept it from being the most sought after species.  First, it needs lots of nutrition (fertilizer).  If it is not fed and watered regularly, it becomes yellow and can even turn white.  (see photo below).  Also, it likes a lot of water.  Finally, it is super fast growing and needs a fair amount of space.  This species can get to heights of 50 feet with trunk bases as big as a Royal Palm (30 inches). 

Because of these short comings, in more recent times depot stores are trying to market this species with three plants in one pot and sell it as a "house plant".  Unfortunately, it doesn't do great inside the home.  It's ok, but there are much better interior palms.  So, popularity has backed off and many stores no longer carry Ravenea rivularis. 

But, it does have its attributes.  It is quick and, when treated well, can make a nice specimen plant as shown. in the photos below.  The photo with the woman at the base was taken from my garden in 1985.  It now has over thirty feet of trunk today. That's my wife standing next to the trunk in the photo.  Some of the photos below are from habitat in Madagascar.  You can tell which ones. Cold hardiness is into the lower twenties F. and along the coast this species can take full sun.  Far inland areas must give some protection from full sun. 
Ravenea rivularis Ravenea rivularis
Ravenea rivularis Ravenea rivularis
Photo by MR
Ravenea rivularis
Photo by MR
Ravenea rivularis
Nutritionally challenged plant, unknown photographer
Ravenea rivularis
In my garden, about 1985, with my wife
Ravenea rivularis
Ravenea rivularis Ravenea rivularis ravenea rivularis

 

 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012

 

RAVENEA XEROPHILA
A SILVER, DROUGHT-TOLERANT SPECIES
This endangered species of arid palm comes from Southern Madagascar in the "Spiny Forest" part of the country, where it grows at high elevation among the likes of cactus and other xerophytic species.  It prefers hot sun and can tolerate drought.  Natural habitat is from 1000 to 2500 feet, the trunk height is fifteen to twenty five feet with a diameter of one foot, and the trunk is covered with old leaf bases.  The leaves are rather short, up to six feet, curved downward and gray or gray-green in color.  A surprising characteristic of this species is found by anyone who has germinated seeds.  On germination, a huge radicle is produced.  It resembles a cycad more than a palm.  It is like a huge carrot attached to the seed.  This root and subsequent roots are good size and very long, showing how this species adaptation to search for deep water in its natural habitat.  I am suspicious that these roots may also retain water for emergency purposes.  This species does tolerate drought but responds to watering.  It is extremely slow growing.

Shown to the right and below are containerized plants of
Ravenea xerophila.  Citrus pot plants take us about five years to produce. The larger plants below took eight years.  I'm showing a juvenile plant the garden of a friend of mine, Jeff Searle.  The final habitat photo is from Tobias Spanner at Rare Palm Seeds.  Everyone who grows this species comments that 1) it is very slow and 2) it is typically blue, or a blue-green in color.   I apologize, but there are so few pictures of mature plants of this species available, so I hope you enjoy those that I can provide to you.
Ravenea xerophila Ravenea xerophila
Ravenea xerophila Ravenea xerophila Ravenea xerophila with Jeff Searle
R. xerophila with Jeff Searle, photo by J. Searle
of Searle Brothers Nursery in FL
Ravenea xerophila by Tobias Spanner RPS
R. xerophila by Tobias Spanner RPS
   

 

DIOON ANGUSTIFOLIUM
AKA DION EDULE VAR ANGUSTIFOLIUM

The main characteristic of this species and the Latin derivation for "angusti" is "thin".  It is known mostly by the fact that it has very thin leaflets.  Some would give it species status while others (most) consider it to be a variety of Dioon edule.  This Mexican species has stems that are typically under three feet in height, although taller specimens exist in habitat.  Leaves are three to four feet long and leaflets are a quarter inch in width.  It prefers full, hot sun and is cold tolerant into the upper teens.  Such temperatures may burn the leaves but often the plant survives.  It is an attractive species because it is not overly large, doesn't get tall or big, and will hold many leaves, all with a large number of the almost needle like leaflets.

You'll note on the first photograph to the right how the leaves are almost transparent because of the thin leaflets.  It's as if you can "see through them".  Many find this very desirable.  Several photographs below demonstrate the very thin leaflets.  This species will sucker freely at the base as seen below.  Leaf color is green, sometimes with blue or silver tones. 
.      
Dioon angustifolium Dioon angustifolium
Dioon angustifolium Dioon angustifolium Dioon angustifolium
Dioon angustifolium Dioon angustifolium Dioon angustifolium
     

 

DIOON CAPUTOI
While we are discussing thin leaflet cycads from Mexico, I thought I'd introduce this species.  Dioon caputoi is a very rare species of Dioon with its habitat being in the area of Pueblo in the country of Mexico.  Several decades ago one could only dream about this species with only about a hundred plants in habitat.  In the 1990's, some seeds did come out of habitat and it is occasionally seen for sale.  It is not a big cycad.  Trunks are typically one to two feet, rarely to three feet.  The leaflets are very thin with gaps between the leaflets.  The color is green or gray-green.  Leaves are stiff and usually two to three feet long.  It is slow growing and prefers sun along the coast or very bright filtered light.  It is an endangered species and next to impossible to find in a nursery.  We are quite fortunate to offer you plants in a variety of sizes, from band up to 15g size.  Mature plant photos and a female cone are provided by a friend of mine, Mark Mason.  Although the coldest limit is not known, I'd estimate cold tolerance to be in the upper teens F.

Compared to Dioon angustifolium above, D. caputoi leaflets are more of a blue color in full sun and have the "gaps" between the leaflets that are more apparent.  Also, I've found it to be a smaller plant in general.
Dioon caputoi cit pot Dioon caputoi b ase
Dioon caputoi Dioon caputoi wild Dioon caputoi female cone by MarkM
Dioon caputoi band Dioon caputoi leaf Dioon caputoi nursery

 

DYPSIS "BASILONGA"
I used the quotation marks around "basilonga" because there is still some confusion about this species.  The seeds that gave us the plants shown here came in as "basilonga".  But, there is controversy over whether this is the real thing or not.  I have no photos of a mature plant.  I have Googled for photos and have had minimal results with different mature plants presented as this species. Be aware this species is referred to as "basilonga" and "basilongus".  According to J. Dransfield's reference on Madagascar palms, "basilonga" is correct.  

From descriptions I've read, this will be a single trunk, medium sized, pinnate and crown shafted palm.  The leaflets are narrow and their underside is somewhat silver.  The more proximal leaflets are wider than the distal leaflets.  Shown here is a one gallon and two gallon plant.  No mature specimen photos are available.  Sorry.


Dypsis basilongus Dypsis basilonga
Dypsis basilonga Dypsis basilonga Dypsis basilonga

 

MONDAY, AUGUST 6, 2012

 

PHOENIX THEOPHRASTII
CRETAN DATE PALM
This suckering pinnate palm is native to the island of Crete and to some parts of Turkey.  It is related to Phoenix dactylifera (the true Date Palm) but is smaller in stature.  It does have some silver color to it (like the true Date Palm) but is also seen as a green colored plant.  Overall, however, it's size is less than the common Date.  It also suckers, has very bristly leaves with a compact, coarse appearance.  Reports are plants in the wild can reach forty feet height, but most plants I've seen are much shorter.  It can be pruned into a single trunk plant, just like the true Date Palm.  It likes hot full sun and is cold tolerant into the teens F., perhaps to as low as 16 to 17 degrees.  Shown here are some 5g and 15g plants along with some garden specimens.  Note the coarse, bushy appearance to the mature plants.  It might be chosen by someone who wants a Phoenix species that is smaller than a Canary Palm, could be maintained as a single trunk palm, and is super cold hardy.
Phoenix theophrastii Phoenix theophrastii
Phoenix theophrastii Phoenix theophrastii Phoenix theophrastii
Phoenix theophrastii  Phoenix theophrastii  Phoenix theophrastii 


CALOCASIA ESCULENTA VARIETY BLACK MAGIC
AN EXOTIC BLACK COMPANION PLANT 
I consider "companion plants" to be plants that are used to adorn and beautify the garden but are not major landscape statements.  These are smaller plants that are placed here and there, some in sun and others in shade, that add color and interest to your plantings.  Bromeliads, Orchids, Philodendron, Alocasia and many other plants are used for this purpose.  Black Magic plants are a type of Elephant Ear Plant.

This companion plant is unique because of its color.  Leaves are black, purple or sometimes green with these colors.  This depends upon sun exposure and age of the leaf.  New leaves emerge an interesting green color and then turn black.  The underside of the leaves is silver as shown.  Height is about four feet.  They do like ample water and good drainage.  Cold tolerance is down to about a freeze and winter may result in unsightly leaves.  But, when things warm up, they usually come back to their beautiful appearance.  Very mild areas can grow these in full sun, but I've found they do best with part day sun.  Without any sun, you won't get the nice black leaves.  We have for sale some very nic 5g plants as shown here.  I'm showing here a few nice Internet photos with credits given below the photos.
Calocasia Black Magic  Calocasia Black Magic 
Calocasia Black Magic  Calocasia Black Magic  Calocasia Black Magic by httpmembers.iinet.net.au~meckmsColocasias.html
Calocasia Black Magic by httpmembers.iinet.net.au~
meckmsColocasias.html
Calocasia Black Magic by Wayside Gardens
Calocasia Black Magic by Wayside Gardens 
httpgardening.savvy-cafe.comcooking-with-containers-container-friendly-plant-combination-recipes-2008-05-22
Photo by http://gardening.savvy-cafe.com/cooking-
with-containers

 
 
 

VEITHCIA MERRILLII
(ADONIDIA MERRILLII)
THE CHRISTMAS PALM

This is a favorite among palm enthusiasts.  It is not overly large, has nice recurved leaves, is clean appearing and has a nice crown shaft.  The problem is that this species does poorly in Southern California.  There are other species of Veitchia that do better.  It has been renamed as Adonidia.  Most people still know it by its former name. Shown is a 9 foot tall 7g plant, available on request.  Also shown is a pair of beautifully grown plants in a garden in a more tropical locality than
here in Southern California.  

This is a popular interior palm.  It does reasonably well inside the home.  I am amazed at the number of people who visit Hawaii and then call me on their return looking for this species.  This is not a species I recommend growing outdoors here in Southern California.  Even with this said, I guarantee you that a dozen people will call me in the next month or so requesting this species.  Usually I'm able to talk them out of it.  For now, consider it an interior plant only in So Cal.     
Veitchia merrillii Veitchia merrillii
Adonidia Adoidia Adonidia

 

PHOENIX HANCEANA
This is a shorter form of the Pheonix
genus with a somewhat stout trunk but
only a height up to about 10 feet.  Of
interest is that sometimes it suckers,
other times it is single trunk.  The
leaflets are pointed like many Phoenix
species.  It is synonymous with P.
loureiri var loureiri.
  Shown is a 5g
plant, $65.  Also shown is a larger
specimen.  I would consider this a
"medium sized" Date palm.  It would
work well for someone who wants a
smaller Canary type palm.  It is cold hardy
into the upper teens F. at most and wants
full sun exposure.
Phoenix hanceana 5g Phoenix hanceana (loureiri)

 

DYPSIS AFFINIS
This is a suckering, pinnate leafed, crown shafted species from Madagascar.  There is discussion as to what this species actually is.  It seems to have an appearance similar to Dypsis onilahensis.  But, seeds have come in with the name of "D. affinis" and it does appear somewhat different.  We presently have seedlings of this species available.  Plants shown here are from Southern California.  You can see that it is thin trunked , gets to an overall height of ten to fifteen feet, and has very light colored crown shafts.  Some are snow white in color.  Seed color is at first yellow, maturing to red.  Trunk caliper is several inches at most.  Leaves are a bit keeled and leaflets are thin and droopy.  I'd recommend growing this species in strong filtered light or perhaps coast half day sun.  Cold tolerance is not definitely known, but probably into the mid twenties F.  One nice thing about this species is the very small footprint that the plant has on the garden floor.  So, it can be placed in a smaller area.  Yet, further up it expands into a medium sized clustering plant.  It's quite beautiful.  The last two photos show the seedlings we have for sale. 
Dypsis affinis Dypsis affinis
Dypsis affinis seeds Dypsis affinis Dypsis affinis
Dypsis affinis Dypsis affinis Dypsis affinis

Dypsis affinis band  Dypsis affinis band   

 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 4, 2012

 

HOWEA FORSTERIANA
HUGE 15G SIZED KENTIA PALMS
Many of you are familiar with Howea forsteriana, the Kentia Palm.  It is native to Lord Howe Island.  We got in some huge 15g mulitples that are about ten to twelve feet tall.  They are equivalent to boxed plants at other nureries and are sun grown.  The photos show how husky they are.  Shown here is an example of these large 15g plants.  Also shown are some very nice 5g multi's, a great size for shipping and interior growing.  

This species tolerates full sun along the coast and needs protection from hot, dry sun in inland areas.  It can take full sun up to about 20 miles inland, but you have to be careful in such localities.  Cold tolerance is to about 25 degrees, where cold burn will occur.  Maximum height is commonly given as thirty feet in thirty years in full sun.  This species also is an excellent patio plant and interior palm.    

I am also showing some very large 5g size, a boxed plant and garden specimens (next to house in last photo).  Note the beautiful green trunk of a sun protected specimen.  If you need crane sized specimens, we have access to these as well.
Howea forsteriana
15g
Howea forsteriana
15g
Howea forsteriana
15g
Howea forsteriana multi 5g
5g multi
Howea forsteriana
24 inch box
Howea forsteriana Howea forsteriana Howea forsteriana

 

 

ENCEPHALARTOS KISAMBO
SPECIAL PRICE, NEW SEEDLINGS
This medium sized cycad is from Southern Kenya, elevation 2000 to 3000 feet.  It is a green cycad.  Emerging new leaves are blue-green with fine hairs on the leaves/stems.  Trunk size gets to six, perhaps eight feet in height.  Leaf length is six to ten feet and have a bit of downward curve.  Cones, a shown here, have a yellow color.  Because of their native locality, this species tolerates hot, humid weather.  In Southern California, you might find plants look better if given less than full sun.  This characteristic is also seen with other central African species.  Cold tolerance is into the mid to perhaps lower 20's F.

Shown here are some nice seedling size E. kisambos.  These are regularly priced at $65, but our special for 2 weeks is $39 each.  These can easily be shipped mail order.  Also shown are a nice 5g plant, a boxed plant (old photo) and pictures of a coning sized plant.  We have an ample supply of all sizes of this fast growing species.

Encephalartos kisambo                  Encephalartos kisambo  
Encephalartos kisambo Encephalartos kisambo                 Encephalartos kisambo  
Encephalartos kisambo Encephalartos kisambo                 Encephalartos kisambo  
Encephalartos kisambo                        

 

LIVISTONA MARIAE
This is a tall, single trunk fan palm from the northern regions of Australia.  It typically has a domestic trunk height of forty, perhaps fifty feet but in habitat specimens are known to exist with trunk heights of eighty feet.  Trunk diameter is one foot, crown width is fifteen feet and trunks often retain fibrous matted material which later falls to the ground.  Leaves are six feet in diameter with divided segments.  Petioles are long and armed with spines.  Growth rate is excellent.  This is a full sun species and cold tolerance is into the mid, perhaps lower 20's F.

This species is often confused with or referred to as
Livistona rigida, although the latter is now considered to be a separate species with stiffer leaves, less flexing of the segments.  Livistona mariae can show some red color to the leaves when a juvenile plant.  Shown here is our 5g size of Livistona mariae which we now have available.  They are outdoor grown in the sun.  Also shown are some mature garden specimens.  On these pictures not the thin, tall trunk, the long petioles and the open crown of leaves.  As these are all older plants, no leaf base debris is seen on the trunks.  The last photo shows the red color of a juvinile plant of Livistona rigida Livistona marie is also known to produce this color.
Livistona marie Livistona mariae
Livistona mariae Livistona mariae Livistona mariae
Livistona mariae Livistona mariae Livistona rigida

 

CYCAS BIFIDA
AKA CYCAS MULTIFRONDIS

In recent months I talked about this species but hadn't taken enough photos to really show the species.  Yesterday I took photos of nursery plants with close ups of the leaves.  So, I'm showing them this morning. 

This species gets its name because of the paired leaflets that appear on the mature leaves.  It is native to northern Viet Nam and Southern China.  It has a subterranean trunk that is six to ten inches in diameter and twelve to sixteen inches long.  It usually carries a smaller number of leaves, typically one to five.  These leaves tend to go straight up and are anywhere from five to fifteen feet long.  Leaf width is up to three feet with thirty to forty pairs of leaflets.  It was originally included in the Cycas micholitzii complex.  Later it was given its own species status.  It is also related to Cycas multipinnata and hybrids between the two are found in habitat. 

Cycas bifida
is a good growing cycad.  I have had one outside for about fifteen years without a problem in San Diego.  I'd estimate its cold tolerance to be at least into the mid-twenties F., perhaps lower.  I've found it grows best in filtered light although I've heard of it taking part day sun.  It prefers good draining soil. 

With the pictures here, I am showing you everything from a seedling to a coning sized plant.  Note the very upright leaves and how there are either paired leaflets or groups of paired leaflets.  For comparison, the last photo shows the different species Cycas multipinnata with its multipinnate leaves, much like the Caryota palm tree.   With C. multipinnata (in contrast to bifida) if you look at the main leaf stem, you'll see an offsetting stem that then divides again, making it "multi" pinnate. 
 
Cycas bifida Cycas bifida
Cycas bifida Cycas bifida Cycas bifida
Cycas bifida Cycas bifida Cycas bifida
Cycas bifida Cycas bifida Cycas multipinnata
Cycas multipinnata

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 3, 2012

 

CHAMBEYRONIA MACROCARPA & HOOKERI
FLAME THROWER PALMS
LAST CALL
We're almost out of these huge 5g plants.  I've sold about forty of them and they'll be gone soon.  We've repotted some into 15g as they are begging for repotting or to go into the ground.  They are about as big as a nice 15g, so you'd save money getting them now.  These are $85.  We can mail order them easily, although the box would be quite tall.  If interested, visit or call soon.  Most of them are overhead in their pots and we have both the regular and blonde Flamethrowers. They make wonderful house plants.  Pictures here show how nice they are.  I talked about these plants previously and everyone has been very pleased when they see them.  Some people even bought three or four once they saw them.  For this reason, I am re-mentioning them today.  They are chunky and have been outdoor grown.
Chambeyronia Chambeyronia
Chambeyronia Chambeyronia Chambeyronia
 

 

COMPANION PLANTS
MAKE THE GARDEN LOOK BETTER
From time to time on this blog, I've talked about companion plants.  These items are so important to giving the garden "that finished look".  Also, they are colorful and exciting.  Whether your garden emphasizes palms, tropical trees, cycads, or other major landscape items, you still need to consider adding companion plants.

Companion plants are other types of botanical material that add to the beauty of the garden.  They are typically smaller plants that hug the garden's floor.  They are often colorful, exotic appearing, and different.  One puts these things below the larger, major landscape items.  The large palm trees set the theme of the garden.  The smaller plants, including companion plants, finish the garden.  We do sell miniature palms for this purpose, but to add color there are a lot of other choices.

Imagine a garden that has beautiful palms.  But, the ground is just dirt.  It is not appealing.  You need to dress the ground with wood shavings or mulch and then add the small plants to fill in the holes.  Standard ground coverings are sort of boring.  Today I will show an assortment of plants that are just ideal for finishing a tropical or semi-tropical appearing garden.

I could go on and on about this and show lots more pictures.  But, these photos will give you a taste of what I'm talking about.  These were all taken at our nursery.  The supply of companion plants changes with the season, but we typically have something nice for everyone. 
Ti, red Ti, red
Nerogelia red Philodendron red congo philodendron cannifolium
Philodendron solleum Canna Blechnum fern
Ti, variegated Philodendron species Ginger variegated
Philodendron pig skin succulent Anthurium pink
Vriesia in blossom Vriesia imperialis succulent
Alocasia wentii Alocasia species Alocasia caldera
Variegated ginger Alocasia cal odora Dudleya
     

BRAHEA ARMATA
MEXICAN BLUE FAN PALM
BLUE HESPER PALM
Also from Sonora and Baja, Mexico, this blue colored, thick trunked fan palm is occasionally seen in Southern California.  It loves full hot sun and is extremely drought-tolerant.  This species has a trunk that can get up to almost 2 feet in diameter and trunk height on older specimens can exceed forty feet.  It has a full crown of five foot wide leaves.  The color is typically very blue, especially in inland areas with full hot sun.  If grown in a greenhouse or right along the coast, its color is not as blue but rather "muddy" and sometimes even green.  I had one in my garden that got shaded out and actually died.  It has yellow-tan blossoms that reach well beyond the crown of leaves and are quite impressive.  Growth rate is slow.  Cold tolerance is about 15 degrees F.  It may not like real humid environments as would be seen in tropical areas.   The fifth picture below shows how icy blue this palm can be if given hot, full interior sun.

The last picture is interesting because it shows the palm in blossom.  This specimen is two blocks from the Pacific Ocean in San Diego and does not have the intense blue color seen in more inland locations.   
Brahea armata 5g  Brahea armata 15g 
Brahea armata garden  Brahea armata mature  Brahea armata, very blue 
     
Brahea armata leaf  Brahea armata   

 

ARENGA ENGLERI
THE DWARF SUGAR PALM

This suckering pinnate palm is native to lower mountainous areas of Japan and Taiwan.  It is usually under ten feet in height and is often as wide as it is tall.  It is a suckering, multi-stemmed species with woven fibrous material on the trunks.  The leaf color is green and leaves are typically five to eight feet long.  The leaflets have jagged ends and are silver on the underside. This silver color always helps you distinguish this species from Caryota, which are always green on the under side of the leaf.

This species is quite cold hardy and known to grow in northern California and colder parts of Texas.  It can be grown in filtered light or full sun if you are in a coastal area.  Because of its fullness, it is a great species to "hide the neighbor", thus giving privacy.  Shown here is a whole assortment of available sizes, starting at one gallon on up to a boxed specimen.  This species is a slow growing plant and it takes many years to produce a good sized specimen.  The last picture shows a plant in full sun at Balboa Park, San Diego. An interesting thing is that the flowers from this species are extremely fragrant and as nice smelling as a Gardenia.  If you ever collect fruit, wear gloves as the fruit will make your hands itch.
Arenga engleri Arenga engleri
Arenga engleri Arenga engleri Arenga engleri
Arenga engleri Arenga engleri Arenga engleri

 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 2, 2012

 

ARCHONTOPHOENIX MYOLENSIS
MYOLA KING PALM
This species of Archontophoenix is named after an area in Queensland, Australia, where it lives natively.  I find the most promonent characteristic of this species is the clean, usually emerald green crown shaft.  It is quite striking up close.  It is comparable in size to the standard King palm and is also quite cold hardy, well into the mid-twenties F.  It, because of its size, will emerge into the sun which it tolerates along the coast.  Far inland areas may see brown tipping in full sun, like with all the other Kings.  Anticipate a height of 35 to 40 feet.  In habitat, they get over 50 feet.  Growth rate is fast. 
Shown to the right is a 24 inch box.  I've shown a few other plants with a close up of the clean, green crown shaft.  The last picture, by Tobias Spanner, shows a nice specimen.  I think it's more tropical appearing overall compared to the standard King palm.  And, I think it is prettier as well.  We have many sizes for sale.
Archontophoenix myolensis large plant Archontophoenix myolensis
Archontophoenix myolensis Archontophoenix myolensis Arcontophoenix myolensis
Archontophoenix myolensis Arcontophoenix myolensis Archontophoenix myolensis Tobias Spanner RPS
A. myolensis by T. Spanner, RPS

 

ORANIOPSIS APENDICULATA
THE FORGOTTEN "BRONZE PALM"
This is an attractive pinnate palm from the Mt. Lewis mountain area of Queensland, Australia.  For those of you who like Arcontophoenix purpurea, this species grows side by side with the Purple Crown Shaft King Palm in habitat.  When I visited this habitat over a decade ago, I was surprised to find that the dominant species was Oraniopsis, not the Archontophoenix.  They are both about the same height and have similar trunk sizes.  However, the Oraniopsis is not crown shafted.  It is known as the Bronze Palm because of the peculiar gold-gray color on the underside of the leaves.  I say "fogotten" above because so few people know about this species or are growing it.  Yet, it has surprising cold hardiness, certainly better than the Archontophoenix purpurea. 

In habitat, I'd say this species got up to twenty, perhaps thirty feet tall.  The trunk diameter is about a foot.  The crown width is about twelve feet or a bit more, which is similar to the Purple King.  In the garden, it is a slow species but a steady grower.  It will tolerate full sun in coastal areas but probably needs sun protection inland.  A safe way to grow it is to have it start in filtered light and work its way up into full sun.  I have known this species to grow in the San Francisco area.  I'd estimate its cold tolerance to be in the mid to low 20's F.  Shown to the right are a 15 gallon and 5g plant.  Below is a 2 gallon size.  Also shown are habitat photos and one juvenile plant in a garden.  I'd highly recommend this species. 
Oraniopsis apendiculata Oraniopsis apendiculata
Oraniopsis apendiculata Oraniopsis apendiculata Oraniopsis apendiculata
Oraniopsis apendiculata oraniopsis apendiculata Oraniopsis apendiculata

 

GROWING PALM SPECIES AS "MULTIPLES"
MORE THAN ONE PLANT IN A POT

From a trunk point of view, there are two types of palm trees:

1.  Single trunk:  Species that only have one trunk
2.  Suckering species:  "Suckering" means that the primary trunk makes additional trunks, usually at the base of the first trunk.

The two species described above (Oraniopsis and Archontophoenix) today are "single trunk" species.  Examples of suckering species would be the Bamboo Palm, the Senegal Date Palm, the Areca Palm and many others.

Nurserymen will sometimes put multiple single trunk species into one pot and grow them as a "multi".  This term means that more than one single trunk species have been placed and grown in one single pot.  This is done because many customers prefer the look of several together.  The most popular number of plants to grown as a "multi" is three.  Next most popular is a "double".  But, sometimes growers will put five or ten plants in one pot. 

This confuses buyers.  They look at the plant and think that it is a suckering species.  The Pygmy Date Palm is almost always grown as three in a pot.  It looks aesthetic.  This makes consumers think the species is suckering, but it is a single trunk species.  A triple Pygmy will always just be three plants.  No more trunks will ever appear unless one got the rare, truly suckering form of this species native to Laos.  But, the latter is essentially never available.

I am going to show some plants here that are single trunk species but being grown as multi's.  I'll show both nursery and garden specimens.  Obviously, in habitat, you'd only see what appears to be a multiple of a sigle trunk species if multiple seeds happened to drop and germinate in the same location. 

Certain species do look good as multi's; others don't.  In general, I don't like to do multiples on bigger species like Canaries, Sabals, Bismarckia, etc.  But, sometimes customers ask for them.  A triple Queen Palm to me is 'too much".  But, everyone has their own preference and taste.

Below I show two photos of large Canary Island Palms.  One was grown as a multi from the beginning.  The other is three single plants put into the garden side by side.  Note the difference.  When grown as a "multi", trunks tend to arch away from each other.  The close up photo of the base of the triple King Palm shows this.  At our nursery, we do grow multiple species as "multi's", especially if they are tall, thin palm species.  Chamaedorea plumosa is a great example of a group of three or more looking better than a single plant. 
Chamaedorea oblongata multi
Chamaedorea oblongata, five plants in one pot

Chamaedorea elegans multi
Chamaedorea elegans, multi planting
Howea forsteriana multi
Howea forsteriana, three plants in one pot

Dypsis lutescens 10g
Dypsis lutescens, a naturally suckering species
Archontophoenix cunninghamiana triple
Triple King Palm, a multi planted specimen
Chamaedorea plumosa multi
Chamaedorea plumosa multi
Chamaedorea plumosa 15g
Chamaedorea plumosa multi
Pygmy Date multi's
Pygmy Date multiples
Howea forsteriana multi
Kentia Palm multiple

Chamaedorea neurochlamys, 3 plants in 1 pot
King Palm triple in garden
King Palm, triple in garden, grown as a multi

Phoenix reclinata
Phoenix reclinata, a suckering species.
This is not a multi potted specimen that got large
Triple Pygmy Date
Triple Pygmy Date, grown as a multi
Triple King Garden
King Palm triple showing the curve of the trunks

Triple Canary, grown as multi
Canary Palm, three side by side
Canary Palms, three singles planted close to
each other.  Not a multi

 

MACROZAMIA MOOREI
This large Australia cycad, when very old and mature, looks very similar to a Canary Island Palm.  Because of the thin leaflets, it takes on this "palm-like" appearance.  It loves heat and sun and is cold hardy into the upper teens F.  Old plants in habitat have trunks that go way overhead, thus making them look like a palm tree.  Shown here are several nursery plants and a garden specimen.  I apologize that I don't have a photo of one with over ten feet of trunk, but such plants do exist.  We have a large selection of these for sale from seedlings to mature specimens in large boxes.
Macrozamia moorei macrozamia moorei
Macrozamia moorei    

 

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1, 2012

 

ARCHONTOPHOENIX PURPUREA
THE PURPLE CROWN SHAFT KING PALM
Having just discussed Oraniopsis, I thought I'd continue on to talk about the other predominant species in the Mt. Lewis area of Queensland, Australia.  Archontophoenix purpurea is known for the purple color to the crown shaft.  It is found at an elevation up to 4000 feet.  Mature height is quoted to be over fifty feet, but in habitat and culture I didn't see one this tall.  For types of King Palms, this species is stated to have the thickest trunk.  I don't think I agree with this and feel A. maxima is thicker.  Most I've seen have a trunk diameter of twelve inches or somewhat more.   The crown shaft is a bit bulging.  Below I'd like to state some of my observations about this species.  I'm going to number them for easy viewing:

1.  It is NOT the most cold hardy of the King Palm group.  25 degrees F. will definitely burn it and lower temps will kill it.  Two decades ago people said it was the most cold hardy.  This is not true.
2.  The degree of purple color you see in the crown shaft is quite variable.  If you see a picture of one with an intense purple color like on grape candy, it is probably "photo-shopped".  Only once have I seen anything like this where the color is brilliantly purple.  Expect a light purple or reddish hue, which is much more common.  Sometimes they are more green than any other color.  And, you won't see the purple color when they are juvenile.  They have to have some trunk height before it can be seen.  So, when you buy one you just have to wait for the color.
3.  A good way to recognize this species as a juvenile nursery plant is from the yellowish color to the stem and petiole.  (see photos).  Also, the underside of the leaves are intensely silver as shown here.  The crown shaft is green on young plants.
4.  There are only two species of King Palms which have ramenta (small hair-like fibers) on the underside of the leaflets.  These are the A. cunninghamiana and A. purpurea.  So, check the underside of the leaves.  If you see ramenta and they are silver, you are looking at an A. purpurea.   (see 7th photo below).  One of the photos below shows this species in fruit.

Pictures here are an assortment of nursery plants, domestically grown plants and habitat specimens.  If you live in an area that doesn't get below the mid-twenties, it is a fun species to grow.
 
Archontophoenix purpurea

Archontophoenix purpurea 5g
Archontophoenix purpurea

Archontophoenix purpurea underside leaf
Archontophoenix purpurea Archontophoenix purpurea Archontophoenix purpurea WITH RAMENTA
Archontophoenix purpurea Archontophoenix purpurea Archontophoenix purpurea
Archontophoenix purpurea Archontophoenix purpurea Archontophoenix purpurea photo by HJD
Archontophoenix purpurea photo by HJD Archontophoenix purpurea Archontophoenix purpurea
Archontophoenix purpurea Archontophoenix purpurea  

 

 

ENCEPHALARTOS HORRIDUS
This extremely popular blue species of cycad from South Africa is continually in demand.  It is probably the number one species of cycad that we sell.  It is a small to medium sized plant with a crown diameter typically under four feet.  And, it tolerates hot sun in most areas and is compact.  With its blue or silver foliage, it appears people can always find room for this species.  It is slow growing, taking several decades to get a basketball sized caudex.  But, it's faster growing in the ground compared to a container.  In desert areas, partial sun would be best.  Cold tolerance is the low 20's f.  A plant with a two to three foot vertical caudex height would be considered enormous.  Shown here is a whole assortment of nursery plants.  In the last row is a seedling and a rooted out offset with a new flush of purple colored leaves.  In the third row below is another offset just beginning to throw these new leaves.  Emerging flushes often show different colors such as purple or dark blue.  Then, over time, they mature into the classic silver-blue color shown here.   There are several similarly blue species of Encephalartos that are of similar size.  So, if you find this species is too spiny for you, check out Encephalartos lehmanii or princeps. 

For those interested, here's a
link to an article I've written on this desirable cycad.  It has extensive information and photographs.  Just click on this link:
   
Encephalartos horridus  
Encephalartos horridus http://nationalplantboard.org/laws/index.html
http://nationalplantboard.org/laws/index.html http://nationalplantboard.org/laws/index.html http://nationalplantboard.org/laws/index.html
Encephalartos horridus flushing Encephalartos horridus dwarf Encephalartos horridus
Encephalartos horridus Encephalartos horridus leaflets Encephalartos horridus leaflets
Encephalartos horridus Encephalartos horridus band Encephalartos horridus new flush

 

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 larger
plants 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
Red congo 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.  This is a spiny trunk species with
leaves that are plumose in appearance.  It is
a rather tall tree.  Spines are evident on the trunk.
If you are lucky enough to get seeds, it can take
up to several years to germinate the seeds. 
And, when they do finally germinate, you only get
about a one to five percent germination rate.
We just potted a few 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.  If interested,
let me know right away as these will sell out
quickly.   This species likes sun.  Some
Acrocomia have been known to tolerate temps
down into the low 20's F.  The last photo below
shows the spines situated in a circular pattern
around the growth rings of the trunk.
Acrocomia Acrocomia
Acrocomia Acrocomia trunk  

 

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

 

MONDAY, JULY 30, 2012

 

HYOPHORBE INDICA
A BEAUTIFUL MEDIUM SIZED PALM
This species of medium sized palm from Reunion Island
has been grown by many successfully in Southern CA.
It doesn't get too tall (about 20 ft), 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.  In addition to not being
very large in height, it also has a rather thin trunk as
you can see below.  It is pinnate and crown shafted..
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.  Also shown
are some 15g & boxed specimens.  I think the red and
green form are comparable in terms of cold
tolerance.  Note the color variation in the photos.
Remember to give this plant full sun.  Theonly plants
I've lost are those put outdoors in shade.  Like the
Bottle and Spindle Palm, this species likes full sun

The last photo below is Hyophorbe verschafeltii, the
Spindle Palm.  I am posting this photo just to remind
you that H. indica is in the same family and does
share some common characteristics..  Of course,
we have both of these species for sale as well as the
popular Bottle Palm.
Hyophorbe indica 5g Hyophorbe indica 5g
Hyophorbe indica 5g Hyophorbe indica box Hyophorbe indica
Hyophorbe indica Hyophorbe indica Hyophorbe indica
Hyophorbe indica Hyophorbe indica Hyophorbe indica
Hyophorbe indica by Tobias Spanner RPS
Hyophorbe indica by Tobias Spanner RPS
Hyophorbe verschafeltii garden
Related species, Hyophorbe verschafeltii,
The Spindle Palm
   

 

 

EASY TO SHIP CYCADS
FIVE GALLON AND CITRUS POT SIZES
Today I thought I'd quickly show you some cycads that are in very easy to ship containers.  When you start with a seedling, you definitely have years to go before you see a landscape ready plant.  With the five gallon/citrus pot size, you have a plant that is of adequate size for the garden yet doesn't cost an arm and a leg to ship.  As most people know, we are a certified grower and can ship plants in their containers directly to any of the states in the U.S.  Doing this rather than bare rooting means you'll have less immediate losses and you won't have the almost guaranteed one year set back that you see when plants are bare rooted.  Below I'll make minimal comments on the species and show a citrus pot/5g plant and a mature specimen to the right.  It's designed for quick viewing.  I hope you enjoy these photos.  I'm just randomly picking some species.  If you are interested in obtaining any cycads of this size, just give me a call.  We can usually ship plants within 24 hours via Federal Express.  We have about 100 different species of cycads in this size for sale.  I can actually send email photos of the exact plant you'd be receiving if you prefer.  
cycads on table cycads cycad alley
Encephalartos trispinosus
A blue South African species that likes heat and sun.  As a mature plant it is small to medium in size.
Encephalartos trispinosus cit pot Encephalartos trispinosus
Encephalartos natalensis
Another South African cycad but green in color.  It makes a medium to large plant as shown and prefers full sun in coastal areas.
Encephalartos natalensis cit pot Encephalartos natalensis
Stangeria eriopus
A very different appearing type of cycad from South Africa.  It has a fern-like appearance, is a dwarf type of plant and prefers filtered light in most areas.
Stangeria eriopus Stangeria eriopus
Lepidozamia peroffskyana
A large species of cycad that has softer, unarmed leaflets and leaves.  It can get a large spread of leaves.  In most areas it prefers filtered light but can take full sun along the coast.
Lepidozamia peroffskyana cit pot Lepidozamia peroffskyana
Ceratozamia hildae
A dwarf Mexican cycad that has leaves typically not over four feet long and prefers filtered light in the garden.
Ceratozamia hildae Ceraatozamia hildae
Dioon merolae
A very beautiful Mexican species that is slow growing, takes years to get 3 feet of trunk, prefers full sun in most areas and has a medium sized crown. 
Dioon merolae cit pot
Dioon edule
This is a small to medium sized cycad from Mexico that is probably the most cold hardy of all cycads and the most able to take hot desert sun. 
Dioon edule 5g Dioon edule
Encephalartos lehmanii
This is a very desirable species from South Africa that's mature size ranges from small to medium.  The color is intensely blue with no side barbs on the leaflets.  It prefers heat and full sun in most areas.  Desert culture would be part day sun. 
Encephalartos lehmanii 5g Encephalartos lehmannii
Cycas thouarsii
This is a medium to sometimes tall species of cycad from the Island of Madagascar.  It is quick growing and prefers filtered light or sometimes full sun along the coast. 
Cycas thouarsii 5g Cycas thouarsii
Macrozamia communis
This is a medium sized Australia species that gets about eight feet tall and is fairly cold hardy.  It prefers full sun except in the hotter desert areas. 
Macrozamia communis cit pot macrozamia communis
Encephalartos transvenosus
This South African species will, over many decades of growth, get extremely large with substantial vertical trunk as shown in the habitat picture to the right.  It prefers full sun along the coast.
Encephalartos transvenosus cit pot Encephalartos transvenosus
Zamia standleyi
This is one of many tropical Zamias that we grow.  This species is a medium sized plant, exotic, and prefers filtered light.
Zamia standleyi cit pot Zamia standleyi
Zamia muricata
This is another tropical Zamia but from Venezuela.  It has a bit of cold hardiness and likes filtered light.  In the right areas, it is easy to grow.
Zamia muricataa cit pot Zamia muricata
Dioon mejiae
This is a medium sized cycad that comes from Mexico and parts of Central America.  It tends to throw upright leaves that emerge soft and fuzzy.  It is best grown in less than full sun, even along the coast.
Dioon mejiae Dioon mejiae

 

 

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 to
the right is about seven feet tall.  We have
an excellent selection of large one gallon plants.
The largest of these are over two feet tall and
easily shipped.  The price on these 1g is $35 for
the smaller and $40 for the larger.
Howea belmoreana Howea belmoreana
Howea belmoreana 1 g Howea belmoreana 1g howea belmoreana

 

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
nice 1g plants for $25.  We also recently
have available a limited number of a rare
species with ruffled leaf edges. (see last photo)
Ligularia
Photo by RT
Ligularia
Ligularia Ligularia curley leaf Ligularia crested edge

 

SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2012

 

SPATHODEAN COMPANULATA
THE AFRICAN TULIP TREE

This tropical flowering tree is native to dry tropical areas of Africa and has large red-orange flower clusters.  Overall height is from twenty to fifty feet, perhaps taller.  It prefers sun or part day sun.  It is not difficult to grow in our Southern California locality.  Cold tolerance is into the twenties F.  Although we specialize in palms and cycads, I do occasioonally carry tropical trees and feel this is one that most can grow.  Joaquin is tanding next to a large 15g plant to the right.  The last photo shows a mature tree in full blossom.  We have a few 5g and 15g available.
 
Spathodea companulata Spathodea comapnulata
Spathodea Spathodea companulata Maui Plant Chronicles Website
Spathodea companulata Maui Plant Chronicles Website
 
     

MACROZAMIA COMMUNIS
EASY TO GROW AUSTRALIAN CYCAD
This cycad species is small to medium in size and native to the New South Wales area of Australia.  It can form up to six feet of trunk in many decades.  Or, this trunk can be subterranean with little trunk showing above ground.  Its leaves are abut six to seven feet long.  To recognize this species, look for the following characteristics.  In cross section the leaves are more or less flat (not keeled).  The lealets come to points and are angled forward (toward the tips of the leaves) at about a 45 degree angle.  Leaf color is green, somewhat dull in color with age.  The rhachis does not twirl or twist.  As you look at leaflets closer to the caudex, they get shorter, almost spine like.  Female cones are blue-green in color as shown.

The main boxedd specimen I am showing here is a huge containerized and coning specimen.  Please note the female cones.  It's trunk diameter is about thirty inches.  It's in a 36 inch box.  Also shown are a 15g plant and several smaller plants.  We have a good selection for sale.  This species likes full sun but can tolerate part sun.  Cold tolerance is into the lower 20's F. or perhaps the upper teens.  One garden specimen is shown as well below.   
Macrozamia communis box  Macrozamia communis box 
Macrozamia communis box  Macrozamia communis box  Macrozamia communis box 
Macrozamia communis box  Macrozamia communis box  Macrozamia communis  
Macrozamia communis  Macrozamia communis   Macrozamia communis  
 

 

DICHORISANDRA THYRSIFLORA
BLUE GINGER
Although it's called a "Ginger", this actually is not a Ginger but rather in the Wandering Jew family.  It is native to Central and South America.  It gets to a height of six feet and has upright blue-purple blossoms.  This species likes filtered light, ample water, and occasional fertilizer.  It is not tolerant to a freeze.  So, if you live in the coastal strip of Southern California, you might be able to grow this exotic plant.  We presently have some nice 5g plants for sale as shown.   
Blue Ginger  Blue Ginger
Blue ginger  http://www.math.hawaii.edu/~dale/myers/flowers/ginger-blue-StJohn.html
 http://www.math.hawaii.edu/~dale/myers/
 

 

SATURDAY, JULY 28, 2012

 

ENCEPHALARTOS FEROX
AFRICAN CYCAD WITH RED CONE
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.  There are two nursery pictures below that show wide leaf variety of this species.  Note how attractive and wide the leaflets are. 

In appearance, this plant is somewhat reminiscent of E. arenarius.  But, it's trunk doesn't get as large and it doesn't adapt to full sun as well as E. arenarius.  And, only E. ferox puts out the beautiful red cone.
Encephalartos ferox Encephalartos ferox
Encephalartos ferox Encephalartos ferox curley Encephalartos ferox cone
E. ferox wide leaf form E. ferox wide leaf Encephalartos ferox
Encephalartos ferox Encephalartos ferox cone Encephalartos ferox

 

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.  I apologize that I don't have a photo to show this swelling, although the last photo blow gives you a hint of it.  It's not as prominent as with the Bottle Palm, but definitely swollen.   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 immediately to the right 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.  I am also showing you a few pictures of larger domestic plants to give a feel for the species.  Typically this species only holds abut five or six leaves, one of its drawbacks.  The trunk diameter is about six to perhaps maximum eight inches.  I've grown it in part day sun, which it loved.  however, the trunk will often curve to seek more sun.  Some grow it in full sun with success.  The fifth picture below shows a plant with a curving trunk.  My first garden plant I grew with an eastern exposure and this is exactly what it did.  
Gaussia maya Guassia maya
Gaussia maya Gaussia maya Gaussia maya
Gaussia maya Gaussia maya Gaussia maya

 

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    

 

TILANDSIA SPECIES
EPIPHYTIC AIR PLANT
Tilandsia are types of Bromeliads.  They grow in tropical regions of Mexico, Central America and into South America.  They live on trees, fence posts, telephone lines, or whatever.  They merely attach themselves to the structure but are not parasitic to that structure.  Therefore, they only ask of their host for a place to settle.  Most are small are typically gray in color.  Most put out colorful blossoms.  I apologize that I don't have a photo of blossoms for this species, but they are purple/red/ and yellow.  They can be mounted on a piece of bark or wood; or can be attached to a palm tree trunk with a bit of moss and fishing line.  One must be careful with the fishing line as it can cut over time into the tree trunk.  Therefore, I typically would drive three small galvanized nails into the trunk and attach the plant to the host trunk going back and forth over the Tilandsia using the fishing line.  An occasional watering and dose of fertilizer is all they need.  Over time you'll end up with a big cluster of plants. 

We are getting some of these clumps in shortly and are offering a
SPECIAL PRICE, $19.99 PER CLUMP as shown in the photos here.  These can easily be shipped for very little cost.  And, some are growing them as an interior plant by a bright sunny window.  You can hang them from the ceiling with a piece of string and spray them with water mist every few days.

Tilandsia species Tilandsia species
Tilandsia species    

 

FRIDAY, JULY 27, 2012

 

PARAJUBAEA TORALLYI
THE SOUTH AMERICAN "COCONUT PALM"
This morning I thought I'd talk about this South American palm and include a fair amount of information.  I'm doing this because I've found there is often confusion with the genus "Parajubaea".  I included the common name of "South American Coconut" for this genus because the new palm enthusiast will most likely forget these long winded scientific names. I particularly want to emphasize P. torallyi because I think it's such a great plant and easy to grow.  It has two forms.

Parajubaeas are all from South America.  About twenty years ago the genus was:"reborn" with the importation of seeds of various species from habitat.  Enthusiasts had to learn more because they had "new plants" in front of them.  Also, this gave palm people the opportunity to grow all of the species.  There are three species and one sub-variety.  These are Parajubaea cocoides, sunkha, and torallyi.  Parajubaea torallyi has a sub-variety named P. torallyi variety microcarpa.  P. cocoides has historically been the species that people have grown for the longest period.  This species is a bit different appearing than all the others with greener leaves and slower growth.  The other three types of Parajubaeas began their notoriety when seeds began being imported.  The seeds are very large (hence the term "Coconut"), shaped like a Coconut seed in a way, and some have the most peculiar wings or flanges at the end.  Of these three other species, all are easier to grow and faster than P. cocoides.  Long term survival has also been better in California.  All are from high elevation in the Andes in Bolivia.  P. torallyi comes from elevations of up to ten thousand feet and has been reported to be the "highest elevation palm tree in the world".  Cold tolerance of these three later species is excellent, with some surviving into the upper teens F.  All have a somewhat silver-green leaf and leaflets.  All have a husky trunk.  To compare these palms, here's a synopsis.  

Parajubaea torallyi:  Tallest of the three, up to fifty feet.  Husky trunk averaging 18 inches.  Largest seed of the group.  Fast growing in the ground.
Parajubaea torallyi variety microcarpa:  Smaller than regular torallyi, trunk height to 30 perhaps 40 feet, thinner trunk, smaller seed, equal growth habit
Parajubaea sunkha:  Originally thought to be variety of torallyi, now known to be a species.  Smallest of these three species with trunk height 25 feet.  In habitat, grows at lower elevation, 6000 feet.
Parajubaea cocoides:  Natural habitat not known, may actually be a variety of P. torallyi, less cold hardy than others above, less silver in the leaves.  Not as good a grower as any of the three above.

This is a full sun species.  It is best to start them in strong filtered light.  Germination of seeds is difficult and demands a "long thermometer" with hot days and cold nights. 

Shown here are sizes of Parajubaea torallyi microcarpa that we have for sale; from seeding to 25g.  We also have the other species with cocoides in 15g being shown.  A few larger plants are shown with some nice pictures by Gaston Torres.. 

.    


Parajubaea torallyi microcarpa
Parajubaea torallyi microcarpa 25g







Parajubaea torallyi microcarpa
Parajubaea torallyi microcarpa 15g
Parajubaea torallyi microcarpa
Parajubaea torallyi microcarpa 25g







Parajubaea torallyi microcarpa
Parajubaea torallyi microcarpa 15g
Parajubaea torallyi microcarpa
Parajubaea torallyi microcarpa 5g


Parajubaea torallyi microcarpa
Parajubaea torallyi
Parajubaea torallyi seedling
Parajubaea torallyi
Note silver color with P. torallyi
Parajubaea cocoides
Parajubaea cocoides 15g
Parajubaea cocides leaflets
Parajubaea cocoides leaflets, note green color
Parajubaea torallyi
Parajubaea torallyi in Southern CA
parajubaea sunkha seed
Parajubaea sunkha seed, smallest of group
Parajubaea cocoides
Parajubaea cocoides
Parajubaea torallyi by Gaston Torres PACSOA
Parajubaea torallyi by Gaston Torres PACSOA
Parajubaea cocoides juvenile
Parajubaea cocoides
Parajubaea cocoides
Parajubaea cocoides
Parajubaea torallyi
Parajubaea torallyi
Parajubaea torallyi
Parajubaea torallyi
Parajubaea torallyi Gaston Torres PACSOA
Parajubaea torallyi Gaston Torres PACSOA

 

NEROGELIA SP. RED CLUSTERING
GIVE THEM SUN AND YOU GET RED
From time to time, I try to sneak in some companion plants that go well with palms and cycads in the garden.  Bromeliads are such a type of plant.  Shown here is a petite but prolifically suckering small Nerogelia that will turn bright red if given the correct amount of sun.  The third photo below shows greenhouse plants that have yet to see any sun.  The first and second photo shows what about six weeks of sun will do with this species.  You see the green turning to red.  Bromeliads are low maintenance plants that propagate from basal suckers.  One mother plant usually gives you two to three offsets. Thus, in a few years, one plant can turn into five or ten.  Our plants are about four years old and already have about ten plants in each clump.  We carry other types of colorful Bromeliads as well and these vary from season to season.  Regarding this species specifically, they can take full sun along the coast.  Inland areas might require partial sun.  But, in either area, these guys will turn red.  Cold tolerance is into the twenties F. 
Nerogelia cluster red Nerogelia cluster red
Nerogelia cluster red Nerogelia cluster red Nerogelia cluster red

 

VARIEGATED SHELL GINGER
FLOWERS AND FAIRLY COLD HARDY
This is a medium sized plant that likes filtered light, gets to about eight feet tall and has white colored, slightly fragrant blossoms.  It's leaves are variegated with yellow and green.  Cold hardy reports are into the mid-twenties with ease.  People in the SF Bay area can grow this species although cold weather may damage them.  But, typically, in the spring they come right back.  Close ups of the clustering flowers show how attractive this species is.  We have a limited number of huge 15g plants for sale.  They are in bloom right now.  Blossoms are dependent, hanging downwards.  Compare this to the Hedychiums below, which are upright.   If fragrance is important to you, check out the Hedychium Ginger below.     
Variegated Shell Ginger Variegated Shell Ginger
Variegated Shell Ginger Variegated Shell Ginger  

 

HEDYCHIUM GINGER
FRAGRANT KAHILI GINGER
If you like nice fragrances in the garden, the group of Gingers known as Hedychium are the ones for you.  We just got in a good selection of 5g and 15g.  They are in bud right now and will be in full blossom in a few weeks.  Colors are a combination of white/yellow and red.  The picture of the flowers below is from the Queensland, Australia government website.  To the right is a 15g plant we have for sale.  They like filtered light, get to about six or eight feet and blossom in the summer.  They are unbelievably fragrant.  You can smell them ten feet away.  Blossoms are upright an sometimes 18 inches long.  They are good growers and cold tolerant into the mid, perhaps low 20's. F.  However, they are not as cold tolerant as the variegated Ginger above.  My viewpoint is that, if you just have palm trees in the garden, you are missing out.  Companion plants like these gingers and the bromeliads above really add the final touches to the garden.
Hedychium ginger Hedychium ginger
Kahili Ginger Queensland Govt. Website
Kahili Hedychium Ginger Queensland Govt. Website
   

 

THURSDAY, JULY 26, 2012

 

TWO NICE BLUE CYCADS
ENCEPHALARTOS LEHMANII & TRISPINOSUS
A FEW PLANTS IN SMALLER SIZES
This past Sunday I showed some photos of these two blue African cycads that we had available in medium to large sized plants .  Several people have asked me to show somewhat smaller plants that are more affordable.  To this end I photographed two more E. lehmanii and a nice trispinosos.  I'll show these these plants presently and try to show the caudex appearance where possible.  Also, I'll post some pictures of "band size" seedlings.  A band is a 3 x 3 x 9 inch container that is square in size.  It is thinner than a one gallon but also taller.  Cycads like band containers because they are deeper than the one gallon.  I've been using band containers for about twenty-five years.  They are sold by Anderson Dye in Portland, Oregon.

A I mentioned Sunday, these types of cycads like full hot sun along the coast.  Surprisingly, if you are in the desert, part day sun is needed or strong filtered light.  Full desert sun may burn even these types of blue cycads.  Cold tolerance is down to about 22 degree.  With protection during the winter, they can go colder.  When you look at these young seedlings below, it's surprising that they'll turn into the gorgeous plants above.  The only problem is that it takes a long time.  But, seedling cycads (we have over 100 different seedling species) are affordable for most people.   
Encephalartos lehmanii 2 inch
Encephalartos lehmanii 2 inch caudex
Encephalartos lehmanii 2 inch caudex
Encephalartos lehmanii 2 inch caudex
Encephalartos lehmanii 3 inch caudex
Encephalartos lehmanii 3 inch caudex
Encephalartos lehmanii 3 inch caudex
Encephalartos lhmanii 3 inch caudex
Encephalartos trispinosus 2 inch caudex
Encephalartos trispinosus 2 inch caudex
Encephalartos lehmanii band
Encephalartos lehmanii kirkwood form band
Encephalartos trispinosos band
Encephalartos trispinosus band
Encephalartos horridus band
Encephalartos horridus band

 

BURRETIOKENTIA KOGHIENSIS
AVAILABILITY IN DIFFERENT SIZES
Burretiokentia koghiensis is one of my favorite species from New Caledonia.  I say this for several reasons.  First, it is a great growing palm.  In the past, I would have said that Burretiokentia hapala grows better.  But, I have changed my mind.  At ou nursery, the koghienis out-perform and look better than the hapala.  They winter over outside under the shade cloth with absolutely no blemishes.  The second reason I like them is because they do so well in the garden.  They show beautiful leaves with a thin trunk and nicely shaped crown shaft, which is a sometimes white in color.  Finally, they have this unique triangular shape to the base of the plant when in containers.  I've tried to show this in one photo.  So, in case this species interests you, I am showing you an assortment of plants we have available: 2 gallon, 5g and 15g sizes.  And, you can see them side by side to compare sizes. This species does well in strong filtered light, part day sun, or perhaps full sun right along the coast.  Cold tolerance is into the low twenties F.   The last two photos below are from habitat when Jesse and I visited there about ten years ago. 
Burretiokentia koghiensis
Burretiokentia koghiensis in 2, 4, and 15g
Burretiokentia koghiensis in 2, 4, and 15g
Burretiokentia koghiensis in 2, 4, and 15g
Burretiokentia koghiensis in 2g
Burretiokentia koghiensis in 2g size
Burretiokentia koghiensis in 5g size
Burretiokentia koghiensis in 5g size
Burretiokentia koghiensis in 15g size
Burretiokentia koghiensis
Triangular shaped base of B. koghiensis
Burretiokentia koghiensis Burretiokentia koghiensis

 

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Owner of Jungle Music, author and past President of the International Palm Society and the Palm Society of Southern California

picture of Phil

 

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.  As mentioned
above, the crown's leaves of this species
are directed upright.  Rarely are leaves held
in a downward direction, pointing to the ground. 
This species is very desirable for anyone
serious about palms.  As you can easily see,
it is very attractive and usually difficult to find. 
Kentiopsis oliviformis Kentiopsis
Kentiopsis mature Kentiopsis Kentiopsis oliviformis

 

LICUALA ELEGANS
AKA LICUALA PELTATA VAR. SUMAWONGII
This exotic appearing, near totally solid fan leaf palm is from southern Thailand and Malaysia.  It is very popular because of its large flat leaves.  For those who think all fan palms look like desert palms, you've not seen many tropical fans, including this one.  This species has been in the trade for many decades and known as Licuala elegans.  In more recent times it has been renamed as a variety of Licuala peltata with a variety name after the original collector who found it.  Licuala peltata includes a divided leaf form and this undivided, total leaf form discussed here.  It is similar in appearance to Licuala grandis. But, Licuala elegans is much more cold hardy and being grown outdoors in Southern California.

It is a very slow growing palm and in almost all areas outside the tropics demands filtered light.  It needs an area protected from cold and wind.  High winds will tear the leaves.  It also likes ample water.  In tropical areas, one can attempt to grow this species in near full sun.  It would do best in other areas under canopy.  Give it enough room so you can see the spectacular leaves.  Cold hardiness is into the low thirties F.  Shown here to the right are two year old plants that are now available.  I am also showing an assortment of domestic garden photos to demonstrate the beauty of this species.  The last photo shows some larger nursery plants which we are presently out of but should have available soon.
Licuala elegans Licuala elegans
Licuala elegans in garden Licuala elegans Licuala elegans
Licuala elegans Licuala elegans Licuala elegans
Licuala elegans Licuala elegans Licuala elegans nursery 7g plant

 

TUESDAY, JULY 24, 2012

 

RHOPALOSTYLIS SAPIDA
LITTLE BARRIER ISLAND
Rhopalostylis is a genus of palms from New Zealand.  All are single trunk, pinnate and have a prominent crown shaft.  Adjacent to the main island of New Zealand, there are multiple surrounding smaller islands.  On some of these, there are also Rhopalostylis.  But, they tend to look somewhat different than the more frequently seen Rhoopalostylis sapida.   Such is the case of the plant I'm showing today from the "Little Barrier Island".  This island is about fifty miles off the coast from Auckland.  It is not to be confused with other islands like Catham Island, which is much further out from the main island.  Tourists and enthusiasts cannot visit Little Barrier Island.  It is a plant and game reserve.  So, getting seeds from this location is no easy feat.  The Rhopalostylis from Little Barrier Island are known to be faster growing with larger trunks and bigger crown shafts.  But, reports are that this feature is variable on where the plants are growing there.  Those in full sun have bigger crown shafts.  But, it is noted, that full sun can burn the leaves a bit.  Shown here are pictues of a 5g and 15g of this species.  I'm also posting two photos from a friend of mine, Tobias Spanner, of this rarely seen "species".  Most consider this to be a variatal form of sapida.  Cold hardiness is reportedly into the low 20's f. and I'd recommend growing it in part day sun.  Inland areas may require filtered light or morning sun only.  We only have a few of these for sale. 

The last crown shaft photo demonstrates a crown shaft of a Rhopaolostylis in my personal garden. You might find it interesting to compare this plant with the Rhopalostylis baueri that I talked about two days ago (below on Sunday) and Rhopalostylis cheesemanii which I'll discuss today below.  Elsewhere in this Blog I've talked about regular Rhopalostylis sapida. 
Rhopalostylis sapida little barrier island 5g Rhopalostylis sapida little barrier island 5g
Rhopalostylis sapida little barrier island 5g Rhopalostylis sapida little barrier island 5g Rhopalostylis sapida little barrier island by Tobias Spanner
Photo by Tobias Spanner RPS
Rhopalostylis sapida little barrier island Tobias Spanner
Photo by Tobias Spanner RPS
Rhopalostylis sapida little barrier island 15g
A 15 gallon sized plant
Rhopalostylis sapida crown shaft
Rhopalostylis spida in my garden

 

ZAMIA LINDENII
This tropical Zamia species is native to Equador, where it is endangered.  Leaves are four to six feet long, slightly arching with leaflets about an inch wide.  Trunk diameter is six, perhaps eight inches.  We have found it to be a good grower and, in the right growing conditions, it can be described as a "robust grower".  It needs filtered light and good soil drainage.  It also requires humidity and cannot tolerate direct sun.  Cold tolerance is into the mid to perhaps lower 30's F.  As a greenhouse or conservatory plant, this is an ideal species. 

I was lucky enough during the 1990's to see this species in habitat.  It is quite impressive with gorgeous leaves overhead on mature specimens.  In habitat, it was growing below overhead canopy.  The photos here show several plants we have for sale as well as more mature specimens.  As you might guess, it is almost impossible to find this species for sale.  We have a limited number that we are offering.  If you have the right conditions for this species, there are few other species that are more lush and exotic appearing.  
Zamia lindenii Zamia lindenii
Zamia lindenii Zamia lindenii Zamia lindenii
Zamia lindenii Zamia lindenii Zamia lindenii

 

ENCEPHALARTOS EUGENE-MARAISII
This African cycad, named after an individual name Eugene Marais, forms about a six foot vertical trunk and produces a large number of suckers at the base.  Often plants are propagated from these suckers.  It is specifically from the Transvaal area of the Republic of South Africa.  This area is now known as the Northern Territory.  The leaves of this species are three to five feet long with stiff, pointed leaflets and together form a very keeled leaf.  The leaflets are overlapping in some areas.  This produces a very attractive crown display of the leaves.  The leaf color ranges from a gray to a blue green and in some plants are a prominent blue-silver color.  The leaves are recurved to some extent.  This is a very rare species and often quite difficult to obtain.  In appearance, I have found it to be most similar to Encephalartos middleburgensis.  It likes heat and full sun in most areas.  It is slow growing.  It is not unusual for a grower to need five to eight years to produce a 5 gallon plant.  Shown to the right is a healthy band sized seedling.  I am also showing pictures of a citrus pot and 15g size.  Various close ups of the leaflets and leaves show the arrangement of the leaflets.  Various specimen plants are shown that display the sought-after blue color.  Like so many species of blue cycads, plants need to be in direct full sun to obtain the blue color.  Cold tolerance appears to be into the low 20's F.   
Encephalartos eugene-maraisii Encephalartos eugene-maraisii
Encephalartos eugene-maraisii Encephalartos eugene-maraisii Encephalartos eugene-maraisii
Encephalartos eugene-maraisii Encephalartos eugene-maraisii Encephalartos eugene-maraisii
Encephalartos eugene-maraisii Encephalartos eugene-maraisii Encephalartos eugene-maraisii

 

 

RHOPALOSTYLIS CHEESEMANII
Since I discussed Rhopalostylis baueri yesterday and it's fresh on you mind, I thought I'd make comments about another species or variety of Rhopalostylis that you may come across.  R. cheesemanii is from Roul Island as opposed to Norfolk Island.  It reportedly has darker brown tomentum on the crown shaft and petioles compared to R. baueri and the fruits are larger in size.  But, the most remarkable thing is that some enthusiasts have noticed is that it is a more aggressive grower in Southern California.  In fact, opposed to R. baueri, it has been known to do quite well in full sun right along the coast.  One of our staff, Rusty, swears by this species and thinks it's far superior to other Rhopalostylis.  In his yard it has grown at a phenomenal rate.  The pictures here show the dark petioles/color.  I have limited photos of larger plants.  Be aware that many people feel this should be considered a sub-variety of Rhopalostylis baueri.  The last photo is from my garden, looking down from above the palm.  You can appreciate the darker crown shaft on this photo.  Of note, this species is the one that people recently have referred to as having the "purple crown shaft".  This purple color has been reported from customers who previously bought this species from us. If you want to compare the cheesemanii with the regular baueri, see my post two days ago on Sunday.   
Rhopalostylis cheesemanii Rhopalostylis cheesemanii
Rhopalostylis cheesemanii Rhopalostylis cheesemanii Rhopalostylis cheesemanii

 

 

 

 

MONDAY, JULY 23, 2012

 

CEROXYLON
THE ANDEAN WINE PALMS 
Ceroxylon are high elevation pinnate palms from South America, specifically to the slopes of the Andean Mountains.  As a species, some are the tallest palms in the world with heights over one hundred feet.  Crowns are of good size, similar to the Queen palm.  Trunk diameters vary, but figure eight to sixteen inches is average. One of the things that enthusiasts like the most about this genus is the white or near white trunk.  As they are a high elevation palm, it is not surprising that they have some degree of cold hardiness.  Cold tolerance is into the upper teens at the lowest.  But, this allows people in Northern California to grow them with ease.  As a smaller plant, I'd recommend  starting Ceroxylon in filtered light and let them "grow" into the light.  They need adequate moisture, especially when young or first planted.  I don't think they'd be a good interior plant, although I haven't tried one.  This is because they like good air movement and adequate air humidity.  

Availability changes over time.  But, presently we have a pretty good selection of smaller sizes (up to 5g) on several species.  To the right I have shown Ceroxylon amizonicum.  Also shown are photos of a mature Ceroxylon growing about a mile from our nursery.  Note the beautiful white trunk with prominent rings..  I am sorry, but right now I don't have a species name on this plant.
Ceroxylon amazonicum Ceroxylon amazonicum
Ceroxylon amazonicum Ceroxylon species Ceroxylon species
Ceroxylon species Ceroxylon species Ceroxylon species

 

DYPSIS LUTESCENS
THE ARECA PALM
ANNOUNCING A NEW ARTICLE ON THIS SPECIES
I wanted to let you know that I just published a new article on this species at our site.  Dypsis lutescens is a popular, suckering, crown shafted pinnate palm from Madagascar.  This is a comprehensive article that discusses this species' characteristics, different appearances, usages in the landscape and culture.  I also present a alternative Dypsis species that are quite similar to the Areca Palm.  The article has approximately fifty photos and is easy to read.  Feedback always appreciated.

Here's the link:  Dypsis lutescens

Dypsis lutescens  Dypsis lutescens
photo by MR 
Dypsis lutescens     
     

 

HYOPHORBE LAGENICAULIS X VERSCHAFELTII
THE BOTTLE PALM CROSSED WITH THE SPINDLE PALM
A GREAT HYBRID!
I presented these plants last month and still have a few.  I'm showing this description again because these are very cool plants.  All plant enthusiasts love the genus Hyophorbe.  This genus of five species comes from the Mascarene Islands.  All are single trunk species with interesting trunks, pinnate leaves and peculiar flower bracts.  Of these, the Bottle Palm, H. lagenicaulis, is the most popular.  It has a swollen, bottle shaped base with a thinner trunk above this fat base.  The H. verschafeltii, the Spindle Palm, is thinner at the base and swells in the mid trunk or toward the top.  On mature specimens, the trunk is cigar shaped.  Both tend to be short palms, hardly ever over twelve feet tall except in habitat or with hundred year old trees.  Both require sun and heat to grow.  Another difference is that the Bottle Palm, especially when younger, has a dark red color in the stems and petiole whereas the Spindle is a yellow-gold color. 

However, the Bottle Palm has the weakness for us in California that it doesn't tolerate cold temperatures.  A freeze or even temperatures in the mid to low thirties F., will burn or kill it.  The Spindle Palm is more cold tolerant.  There are very few nice sized H. lagenicaulis growing here because of our cold, but a nice number of H. verschefeltii.  But, enthusiasts love the swollen base of the Bottle Palm. 

The perfect solution is a hybrid of the two.  And, I recently got in some massive 15g hybrids of the Bottle Palm crossed with the Spindle Palm.  These have been outdoor grown and already seen temperatures below freezing for many years.  I'd estimate their cold tolerance at 28 degrees.  They show the basilar swelling of the bottle, but the leaf color of both with yellow in the petiole.  And, the mere fact that they've survived cold weather outdoors here rules out they're being pure Bottle Palms.  The bases are ten inches in diameter.  We've only got a small number of these.  They are ready for a box or the garden.  No acclimation is needed.  If you need an interesting short palm for full sun, this might be the perfect plant for you.  The last photo is of a hybrid, but the reverse cross.  It is at the PACSOA website and by George Lao. I do not have a mature specimen photo of this actual hybrid. 
Hyophorbe lagenicaulis base
Bottle Palm


Hyophorbe verschafeltii base
Spindle Palm
Hyophorbe lagenicaulis
Bottle Palm


Hyophorbe verschafeltii
Spindle Palm
Hyophorbe lagenicaulis x verschafeltii Hyophorbe lagenicaulis x verschafeltii Hyophorbe lagenicaulis x verschafeltii
Hyophorbe lagenicaulis x verschafeltii hyophorbe lagenicaulis x verschafeltii Hyophorbe lagenicaulis x verschafeltii
Hyohorber lagenicaulis x verschafeltii Hyophorbe hybrid by George Lao, PACSOA
H. verschafeltii x lagenicaulis, Pacsoa by G. Lao
 

 

DUDLEYA BRITTONII
THE CHALK DUDLEYA PLANT
I don't pretend to be an expert on succulents, but I know what I like in this interesting group of plants.  Since I first saw this peculiar near white plant, I fell in love with it.  Dydleya are a group of xerophytic plants with many species being chalky blue to white in color.  This species is native to Baja California and grows in a rosette pattern and never gets very large.  A large plant would be twelve inches across.  Its leaves are covered with a chalky white powder, thus giving it its extreme glaucous color.  This wax cover prevents dehydration of the plant.  It wants sun and heat to grow well.  It is hardy to frosts.  It doesn't like to be watered at all during the colder months.  I had a friend who had one of these in a pot on an outdoor table.  He told me that, for ten years, he has never watered it.  And, it looked superb.  We just got in some one gallon plants.   We are selling these for $25.  They can be easily shipped.  Our plants had not yet been put into full sun.  So, they will get a lot more white colored quickly in the sun.  This is an ideal species for close to a walkway in full sun.  And, for native plant people in these areas, it would qualify as several species of Dudleya live natively in So Cal.  The last photo is borrowed from Wickipedia, unknown photographer, to show the appearance of a mature plant. 
Dudleya brittonii  Dudleya brittonii 
Dudleya brittonii Wickipedia unknown photographer 
Wickipedia, unknown photographer
   
 

 

SUNDAY, JULY 22, 2012

 

IDEAS FOR A TROPICAL PATIO
ENCINITAS, CA
Yesterday I toured the garden of a friend of mine.  It's about a twelve year old garden located in Encinitas, Ca, about a quarter mile from the ocean..  Recently his son took it upon himself to create a beautiful interior breezeway type of patio.  This patio utilized space between two parts of the house.  They installed overhead skylights.  It opens into a lush tropical garden outside.  I thought you'd enjoy seeing the results.  Many of the plants utilized came from our nursery.  The size is about twelve by twenty feet.  With the entry door open, a gentle breeze flowed through the patio.  Peak height of the structure was estimated at twelve feet.  No additional heat has ever been given and one end of the patio is open to the garden year round.  The last two photos show what the patio looks out to.  With the sofa and chair, what a great place to have coffee with friends or a early evening dinner.  For privacy reasons I am not mentioning the garden's owner. 
tropical patio tropical patio
tropical patio tropical patio tropical patio
tropical patio tropical patio tropical patio

 

GROWING CYCADS IN THE HOUSE?
YES, IT CAN BE DONE
On a similar theme, I thought I'd show you two photographs sent to me by a long time customer.  He lives on the East Coast of the U.S.  He is an avid cycad enthusiast but lives in an area where they cannot be grown outdoors because of cold.  He had constructed the illustrated solarium to the right.  It receives standard house heating and no special humidity.  There are overhead skylights.  As you can see, his plants are flourishing.  Many of his plants have been growing like this, inside the house, for over a decade.  His experience is proof that, with a little thought and preparation, even people in colder areas can have a vast array of cycads.
Interior Cycads Interior Cycads

 

TWO NICE BLUE CYCADS
ENCEPHALARTOS LEHMANII & TRISPINOSUS
It's always fun to show photos of nicely colored blue cycads.  Two days ago I took these photos of two sun grown, blue Encephalartos at the nursery.  If you enjoy blue cycads, then you should like these.  The first is Encephalartos lehmanii.  Its leaflets are not as armed as the second species shown, Encephalartos trispinosus.  Both have an average crown size of four feet diameter at maturity with trunk heights under three feet.  Both like full hot sun and have cold tolerances down to about 22 degrees.  With caudex protection, they can go lower than this.  Also, these species can be grown in a xerophytic garden with minimal watering.  The plants to the right are named so you can see the difference between the two.  You'll note the that trispinosus is forming a sucker, as seen in the last photo.  Caudex sizes on both are about 7 to 8 inches. Planted out, these two cycads should cone in the next few years.   I'd consider these two nursery plant as medium to large plants.  We have seedlings, juvenile plants, others like these and then some mature, huge coning sized plants for sale.  All can easily be shipped, but only within the United States.  If there are any species of cycads you seek, email me.  We are growing bout 150 species.
Encephalartos lehmanii
Encephalartos lehmanii
Encephalartos lehmanii
Encephalartos lehmanii
Encephalartos lehmanii
Encephalartos lehmanii
Encephalartos trispinosus
Encephalartos trispinosus
Encephalartos trispinosus
Encephalartos trispinos
Encephalartos trispinosus
Encephalartos trispinos
   

 

RHOPALOSTYLIS BAUERI
NORFOLK ISLAND PALM
The genus of Rhopalostylis are all from the main or surrounding islands of the country of New Zealand.  All species within this genus are single trunk, pinnate and crown shafted palms.  All are very attractive and all (for crown shafted palms) are surprisingly cold hardy.  Rhopalostylis baueri is the species I'm concentrating on today.  It gets to a mature height of potentially over forty feet, although this is rarely seen.  It has green leaves, a trunk diameter of about eight to twelve inches and a crown shaft that is green in color.  The leaves tend to be re-flexed downward to some degree; i.e., they are curved and hang down. 

Many people get Rhopalostylis sapida and Rhopalostylis baueri mixed up and can't tell them apart.  I will make three comparisons here so you can tell which species you are looking at.  First, the crown of leaves of the R. sapida is more upright.  If you look at the third photo (immediately below this text), you will note that the majority of leaves point strongly upward with sapida.  Now look at the second picture to the right of R. baueri.  Note how the crown is fuller and hangs down?  Also note that the leaves are curved more than with sapida.  Even in potted plants, the leaf appearance and differences are apparent between these two species. 

Another difference is in the thickness or bulging on the crown shaft.  Rhopalostylis sapida has a much more prominent bulge than baueri.  The fifth photograph shows a baueri that has a crown shaft that is hardly thicker than the trunk.  The next photo shows how R. sapidas crown shaft is much thicker than the trunk.  Sometimes this is almost comical in how the crown shaft is so large.   Another difference is that the petiole and leaf stem of R. sapida tends to be a gray color whereas baueri is a rusty brown color.  This is sometimes quite subtle.  If you are comparing mature trees, Rhopalostylis sapida has longer leaves and the overall height of the tree is shorter, seldom over twenty-five feet. 

We have a great selection of both species for sale.  In terms of growth, I've found that R. baueri doesn't tolerate as much sun as sapida.  But, in inland locations, neither tolerate full sun.  R. baueri does best in part day sun (morning) or filtered light.  Both are cold hardy into the low 20's F. or possibly even into the upper teens. Both species grow quite well in San Francisco.

The last photograph is of Rhopalostylis baueri in my garden.  I am looking down from a deck at a very old tree.  Note the thin crown shaft, the green trunk (maintains this color when in shade) and the faint brown color in the leaf petiole.        


Rhopalostylis baueri Rhopalostylis baueri
Rhopalostylis sapida
Rhopalostylis sapida (not baueri)
Rhopalostylis baueri Rhopalostylis baueri
Rhopalostylis sapida crown shaft
Rhopalostylis sapida crown shaft
Rhopalostylis baueri Rhopalostylis baueri
Rhopalostylis baueri Rhopalostylis baueri trunk

 

FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012

 

CHAMBEYRONIA MACROCARPA & HOOKERI
THEIR BEAUTIFUL NEW RED LEAVES
I thought I'd present something a little bit different today.  Most of you know that Chambeyronia throw new red leaves.  These leaves can sometimes be fire engine red, other times pink, and sometimes a dark black-red burgundy wine color.  All are very beautiful and please most plant enthusiasts.  This color lasts ten to twenty days and then turns green.  The color evolves through a red-brown, then brown-green and finally into a green color that you are use to seeing.  Both Chambeyronia macrocarpa and hookeri throw new red leaves.  They'll usually display the red leaf by a 5g size, but we've seen new red leaves in plants as small as one gallon size.  Unfortunately, about one in twenty plants will never throw a new red leaf, much to the owner's disappointment.  There's no way of knowing beforehand if you have a "non-red-throwing" Chambeyronia.  Over the last year or two, if my camera is handy, I've shot photos of red leaves around the nursery.  I thought I would share them with you here.  And, Chambeyronia offers you another treat: the seeds are big and red as well. 

If you like this species, I wanted to remind people that we still have some of the huge 5g plants we just go in and of both species.  They are equivalent in size to an average 15g plant, yet in a 5g pot.  Thus, they can be shipped affordably right to your door.  They make excellent interior houseplants.  See the photos below to see how nice they are.  Price is $85 and most of them are overhead in their containers. The last photo, by long time acquaintance Ian Edwards, is from PACSOA.
Chambeyronia red leaf Chambeyronia red leaf
Chambeyronia red leaf Chambeyronia red leaf Chambeyronia red leaf
Chambeyronia red leaf Chambeyronia red leaf Chambeyronia red leaf
Chambeyronia red leaf Chambeyronia red leaf Chambeyronia red leaf
Chambeyronia red seeds
Photo by HJD
Chambeyronia red seeds Chambeyronia 5g
Chambeyronia 5g Chambeyronia 5g Chambeyronia 5g
Chambeyronia 5g Chambeyronia red leaf Ian Edwards PACSOA
Chambeyronia macrocarpa new red leaf by Ian Edwards, PACSOA
 

 

ENCEPHALARTOS WHITELOCKII
This species was named in honor of noted cycad authority and author, Loran Whitelock (The Cycads) from Southern California.  When I first heard of this specie's availability, it was called the "Uganda Giant" cycad.  It was also known as "Laurentianus Lake George".  Only years later did it receive its published taxonomic name.

Native to Uganda, this long leaf cycad gets a trunk over ten feet tall over many decades.  It has long green leaves that can get up to fourteen feet long.  New leaves emerge in an upright position making a "V-Shape" to the new crown of leaves.  As future new leaves emerge, older leaves will hand down and give a fuller look to the crown of leaves.  Leaves are flat or slightly keeled.  Leaflets are prominently toothed and up to twelve inches long and about one inch wide. 

This is a fast growing cycad that does well in Southern California.  Like other Central African species, it would prefer less than full sun in most areas.  I think this is because of our more arid conditions with less humidity in the air.  Grown in part day sun or strong filtered light, this is an impressive and quick growing species.  It likes good draining soil.  Cold hardiness appears to easily be into the mid twenties F. and probably somewhat lower.  Shown here are citrus pot, 15g and boxed nursery plants.  We also have affordable band seedlings as well.  If you look closely at the next to last photo below, you will see a cone forming on this Southern California plant.  If you like cycads, this is a definite addition to your garden! 
Encephalartos whitelockii cit pot Encephalartos whitelockii 15g
Encephalartos whitelockii close up leaf Encephalartos whitelockii leaf detail Encephalartos whitelockii
Encephalartos whitelockii Encephalartos whitelockii Encephalartos whitelockii box
Encephalartos whitelockii Encephalartos whitelockii Encephalartos whitelockii

 

COCCOTHRINAX MIRAGUAMA

This is a rather thin trunked fan palm native to Cuba.  It attains a height of typically twenty to thirty feet, rarely taller.  Below the crown of leaves is an attractive pattern of meshed and woven fibers.  The middle and base of the trunk are usually woody.  You will note the the leaves are prominently divided into thin, long leaf segments.  These leaves are held by a prominent petiole.  The dorsal color of the leaves is typically green with a blue-green or sometimes silver color below.  This species likes sun and heat.  Cold tolerance is into the upper twenties F. 

In general, all Coccothrinax are slow growing plants.  This is especially true in container grown plants.  In the ground they are quicker growing.  Shown here is a one gallon
Coccothirnax miraguama var. havanensis. a variety native to a specific area of Cuba.  Also shown are C. miraguama
in domestic plantings. For the garden, Coccothrinax are nice species to grow because they take sun and heat and don't take up too much room.  As you can see, the crowns of leaves are not large.  And, they are strikingly different than anything else you'd be growing.  We have various species of this genus for sale in a variety of species.  
Coccothrinax miraguama var havanensis Coccothrinax miraguama var havanensis
Coccothrinax miraguama var havanensis Coccothrinax miraguama Coccothrinax miraguama
Coccothrinax miraguama Coccothrinax miraguama  

 

THURSDAY, JULY 19, 2012

 

ARCHONTOPHOENIX TUCKERI
This species of King Palm is the most northern of all the species, coming from Queensland and named after the founder of the Townsville Palmetum in Australia.  It is a tall palm with trunk height of up to fifty feet.  The crown shaft, as shown, is a nice green color.  Sometimes slightly red new leaves emerge.  Enthusiasts in Southern California have found this to be not only an attractive species to grow but also very robust in its growth habit.  The underside of the leaves are silver.  Cold tolerance is into the mid-twenties F. and it can take coastal sun or part day sun inland.  We were lucky to recently get in some chunky, sun grown 5g plants as shown.  We only have a limited number.  

For those who think all King Palms are alike, this is not true.  They are similar, but not the same.  Different species show different crown shaft colors, different leaf appearances and most importantly, different mature sizes.  Why these other very exciting species haven't really made it into the trade is perplexing.
Archontophoenix tuckeri Archontophoenix tuckeri
Archontophoenix tuckeri Archontophoenix tuckeri Archontophoenix tuckeri
Archontophoenix tuckeri    

 

 

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 thin 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 warmer
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. 
 
Clinostigma is a very exotic pinnate palm and would
be one of the more exotic and unusual of palm
types possible in this area.  Shown here are a 5g and
15g plant from our nursery.  Also shown are a
variety of sizes of domestic plants in Southern
California.  The sixth picture shows a Clinostigma.
I am not sure of the species name of this plant, but
it is definitely an exotic specimen.   BTW, I was just
at an enthusiast's garden yesterday in Encinitas, CA
and saw a gorgeous ten foot plant doing great.
     
Clinostigma savoryanum 15g Clinostigma savoryanum
Clinostigma savoryana 5g Clinostigma savoryana Clinostigma savoryana
Clinostigma Clinostigma savoryana  

 

 

LEPIDOZAMIA PEROFFSKYANA

This Australian cycad is a wonderful choice for those of us in Southern California.  In most areas it tolerates filtered light but right along the coast takes full sun.  Its hallmarks are unarmed leaves and petioles with lush green leaves.  You can actually brush the leaves against your face without discomfort.  It is also a very good growing plant but does get rather large.  A span of ten feet of the crown of the plant would not be unusual.  Over many decades this plant can attain good vertical trunk height.  Its leaves are flexible, thick yet firm.  The cold tolerance is the low 20's F.  The main mistake made with this species is not giving it enough room to grow and spread out.  It is a very majestic plant and likes good draining soil. 

Shown here are two nursery plants, 15g and then 25g.  Also shown are several domestic garden specimens.  We have an excellent selection for sale from seedlings on up to massive boxed, coning-sized specimens.
lepidozamia peroffskyana leaf Lepidozamia peroffskyana
Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana
 

 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 18, 2012

 

ARENGA PINNATA
THE SUGAR PALM
As many of you know, Arengas are usually suckering palms.  But, there are several single trunk species.  Arenga pinnata is one of these.  It is felt to be native to Indonesia and is a large palm.  It is a pinnate palm with a fibrous trunk made from woven fibers.  Overall height is forty to fifty feet and the trunk gets to a diameter of two feet.  The leaves are held upright and can be over twenty feet long.  The leaflets, like all Arenga, has jagged terminal ends.  This is a monocarpic species and will die when the plant flowers.  Other suckering Arenga has new trunks to replace dying flowering trunks.  But, since this species has only one trunk, like a Caryota it will be gone a few years after the flowers appear.  The Sugar Palm is a full sun species with cold tolerance into the mid-twenties F.  Shown here are some 5g nursery plants and photos of mature specimens.  Note the woven material on the trunk.  It is very interesting to see in person.
Arenga pinnata Arenga pinnata
Arenga pinnata Arenga pinnata Arenga pinnata
Arenga pinnata Arenga pinnata  

 


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 a single leaf nodes along the stem.  See the
photo below.  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

 

 

BRAHEA DECUMBENS
Blue, 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.  It has to be at least 5 g size and in the direct sun to get the blue color.  Native to 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.  We have voth one gallon and 5g for sale.  They like sun and take temperatures down to about 17 degrees F.  Enthusiast can use them in locations close to a walkway because they don't get too massive.  Of note, their growth rate is steady but slow.
Brahea decumbens 5g Brahea decumbens
Brahea decumens

   

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 below 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 acoelorraphe wrightii Balboa Park Acoelorrhaphe wrightii

 

TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012

 

DYPSIS DECIPIENS
MANAMBE PALM
AN ASSORTMENT OF PHOTOS OF THIS COMPLEX

This morning I thought I'd discuss a palm species that has become quite popular among palm enthusiasts.  But, like Dypsis baronii and onilahensis, there appears to be a significant amount of variation of what growers are producing as "Dypsis decipiens".  All seeds arrived as this species, but different appearing plants are apparent as they get bigger.  There is a tremendous amount of variation in the appearance of plants we are grow.  But, the all have to be classified as "Dypsis decipiens".  What I am stating here is my opinion.  You won't read much about this in references.

The Manambe Palm is a species of crown shafted pinnate palm from Madagascar.  It comes from elevations of up to 6000 feet and is known to be quite cold hardy.  The point I'd like to make this morning is that there is no single appearing form of this species.  I like to consider it more of a "Dypsis decipiens Complex" because of the various appearances it can have.  Did you know that many of these palms sucker with several stems.  Others remain single trunk.  Some have crown shafts that are green while others may be silver or white.  Some have trunks that are cigar shaped and others very tubular.  Some have flat leaves while others are keeled.  Some have a red color to the petiole and others are green. Some emerge with red leaves, others totally green.  Some have green leaves while others have a definite blue color to them.  Taxonomists would consider them all to be one species "with variation" in form.  As we growers produce more and more of this species, we've come to appreciate the varied appearance of this species.  I am not suggesting that these are all different species.  Rather, if we look at them as a complex, we can appreciate the various mature palms that result.

What we do know for sure is that Dypsis decipiens is slow growing, likes sun along the coastal strip as a mature plant, and is fairly cold hardy.  Its been known to tolerate temperatures into the upper teens.  It also likes good soil drainage and heat.  Interestingly, there are reports of difficulties in growing this species in more tropical areas.  So, perhaps dry heat would be best.  But, desert sun is too much for it.  If you live in such an area, consider morning sun or strong filtered light.

Overall height might depend on which variety you get.  It's known to reach about sixty feet as a single trunk plant in the wild.  But, it seems apparent that may not happen with all varieties.  The photos here show nursery plants, domestic plants in California and pictures from homes and habitat in Madagascar by an assortment of contributors.  If nothing else, I'd like you to appreciate the beauty of this species, note its diverse forms, and consider it as a possible grand addition to your garden.  We have a good assortment of plants for sale.
Dypsis decipiens



Dypsis decipiensdYPSIS
Dypsis decipiens

Dypsis decipiens



Dypsis decipiens Dypsis decipiens Dypsis decipiens
     
Dypsis decipiens Dypsis decipiens Dypsis decipiens
Dypsis decipiens
Photo by RP
Dypsis decipiens
photo by MR
Dypsis decipiens
Dypsis decipiens Dypsis decipiens Dypsis decipiens
Dypsis decipiens
Photo by JS
Dypsis decipiens
Photo by JS
Dypsis decipiens
Dypsis decipiens Dypsis decipiens
Photo by MR
Dypsis decipiens
Dypsis decipiens
Photo by JS
Dypsis decipiens Dypsis decipiens

 

A FEW QUICK NURSERY PHOTOS
Recently my son Jesse took some photos of the shade cloth area of our nursery.  I thought I'd share some with you.  As we grow everything from seedlings to 24 inch box plants, small to medium sized plants need a transition area when they come out of the greenhouse.  Shade cloth provides this sun acclimation.  We utilize 25% and in some areas 50% shade cloth for this purpose.  We load it with very cool things.  And, it's a great area to "graze", looking for nice species.  And, with this thread, it will give you an idea of what we do.  These are our smaller to medium sized plants.  It's a mixture of palms, cycads and a few tropical things.
Nursery Photo OUtside Shadecloth Nursery Photo OUtside Shadecloth
Nursery Photo OUtside Shadecloth Nursery Photo OUtside Shadecloth Nursery Photo OUtside Shadecloth
Nursery Photo OUtside Shadecloth Nursery Photo OUtside Shadecloth Nursery Photo OUtside Shadecloth
Nursery Photo OUtside Shadecloth Nursery Photo OUtside Shadecloth Nursery Photo OUtside Shadecloth

 

 

SABAL CAUSIARUM
PANAMA HAT PALM
This is a thick trunked fan palm from Puerto Rico and surrounding Caribbean Islands.  The common name is very misleading.  This is because it is NOT from Panama.  But, the leaves have historically been used to weave "Panama" hats.  This species is indeed spectacular.  The first time I stood next to the white-gray trunk of a mature one, I couldn't believe the thickness and mass of the trunk.  It reminded me of a freeway pillar holding up an overpass. Trunks easily get to two, sometimes more, feet thick and a height of thirty to thirty five feet.  My favorite specimens were at Chapman Field in Miami, but I think they came down with Hurricane Andrew. 

Recently, it's been difficult to obtain this species.  I have a very limited selection of 5 gallon plants as shown here.  The picture of the mature plants below is from Chapman Field before that terrible hurricane in the 1990's.  Now I wish I had taken more photos at that time.  But, I recently obtained seeds of this species, so hopefully I'll be able to supply a lot more of this very impressive plant in the future.  I do presently have band sized seedlings for sale.
Sabal causiarum 5g Sabal causiarum
Sabal causiarum    

 

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 to
fifty feet and has a rather tin trunk for its height.
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

 

MONDAY, JULY 16, 2012

 

CYCAS BIFIDA
AKA CYCAS MULTIFRONDIS
This exotic species of cycad is from southern China and nothern Viet Nam where colonies straddle the border.  Originally  part of the "Micholitzii Complex", this species was formerly known as Cycas mulitfrondis and is now known as C. bifida.  It has a stem up to about sixteen inches and has tall emerging leaves going almost straight up.  It only holds a few leaves, sometimes as many as five.  These leaves are between eight and fifteen feet long (on mature plants) and have paired leaflets coming off the leaf stem. The caudex can be subterranean.  Cold hardiness appears to be into the mid-twenties F. although absolute low tolerance is not known.  Most grow this cycad in filtered light in a spot where there's room overhead for the leaves to reach upward.

We are offering a limited number of plants of this species.  We have a few seedlings for sale as well.  I apologize for no habitat photographs.  Because of difficulties in visiting the habitat, few photos are available.   
CYCAS BIFIDA CYCAS BIFIDA
CYCAS BIFIDA CYCAS BIFIDA CYCAS BIFIDA
CYCAS BIFIDA CYCAS BIFIDA CYCAS BIFIDA


PARAJUBAEA TORALLYI
WEBSITE SPECIAL
This rare and nearly extinct species from Bolivia in South America is a single trunk pinnate palm that gets to about forty feet height with a twelve to eighteen inches in trunk diameter.  In its natural habitat high in the Andes Mountains, it sees a fair amount of cold weather.  In domestic gardens, reports of this species tolerating temperatures into the teens have surfaced.  Seeds are huge in size, expensive and germination is sporadic.  For the first time is a long time, we are pleased to offer affordable band sized seedlings as shown.  Our website special is $30.  Just mention this blog when ordering.  These can be easily shipped. This is a full sun species.  Growth rates are medium.  It would be an attractive replacement for the Queen Palm and nearly as cold tolerant.  This species has thrived in the San Francisco Bay area.  We also have plants available in 5g, 15g and perhaps some larger specimens.  On the foliage close up picture, you can see the blue green color of the leaves, typical of this species.
Parajubaea torallyi Parajubaea torallyi 15g
Parajubaea torallyi Parajubaea torallyi  Parajubaea torallyi
Parajubaea torallyi    

 

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

 

AEONIUM  BLACK ROSE
This drought tolerant, sun loving dwarf succulent plant has dark colored leaves that arrange themselves to look like a blossom.  This species is small, perhaps to three or four feet.  It likes full sun and sandy soil.   It has some cold hardiness and doesn't require a lot of water.  I've even heard of people growing this as a houseplant in a sunny interior location.  We have 5g plants for $35.  I can ship these quite easily.
Black Rose Black Rose

 

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  Livistona decipiens
Livistona decipiens Livistona decipiens Livistona decipiens

 

SATURDAY, JULY 14, 2012

 

RAVENEA HILDEBRANDTII
This is a nearly extinct species of dwarf palm from the Comoro Islands, which are east of Africa and north-west of Madagascar.  As many of you know, Ravenea are well known to exist in Madagascar.  This species comes from a separate location to the west.  It is a dwarf pinnate palm with a very thin trunk.  In my experience plants are always under ten to twelve feet, although reports of taller trees in habitat do exist.  Trunk diameter is two to three inches or perhaps a bit more.  Crown width is about six feet with leaf lengths three to four feet.  The largest tree I've seen is at Fairchild Tropical Gardens.  The last time I saw it I would estimate trunk height at eight feet.  One could just walk under it with a little overhead room. (see fourth photo) 

Most have grown this species in filtered light.  Full sun may yellow or burn the leaves.  It is hardy into the twenties F., although absolute cold hardiness is unclear.  Most feel it is more cold hardy than Ravenea rivularis, the Majesty Palm.  Some have called it the "Dwarf Majesty Palm".  Presently we have  very limited number of 5g plants available.  These will probably be gone quickly.  I have shown a variety of domestic plants here.  Most of these pictures are from Southern California..  Note the small stature and thin trunk and that they are growing in filtered light.  One final comment: growth rate is slow.  For us to produce a nice five gallon plant takes at least five years.
Ravenea hildebrandtii Ravenea hildebrandtii
Ravenea hildebrandtii Ravenea hildebrandtii Ravenea hildebrandtii
Ravenea hildebrandtii Ravenea hildebrandtii Ravenea hildebrandtii

 

RAVENEA SAMBIRANENSIS
This species of Ravenea is from both the west and eastern sides of the Island of Madagascar.  It was named after a river on the island.  It is a large and elegant pinnate palm with heights reportedly up to one hundred feet.  Trunk diameter is one foot.  It grows at elevations from sea level to six thousand feet in both dry and moist native habitats.  When younger, this species has flat erect leaves that go straight upwards.  However, with age, this species produces leaves that are keeled and curve downwards at the ends.  When mature the overall crown is hemispherical with the leaves in the upper portion of the circle.  Because of its large size, this plant should be consider a major landscape item and not a companion plant.  The only habitat photo I have is #5 below.  From this photo, you can see how large this species will become.

I have a limited number of five gallon plants for sale.  They should be grown in an area where they can work their way from strong filtered light into full sun.  Cold hardiness is into the mid-twenties F.  They like moisture but need good draining soil.  The last photo below is a juvenile tree, picture taken by T.S. from RPS.  This is a difficult species to find.  But, there are enthusiasts in Southern California growing it with no problems.
Ravenea sambiranensis Ravenea sambiranensis
Ravenea sambiranensis Ravenea sambiranensis Ravenea sambiranensis
Ravenea sambiranensis Ravenea sambiranensis Ravenea sambiranensis by TS RPS
Ravenea sambiranensis by T.S. at RPS

 

CYCAS TAITUNGENSIS
THE EMPEROR CYCAD
A Very Cold Hardy Cycad

Cycas taitungensis is a species of cycad from China and Taiwan.  It used to be known as Cycas taiwaniana.  In fact, some reference books around still refer to it by this name.  But, Loran Whitelock points out in his book, The Cycads, that there has historically been confusion between the plants collected under the names "Cycas taiwaniana" and "Cycas taitungensis".  Regardless, as we stand today this species is formally known as Cycas taitungensis. 

It is a medium to large cycad with trunk diameter of twelve to eighteen inches and height of ten feet.  It is known as the Emperor Cycad.  This name was coined by a nursery several decades ago trying to market this species.  It is similar to a Sago Palm but with some noted differences.  The leaves are longer and wider than the C. revoluta.  They also tend to be flatter.  The color is deep green.  Also, growth rate is much faster and cold hardiness is better than the Sago. It is not unusual for this species to throw two or three sets of leaves a year.  In the crown area, the tomentum is a very prominent orange color, a good clue as to the species.  I think it's a bit more tropical and lush appearing than the Sago Palm.  There are reports of this species easily tolerating mid-teen F. temperatures.  Also, it likes full sun except in desert areas.

Shown here is a nice boxed specimen of this species with about two feet of trunk.   We have several of these for sale.  But, we also have seedlings, 5g and 15g plants for sale.  For someone in a cold area, this is perhaps one of the first cycads you should consider.  
Cycas taitungensis Cycas taitungensis
Cycas taitungensis Cycas taitungensis Cycas taitungensis
Cycas taitungensis Cycas taitungensis  

 

FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

CERATOZAMIA ROBUSTA
As the name might imply, this is the largest Ceratozamia species.  It gets trunks up to six feet, quite tall for this genus.  It comes from southern Mexico with extension of the habitat into Central America.  It is most known for it's long, upright leaves.  The petioles are spiny.  Stems can get up to six feet and are chunky.  Leaves range from six to twelve feet long with leaflet length  twelve to sixteen inches long.  The crown holds a full complement of leaves.  Leaf color is green.  This is a good growing cycad.  It prefers filtered light or part day sun.  Inland areas particularly demand protection.  Cold tolerance is into the lower 20's F.

Shown first here is a series of photos I took yesterday of a boxed specimen we have at the nursery.  This is a very nice plant with a female cone.  Also shown is the 15g size and a tiny new seedling.  The last picture shows some bronze color to the new flush of leaves.  This is a great species for someone who wants an exotic appearing cycad with upright leaves.
Ceratozamia robusta box Ceratozamia robusta box
Ceratozamia robusta box Ceratozamia robusta box Ceratozamia robusta
Ceratozamia robusta seedling Ceratozamia robusta leaf Ceratozamia robusta

 

 

SABAL PUMOS
THE ROYAL PALMETTO
This Sabal palm is from mountainous areas of central Mexico.  Unique to this species is the fact that it lives at elevation and it's very tall height.  It gets to heights of about sixty feet.  And, the trunk is very thin.  It is less than a foot thick as compared to the massive trunk of the S. causiarum above.  Imagine that it's a super tall but thin Sabal palmetto.  Cold hardiness may be into the teens F., although this is not documented.  It wants full sun and enjoys heat.  This species is very difficult to obtain.  We have a few 5g for sale.  The habitat photo is by Tobias Spanner at RPS. 
Sabal pumos Sabal pumos photo by Tobias Spanner RPS
photo by Tobias Spanner
     

 

 

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

 

CYCAS PANZHIHUAENSIS
WEBSITE SPECIAL
This is a very attractive, medium sized and very cold hardy species of cycad from China.  A few years back it was almost impossible to find this species.  We now are offering one to two leaf seedlings at the very affordable price of $19.99 each.  This special will last two weeks. This is a blue green leaf species as shown in the mature plants in full sun.  The foliage size is medium with leaves about three to four feet long.  In my experience, it is smaller than Cycas revoluta.  It has some orange fuzz on the stem and the leaflets tend to be softer than the Sago Palm.  The mature plants below are at the Montgomery Foundation in Miami.  You can see how beautiful they are.  Also, note the tendency not to sucker as much as the Sago.  This is desirable for those of you who have limited garden space.  They tolerate full sun in coastal areas and perhaps would benefit from part sun in far inland areas.  The most notable thing about this species is their cold hardiness.  It may prove better than the Sago, tolerating temperatures into the mid-teens F.  We only have a limited number of these, so order quickly.  Also available (as shown) are 5g and 15g plants.     
Cycas panzhihuaensis Cycas panzhihuaensis
Cycas panzhihuaensis Cycas panzhihuaensis Cycas panzhihuaensis
Cycas panzhihuaensis    

 

THURSDAY, JULY 12, 2012

 

CYPHOPHOENIX NUCELE
Cyphophoenix is a genus of single trunk palms from the island of New Caledonia.  Specifically, Cyphophoenix nucele is from the small island east of the main island in New Caledonia.  It is named Lifou Island.  This species is a tall, thin, crown shafted palm wit less than one hundred plants left in the native habitat.  Height can reach fifty feet and trunk diameter is six inches.  The crown shaft is white to silver and essentially not swollen at all.  It has been grown by many successfully in Southern California.  Shown to the right is a nice 5g plant that we photographed yesterday.  Also shown are multiple pictures of larger plants.  When I visited New Caledonia, I did not make it to Lifou Island, so these pictures are from domestic plantings.  Most like to start this species in filtered light and allow it to grow eventually into the sun.  Cold hardiness is somewhere in the mid-twenties f.  Below is the other species of Cyphophoenix, C. elegans.
Cyphophoenix nucele Cyphophoenix nucele
Cyphophoenix nucele Cyphophoenix nucele Cyphophoenix nucele
Cyphophoenix nucele Cyphophoenix nucele Cyphophoenix nucele
Cyphophoenix nucele Cyphophoenix nucele Cyphophoenix nucele

 

CYPHOPHOENIX ELEGANS
This species is also from New Caledonia in the northern part of the island.  It is of similar height to C. nucele and has the same trunk diameter.  The crown shaft on C. elegans is slightly more swollen than that of C. nucele.  The crown shaft is also more of a green color, but can show silver.  The leaflets are thinner and, as you can see, the leaves curve downward as opposed to the stiff, upright leaves of nucele.  Another important difference between the two is that the leaves of C. elegans are keeled whereas the leaves of nucele are more flat.  You might have to look at these photos and then go above to compare with the Cyphophoenix nucele to recognize these differences.  Of note, on both species the bare petiole (stem with no leaves) is very short.  This helps you identify this genus. 

Shown here is a 5g plant that I photographed yesterday.  Also shown are lots of photos of mature plants.  This species should be started in filtered light and be allowed to grow into some sun if you live along the coast.  Inland full sun is too harsh for this species.  Cold hardiness is into the mid-twenties F.
Cyphophoenix elegans Cyphophoenix elegans
Cyphophoenix elegans Cyphophoenix elegans Cyphophoenix elegans
Cyphophoenix elegans Cyphophoenix elegans Cyphophoenix elegans
Cyphophoenix elegans Cyphophoenix elegans Cyphophoenix elegans
Cyphophoenix elegans Cyphophoenix elegans Cyphophoenix elegans

 

STANGERIA ERIOPUS
LEAFLET APPEARANCE
Stangeria eriopus is a dwarf cycad species from South Africa.  It has fern-like leaflets and overall fern-looking appearance.  One thing that has fascinated me about this species has been the variation in the appearance of its leaflets.  Some leaflets are flat, some are keeled (like the bottom of a ship) while others have leaflet edges than reflex downwards.  Some have smooth edges and others shown spination (as shown on several plants here).   And, some are undulating, sort of "wavy", while others have a flat surface.  The plant to the immediate right almost has "crinkled" leaflets.  With these pictures here I am going to try to show you some of these differences.  At this time I am unaware of any importance to this other than curiosity and diversity among the species.  There might be age related differences, but I have found similar differences among older plants as well. 
Stangeria eriopus Stangeria eriopus
Stangeria eriopus Stangeria eriopus Stangeria eriopus
Stangeria eriopus Stangeria eriopus Stangeria eriopus

 

 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 11, 2012

 

TRACHYCARPUS PRINCEPS

This is a very sought-after species of Trachycarpus because of the prominent blue color on the leaves.  It is from China and discovered about 15 years ago by Gibbons and Spanner.  It comes from an elevation of approximately five to six thousand feet.  Trunk height gets to about thirty feet and is covered by a fibrous brown material.  But, it is the leaves that make this such a sought-after species.  One of the most sought after varieties is from an area in China called "Stone Gate" and has almost white discoloration to the backs of the leaves.  So, when one looks up at this tree, the silver-blue color is very obvious.  There are also tiny teeth on the petioles.  The leaves are about four feet wide on two to three foot petioles.  Young plants may not show the blue color to the underside of the leaves when juvenile.  However, sometimes it does appear on small plants.  Seeds are very difficult to obtain from habitat so consequently plants are extremely expensive.

Shown here is a one galon plant and photos by M.G./T.S. and R.M., several from habitat.  Note the harsh, cliff-side natural habitat of this species.  You can see why collecting seed would be difficult.

Trachycarpus princeps Trachycarpus princeps
Trachycarpus princeps Trachycarpus princeps by MG and TS
Habitat by M.G. and T.S.
Trachycarpus princeps by R.M.
Photo in habitat by R.M.
Trachycarpus princeps by R.M.
photo by RM
Trachycarpus princeps Trachycarpus princeps by R.M.
Habitat photo by R.M.

 

HYPHAENE
THE GENUS
I must apologize at the onset for my lack of photos of nursery plants.  I figured I had plenty of containerized photos when I picked this subject this morning.  But, I don't.  So, this will be mostly about mature plants.  Hyphaene is a branching palm from southern and eastern Africa.  Yes, I mean "branching", just like a normal tree.  This is opposed to basal offsets at ground level known as suckers.  Hyphaene are sun-loving fan palms that are dioecious (males and females), prefer hot dry climate, can tolerate drought conditions, and don't like cold/wet winters.  There are about ten species and all have rough trunks with retained leaf bases.  Most have one major trunk that support several crowns of leaves.  But, this is variable.  I've seen plants with no branching.  The seeds are large with a fibrous attached fruit.  These seeds are very difficult to clean.  The leaves are large and color ranges from green to powder blue. 

From time to time, we have species of Hyphaene for sale.  Shown here is a Hyphanae coriacea in a one gallon size.  Shown here is a variety of pictures of mature plants.  I'll also show some mature flowers with seeds.  Cold hardiness appears, on most, to be in the mid-twenties F.  If you are like most, your favorite will be Hyphanae crinita.  It is a really nice blue color, sometimes even white.  We don't have these right now but, from time to time, do have them available. 
Hyphanae coriacea
Hyphanae coriacea
Hyphanae petersiana
Hyphanae petersiana
Hyphanae coriacea
Hyphanae coriacea
Hyphanae coriacea
Hyphanae coriacea
Hyphanae turbinata
Hyphanae turbinata
Hyphanae semiplaene
Hyphanae semiplaene
Hyphanae turbinata
Hyphanae turbinat seeds
Hyphanae crinita
Hyphanae crinita
Hyphanae crinita
Hyphanae crinita
Hyphanae crinita
Hyphanae crinitia
Hyphanae coriacea seeds
Hyphanae coriacea seeds

 

SABAL MAURITIFORMIS
Although I don't have photographs of a super tall specimen, this is a tall, thin trunked fan palm from southern Mexico and Central America that can attain a trunk height of over sixty feet.  This trunk goes straight up and is tan in color.  Leaves are six feet across, flat, and the segments form a near 360 degree swirl.  In other words, these fan leaves make almost a full circle.  This makes it very attractive.  Because of the genus Sabal's cold hardiness, they have become quite popular.  But, be aware this species is known as the "Tropical Sabal".  It will tolerate temperatures into the mid to low twenties F, but is not a species for people who see colds into the teens F.   It likes full sun but can tolerate filtered light.  It is a very slow growing species.  Huge tall specimens take many decades to attain this height.  

Shown here is a 5g plant.  The foliage is still juvenile.  Note the silver color on the back of the leaves, a characteristic of this species.  We should have a pretty good assortment of sizes for sale.  The last two photos show the full appearance of the leaves with the circular pattern to the segments. 
Sabal mauritiformis Sabal mauritiformis
Sabal mauritiformis Sabal mauritiformis Sabal mauritiformis
Sabal mauritiformis Sabal mauritiformis  

 

TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2012

 

PARAJUBAEA TORALLYI
SOUTH AMERICAN COCONUT
WEBSITE SPECIAL
This rare and nearly extinct species from Bolivia in South America is a single trunk pinnate palm that gets to about forty feet height with a twelve to eighteen inches in trunk diameter.  In its natural habitat high in the Andes Mountains, it sees a fair amount of cold weather.  In domestic gardens, reports of this species tolerating temperatures into the teens have surfaced.  Seeds are huge in size, expensive and germination is sporadic.  For the first time is a long time, we are pleased to offer affordable band sized seedlings as shown.  Our website special is $30.  Just mention this blog when ordering.  These can be easily shipped. This is a full sun species.  Growth rates are medium.  It would be an attractive replacement for the Queen Palm and nearly as cold tolerant.  This species has thrived in the San Francisco Bay area.  We also have plants available in 5g, 15g and perhaps some larger specimens.  On the foliage close up picture, you can see the blue green color of the leaves, typical of this species.  The last photo, by an acquaintance of mine, Gaston Torres, is from PACSOA.  You can see this species makes a large, exotic tree.
Parajubaea torallyi Parajubaea torallyi 15g
Parajubaea torallyi Parajubaea torallyi  Parajubaea torallyi
Parajubaea torallyi Parajubaea torallyi PACSOA by Gaston Torres
Photo by Gaston Torres, PACSOA
 

 

DRACENA DRACO
THE DRAGON TREE
This species of Dracena actually makes a rather large tree.  It has thick silver leaves.  It is native to the Canary Islands.  It has the peculiar habit that, after a lengthy time, any given branch stops growing and then bifurcates or trifurcates, giving a very branched pattern. The trunk can get quite thick.  It has fragrant white blossoms.  It likes full sun and is cold hardy only into the mid-twenties F.  Shown here is the popular 5 gallon size which we've been out of for some time.  But, now we have several available.  Also shown is a larger nursery plant and a mature specimen.  I can obtain very large plants of this, but be aware that transport of large plants is risky.  It's sort of like moving a big Plumeria.  The branches can snap off.  Single trunk plants are a lot easier to deal with.  Eventually, they all fork and branch.
Dracena draco Dracena draco
Dracena draco Dracena draco Dracena draco

 

BUTIA X JUBAEA
Several months ago I got in a very limited number of
a rare cross.  This is Butia X Jubaea with Butia being
the seed bearing parent.  This cross is very difficult
to locate in a good size.  I presently have only a few
of these left.  Shown here is a 15g plant.  It has a blue
color, keeled leaves and many characteristics of
Butia.  But there are also traits of the Jubaea.
Interestingly enough, with the plants I've had, there is
variation in the appearance of the plants.  They
are not all the same.  It will be a fast growing, thick
trunked blue palm.  It's cold tolerance should be into
the mid-teens F.  It will demand a full sun exposure in
almost all areas. I first got in this batch of plants about
three months ago.  I have one or two left.  If you live in
a coler area and want something different and fairly
fast growing, this cross might be for you.  It'll give a
fast growing, thick trunked palm.
Butia X Jubaea Butia X Jubaea
Butia X Jubaea    

 

MONDAY, JULY 9, 2012

 

LEPIDOZAMIA PEROFFSKYANA
This is a very exotic and rather large cycad species from northeastern Australia.  It can get up to 20 feet of trunk with a spreading crown up to twenty feet in width.  The leaflets are unarmed and the petioles have no spines.  This is why, at our nursery, we call this species a "User-Friendly" cycad.  You can literally brush the leaves against your face with no prickles.  Color is dark green, sometimes a bit lime-green if in intense sun.   The most common mistake made with this species is that the gardener doesn't give it enough room for the laterally spreading crown. 

This is a rather easy species to grow.  It is frost tolerant and can take temperatures well into the low twenties F.  Surprisingly, along the coast, it can tolerate light exposures from full sun to shade.  Inland areas would require filtered light or part day sun.  It likes good draining soil.  Also, it makes an excellent potted cycad.  Container growing will stunt the size it will eventually get.  If grown inside the house, you'd give it adequate sun and plenty of room.  Leaves can easily get up to six feet or more.  But, because of its soft leaves, it makes a good interior cycad and nothing is quite as dramatic appearing...

This cycad is highly recommended for people who don't see bitter cold.  Shown here are a variety of sizes that we offer for sale with a few shots of domestic plants.  The last photo is a male cone that came up on one of our larger nursery plants.

Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana
Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana
Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana
Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana
Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana

 

 

ORANIOPSIS APENDICULATA
THE FORGOTTEN "BRONZE PALM"
This is an attractive pinnate palm from the Mt. Lewis mountain area of Queensland, Australia.  For those of you who like Arcontophoenix purpurea, this species grows side by side with the Purple Crown Shaft King Palm in habitat.  When I visited this habitat over a decade ago, I was surprised to find that the dominant species was Oraniopsis, not the Archontophoenix.  They are both about the same height and have similar trunk sizes.  However, the Oraniopsis is not crown shafted.  It is known as the Bronze Palm because of the peculiar gold-gray color on the underside of the leaves.  I say "fogotten" above because so few people know about this species or are growing it.  Yet, it has surprising cold hardiness, certainly better than the Archontophoenix purpurea. 

In habitat, I'd say this species got up to twenty, perhaps thirty feet tall.  The trunk diameter is about a foot.  The crown width is about twelve feet or a bit more, which is similar to the Purple King.  In the garden, it is a slow species but a steady grower.  It will tolerate full sun in coastal areas but probably needs sun protection inland.  A safe way to grow it is to have it start in filtered light and work its way up into full sun.  I have known this species to grow in the San Francisco area.  I'd estimate its cold tolerance to be in the mid to low 20's F.  Shown to the right are a 15 gallon and 5g plant.  Below is a 2 gallon size.  Also shown are habitat photos and one juvenile plant in a garden.  I'd highly recommend this species. 
Oraniopsis apendiculata Oraniopsis apendiculata
Oraniopsis apendiculata Oraniopsis apendiculata Oraniopsis apendiculata
Oraniopsis apendiculata oraniopsis apendiculata Oraniopsis apendiculata

ARCHONTOPHOENIX PURPUREA
THE PURPLE CROWN SHAFT KING PALM
Having just discussed Oraniopsis, I thought I'd continue on to talk about the other predominant species in the Mt. Lewis area of Queensland, Australia.  Archontophoenix purpurea is known for the purple color to the crown shaft.  It is found at an elevation up to 4000 feet.  Mature height is quoted to be over fifty feet, but in habitat and culture I didn't see one this tall.  For types of King Palms, this species is stated to have the thickest trunk.  I don't think I agree with this and feel A. maxima is thicker.  Most I've seen have a trunk diameter of twelve inches or somewhat more.   The crown shaft is a bit bulging.  Below I'd like to state some of my observations about this species.  I'm going to number them for easy viewing:

1.  It is NOT the most cold hardy of the King Palm group.  25 degrees F. will definitely burn it and lower temps will kill it.  Two decades ago people said it was the most cold hardy.  This is not true.
2.  The degree of purple color you see in the crown shaft is quite variable.  If you see a picture of one with an intense purple color like on grape candy, it is probably "photoshopped".  Only once have I seen anything like this where the color is brilliantly purple.  Expect a light purple or reddish hue, which is much more common.  Sometimes they are more green than any other color.  And, you won't see the purple color when they are juvenile.  They have to have some trunk height before it can be seen.  So, when you buy one you just have to wait for the color.
3.  A good way to recognize this species as a juvenile nursery plant is from the yellowish color to the stem and petiole.  (see photos).  Also, the underside of the leaves are intensely silver as shown here.  The crown shaft is green on young plants.
4.  There are only two species of King Palms which have ramenta (small hair-like fibers) on the underside of the leaflets.  These are the A. cunninghamiana and A. purpurea.  So, check the underside of the leaves.  If you see ramenta and they are silver, you are looking at an A. purpurea.   (see 7th photo below).  One of the photos below shows this species in fruit.

Pictures here are an assortment of nursery plants, domestically grown plants and habitat specimens.  If you live in an area that doesn't get below the mid-twenties, it is a fun species to grow.
 
Archontophoenix purpurea

Archontophoenix purpurea 5g
Archontophoenix purpurea

Archontophoenix purpurea underside leaf
Archontophoenix purpurea Archontophoenix purpurea Archontophoenix purpurea WITH RAMENTA
Archontophoenix purpurea Archontophoenix purpurea Archontophoenix purpurea
Archontophoenix purpurea Archontophoenix purpurea Archontophoenix purpurea photo by HJD
Archontophoenix purpurea photo by HJD Archontophoenix purpurea Archontophoenix purpurea
Archontophoenix purpurea Archontophoenix purpurea  

GROWING PALM SPECIES AS "MULTIPLES"
MORE THAN ONE PLANT IN A POT

From a trunk point of view, there are two types of palm trees:

1.  Single trunk:  Species that only have one trunk
2.  Suckering species:  "Suckering" means that the primary trunk makes additional trunks, usually at the base of the first trunk.

The two species described above (Oraniopsis and Archontophoenix) today are "single trunk" species.  Examples of suckering species would be the Bamboo Palm, the Senegal Date Palm, the Areca Palm and many others.

Nurserymen will sometimes put multiple single trunk species into one pot and grow them as a "multi".  This term means that more than one single trunk species have been placed and grown in one single pot.  This is done because many customers prefer the look of several together.  The most popular number of plants to grown as a "multi" is three.  Next most popular is a "double".  But, sometimes growers will put five or ten plants in one pot. 

This confuses buyers.  They look at the plant and think that it is a suckering species.  The Pygmy Date Palm is almost always grown as three in a pot.  It looks aesthetic.  This makes consumers think the species is suckering, but it is a single trunk species.  A triple Pygmy will always just be three plants.  No more trunks will ever appear unless one got the rare, truly suckering form of this species native to Laos.  But, the latter is essentially never available.

I am going to show some plants here that are single trunk species but being grown as multi's.  I'll show both nursery and garden specimens.  Obviously, in habitat, you'd only see what appears to be a multiple of a sigle trunk species if multiple seeds happened to drop and germinate in the same location. 

Certain species do look good as multi's; others don't.  In general, I don't like to do multiples on bigger species like Canaries, Sabals, Bismarckia, etc.  But, sometimes customers ask for them.  A triple Queen Palm to me is 'too much".  But, everyone has their own preference and taste.

Below I show two photos of large Canary Island Palms.  One was grown as a multi from the beginning.  The other is three single plants put into the garden side by side.  Note the difference.  When grown as a "multi", trunks tend to arch away from each other.  The close up photo of the base of the triple King Palm shows this.  At our nursery, we do grow multiple species as "multi's", especially if they are tall, thin palm species.  Chamaedorea plumosa is a great example of a group of three or more looking better than a single plant. 
Chamaedorea oblongata multi
Chamaedorea oblongata, five plants in one pot

Chamaedorea elegans multi
Chamaedorea elegans, multi planting
Howea forsteriana multi
Howea forsteriana, three plants in one pot

Dypsis lutescens 10g
Dypsis lutescens, a naturally suckering species
Archontophoenix cunninghamiana triple
Triple King Palm, a multi planted specimen
Chamaedorea plumosa multi
Chamaedorea plumosa multi
Chamaedorea plumosa 15g
Chamaedorea plumosa multi
Pygmy Date multi's
Pygmy Date multiples
Howea forsteriana multi
Kentia Palm multiple

Chamaedorea neurochlamys, 3 plants in 1 pot
King Palm triple in garden
King Palm, triple in garden, grown as a multi

Phoenix reclinata
Phoenix reclinata, a suckering species.
This is not a multi potted specimen that got large
Triple Pygmy Date
Triple Pygmy Date, grown as a multi
Triple King Garden
King Palm triple showing the curve of the trunks

Triple Canary, grown as multi
Canary Palm, three side by side
Canary Palms, three singles planted close to
each other.  Not a multi

 

 

SATURDAY, JULY 7, 2012

 

CHAMAEDOREA STOLONIFERA
This clumping, simple leaf Chamaedorea comes from Chiapas, Mexico.  It is one of my favorite dwarf palms for shade.  In habitat, it comes from elevations over 2000 feet.  This probably is the reason we see reasonable cold hardiness with this species.  The name of this species comes from the fact that plants produce "stolons".  Stolons are serpentine type of growth points that grow out from the plants like a curvy pencil.  They'll then dive below the soil, root out, and then re-emerge from the soil with leaves.  Sometimes you just see them shooting randomly out from the soil to make new stems.  This is different than the normal observation of a plant's just "suckering" near the base of an existing stem.  Stolons result in a colony being formed and the plants ability to spread laterally.  It also makes for simple removal of new plants for propagation.  You can merely dig and pot them up. The problem is finding one to dig; they are very rare.

Typical height of a mature clump of this species is about six feet.  But, because they can "run", the width is dependent on the age.  Leaves are about a foot long, simple in shape and bifid at the end as the photos show.  The first three photos show a nice, shippable size specimen that has a dozen or more canes.  It is very full and  pretty.  The blossoms show that it's a female.  We do have smaller 2 gallon size and a few boxes (fourth photo).  Cold hardiness is into the mid to low-twenties F. and this plant prefers filtered light.  Full sun will burn the leaves for sure.  We also have available 2g plants removed from known male and female clumps.  If you get two, you can obtain both sexes (they are marked as male or female) and set viable seeds.  This is also an appealing species if you like to do hybridization with Chamaedorea.  
Chamaedorea stolinifera Chamaedorea stolinifera
Chamaedorea stolinifera Chamaedorea stolinifera Chamaedorea stolinifera
Chamaedorea stolinifera Chamaedorea stolinifera Chamaedorea stolinifera

 

CHAMBEYRONIA MACROCARPA
NEW ARRIVAL HUGE 5G "FLAME THROWERS"
I am pleased to announce that we just got in some huge 5g Chambeyronia macrocarpa and hookeri.  They have been outdoor grown their entire lives and most are over six feet tall in their pots.  They have nice girth and are begging for a home.  In this part of the Blog I am showing the C. macrocarpa, the one with the dark green, sometimes black-green crown shaft.  As you probably remember, new leaves emerge red.  Sometimes they are even a super dark burgundy color.  This species is a good grower.  It can take some sun, sometimes even full sun right along the coast.  Inland areas require filtered light.  Cold tolerance is into the low 20's F.  Enthusiasts in colder areas are trying this species to see if it will live in areas like San Francisco and Houston. The next to last photo shows the famous "watermelon trunk".  

If you were thinking about trying one of these super desirable palms, now might be your best time.  These 5g are the same size as most growers 15g plants.  We're offering them now (at $10 more than our regular 5g's) and will be repotting them into 15g pot within a week or two.   The Chambeyronia hookeri below are just as big and beautiful.
Chambeyronia macrocarpa Chambeyronia macrocarpa 5g
Chambeyronia macrocarpa 5g Chambeyronia macrocarpa 5g Chambeyronia macrocarpa
15g size
Chambeyronia macrocarpa Chambeyronia macrocarpa Chambeyronia macrocarpa
Chambeyronia macrocarpa Chambeyronia macrocarpa Chambeyronia macrocarpa
20g plant

 

CHAMBEYRONIA HOOKERI
HUGE 5G "BLONDE FLAME THROWERS"
If you read the descripition of C. macrocarpa above, all aplies to this species as well.  The hallmark of the C. hookeri is the blonde colored crown shaft.  It varies from a gold color to yellow-white.  It also throws a red new leaf.  In domestic gardens, it typically gets to about 25-30  feet, although habitat plants can be taller.  It is easy to grow and along the coast also can take full sun.  These big 5g won't last long.  Either they'll be sold or repotted, so visit or call us soon.  I can ship one of these right to your door.
Chambeyronia hookeri 5g Chambeyronia hookeri 5g
Chambeyronia hookeri 5g Chambeyronia hookeri 5g Chambeyronia hookeri
Chambeyronia hookeri Chambeyronia hookeri Chambeyronia hookeri
     

 

FRIDAY, JULY 6, 2012

 

CERATOZAMIA SPECIES
VERY DARK COLORED EMERGENT NEW LEAVES
In the world of palms and cycads, most species throw new leaves that are green in color.  But, with both, there are species that are known to have colored newly emerging leaves.  With palms, Chambeyronia macrocarpa, the "Flame Thrower", is most famous for this.  With cycads, colorful emergent new leaves are most frequently seen with Ceratozamia and Zamia.  This morning I thought I'd show you a Ceratozamia that has almost black colored newly emergent leaves.  Compared to the adjacent mature leaves, you can see that these new leaves are small and not fully developed.  It's the super dark color of these leaves shown here that is impressive.  You rarely see this dark color.  Much more common is light red, pink or red-brown. 

The last photo shows a more commonly seen color for a red throwing Ceratozamia.  On of the most interesting hypothetical reasons for a plants tendency to do this is to make the foliage look less appealing or perhaps "dead" appearing to foraging animals who may eat the leaves.  Any such colored new leaves turn to a normal green color over several weeks.  But, usually the next throw will be just like the last with the same color.  For this reason, such a plant is a desirable one to have in the garden.  Once a year you get the thrill of seeing such a thing.
Ceratozamia sp. dark red emergent Ceratozamia sp. dark red emergent
Ceratozamia sp. dark red emergent Ceratozamia sp. dark red emergent Ceratozamia sp. dark red emergent
Ceratozamia bronze emergent    

 

NANNORRHOPS RITCHIANA WHITE
"NANNORRHOPS ARABICA"
This species is a suckering fan palm from the Middle East.  This includes the countries of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Leaf size is about four feet, height typically eight to twelve feet and width about ten feet.  Taller very old specimens do exist.  Trunks are about four to six inches thick.  The upper stem in the area of the leaf attachments are covered with a wooly, tan material. (see photo).  The presence of this material is a good way to identify this species.

The main thing I wanted to talk about this morning with Nannorrhops is the color of the leaves.  Interestingly enough, this genus is felt to be "monocarpic".  This means there is only one species in existence.  Recently seeds have become available of a type of Nannorrhops that has white or near white leaves.  Some call this Nannorrhops arabica, but I am not sure this is an accepted taxonomic name. This, of course, would make a second species of Nannorrhops.  Taxonomists typically don't get too excited about leaf color.  It's all about the flowers.  So, my suspicion, is that this would be given a "variety" category at best. 

In any case, we have a few of these available for sale.  They are difficult to find.  If you compare these with other Nannorrhops, you'll find the others are often a blue color, gray color or even green in color.  See the side by side comparison.  I've shown some mature specimens of regular Nannorrhops, but do not have a picture of a mature white form of this species.  Of note, these will sell out quickly.  They like sun and are cold hardy into the upper teens F. 
Nannorrhops ritcheana white Nannorrhops ritcheana white
Nannorrhops ritcheana white AND GREEN Nannorrhops ritcheana white Nannorrhops ritcheana
Nannorrhops ritcheana Nannorrhops ritcheana Nannorrhops ritcheana

 

SOME EXCITING 5 GALLON PALM TREES - A GREAT STARTER SIZE FOR THE GARDEN

People frequently ask me what is the best size to purchase when getting unusual palm trees.  This, of course, depends on one's budget.  But, we've found that most
people prefer the 5 gallon and 15 gallon size.   Our one gallon and band size plant are typically pretty nice and have some age, but, with these, you are still purchasing
a small plant.  With a 5 gallon plant, you are typically getting a plant that is ready to go in the garden.  Acclimation may be needed, but it's far enough along to take hold
and grow well.  The larger 15g are further along in this process.  For mail orders, the 5 gallon size is definitely more affordable to ship.

Today I wanted to again show you an assortment of desirable 5 gallon plants. All are unusual and rare.  All are available.  I won't be making comments on this group. 

Nearly all of these plants have been locally grown and seen temperatures at least into the low 30's F.  Sizes in the containers range from two to five feet tall.

I hope this gives you a quick opportunity to scan a large number of species that are difficult to find.  At the nursery I just randomly grabbed and photographed
these plants.  As time goes on, of course, I will show additional interesting 5g sized plants.

Cyphophoenix elegans 5g
Cyphophoenix elegans
Burretiokentia hapala 5g
Burretiokentia hapala
Burretiokentia koghiensis 5g
Burretiokentia koghiensis
Allagoptera arenaria 5g
Allagoptera arenaria
Trithrinax schizophylla 5g
Trithrinax schizophylla
Rhapis multifida 5g
Rhapis multifida
Rhopalostylis sapida 5g
Rhopalostylis bauerii
Beccariophoenix alfredii 5g
Beccariophoenix alfredii
Archontophoenix tuckeri 5g
Archontophoenix tuckeri
Bismarckia nobilis 5g
Bismarckia nobilis
Arenga obtusifolia 5g
Arenga obtusifolia
Ceroxylon amazonicum 5g
Ceroxylon amazonicum
Chamaedorea radicalis 5g
Chamaedorea radicalis
Dypsis crinita 5g
Dypsis crinita
Euterpe edulis 5g
Euterpe edulis
Hedyscepe canterburyana 5g
Hedyscepe canterburyana
Ravenea hildebrandtii 5g
Ravenea hildebrandtii
Ravenea glauca 5g
Ravenea glauca
Carpoxylon macrosperma 5g
Carpoxylon macrosperma
Brahea decumbens 5g
Brahea decumbens
Clinostigma savoryanum 5g
Clinostigma savoryanum
Trithrinax schizophylla
Trithrinax schizophylla
Trachycarpus wagnerianus
Trachycarpus wagnerianus
Pinanga coronata
Pinanga coronata
Pritchardia remota 5g
Pritchardia remota
Ravenea xerophylla
Ravenea xerophylla
Dypsis leptocheilos
Dypsis leptocheilos
     

 

THURSDAY, JULY 5, 2012

I thought this morning I would remind you about some very easy to ship plants.  First below are the band sized palms and cycads.  Below this are photos of also easily shipped 5g and citrus pot sized cycads.  I hope you enjoy these photos and thanks for visiting.  If I get time, I'll show 5g palm trees tomorrow (see above).

 

PLANTS IN BAND SIZE CONTAINERS
OUR NURSERY'S SMALLEST SIZED PLANTS

Nurseries that do their own seed germination must have a beginning sized container to put the new seedlings into.  A very popular contain in recent decades is the "band" container.  This is a pot that is square in shape and is 3 x 3 x 9 inches in size.  It is popular because twenty-five of these will fit into an easy to carry flat and because these containers conserve table space.  And, as they are about an inch deeper than a one gallon pot, they give plants that are equivalent to the one gallon.  Plants can continue to grow in these pots for three years or longer before needing to be repotted. 

About a week ago I posted a thread here on plants in these band containers.  Unfortunately, a server malfunction deleted the post before a backup was made.  I wanted to recreate it as consumers should see what our starting plants look like.  For those who want bigger plants, on April 26th below I posted a whole array of typical 5g plants.  You can compare the two sizes.  With these photos of bands here, I am only showing the plants with their names.  No comments are being made.  Almost all of these are available and very affordable to ship.  I can put a large number of these into one box and save the buyer a fair amount of money with shipping.  Some are very good sized.  I hope you enjoy these photos.
 

 1 gallon and band container
one gallon pot and band, side by side
Sabal minor band
Sabal minor
Licuala elegans band
Licuala elegans
     
Dypsis betafaka band
Dypsis betafaka
Cycas panzhihuaensis band
Cycas panzhihuaensis
Dypsis species dark mealybug
Dypsis species dark mealybug
Parajubaea torallyi band
Parajubaea torallyi
Encephalartos arenarius blue band
Encephalartos arenarius blue
Trithrinax campestris band
Trithrinax campestris
Nannorrhops ritcheana band
Nannorrhops ritcheana
Zamia kickxii band
Zamia kickxii
Zamia elegantissima band
Zamia elegantissima
Encephalartos cerinus band
Encephalartos cerinus
Encephalartos longifolius blunt tip
Encephalartos longifolius blunt tip
Dypsis crinita band
Dypsis crinita
Encephalartos altensteinii band
Encephalartos altensteinii
Encephalarto natalensis band
Encephalartos natalensis
Burretiokentia koghiensis bnd
Burretiokentia koghiensis
Dypsis onilahensis band
Dypsis onilahensis
Stangeria eriopus band
Stangeria eriopus
Macrozamia glaucophylla band
Macrozamia glaucophylla
Ceratozamia species unknown
Ceratozamia species unknown
Ceratozamia species palma sol band
Ceratozamia species palma sol
Ravenea species giant band
Ravenea species "giant"
Zamia spartea band
Zamia spartea

Encephalartos eugene-maraisii band
Encephalartos eugene-maraisii
Howea belmoreana band
Howea belmoreana  
Encephalartos manikensis band
Encephalartos manikensis
repotting band seedlings
Repotting seedling into a band
Pritchardia monroii band
Pritchardia monroii
Phoenix reclinata band
Phoenix reclinata
Bowenia spectabilis bandr
Bowenia spectabilis
Cycas bifida band
Cycas bifida (multifrondis)
Dioon califanoi band
Dioon califanoi
Rhapis humilus x multifida band
Rhapis humilus x multifida
Sabal riverside band and flat
Sabal riverside and flats for bands

 

EASY TO SHIP CYCADS
FIVE GALLON AND CITRUS POT SIZES
On this lazy Sunday morning I thought I'd quickly show you some cycads that are in very easy to ship containers.  When you start with a seedling, you definitely have years to go before you see a landscape ready plant.  With the five gallon/citrus pot size, you have a plant that is of adequate size for the garden yet doesn't cost an arm and a leg to ship.  As most people know, we are a certified grower and can ship plants in their containers directly to any of the states in the U.S.  Doing this rather than bare rooting means you'll have less immediate losses and you won't have the almost guaranteed one year set back that you see when plants are bare rooted.  Below I'll make minimal comments on the species and show a citrus pot/5g plant and a mature specimen to the right.  It's designed for quick viewing.  I hope you enjoy these photos.  I'm just randomly picking some species.  If you are interested in obtaining any cycads of this size, just give me a call.  We can usually ship plants within 24 hours via Federal Express.  We have about 100 different species of cycads in this size for sale.  I can actually send email photos of the exact plant you'd be receiving if you prefer.  
cycads on table cycads cycad alley
Encephalartos trispinosus
A blue South African species that likes heat and sun.  As a mature plant it is small to medium in size.
Encephalartos trispinosus cit pot Encephalartos trispinosus
Encephalartos natalensis
Another South African cycad but green in color.  It makes a medium to large plant as shown and prefers full sun in coastal areas.
Encephalartos natalensis cit pot Encephalartos natalensis
Stangeria eriopus
A very different appearing type of cycad from South Africa.  It has a fern-like appearance, is a dwarf type of plant and prefers filtered light in most areas.
Stangeria eriopus Stangeria eriopus
Lepidozamia peroffskyana
A large species of cycad that has softer, unarmed leaflets and leaves.  It can get a large spread of leaves.  In most areas it prefers filtered light but can take full sun along the coast.
Lepidozamia peroffskyana cit pot Lepidozamia peroffskyana
Ceratozamia hildae
A dwarf Mexican cycad that has leaves typically not over four feet long and prefers filtered light in the garden.
Ceratozamia hildae Ceraatozamia hildae
Dioon merolae
A very beautiful Mexican species that is slow growing, takes years to get 3 feet of trunk, prefers full sun in most areas and has a medium sized crown. 
Dioon merolae cit pot
Dioon edule
This is a small to medium sized cycad from Mexico that is probably the most cold hardy of all cycads and the most able to take hot desert sun. 
Dioon edule 5g Dioon edule
Encephalartos lehmanii
This is a very desirable species from South Africa that's mature size ranges from small to medium.  The color is intensely blue with no side barbs on the leaflets.  It prefers heat and full sun in most areas.  Desert culture would be part day sun. 
Encephalartos lehmanii 5g Encephalartos lehmannii
Cycas thouarsii
This is a medium to sometimes tall species of cycad from the Island of Madagascar.  It is quick growing and prefers filtered light or sometimes full sun along the coast. 
Cycas thouarsii 5g Cycas thouarsii
Macrozamia communis
This is a medium sized Australia species that gets about eight feet tall and is fairly cold hardy.  It prefers full sun except in the hotter desert areas. 
Macrozamia communis cit pot macrozamia communis
Encephalartos transvenosus
This South African species will, over many decades of growth, get extremely large with substantial vertical trunk as shown in the habitat picture to the right.  It prefers full sun along the coast.
Encephalartos transvenosus cit pot Encephalartos transvenosus
Zamia standleyi
This is one of many tropical Zamias that we grow.  This species is a medium sized plant, exotic, and prefers filtered light.
Zamia standleyi cit pot Zamia standleyi
Zamia muricata
This is another tropical Zamia but from Venezuela.  It has a bit of cold hardiness and likes filtered light.  In the right areas, it is easy to grow.
Zamia muricataa cit pot Zamia muricata
Dioon mejiae
This is a medium sized cycad that comes from Mexico and parts of Central America.  It tends to throw upright leaves that emerge soft and fuzzy.  It is best grown in less than full sun, even along the coast.
Dioon mejiae Dioon mejiae

 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 4, 2012

 

JUBAEA HYBRID
Recently a homeowner contacted me about a "Jubaea" they had and wanted to sell.  I had photos emailed to me and recognized that this plant was not a pure Jubaea.  This is because, as you can see, it doesn't look like a pure Jubaea.  The leaves are different and, at this size, the trunk shouldn't be so prominently filled with old leaf bases.  My guess is that it is a Jubaea X Butia.  In any case, it has been dug and moved by an associate of mine who specializes in large, crane sized plants..  It's in a 64 inch box and will be a very different, large trunked plant in someone's garden.  If interested, just let me know.  It was dug in the past week with a great root ball and should do fine with the transplant.  It'll be instant landscape for someone who likes different looking plants.  I'd estimate the trunk diameter will be three to four feet and overall height probably thirty feet or more. The last photo was sent to me by a homeowner and is a picture of his "Jubaea", which I also think is the same hybrid in the box.
Jubaea hybrid large box Jubaea hybrid
Jubaea hybrid being moved Jubaea hybrid  

 

 

ROYSTONEA PRINCEPS
This is a species of the Royal Palm family that you hardly ever see available in a nursery.  It is native to Jamaica and grows in coastal, swampy areas.  But, surprisingly it can be grown here in Southern California quite well.  It gets to a height of sixty feet with a twelve inch trunk, sort of thin for a Royal.  It typically does not get the swollen base like the Cuban Royal.  Leaflets are wide and long and sometimes near plumose.  They tend to hang downwards, making this a very tropical looking Royal Palm.  I'd estimate cold hardiness to be similar to other species, in the mid-twenties F.  They like full sun.  Habitat photos by RL show the tall and thin trunks. 
Roystonea princeps Roystonea princeps
Roystonea princeps Roystonea princeps
Photo by RL

Roystonea princeps by RL
Photo by RL

 

LICUALA RAMSAYI
For those who think that all fan palms are "desert palms", consider this species to change your mind.  Native to a coastal area in Queensland, Australia, this exotic species has proven to be a pretty good grower here in Southern California.  It comes from humid, sometimes swamp like localities natively.  In habitat, it initially grows as an understory palm because of competition of adjacent trees and taller ramsayi overhead.  But, over time, it works its way up into the sun.  Plants are single trunked.  This trunk is thin, typically about six inches, and in time smooth.  The leaves are divided into wide segments as shown, typically five to six feet across.  Height can easily reach over twenty feet and the tallest plants in QLD are over fifty feet.  The bottom row of photos were taken by my son Jesse and I in the year 2000, when we visited the habitat location.  There is also a shot of a juvenile plant in a garden here in Southern California.

Cold tolerance is somewhat below a freeze, perhaps to about 28 degrees F.  It is one of the more cold tolerant Licuala.  In a container, I would grow it in filtered light.  But, we've learned that, for this species to do well, you must eventually give it some sun.  So, along the coast, I'd recommend half day sun at least, perhaps morning sun being better.  If you are far inland, keep it out of direct sun.  Presently we have some nice 5g plants for sale as shown to the right. We just got these and they'll be gone in a week or so.

licuala ramsayi Licuala ramsayi
Licuala ramsayi Licuala ramsayi Licuala ramsayi by HJD
Photo by HJD
Licuala ramsayi Licuala ramsayi Licuala ramsayi

 

 

TUESDAY, JULY 3, 2012

 

ENCEPHALARTOS VILLOSUS
FEMALE CONE WITH RED SEEDS
Yesterday I described the cycad species, Encephalartos villosus, and made reference to the gold female cones.  This morning I wanted to show you photos of the red seeds visible while the cone is breaking apart.  The dehiscence of the cone starts at the top and works its way downward.  Week by week, the cone breaks apart a bit more.  I'd estimate it takes about a month or two for the entire cone to fall apart once the seeds are fully developed in the cone.  The cone is supported by a very thick stalk.  We removed the cone for photos.  Note the cut surface of the transected stalk in the last photo.  Also note how this plant is starting to throw new leaves (photo #5) even before the cone has finished dehiscing.  The contrast of the red against the cold is very attractive.  These seeds would normally be cleaned of any fruit and stored for three to six months before they'd be ready for germination.  This allows the embryos in the seeds to develop during this "after-ripening" period.  Seeds should be stored in a dark, dry location such as a house cabinet and kept in a bag that breathes well.  Growers use nylon stockings or paper bags for storage.  Some day soon I'll write an article about cycad seed development and germination.
Encephalartos villosus cone and seeds Encephalartos villosus cone and seeds
Encephalartos villosus cone and seeds Encephalartos villosus cone and seeds Encephalartos villosus cone and seeds
Encephalartos villosus cone and seeds Encephalartos villosus cone and seeds Encephalartos villosus cone and seeds

 

MONDAY, JULY 2, 2012

 

TWO DIFFERENT DYPSIS "SPECIES"
DYPSIS SP. "SLICK WILLY" AND TSARAVOSIRA
Jungle Music has been growing rare and unusual Dypsis species for well over two decades.  And, in the past twenty years, we've come across a lot of species of plants from Madagascar that were either something new and as of yet un-described, were mislabeled as another species, or just a plain unknown species.  In other words, at times we'd be growing something that no one knew for sure what it was.  There are a lot of reasons this happens.  First and foremost is the fact that there are a lot of species of Dypsis in Madagascar.  Second, not all have been named.  Third, there are crossovers or natural hybrids that are a bit different.  Finally, many seedsmen just don't know the name of the plant in front of them.  In some cases, it became a situation of "The blind leading the blind" in terms of trying to figure out what you had in front of you.  The reference book, Palms of Madagascar, by Dransfield and Beentje, helped a lot with identifying new things that came on the market.  Dransfield recently published a new edition with more species.  But, there is more work to be done. 

Shown here are two species we just got in.  The first is Dypsis species "slick willy".  This plant, first named by Mardy Darian after U.S. President Clinton, may be or is similar to Dypsis species "bef", a suckering species with medium sized trunks and height.  The second species, Dypsis "tsaravosira" is probably misnamed and should be considered Dypsis species unknown.  I mention these two species so Dypsis enthusiasts know that we have them.  They are in limited quantities and in the size shown.   I've shown photos of larger Dypsis tsaravosira, bef, and "slick willy" either from habitat or a domestic garden.  But, with the explanation above, there's always a bit of guessing and surprise when you get into Dypsis.  (see yesterdays post) 
dypsis species slick willy
Dypsis species slick willy
Dypsis tsaravosira
Dypsis species tsaravosira
Dypsis tsaravosira
Dypsis species tsaravosira
Dypsis tsaravosira
Dypsis tsaravosira
Dypsis species bef
Dypsis species bef
Dypsis species bef
Dypsis species bef
Dypsis species slick willy
Dypsis species slick willy
 

 

DYPSIS AFFINIS
WHITE CROWN SHAFTED PALM
I hope that I am not overwhelming you with Dypsis species.  It could be a never ending story.  But, I thought I'd show one more species that palm enthusiasts really like.  It is Dypsis affinis.  Interestingly, when you check Paul Craft's or John Dransfield's books on palms, you will not find this one mentioned.  Yet, among enthusiasts, many will know the exact palm you are talking about when you mention Dypsis affinis. 

It is a suckering palm of small to medium stature, trunk diameter of several inches, pinnate leaves and a prominently white crown shaft.  We have small plants of this available.  Growing one is worth the wait.  Shown here are some larger domestic garden plants with closeups of the crown shaft and one plant in seed in Southern California.  The last photo shows how very white the stems are.  Of note, some would consider this a sub-variety of Dysis onilahensis.   Along the coast it tolerates sun.  In far inland areas give it filtered light.  Cold tolerance should prove to be in the mid-twenties F.  
Dypsis affinis Dypsis affinis
Dypsis affinis Dypsis affinis Dypsis affinis
Dypsis affinis Dypsis affinis Dypsis affinis

 

ENCEPHALARTOS VILLOSUS
This is an attractive, small to medium sized cycad from South Africa that, in most circumstances, prefers partial sun or filtered light and never gets overly large.  A mature plant might have a cuadex of twelve to fourteen inches, and this is mostly subterranean (below the ground).  Leaves are green in color, have thin leaflets with some spines, and are six to eight feet long, often held in an upright position.  Cold tolerance is into the low twenties F.  Suckers can form at the base.

One of the things I like most about this species are the beautiful cones.  Male cones are yellow, as shown below.  Female cones are yellow to brilliant gold in color.  A female cone will hold its color in the garden for about six months.  And, the female cones are quite large, sometimes almost to two feet in length. Tomorrow or Wednesday, I am going to show you a female cone with brilliant red seeds visible.  This is absolutely striking with these prominent colors.  Note that the female cones are thicker in diameter.  The male cones are thinner and look like corn cobs with the kernels removed.  This is typical of Encephalartos cones.  The females have more of a "pineapple" look.  

If you prefer the upright leaves, you  might consider cutting off the lower, more horizontal leaves.  This can be done without hurting the plant if you have a hardened set of new, more upright leaves.  Shown here is an assortment of photos including nursery plants, cones and garden specimens.  We have a wide variety of sizes for sale including mature, coning sized specimens.  And, they can easily be shipped throughout the U.S.
Encephalartos villosus Encephalartos villosus
Encephalartos villosus Encephalartos villosus Encephalartos villosus
Encephalartos villosus male cones
Encephalartos villosus male cone
Encephalartos villosus female cone
Encephalartos villosus female cone
Encephalartos villosus male cone
Encephalartos villosus male cone
Encephalartos villosus female cone
Encephalartos villosus female cone
Encephalartos villosus
Encephalartos villosus female cone
Encephalartos villosus garden
     

 

 

SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012

 

ACTINOKENTIA DIVARICATA
THE MINIATURE FLAME THROWER PALM
This thin trunked, medium sized palm comes from New Caledonia where it lives in habitat below overhead tree canopy.  It is very slow growing.  It has a trunk diameter, at maturity, of about three inches.  It has a cream colored crown shaft and a sparse crown of five to six leaves.  It is often seen "leaning" for light among competing plants.  For a nursery, producing a nice 5g plant takes about five years.  For this reason, few nurseries grow this species.  Planted in the garden, growth rate picks up a bit but is still slow.  Newly emerging leaves are often red in color.  If you are in a drier climate, this species would definitely take filtered light.  Since the trunk is small and the canopy is medium sized at most, it is a good species to "sneak into that small, filtered light area".  Cold tolerance is into the low twenties, F.  I've known this species to grow in the San Francisco Bay area.  We have a very limited supply of Actinokentia.  Of note, this is a monotypic genus with only one species in the genus.  Shown here are 5g plants, pictures from habitat and a few domestic photos. Note the long slender crown shaft and how plants don't carry very many leaves.
Actinokentia divaricata Actinokentia divaricata
Actinokentia divaricata Actinokentia divaricata Actinokentia divaricata
Actinokentia divaricata Actinokentia divaricata Actinokentia divaricata
Actinokentia divaricata Actinokentia divaricata Actinokentia divaricata

 

DYPSIS FLORENCEI
THE CANDY CANE PALM
This sought after clustering pinnate palm is from Madagascar.  It has the coined name "Candy Cane Palm" because of the irregular red markings of the crown shaft area set against a white/light colored upper stem.  It has pinnate leaves, a trunk diameter of a few inches at most, and an overall height under ten feet.  It is an extremely rare species and is difficult to grow outdoors.  You must provide warmth, humidity and good draining soil.  It is an understory palm, so filtered light is needed.  Cold tolerance is above freezing and it likes humidity.  It is being grown by many in Southern California, but HI or Florida would be a more ideal climate for this species.  Shown here is a nice 5g plant and more mature specimes.  The last photo was taken by Clayton York and is borrowed from PACSOA.  Crown shaft color is variable and young plants show a lot of speckling in this area as shown. Supplies of this species are inconsistent and extremely limited.  

Dypsis florencei Dypsis florencei
Dypsis florencei Dypsis florencei Dypsis florencei
Dypsis florencei Dypsis florencei Dypsis florencei by Clayton York, PACSOA
Dypsis florencei by Clayton York, PACSOA

 

DYPSIS SPECIES "HAWAIIAN PUNCH"
SIMILAR TO NEOPHLOGA "PINK CROWN SHAFT"
We just got in some one gallon palms that are named "Dypsis Species Hawaiian Punch".  This is obviously a coined common name.  They look quite similar to plants we previously discussed called "Neophlogra Pink Crown Shaft", an as of yet un-described single trunk pinnate species from Madagascar. The seeds source of these Hawaiian Punch plants says these are different.  It is a single trunk species with a narrow trunk, a pink to red colored crown shaft and a red, newly emerging leaf.  It is an understory palm.  I'd suspect its cold tolerance will be into the upper twenties F., but am not certain of this.  The first three photos here are the Hawaiian Punch plants.  All the rest are Neophloga Pink Crown Shaft, the last photo showing a few plants on one of our display benches.  Perhaps there are differences in the juvenile foliage shown here.  You can decide.  These promise to be a very attractive species for planting below the canopy in your garden.  They'll add color and interest.
Dypsis species Hawiaan Punch
Dypsis species Hawaiian Punch
Dypsis species Hawiaan Punch
Dypsis species Hawaiian Punch
Dypsis species Hawiaan Punch
Dypsis species Hawaiian Punch
Dypsis species pink crown shaft
Neophloga Pink Crown Shaft
Dypsis species pink crown shaft
Neophloga Pink Crown Shaft
Dypsis species pink crown shaft
Neophloga Pink Crown Shaft
Neophloga pink crown shaft
Neophloga Pink Crown Shaft
 

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 30, 2012

 

CYCADS IN LARGER SIZES
FOR THOSE WHO JUST CAN'T WAIT
Cycads, in general, have always been recognized as rare, slow growing plants.  On many species, the trunk or caudex never gets over three feet in height.  The leaves emerge from the top of the caudex and go upwards a distance of three to eight feet in most cases.  Remember that cycads begin as a very small plant.  From a seedling in most species, to get a caudex of about six inches can take from five to seven years.  Only when the caudex has reached near its genetically determined full trunk width will one start to see vertical growth of the stem.  Full diameter stem width can take as long as ten to fifteen years.  And, vertical height is usually at the rate of approximately a half of inch a year. 

With this in mind, you can see how a cycad may take twenty five years or longer to get a one foot vertical height of caudex.  Certainly, some species are faster than others.  The common Sago Palm is one of the faster species.  But, even with the common Sago, to achieve a three foot tall trunk may take twenty years or more.  This slow growth rate and smaller overall vertical size is quite appealing to many people.  It creates a very manageable, easy-to-grow plant for the garden that doesn't overwhelm space and typically doesn't obstruct a view.  With the wide variety of leaf shapes, appearance and colors along with the colorful cycad cones, cycads are sought after for botanical gardens and upscale private gardens.  I am showing these plants because some people want to start with the largest rare cycads they can find. 

Today I thought I'd show you some plants we either have presently or have had at the nursery in recent times and that show some age.  We have many hundreds of plants of these sizes.  In the industry, these rare species would be considered "large plants".  Most I have been growing for twenty years or more.  On some, like Encephalartos horridus, one rarely sees a caudex over two feet tall.  The large Dioon merolaes shown are almost a century old.  I'll show a wide variety of plants and name each species.  These will all be containerized plants without garden shots in this thread.  Jungle Music has one of the best selections of rare, large cycads of any nursery in the United States.  So, please consider us if you like these magnificent upscale plants.
Encephalartos horridus box
Encephalartos horridus
Encephalartos villosus box
Encephalartos villosus
Encephalartos longifolius box
Encephalartos longifolius
Dioon merolae box
Dioon merolae
Lepidozamia p box
Lepidozamia perofskyanna
Zamia furfuracea box
Zamia furfuracea
Ceratozamia robusta box
Ceratozamia robusta
Ceratozamia species box
Ceratozamia species
Encephalartos natalensis box
Encephalartos natalensis
Encephalartos lehmanii box
Encephalartos lehmanii
Encephalartos trispinosus box
Encephalartos trispinosus
Encephalartos princeps box
Encephalartos princeps
Cycas thouarsii box
Cycas thouarsii
Cycas revoluta
Cycas revoluta
Dioon mejiae box
Dioon mejiae
Encephalartos altensteinii box
Encephalartos altensteinii
Encephalartos arenarius
Encephalartos arenarius
Macrozamia johnsoni
Macrozamia johnsoni
Dioon angustifolia
Dioon angustifolia
Encephalartos longifolius box
Encephalartos longifolius
Encephalartos arenarius
Encephalartos arenarius
Macrozamia moorei box
Macrozamia moorei
Dioon merolae box
Dioon merolae
Encephalartos horridus box
Encephalartos horridus
Encephalartos trinspinosus box
Encephalartos trispinosus
Encephalartos transvenosus box
Encephalartos transvenosus

 

FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2912

 

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. 
For mail orders, this is a perfect size to ship.  We can
easily ship plants up to the 15g size and even boxed
specimens if needed.   Some of the nursery plants

you see here are extremely old specimens.  The last
pictures shows how new leaves are very upright.  If one
cuts off older leaves, this species has very little
lateral spread and can fit into rather small areas.  I
hope that you like this cycad; it's one of my favorites.
For upscale landscaping, nothing beats it.
Dioon merolae  Dioon merolae 
Dioon merolae  Dioon merolae  Dioon merolae 
Dioon merolae box Dioon merolae cluster
an interesting clustering specimen
Dioon merolae crown of leaves

 


DYPSIS LUTESCENS
THE BUTTERLY PALM, THE ARECA PALM
This popular suckering, medium sized palm comes from Madagascar and surrounding islands by report.  It is sometimes called the "Yellow Cane Palm" because it has as a predominant color yellow in the trunks, leaf stems and even the leaves.  it gets to a height of about 15 to 20 feet.  Sometimes you'll see plants in full sun that never get over ten feet.  It's trunks are typically two to three inches in diameter, sometimes a silver gray color.  It is crown shafted.  Leaves are typically about five feet long.  It suckers freely and as a younger plant looks quite bushy.  Over time, many of the smaller suckers die off giving an eventual plant with perhaps five to ten stems and sometimes just a few.  Leaves are typically flat or slightly keeled.  In habitat, one might say that this is a "complex" of plants as many variations to this description are evident.  In Southern California, it is not unusual to occasionally see this species in domestic plantings.  Along the coast it can tolerate (and perhaps prefers) full sun.  In far inland areas, some sun protection is needed.  Cold tolerance is into the mid and perhaps lower twenties F.  Shown here  with Rusty are some squate 20g plants.  We have various sizes for sale.  Also shown is a mature clump at an apartment building here in Encinitas and another shot of mature foliage. 
Dypsis lutescens 10g Dypsis lutescens 10g
Dypsis lutescens Dyspis lutescens at apartment Dypsis lutescens

 

WALLICHIA DISTICHA
This is a very rare and hard to find species that is monocarpic, single stem and has leaves all in one plane.  This means that the foliage is presented in a flat, single plane.  It is native to Western Asia in areas from Thailand to India.  It is present in mountainous areas to heights of 4000 feet and therefore has a good deal of cold hardiness.  The arrangement of the leaves in a single plane gives this species its name with the pairing off in the same plant of two leaves.  When people see this palm they tend to be impressed and drawn to it.  It gets to about thirty feet tall with a one foot thick trunk.  I've seen various specimens of this species grown successfully in Southern California.  As mentioned, once this species flowers the plant will die.  Cold hardiness is probably into the upper twenties F.  It is not quite as cold hardy as several other species in this genus.  Shown here is a 5g plant of this species.  We also have smaller plants for sale.  Also shown are some pictures of mature plants.  One shot shows Rusty with a blossom removed from a local fruiting tree.   A close up of the leaf and trunk are shown.  You can see how its leaflets resemble Arenga or even Caryota.   The last picture shows the tiny seeds that I collected from a fruiting tree.
Wallichia disticha 5g Wallichia disticha
Wallichia disticha 5g Wallichia disticha Wallichia disticha
Wallichia disticha Wallichia disticha blossom Wallichia disticha leaf
Wallichia disticha trunk Wallichia disticha Wallichia disticha seeds

 


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Phil Bergman

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