Jungle Music Palms and Cycads Nursery

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  • Brief comments given about species presented
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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

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 2012

 

ZOMBIA ANTILLARUM
I am unaware of any Latin derivation for the word "Zombie" or "Zombia".  Paul Craft reports that it's derivation is from Haitian Creole where it translates into "ghost palm".  Apparently the white fruits have a "ghost" appearance.  The genus name of "Zombia" certainly draws your attention.  This genus only has one species and it is native to the West Indies.  Zombia is a suckering fan palm that gets to a height of ten feet or more and, over time, gets to be a wide suckering clump.  The most interesting thing about this species is the organized spination seen on the trunks.  Compare this to the Trithrinax acanthicoma which we viewed a few days ago.  The latter is totally random.  Zombia has rings of spines that are closely woven into a repetitive pattern with the spines pointing downward.  For this reason, it is quite unique and can usually be recognized by the trunks alone. Over time, lower portions of the trunks may lose their spines, but they'll remain throughout most of the trunk. 

We are offering for sale some 5g plants.  This is a slow grow species in pots and are faster in the ground.  It can tolerate droughts but also responds to water and humidity.  Zombia like sun.  Cold tolerance is into the mid-twenties F, perhaps a bit lower.  In the garden, to show off the amazing trunk appearance, one might remove the most peripheral trunks so you can see into the clump and examine the trunks.
Zombia antillarum Zombia antillarum
Zombia antillarum Zombia antillarum Zombia antillarum
Zombia antillarum Zombia antillarum Zombia antillarum
Zombia antillarum Zombia antillarum Zombia antillarum

 

DYPSIS LEPTOCHEILOS
Sometimes known as the "Teddy Bear Palm", this species is an absolute must for any garden in the coastal area of Southern CA.  It was introduced about twenty years ago and has proved to be a gorgeous plant.  It in thin trunked, gets to about 20 feet tall, and has a rusty-orange-red fuzzy crown shaft. The trunk is a silver blue color with prominent rings.  Cold hardiness is into the mid-twenties F. and along the coast it can take can full sun.  Inland locations would require some sun protection.  Most enthusiasts would list this species on the "top twenty" list for sure.  It is becoming somewhat hard to find lately.  Shown here is a 25g plant forming some trunk.  I'm showing various pictures so you can get a feel for the plant.  Also shown are some garden specimens.  Although we have very limited supplies, we sell 5g, 15g and 25 g sizes.  The fifth picture is a habitat photo from Madagascar donate by JS.If you like colorful palm trees, this species is a "no brainer" for your garden.
Dypsis leptocheilos Dypsis leptocheilos trunk
Dypsis leptocheilos in garden, juvenile
Dypsis leptocheilos Dypsis leptocheilos crown Dypsis leptocheilos
     
RHOPALOSTYLIS SAPIDA
SHAVING BRUSH PALM
FEATHER DUSTER PALM
We've discussed this great palm previously on this blog, but I wanted to show a few more pictures and remind you that we do have a good selection of this great species for sale.  Rhopaolstylis species are from New Zealand.  R. sapida has the most upright leaves of all the species and gets to about 25 feet height.  Such heights may take several decades.  When I think of this species, I remember mostly the upright leaves and the thick, bulging crown shaft. Rhopalostylis sapida would also be on most people's top twenty list.  It can tolerate full sun if you are within five to eight miles of the ocean in Southern CA.  Most people in other areas give it morning sun or filtered light.  In the garden, getting any significant trunk from a nursery plant may take five to seven years. Cold tolerance is about 22 or 23 degrees F.  I recently saw some wonderful specimens of this species in the SF Bay area.  The most common mistake is giving it too much sun if you live in a hot area.  Shown here are an assortment of nursery plants we have for sale.  Also shown are photos to demonstrate the two main characteristics of this species: upright leaves and bulging crown shaft. 
Rhopalostylis sapida 25g Rhopalostylis sapida, 5g
     

Rhopalostylis sapida rusty 15g rhopalostylis spaida Rhopalostylis sapaida
Rhopalostylis sapida
25 gallon size
Rhopalostylis sapida 5g
5 gallon size
Rhopalostylis sapida 15g
15g size
Rhopalostylis sapida Rhopalostylis sapida Rhopalostylis sapida
Rhopalostylis sapida Rhopalostylis sapida Rhopalostylis sapida

 

CYCAS GUIZHOUENSIS
This small to medium sized exotic cycad is from China.  Only recently has this species been available.  Our hopes are that this species, like many other Chinese Cycas species, will have some cold hardiness and be a good grower in Southern California.  It gets about four to six feet of stem height when mature.  The crown width is about eight feet across with leaf lengths of three to five feet.  At the nursery it seems to grow quite well.  Various clients are growing it and most have put it in part day sun.  The last photo, by George Yao, shows the plant in full sun.   Reports are that this species will tolerate a freeze, although more experience is needed.  
Cycas guizhouensis Cycas guizhouensis
Cycas guizhouensis Cycas guizhouensis Cycas guizhouensis by George Yao at PACSOA
Photo from PACSOA website by George Yao

 

MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2012

PRITCHARDIA GLABRATA
As you might know by now, I am quite fond of all the Hawaiian Fan Palm.  This is the only native species of palms in Hawaii.  Pritchardia glabrata is native to Maui and the Island of Lanai.  It ha gone by the name of Pritchardia lanaiensis in the past.  It is medium sized with mature height ten to twenty feet.  The leaves are green both top and bottom.  The petioles are shiny green.  The leaf shape is basically flat with leaf segments drooping down toward their ends.  Crown width is ten feet or a bit more.  We were fortunate to get a few very nice 15g plants of this species recently (see photos).  They are good sized and very attractive plants.  This species can grow in coastal full sun or filtered light.  In hot inland areas, sun protection might be needed.  Cold tolerance is in the mid-twenties F.  The mature plant photos were taken by HJD.  Note on all the photos how the leaves are basically flat with prominent green coloring.  For those who think all fan palms are "desert palms", this one will prove you wrong.
Pritchardia glabrata Pritchardia glabrata
Pritchardia glabrata Pritchardia glabrata Pritchardia glabrata By HJD
Photo by HJD
Pritchardia glabrata by HJD
Photo by HJD
Pritchardia glabrata
Photo by HJD
 

 

PRITCHARDIA SPECIES
LARGE 15G PLANTS
When we got the Pritchardia glabrata above, we also got in a few very large 15g Pritchardia of undetermined species.  They were grown by a backyard grower in the eastern Del Mar area.  I am not a Pritchardia taxonomist, but these plants seem to resemble Pritchardia affinis to me.  They have somewhat triangular shaped leaves (not circular), have a long green and clean petiole, are green on both sizes and have little if any tomentum.  For these reasons, I think they may be affinis.  I asked the grower if they were and he said "yea, I did have some affinis seeds but don't remember if these were from those seeds".  In any case, they are huge 15g plants, grown in full coastal sun.  Overall height in the pots is about eight feet.  Trunk basal diameter is four to five inches.  I've shown a picture of a Pritchardia affinis below so you might get a prediction of what these will eventually look like.  Cold t olerance should be in the mid-twenties F. range.
Pritchardia species large 15g Pritchardia species large 15g
Pritchardia species large 15g Pritchardia affinis  
     
PRITCHARDIA MINOR
A SMALLER PRITCHARDIA SPECIES
Many people like this species because of its small stature.  Not only is the trunk thin (about four to six inches), but the overall height is often only ten to twelve feet.  Domestically grown plants can be a bit taller, but the trunk diameter is thin.  This is why the species has its name "minor", meaning "small".  Native to the island of Kauai, this species live at high elevation natively in the Waimea Canyon area.  The leaves are about two feet wide, at maturity circular in shape, and the leaves are prominently pleated.  We typically have a nice selection of this species for sale.  
Pritchardia minor Pritchardia minor
Pritchardia minor Pritchardia minor Pritchardia minor
Pritchardia minor    

 

ENCEPHALARTOS KISAMBO
We have found that this Central African
cycad species is a quick growing plant
and has a very green leaf with a distinctive
appearance.  It is easy to grow and has
some frost tolerance, probably into the
mid twenties F.  It can develop a six
foot trunk with leaves than can be
eight to ten feet long.  It will tolerate
sun except in inland areas.  To the right
is first a nice citrus pot plant, then a
15g plant.  Below is a picture of a
garden specimen, a close-up of
the leaf of a 15g container plant,
and a male cone.  We have all sizes
for sale up to boxed specimens.  
Encephalartos kisambo cit pot Encephalartos kisambo
Encephalartos kisambo Encephalartos kisambo leaf Encephalartos kisambo cone

SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2012

 

SABAL RIVERSIDE
AND ITS UNKNOWN ORIGIN
It is true that there are no native Sabal species in the community of Riverside, CA.  But, this name was coined from an existing large single Sabal tree that grew many decades ago in a private residence in Riverside.  It is such a popular species and its progeny have made many seeds over the years, that many individuals grow it and retain the name,  giving credit to the seed bearing mother plant.  By the way, the mother plant no longer exists in its original estate.  No one knows for sure where it originally came from.  The estate owner back then, by report, traveled the world and had a fascination for palms.  Speculation is that he collected seeds from a large species of Sabal in the Caribbean, but this was never documented.  In any case, this blue-green, thick trunked, large leafed and super cold hardy species is sought after by many.

Shown here is a nice 7g plant showing its costopalmate leaves, blue-green in color, with long petioles and vigorous growth.  We have also shown a five gallon plant and a seedling at the end.  You can see from the photos that some plants display the blue more than others.  Trunk size is 18 to 24 inches, eventual height 20 to 30 feet.  Seeds are black and the trunk eventually (after loss of upper retained leaf bases) becomes relatively smooth.  This species wants full sun, can tolerate temperatures into the mid teens F. and is being grown in colder areas like northern California, the Carolinas and central Texas.  It is a great palm for colder desert areas.  We try to always have this species available in a variety of sizes.  Be aware that many palm references won't even deal with this "species" because it's natural origin is not known.
Sabal riverside Sabal riverside
Sabal riverside Sabal riverside Sabal riverside
Sabal riverside Sabal riverside Sabal riverside
Sabal riverside Sabal riverside Sabal riverside

 

TRITHRINAX ACANTHICOMA TRUNK
A FEW MORE PHOTOS
This past Wednesday, June 20th, I talked about the various species of Trithrinax On dealing with T. acanthicoma (brasiliensis), I mentioned the trunk had a prominent display of random needles on the trunk.  My photos then really didn't show it well. The first photo is a close up of the trunk I showed you Wednesday.  Yesterday we were repotting some older plants of this species at the nursery.  I took the opportunity to take a few closer photos to demonstrate the look of the trunk.  Typically one sees a large number of this relatively thick needle like projections from the trunk.  They aren't as thin as typical palm tree "spines".  But, they would poke you.  It sort of looks like the trunk is having a "bad hair day" with it's spines.  They point downwards, but there is no organization to their pattern.  These spines are typically most evident right below the crown of leaves, but continue down the trunk.  They are more numerous than you would see on the Needle Palm, Rhapidophyllum hystrix, discussed below.
Trithrinax acanthicoma Trithrinax acanthicoma
Trithrinax acanthicoma Trithrinax acanthicoma  
     

 

RHAPIDOPHYLLUM HYSTRIX
THE NEEDLE PALM AND THE WORLD'S
      MOST COLD HARDY PALM!
In the past week or so, I've tried to show you a good assortment of very cold hardy palm species.  This particular species, the Needle Palm, is without doubt, the most cold hardy of them all.  It can tolerate temperatures below zero degrees F.  People have been able to grow this species (sometimes with cold protection) in "non-palm growing" areas such as Utah, New Mexico, Ohio, New York, etc.  It is not a tall species, typically getting to about eight feet.  It is a fan palm, it suckers freely and in many areas tolerates full sun.  I like it the most when it's grown in strong filtered light or part day sun.  The last photo shows how, in less than full sun, this species shows a "Rhapis-looking" leaf with a dark, olive green appearance. It is native to southeast United States.  We typically have available an assortment of sizes from seedlings and 5g plants and sometimes 15g plants.  This is a slow growing species and for me to make a nice 15g takes about 8 years.  It is called the Needle palm because of long, thick needles on its trunks.  Seeds are produced on very short flower stocks, so collecting seeds means you have to carefully reach in between needles to get your harvest.  

Rhapidophyllum hystrix Rhapidophyllum hystrix
Rhapidophyllum hystrix Rhapidophyllum hystrix Rhapidophyllum hystrix
Rhapidophyllum hystrix Rhapidophyllum hystrix Rhapidophyllum hystrix

 

CYCAS MEDIA
This species of Australian cycad is a bit confusing because there are multiple varieties of it in the wild.  The late Ken Hill described at least three different forms in habitat.  It is a green colored, medium sized plant with stems typically up to six or seven feet, leaves four to five feet long and usually single stemmed without branching.  In Australia, some plants are found near the coast with other colonies far inland.  It can be grown domestically in full sun along the coast or filtered light inland.  Cold hardiness is probably in the mid to lower twenties F.  It likes good draining soil.  Shown here are several fifteen gallon plants with close ups of the caudex and leaf.  The last two photos show a mature female plant in cone.  Note how the leaves "lay down" to display the female cone.  This is commonly seen in cycads.  Overall, I recommend this species because it is lush and tropical looking, doesn't get too large, and is fairly easy to grow. 
Cycas media Cycas media
Cycas media Cycas media Cycas media
Cycas media Cycas media Cycas media

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 2012

 

BLUE BUTIA CAPITATA
I MEAN, REALLY BLUE! 
This pinnate palm from southern Brazil is typically described in reference books to be green, gray, or gray-green in color.  On a very rare occasion, you'll see a blue specimen.  I came across a blue specimen that I wanted to share with you.  The color is as blue as a Bismarckia or Brahe armata.  I have added it to our inventory.  I only have this one.  But, it is truly remarkable for its color.

Butia capitata, also known as the Pindo Palm or the Jelly Palm, is a medium sized species that typically gets to about 20 feet tall.  There are report of much taller plants in domestic gardens.  But, twenty to twenty five feet is all you'll typically see in very old plants.  The leaves are keeled and have a nice re-curve downwards toward the ground.  They like hot sun and are cold tolerant to at least 15 degrees F.  This species is drought tolerant and good for desert climates.  Interestingly, they can thrive in hot dry areas as well as humid climates. 

Shown first here is this 20g blue plant we have for sale.  Note the intense blue color of the leaves.  Also, see how even the petioles are a definite blue color.  Compare this plant to other nursery stock at our nursery shown below and to large domestic specimen plants.  I would be the first to admit that intense dry sun will bring out the blue in natively blue species.  But, this blue plant has to have some extra 'blue genes".
Blue Butia capitata 20g Blue Butia capitata 20g
Blue Butia capitata 20g Blue Butia capitata 20g Butia capitata
Butia capitata Butia capitata Butia capitata

 

 

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
   

 

ENCEPHALARTOS FRIDERICI-GUILIELMII
This thin leaflet type of South African cycad is native to the Eastern Cape area of the Republic of South Africa.  It grows on hillsides among scrub in areas that see snow and frost.  It gets trunks up to twelve feet and suckers freely at the base.  It holds a good number of leaves, each four to five feet long, with very thin leaflets that are without lateral barbs.  Leaf color is blue green and sometimes almost blue when in full sun.  As you might expect, this species is one of the more cold hardy of the Encephalartos group.  It is known to grow quite well in the San Francisco Bay area. 

Shown first to the right is a nice 15g plant with about a five to six inch caudex.  Other nursery plants are shown as well.  We have all sizes for sale including seedlings in bands.  This species, in almost all areas, wants good draining soil and full sun.  It is much faster growing in the ground than in a container.  Various garden photos are shown below.  I wish to thank my close friend, Mark Riedler, for providing domestic pictures as well as habitat photos from South Africa (last 2 photos).   Note how it thrives on scrubby hillsides in full sun. 

We can ship cycads easily right to your door, in their containers, if you live within the U.S.
Encephalartos friderici-guilielmii Encephalartos friderici-guilielmii
Encephalartos friderici-guilielmii Encephalartos friderici-guilielmii Encephalartos friderici-guilielmii
Encephalartos friderici-guilielmii Encephalartos friderici-guilielmii by mark riedler
Encephalartos friderici-guilielmii, by Mark Riedler
Encephalartos friderici-guilielmii
Encephalartos friderici-guilielmii by Mark Riedler
Encephalartos friderici-guilielmii, by Mark Riedler
Encephalartos friderici-guilielmii habitat by M. Riedler
Encephalartos friderici-guilielmii, by Mark Riedler
Encephalartos friderici-guilielmii by Mark Riedlere
Encephalartos friderici-guilielmii, by Mark Riedler

 

FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2012
A FEW MORE COLD HARDY ITEMS AND A RARE CYCAD

 

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 I discussed two days ago, 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    

 

BRAHEA BERLANDIERE
We just got in some 5g plants that were labeled as  "Brahea belandiere".  The problem is whether this is a real species or the same as Brahea dulcis.  John Dransfield from Kew Gardens in his World Checklist of Palms states that both this palm species and also another named Brahea Bella are both Brahea dulcis.  But, this same book says that Brahea elegans (green palm) is the same as Brahea armata (blue palm).  To make things a little more confusing, Brahea dulcis has both green and blue forms.  Remember, with taxonomists, it's all about the flower parts.  So, what are these 5g plants we just got in?  They apparently came from wild collected seeds.  I'd say "A Brahea species that may be berlandiere or dulcis".  Does that sound ok?

This species has attractive flat green leaves as shown below.  I am showing you a Brahea dulcis in 5g size that came from our own stock and seeds.  You decide if they are different or the same.  The mature specimens shown below (and, formerly labeled as B. dulcis) illustrate the green color and crown of very flat leaves on long leaf stems.  This palm can take part day sun and is cold hardy into the low twenties F.  By the way, Brahea dulcis is known as the Sombrero Palm and the Rock Palm. 
Brahea berlandiere 5g Brahea berlandiere 5g
Brahea berlandiere 5g Brahea dulcis
Brahea dulcis
Brahea dulcis
Brahea dulcis Brahea dulcis  

 

BUTIA CAPITATA X SYAGRUS ROMANZOFFIANA
THE MULE PALM, BUTIAGRUS
Plant enthusiasts hybridize species for a lot of reasons.  Sometimes it's out of curiosity, sometimes to create a more hardy plant, and sometimes it happens by serendipity or mistake.  The sought-after Foxy Lady palm was first created totally by serendipity when pollen from a Veitchia accidentally drifted down onto a shorter Wodyetia flower in Queensland, Australia.  The rest is history with that cross.  The Mule Palm probably first occurred in a similar fashion.  This is my hunch.  In any case, the hybrid has qualities that neither of the adults has.  It is more cold hardy than the Queen Palm, is perhaps a prettier palm, and doesn't get as tall.  It doesn't have the blue color of the Pindo Palm, it is faster growing, and is a lot more tropical appearing than the Butia parent. 

We just got in some really nice 15g, outdoor grown Mule Palms.  They are chunky and have already seen temperatures into the teens.  I have customers in Tucson, AZ who have found that this cross replaces Queen Palms over there and don't succuumb to their cold weather like the Queen.  I estimate cold hardiness at 16 degrees F.  They like full sun.  Shown here are the 15g plants.  We also have some one gallon and five gallon plants for sale.  I have access to larger palms like the 25 gallon shown and to some large boxed specimens.  The last two mature plant photos were taken by Mark Heath, an active hybridizer and friend of mine.
Butia X Syagrus 15g Butia X Syagrus 15g
Butia X Syagrus 15g Butia X Syagrus 15g Butia X Syagrus 15g
Butia X Syagrus Butia X Syagrus Butia X Syagrus photos by MH
Butia x Syagrus by M.H.    

 

ENCEPHALARTOS ITURIENSIS
THE ITURI FOREST CYCAD
There are a few Encephalartos from Central Africa that are known for their extremely long leaves.  E. laurentianus would win this contest with its leaves reaching 7 meters.  Encephalartos ituriensis are not far behind with 6 meter leaves.  Trunk height reaches about 8 feet.  The leaves are green in color.  New leaves tend to go straight upwards when thrown.  Over time and with future flushes, they will relax downwards.  Native habitat is in Zaire and Uganda at an elevation of about 1000 feet.  Of Central African species, this is one of the hardest to find.  We are fortunate to have a limited number of seedlings from a documented true pair of domestic plants (there have been plants for sale at nurseries that were not the real thing).  I am showing the seedlings here as well as a huge specimen we previously had at the nursery.  This large plant demonstrates the upright leaf characteristics.  To grow this species it is best that you are in a frost free area.  Also, in most areas, I'd grow this in strong filtered light unless you are right on the coast.  As we are close to the ocean, the specimen below tolerated our full sun.  It already had leaves of twelve to fourteen feet in that box.  I can easily ship these seedlings anywhere within the U.S.  I apologize for the lack of other photos, but this species is so rare that it's not in any local botanical gardens nor are there any pictures on the Net larger than the one shown below (that I could find). 
Encephalartos ituriensis band Encephalartos ituriensis band
Encephalartos ituriensis band Encephalartos ituriensis Encephalartos ituriensis
   

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 21, 2012

 

CHAMAEROPS CERIFERA
BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE!
Yes, you read this right.  Buy one 15g or 5g of Chamaerops cerifera and you get a second one of the same size free.  This species is from Morocco and is a semi-dwarf compared to it's green cousing, Chamaerops humilus.  Some consider C. cerifera to be a sub-variety of the green humilus.  The Blue Dwarf Mediterranean Fan Palm seldom gets over six to eight feet tall.  It suckers freely and, in sun, has an intense blue color as shown here.  It wants full sun and is cold tolerant to the mid-teens F.  The hotter and more intense your sun, the more blue it gets!  It is a good foreground species for people in cold areas or can be used to make a natural fence to block neighbors.  It's somewhat slow growing but steady.  The first three photos show a 15g plant, the fourth photo is of some 5g plants.  So, for $65 you can get TWO of the 5g size as shown.  Or, for $175 you get two of the bigger sized 15g.  This doesn't include S/H if you are mail order.  THIS TWO FOR ONE SALE ON THIS SPECIES ENDS  JUNE 30TH!
Chamaerops cerifera Chamaerops cerifera
Chamaerops cerifera Chamaerops cerifera Chamaerops cerifera
Chamaerops cerifera    

 

SABAL CAUSIARUM
PUERTO RICAN HAT PALM
In California and in recent years, it's been very difficult to find this stout and tall fan palm at nurseries.  For the first time in about ten years, we are offering this species in the 15g size.  This size gives you a jump start on getting a big one in the garden.  This species is from Hispaniola and gets up to about thirty feet in size.  But, the most amazing thing about it is the thick trunk.  If you read my blog yesterday, I talked about Copernicia baileyana.  The trunk of Sabal causirum is quite similar: thick, clean and light gray-tan colored.  It can easily reach two feet in diameter.  The crown size is ten to fifteen feet across.  The leaf color is green or blue-green.  It can be drought tolerant but responds to water.  It wants full sun.  Cold tolerance is easily into the mid-teens.  There are reports of large specimens surviving even lower temperatures.

If you like palms with thick, tall trunks, then this species should be in your garden.  With the Copernicia baileyana, a Jubaea, a Roystonea and a few others, you'll have everything you could want.  The 15g plants we have available are very large for their container.  They can be shipped to your door.  But, we do have seedling Sabal causiarums for those of you who want to start small. 
sabal causiarum sabal causiarum
sabal causiarum sabal causiarum sabal causiarum
     

 

SABAL URESANA
This medium to large sized blue fan palm is native to northwestern Mexico.  There are even reports of populations existing in southern New Mexico across the border.  It grows at high elevation in habitat.  It is slow growing.  Trunk diameter is about 18 inches.  The heights I have typically seen are under thirty feet, although reference books give a taller height.  Its color is gray to blue if grown in full sun.  It is drought tolerant.  It is not as cold tolerant as the Sabal causiarum above, but can tolerate down to about twenty degrees F.  It does not like the combination of cold and wet.

We have this species available in seedlings, 2g and a few 15g plants as shown here.  Because of it's color, this is the favorite species of the genus for many.
 

sabal uresana sabal uresana
sabal uresana sabal uresana  
     

 

TRACHYCARPUS TAKIL
THE KUMAON PALM

This species comes from a very high mountainous area of northern India.  It grows at elevations above 7000 feet and sees bitterly cold winters.  Because of its native habitat, it has been touted and hoped by many to be the most cold hardy of the species of this genus.  It certainly can tolerate temperatures below 15 degrees F., but its lowest tolerance is still being determined.  In appearance, it is similar to Trachycarpus fortunei.  On mature trees and compared to the common Windmill Palm, however, it is taller with a thicker trunk, has a bigger crown of leaves with more actual leaves in the crown and larger individual leaves.  The leaves are also more stiff than the fortunei.  The trunk tends to lose its fibers more readily, giving it a cleaner appearing trunk.  A field note for distinguishing this species is that the hastula (a flap of tissue at the junction of the leaf stem with the palmate leaf) is twisted and askew.  Fortunei are not this way.  Growers also comment on how the trunk of containerized plants is a bit more tidy with prominent hairs near the point of emerging new leaves.

Trachycarpus takil first became recognized as a species in the past fifteen or so years.  Research on this (and other Trachycarpus) species has been done by Tobias Spanner and Martin Gibbons.  Tobias has also been a source for authentic seeds of this species.  The trick from a commercial point of view is to be sure you have the right thing.  As a seedling, it is near impossible to be sure what you have.  We recently got in some very nice 15g plants that I feel are the true takil.  Note the close up views of the off-center hastula.  Also note the paper-like long fibers in the crown and the leaves that seem stiff and don't reflex down.  We have a limited number of these available in the 15g size.  We also have smaller plants.  I wish to thank my friends, Tobias and Martin, for allowing me to show you the last two photos from habitat.

 

Trachycarpus takil Trachycarpus takil
Trachycarpus takil Trachycarpus takil Trachycarpus takil
Trachycarpus takil Trachycarpus takil Trachycarpus takil by MG and TS
habitat photo by T.S. & M.G.
Trachycarpus takil
photo by T.S. and M.G.
   

 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20, 2012
We got in some very cool new plants, many of which are cold hardy species

 

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 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
   

 

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  

 

RETURN FOR MORE GREAT NEW SPECIES TOMORROW 

TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2012

 

ENCEPHALARTOS MANIKENSIS
This species from Zimbabwe, Africa, has always been a bit of a confusion because this area has several similar species and identifying them taxonomically was difficult.  For this reason, a few decades ago, plants were considered to be in the "Manikensis Complex".  Other put into this group later became species such as E. gratus, E. chimanimaniensis, concinus, bandula, etc.  Encephalartos manikensis is a medium sized cycad.  Trunks can get up to three or even five feet tall.  Clustering does occur.  Leaves are about six feet long, leaflets one inch wide.  Leaves are held upright at about a 45 degree angle. 

As it is a Central African cycad, one will find that it does better with humidity than some of the South African species and is not quite as cold hardy.  For this reason, it does quite well in the SE areas of the U.S. where cold is not an issue.  It will tolerate a freeze and can usually take temperatures down into the mid-twenties.  At our nursery, plants has easily withstood temperatures of 25 degrees F. without any problems.  Sun exposure is another issue that you must consider.  Along the coast, full sun is tolerated well.  In inland locations, consider part day sun.  In desert areas, filtered light would be best.  I'm showing here a whole assortment of plants, from boxed specimens to seedlings.  Also shown is a garden specimen.  We have a good supply of this species in all sizes for sale.
Encephalartos manikensis 15g Encephalartos manikensis 15g
E. manikensis box E. manikensis leaf E. manikensis leaves

 
E. manikensis box Encephalartos manikensis band E. manikensis garden

 

 

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.
  
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

 

MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2012

 

JUBAEA CHILENSIS
CHILEAN WINE PALM
I have written a very comprehensive article on this species,
found elsewhere at this website.  I'll put the link to this article at the end below.  This species is from South America and can get over fifty feet tall with the thickest trunk of any palm species.  Specimens over four feet diameter have been reported.  They are very slow growing and it takes decades to get a nice, mature plant.  Mature trunks are clean of leaf bases, the color of the leaves is almost always green, the leaves are essentially flat in cross section or have a minimal keel to them.  The petioles are unarmed.  At the nursery we have all sizes for sale and
occasional broker large mature specimens.  Shown here first is a 5g plant which is easily shipped for mail order.  Next is a 15g which can also be shipped for those who want to start bigger.

The third photo shows how the leaves are flat in cross section and more or less upright with minimal re-curve.  The leaf stems are rather clean at the base and have no barbs.  I am showing several photos of larger trees in domestic plantings.  Note the appearance of the trees with their thick, semi-smooth trunks.  This species is a full sun plant and is cold tolerant to about 15 degrees F. 

I am showing you a picture of mature fruit.  They are yellow in color.  To germinate seeds you would remove this fragrant fruit.  The last photo shows a picture sent to me from a long term customer in South Carolina.  He purchased one of our blue Jubaea chilensis and was excited that it was keeping the blue color back east.  This photo taken by MB shows how his 15g plant is truly a blue color.   

Below is the link for a full article on this species.

LINK TO JUBAEA ARTICLE  

Jubaea chilensis 5g
Jubaea, 5g size 
Jubaea chilensis 15g
Jubaea, 15g size  
Jubaea chilensis leaves Jubaea chilensis 15g base Jubaea chilensis
     
Jubaea chilensis Jubaea chilensis fruit Jubaea chilensis blue by MB
Blue Jubaea chilensis 15g by M.B.
 
CARYOTA GIGAS
BLACK TRUNK FISHTAIL, KING KONG,
THAI MOUNTAIN GIANT, ETC.

Caryotas are a Fishtail Palm.  Caryota
gigas
is a rather recent arrival to the nursery trade.  It
is from northern Thailand and has gone by a whole
assortment of common names as mentioned above.
It is known for its very beautiful appearance and for the
thickness of the trunk.  It is a giant of a species with 
a very sizeable trunk that needs room to grow  It tolerates
full sun in most areas but may burn in the desert full sun.
It's growth rate is fast.  Cold tolerance is about 22 degrees.
Trunk diameter is 2 to 3 feet and typical overall
height is 35 to perhaps 40 feet.  Shown is a good
sized 15g plant, perfect to plant in the garden.
Also shown are several photos of a boxed plant,
a 5g plant and a close up of the leaves.  Below is a photo
of a mature specimen and a close up of the leaf.  
Note that the leaves are very large, sometimes up to
15 feet in length and very wide.  It is interesting
to compare this gigas to the Caryota urens. 
The latter is quicker growing vertically,
has a thinner trunk and shorter leaves.  C. gigas
has an enormous trunk, longer and broader
leaves, produces more shade, and doesn't get
as tall.  Make sure you plant either of these two
species a good distance from the house.  If you are a
palm enthusiast, you're going to try at least one
Caryota, and this is a very nice species to try. 
Caryota gigas Caryota gigas
Caryota gigas box Caryota gigas 5g Caryot gigas leaf
Caryota gigas Carytoa gigas Caryota gigas

 

HEDYSCEPE CANTERBURYANA
ONE OF THE BEST PALM SPECIES FOR SO CAL
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 is a 20g plant just starting to form trunk.  We have various sizes down to one gallon.  Also shown is a nice domestically grown tree.  Smaller shippable sizes are available.  Simply put, this is a fabulous species for Southern California.  Of note, this species 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

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2012
(posted Wednesday evening because tomorrow is a busy morning for me)

 

BRAHEA NITIDA
aka BRAHEA CALCAREA
This interesting fan palm is native to Mexico, where it lives in the western portion of the country in mountainous areas.  Its distribution extends down into Guatemala.  It attains a height of thirty feet with a stout trunk of one foot diameter.  The most attractive thing about this palm are its circular leaves, with only partial division of the segments.  This is particularly apparent when it is grown in filtered light.   In sun, the leaves are less flat and more divided.  When grown in shade, sometimes this species reminds me of a "Licuala-looking" palm in its leaf appearance. 

Cold hardiness is at least into the mid-twenties F.  It may in fact be more cold hardy.  The lea
ves are a shiny green with a white discoloration on the underside of the leaves.  The petioles are essentially un-armed.  From time to time we have this species available.  Shown here is a 15g plant which demonstrates the leaf appearance.  The close up of the petioles shows the lack of armor.  The bleached out leaf photo shows the minimal division of the leaflets.  The plant in the garden below shows more cicular, flat near entire leaves.  Compare this to the last photo, which was taken by a friend of mine, Justen Dobbs, in habitat. (borrowed from PACSOA).  The habitat plant is in full sun.
Brahea nitida Brahea nitida
B. nitida, bleached out photo, showing shape
Brahea nitida Brahea nitida Brahea nitida by Justen Dobbs, habitat
Brahea nitida, habitat, by Justen Dobbs, PACSOA

LIVISTONA NITIDA
AKA LIVISTONA CARNARVON GORGE
I am discussing this species now because some people get Brahea nitida mixed up with Livistona nitida.  Both have the same species word "nitida", which means shiny in Latin.  This is also a fan palm with shiny leaves that are green.  But, as you'll see, it has much more divided leaves than the Brahea and is from Australia, not Mexico.  Also, the underside of the leaves are not white.  It has the same one foot diameter as the Brahea but gets to heights of about 100 feet in many decades.  Livistona nitida is similar to other Livistona like australis and decipiens in a way, but gets taller and is more robust. 

With the five gallon plant to the right you can see how the leaves are heavily divided into segments and the petioles are armed with barbs.  In the 15g size you see the same appearance.  The last photo by Daryl O'Connor (PACSOA) shows how robust and tall this species is.  They obviously like sun.  Cold hardiness is into the low twenties F. or even into the upper teens.  


 

Livistona nitida Livistona nitida
Livistona nitida Livistona nitida Livistona nitida by Daryl O'Connor, PACSOA
Australia, from PACSOA, by Daryl O'Connor
     

LIVISTONA BENTHAMII
Since I just discussed a Livistona species, I thought I'd mention another that has very different leaves.  Be aware that nomenclature of Livistona has changed over the last two decades.  Names have been changed and "locality names" previously used have been replaced with more taxonomically "correct" names.  Names like "blackdown table" and "carnavon gorge" are no longer utilized. (see species above)  Such old names described localities where the species grew.  Be aware that the distribution of Livistona species is wide, spreading from Africa through China and Indochina, down through the Philippines and Indonesia into Australia.  The greatest number of species are in Australia and have recently been re-worked by botanist John Dowe.    

Livistona benthamii is native to Australia and Papua New Guinea.  Even though it is native to lowland, wet areas in the native habitat, we have found that this species can be grown in Southern California.  It is a tall, thin trunked species and can grow to fifty feet.  Old leaf stalks tend to stay on the trunk unless removed.  If you manually removed them, small "knobs" are left on the trunk, similar to what you'd see with Phoenix dactylifera.  The leaves can be near spherical with leaflets going close to 360 degrees around the circle of the leaf.  Leaflets are deeply divided with long segments.  Sometimes the terminal portion of the leaflets can droop downwards.  Growth rate is moderate.  It likes sun and can take temperatures into the mid to low 20's F.  Shown here is a 5g plant we photographed yesterday.  Note the deeply divided leaves.  On the mature specimens from gardens, note the knobby surface of this interesting trunk.  I find it sort of cool.
Livistona benthamii Livistona benthamii 5g
Livistona benthamii Livistona benthamii trunk, HJD  

DIOON CAPUTOI
This 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.
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

 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13, 2012

 

LYTOCARYUM WEDDELIANUM
AKA SYAGRUS WEDDELIANUM
This is a dwarf palm from South America.  It is very cute and petite.  It is a pinnate palm with a fibrous thin trunk and short leaves, typically about three to four feet long.  It has had various name changes over the years and is presently part of the Syagrus genus.   If there were a "true" Baby Queen Palm, this would be it.  It seldom gets over eight feet tall and is very slow growing.  Many are growing this species in Southern California.  I've found they do best if started in filtered light and can grow into the sun where needed.  Interestingly, this is a species that seems to do well with neglect.  If you give them too much attention (water, fertilizer, etc.) they seem to react by having problems.  So, just plant this one and forget it.  Cold tolerance is in the mid-twenties F.  Shown here is a 15g plant and a big 5g.  We only have one or two 15g for sale presently.  Also shown are garden specimens and a close up of a blossom.  Since this species takes up so little space, almost anyone in these parts could try one.
lYTOCARYUM WEDDELIANUM Lytocaryum weddelianum
Lytocaryum w. trunk Lytocaryum w. garden Lytocaryum w. garden
Lytocaryum w. garden Lytocaryum w. garden Lytocaryum w. blossom

 

 

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

 

BUTIA ERIOSPATHA
This species from Brazil is a good sized palm, similar
to B. capitata, but with less silver to the leaves.  It is known
for having a brown wooly material on the flower spathe.
Cold hardiness is well into the teens F.  Shown here is a 5g
plant.  Also pictured is a mature specimen showing the
leaves curving downward toward the ground.  I don't think
this species is quite as hardy as the more common Pindo
Palm, but it should go into the upper teens F.  It wants full
sun.  We've found it to be a good growing species.   
Butia eriospatha Butia eriospatha

 

CARYOTA URENS
 FISHTAIL PALM
Caryota are a genus, and all are a type of Fishtail Palm.  This species is single trunk.  It is monocarpic.  This means that, after about two decades, the plant flowers and dies.  Caryota urens makes a very tall tree and is extremely fast growing.  In Southern California it is the fastest of any palm in terms of vertical growth.  It is considered the ultimate species for forming canopy.  Its trunk matures to a height of fifty feet or more and is about 18 inches thick.  It will get taller and has a thinner trunk than the presently popular species, Caryota gigas.  Shown here to the right is an exceptional 25g plant.  It is about 16 feet tall.  We also have nice 15g plants as shown below.  The second photo to the right shows two palms, mature, in an Encinitas garden.  Below is a series of Caryota urens planted at the Catamaran Hotel in San Diego.  These plants were fairly short lived because they were field grown and then dug.  Digging triggers the life cycle of Caryotas and threw these palms into blossom.  Unfortunately, the landscape people were unaware of this at the time they purchased and dug these trees.   The last photo is of a mature tree in Balboa Park, San Diego.
Caryota urens 25g Caryota urens
Caryota urens Caryota urens 15g Caryota urens Balboa park

 

TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2012

 

ZAMIA PSEUDOPARASITICA

This is a very unique cycad species from eastern Panama because it is an epiphytic species that lives on the limbs of overhead trees.  Its leaves are three to nine feet long, pendant, and hang down toward the ground.  Trunks have been reported up to a meter long.  Therefore, you would look up into the overhead canopy and see a cycad growing with long leaves hanging down, out of the tree, toward you.  It is truly a remarkable and beautiful species.  Contrast this growth habitat to the normal terrestrial cycad. 

Growing it domestically can be a challenge.  Most recommend growing it in a basket with quick draining soil.  If you do this, you must maintain adequate moisture to the roots.  This is because of the Atlantic slope location of its habitat, where it is used to very heavy rainfall.  When we grow these, we mix our cycad soil with 50% coarse sphagnum moss.  Water just gushes through the pot.  We've used baskets as well.  This species likes filtered light and is damaged by temperatures below freezing.  Recently we've not had these available, but found one in our inventory.  I have photographed it for you here.  It has approximately a 2 inch caudex with two leaves and two new leaves emerging.  The plant in the orange container is from a previous plant we had.  The other pictures are from RM in Panama.  These include a close up of a caudex with no leaves and several hanging basket plants. 
Zamia pseudoparasitica Zamia pseudoparasitica
Zamia pseudoparasitica Zamia pseudoparasitica by RM Zamia pseudoparasitica
Zamia pseudoparasitica by RM    

 

 

TRITHRINAX BIFLABALATA
This is a suckering species from the savannah areas of Argentina.  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, it is less blue.  But, the leaves are blue-green as shown.  We have over the years had small plants of this species available.  Recently we acquired some very nice 5 gallon plants as shown.  These are alredy 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 an unusual species to try.  I must also mention that, when these are gone, we might not see them again for quite a while.   
Trithrinax biflabalata Trithrinax biflabalata
Trithrinax biflabalata Trithrinax biflabalata Gaston Torres
Photo by G. Torres in habitat
 
     

 

CORDYLINE TRICOLOR
I am not a huge fan of the regular Cordyline plants.  As you've read previously here, however, I very much like the Hawaiaan Ti plants.  But, some thin leaf Codylines are nice.  Most species come from the South Pacific regions including New Zealand, Australia and some Pacific islands. We recently got in some nice plants with multiple colors in the leaves.  They are called "Tricolors" because of the assorted colors in the leaves.  The predominant color is pink.  These are in 3 gallon size and very affordable.  Along the coast they tolerate full sun but should be in filtered light inland. They tolerate temperatures into the upper 20's F.    
Cordyline tricolor  
     

 

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

 

 

MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2012

 

CYCAS REVOLUTA
THE SAGO PALM
Almost everyone who reads this blog is familiar with the common Sago Palm.  Because of this, I have sort of avoided writing about it.  Native to the southern islands of Japan, this species is found worldwide and in almost every nursery that carries tropical plants.  It is surprisingly cold hardy into the upper teens F.  In most areas it prefers full sun.  What I thought I'd do today is to mention a few peculiar or interesting things about this species that you may not be familiar with.

First, similar to many other cycad species, the Sago Palm reproduces be either seeds (need male and female plant) or by suckers produced at the bottom on the trunk.  These basal suckers, when left untouched, tend to make this species look more like a bushy clump of plants rather than a well defined cycad.  For this reason, offsets are often removed and propagated.  This is easily done.  The best time to do it is in the spring of the year.  My article at our site on the Sago Palm tells you how to do this.

Cycas revoluta prefers full sun.  But, if you live in a very hot and dry area (Palm Springs, Las Vegas, Phoenix, etc) this is not the case.  In these localities it will burn during the summer months.  It prefers strong filtered light in such areas.  Sometimes a new throw of leaves will look good but decline to brown, dry leaves. The solution is to move the plant or provide overhead shade.  In contrast, a nutritionally starved plant that doesn't get fertilizer produces yellow leaves.  See the photo below to the right.

Sagos can be used as an interior plant.  They will need an ample amount of light inside.  In too little light, leaves stretch up and get lanky and unsightly.  They are also an ideal patio plant in a pot.  Do not buy the little plants with the glued rocks on the top of the soil.  This will become a cultural disaster.

A male and female plant are needed to produce seeds.  Photos below show both sexes, the male cone looking like a corn cob with the kernels removed.   Another photo shows a new flush of leaves.  Plants can throw forty or more leaves, all at once.

Interesting hybrids are being done with the Sago.  One is a cross between Cycas revoluta and Cycas micholitzii.  Look at the interesting foliage of this hybrid below.

Finally, if you can grow a Sago Palm, consider other cycad species.  There are lots you can grow.  Shown here are some photos of Sagos which we propagated in various sizes and have available.  This includes seedlings through large boxed specimens.  Old forking specimen Sago's are always sought after for upscale landscape.

Cycas revoluta

Cycas revoluta
Cycas revoluta

Cycas revoluta
Cycas revoluta male cone Cycas revoluta female cone Cycas revoluta
Cycas revoluta Cycas revoluta Sago new flush of leaves by BG
Photo by BG
Cycas revoluta male cones
A surprisingly large number of male cones
Cycas revoluta Cycas revoluta
Cycas revoluta x micholitzii
Cycas revoluta x micholitzii
Cycas revoluta x micholitzii
Cycas revoluta x micholitzii
Cycas revoluta nurtitionally challenged
A nutritionally challenged Sago
old cycas revoluta
A very old forked trunk Sago
Cycas revoluta Cycas revoluta

 

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.

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 10, 2012

ZAMIA FURFURACEA
THE CARDBOARD CYCAD

This species of cycad has this peculiar common name because of the thick, "cardboard-like" substance to the leaves.  The are thick, stiff and don't bend easily with pressure.  It is quite popular for several reasons.  First, it doesn't get very large.  The picture below with a woman standing in front of a specimen is about as large as you are ever going to see one.  A more typical height is three feet.  Secondly, it is basically unarmed.  There are no spines to deal with.  Third, it is fairly cold hardy and can take full sun if you are right along the coast.  All of these factors have made this species one of the most popular of the common cycads.  In the last photo, you can see how it does quite nicely as a patio plant. 

Native to Mexico, this cycad likes good draining soil and can tolerate temperatures into the mid to low twenties F.  Its leaves are 1.5 to 3 feet long.  There is variation in the size and shape of the leaflets.  Sometimes leaves are "coin shaped" and other times more elongated.  The seventh picture below even shows a "cupped" appearance to leaflets of a specimen we used to have.  You can see that we have plants for sale of all sizes up to boxed specimens.  In most areas, I think this species does best in part day sun.  In desert areas, shade will be needed.  Finally, Zamia furfuracea is an ideal choice for an interior house plant and has been used for decades for this purpose.  
Zamia furfuracea Zamia furfuracea
Zamia furfuracea Zamia furfuracea Zamia furfuracea
Zamia furfuracea Zamia furfuracea  Zamia furfuracea 
Zamia furfuracea  Zamia furfuracea  Zamia furfuracea 

 

 

CHAMAEDOREA RADICALIS
REGULAR OR DWARF FORM
This attractive species of Chamaedorea comes in two distinct forms.  One is a dwarf form; the other trunks and the plant gets to a height of eight to ten feet.  Today I'm discussing the regular or dwarf form that reaches a height of three, sometimes four feet.  This is a single trunk Chamaedorea that is quite remarkable for several reasons.  First, it takes up very little space and fits nicely into small areas of the floor of the garden.  Second, it is one of the most cold hardy of the Chamaedorea group, taking temperatures into the upper teens.  Third, it can tolerate some sun; it doesn't demand full shade.  Another cool thing are the blossoms.  Female blossoms reach above the leaves, are orange in color and develop large black seeds.  They are easy to pollinate and, if you plant a small colony of males and females, are almost certain to get viable seeds.  Shown here is a 5g plant.  We have a pretty good supply of both this form and the trunking form of this species. 
Chamaedorea radicalis, 5g Chamaedorea radicalis 5g
Chamaedorea radicalis leaf Chamaedorea radicalis trunk Chamaedorea radicalis garden

 

CHAMAEDOREA MICROSPADIX
Like Chamaedorea radicalis above, this is another quite cold hardy Chamaedorea.  It is known to do quite well in various areas in Northern California.  However, this species is a suckering species with very thin trunks.  I've seen specimens where the trunk diameter is no greater than the standard pencil.  For a suckering species, it is also not too tall.  Typically this species gets up to seven, perhaps eight feet.  It is not uncommon on mature trees to see some trunks leaning out from the center of the plant, gently reaching upwards.  Leaf color is green, but on some plants there is an iridescent gray discoloration to the leaves or even a glaucous white backside to the leaflets.  Female plants produce pretty clusters of red seeds.  This plant looks it's best in filtered light and has a cold tolerance into the upper teens.  I've seen very nice specimens in the San Francisco Bay area.  This Mexican species' name implies that the blossom is "small", which is not the case.  Our photos here show a 15g plant with views of a flower.  Note the very thin trunks shown here.  This plant will fill in over time and have a dozen or two trunks when mature.  On the fourth photo, not the sheen to the leaves, typical of some strains of this species.
Chamaedorea microspadix 15g Chamaedorea microspadix leaf
Chamaedorea microspadix trunks Chamaedorea microspadix iridescent Chamaedorea microspadix garden

 

 

CYCAS SPECIES "THAILAND SILVER"
This is another seldom seen species from Thailand.  It is known for the fact that it throws a new set of leaves that emerge silver.  These leaves change to green over time.  We came across this species because, about fifteen years ago, there were a small number of seeds from habitat that became available.  After all this time, the plants are of good size with caudexes up to about eight inches.  My suspicion is that they will have somewhat of a bottle shape to the trunk.  We have several of these for sale.  After these are gone, I suspect you won't see them available for a while.  I would grow this species in part day sun.  Cold hardiness appears to be in the mid-twenties F.  Overall size is anticipated to be about 8 feet when mature, although this is not well documented.
Cycas species Thai silver  Cycas species Thai Silver 

SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012

Today I'll talk about two species with excellent cold hardiness and that are easy to grow.  Neither is particularly rare, but both are desirable
for people who live in colder areas.  The first species, the Windmill Palm, is quite popular with people who have small gardens. 
 

     
TRACHYCARPUS FORTUNEI
THE CHINESE WINDMILL PALM
 
This species, sometimes referred to as just the "Windmill Palm", is from China and one of the most cold hardy of all palm species.  There are enthusiasts from areas such as Ohio and parts of New York that are keeping them alive outdoors during the winter.  It is a single trunk palm with a furry trunk.  In time, this trunk's mat and hair will fall off to produce a cleaner trunk.  The crown is small, especially in hot intense sun.  It stretches out in strong filtered light or part day sun.  But, too much shade may kill this species.  It's leaves are about three feet across.  Leaf shape in nearly circular with divided segments.  Trunk height depends on the age of the tree.  This species is usually under twenty feet tall, but very old specimens (see below) can reach heights of over 30 feet.  Shown here are several good sized boxed plants and a 5g plant.  Most of our mail order customers prefer the 5g size for shipping.  Leaf stems are minimally armed with very small barbs.  Overall, it is quite a user-friendly species and is great for smaller gardens.  We do sell all sizes of this very easy-to-grow species.  
Trachycarpus fortunei  Trachycarpus fortunei 
Trachycarpus fortunei  Trachycarpus fortunei  Trachycarpus fortunei 
Trachycarpus fortunei  Trachycarpus fortunei  Trachycarpus fortunei 
Trachycarpus fortunei  Trachycarpus fortunei  Trachycarpus fortunei 

 

LIVISTONA CHINENSIS
CHINESE FAN PALM
This single trunk fan palm is native to Southern Japan and Taiwan.  It is typically seen as a palm under twenty feet, but after many decades can get up to 30 or 40 feet tall with a trunk that is 12 to 18 inches thick.  It's crown is green and full with leaves that are about six feet aross.  In shade the petioles stretch out and the leaves are larger and flatter.  In shade condition, it is fairly exotic appearing.  It is a very slow grower and it is not unusual for this species to take ten years to form any sort of trunk. This species is cold hardy into the upper teens F.  We have for sale typicaly 5g, 15g and boxed sized plants.  Some of our boxes are quite large, as shown.  In most area, this species tolerates full sun.  But, as mentioned, it can grow in strong filtered light.  It is also known to be used a an interior palm.  BTW, it is the most cold hardy of any species within the genus of Livistona.
Livistona chinensis 15g Livistona chinensis 15g
Livistona chinensis Livistona chinensis Livistona chinensis 
Livistona chinensis Livistona chinensis Livistona chinensis 

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

HYOPHORBE LAGENICAULIS X VERSCHAFELTII
THE BOTTLE PALM CROSSED WITH THE SPINDLE PALM
A GREAT HYBRID!
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 diamter.  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
   
 


CALOCASIA SPECIES
BLACK ELEPHANT EAR
Calocasia are a group of water loving, tropical companion plants that add appeal to the garden.  We just got in some black colored species.  They appear similar to C. esculente black magic, but have been reported to us to be more cold hardy.  These are outdoor grown plants that have seen a freeze.  They are black in color with a blue-black underside to the leaves.  Height should be two to three feet.  They prefer part day sun or filtered light.  They do like water.  We have some 5g plants at a very affordable price. 
Calocasia black Calocasia black
Calocasia black    

 

BISMARCKIA NOBILIS
SPECIAL PRICE FOR SMALL 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.  They are about 24-30 inches tall 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    

 

TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

 

TRITHRINAX CAMPESTRIS
For those who like blue palms that have good cold tolerance, you might want to consider this South American species.  It is a suckering fan palm that, in full sun, gets a nice blue color and doesn't get overly tall.  I've found that it typically is under eight feet in height.  A picture below shows a huge old specimen with a height of ten to fifteen feet, but this is quite unusual.  More commonly, these form a clustering specimen as seen in the other photo.  Given a time span of thirty years, I wouldn't expect a height of more than ten feet.  But, they will spread horizontally, so give it some room.  Cold tolerance is definitely into the mid to upper teens.  They like full sun and are somewhat drought tolerant.  It's a great species for desert areas.  We have available band size, 2g and 5g plants.  Also shown is a boxed specimen.  You might confuse this species with Nanorrhops ritcheana.  The latter is also a blue suckering, shorter fan palm.  But, the Trithrinax campestris is a bit more sturdy growing and has sharper, firmer tips to the end of the leaves, and gets a bit taller.  We frequently mail order this species to colder areas like central and northern Texas, Gulf States and northern Florida, where many have had good results.  
Trithrinax campestris Trithrinax campestris
Trithrinax campestris Trithrinax campestris Trithrinax campestris
Trithrinax campestris Trithrinax campestris Trithrinax campestris

 

 

CERATOZAMIA HILDAE
A VERY COLD HARDY DWARF CYCAD

I've discussed this species before, but today I wanted to make three main points about this species.  First, it is probably one of the most cold hardy of all the Ceratozamia.  It has been known to tolerate temperatures down to 17 degrees F.  The second point is that it is small in size and will fit almost anywhere in the garden.  Native to Mexico, this species prefers filtered light in most areas but can tolerate near full sun along the coast.  Its leaves never get over four to five feet and the maximal caudex size is no bigger than a cantaloupe.  It likes good draining soil and not to be overwatered.  It is also an ideal patio plant. 

Customers often see a particular leaf form and say "I want that type".  Well, it's not as easy as you'd think.  Seedling plants may not totally predict what the mature plant will look like.  If you look at all these plants, you'll notice variation in the leaves and leaflets.  Typically you see grouping of the leaflets.  But, there are forms that only have single, simple leaflets attached with little grouping.  This is the third point I wish to make: there is variation in the appearance of this species.  Some have fat leaflets, others thin.  Some have six leaflets per grouping, others just two.  Some leaflets are long and thin, others short and compact.  But, they are all charming and quite cute.  We can easily ship one of them right to your door.   Just give us a call.
Ceratozamia hildae Ceratozamia hildae
Ceratozamia hildae Ceratozamia hildae Ceratozamia hildae
Ceratozamia hildae Ceratozamia hildae Ceratozamia hildae
Ceratozamia hildae Ceratozamia hildae Ceratozamia hildae

 

PTYCHOSPERMA ELEGANS
THE SOLITAIRE PALM
Ptychosperma is a group of pinnate palms from Australia, PNG and various Pacific islands.  There are single trunk and suckering varieties.  All are crown shafted.  The hallmark for identifying this species is the leaflets.  All have a jagged, chopped off terminal leaflet.  In other words, the leaflet tips don't come to a pointed end but rather a notched or jagged end.  Ptychosperma elegans is one of the most cold hardy species of this group.  They get a thin trunk, a somewhat silver crown shaft and a medium sized crown of leaves.  Cold tolerance is into the mid to upper 20's f.  They prefer to "work their way" into the sun.   So, planting in strong filtered light would be ideal if they can grow up into the sun over time.  Inland areas would require filtered light at all times.  They are a medium rate grower.  Planting in clumps can be attractive.  Shown here are examples of 15g and 5g plant material at the nursery.  I have a very nice plant in my garden that is about 25 feet tall and gets eastern light.  Also shown are some mature plants in gardens.  The fourth photo was taken by HJD.  The last photo demonstrates the terminal portion of the leaflets and their jagged edge.  This photo is of a P. schefferi, another nice species.
Ptychosperma elegans Ptychosperma elegans
Ptychosperma elegans Ptychosperma elegans Ptychosperma schefferi leaflets

 

MONDAY, JUNE 4, 2012

 

COCCOTHRINAX, THE  GENUS
THIN TRUNKED, DESIRABLE FAN PALMS

Every morning that I have time to write on this blog, I try to think of something that would be fun for readers to see.  Someone emailed me encouraging that I write about unusual fan palms.  So, I thought "why not talk about the entire genus of Coccothrinax".  This morning I will synopsize this genus and show a whole array of photographs of species.

Coccothrinax are thin trunked, small to medium sized fan palms from Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico and perhaps into Central America.  They vary in height from five to ten feet up to forty feet or more.  Trunk sizes are usually thin with six inches being common.  This species has inter-species hybridization that is poorly worked out.  So, the taxonomists vary on the number of species in this group.  It is somewhere between fifteen and forty.  Leaf color varies from green to silver, often with the underside being silver.  Some trunks show great woven pattens of fibers while others are hairy.  Almost all species are solitary palms.  They are monoecious and have small, typically black fruited seeds.  Most trunks become clean wood over many years.  Almost all like sun and heat.  Some species may even take inland desert sun.  Many are cold hardy into the mid twenties F. 

Coccothrinax are very rare to find in nurseries.  Because of my interest in them, we always have an assortment for sale.  Nurserymen hate growing these because they are so slow in containers.  But, there's a secret about this.  Just get them into the ground and they are medium growers.  You can have a nice tree in a matter of five to ten years.  Shown here is an assortment of containerized plants, one gallon to fifteen gallon sizes.  Also shown are an assortment of many mature species.  The nice thing about Coccothrinax is that they are not big, all are interesting appearing and pretty, and nothing else in the palm world is quite like them.  This genus is one that we are the nursery highly recommend.  They'll add diversity to your garden.
Coccothrinax barbadensis
Coccothrinax barbadensis
Coccothrinax miraguama var havanensis                  
Coccothrinax miraguama v. havanensis









 Coccothrinax argentea leaf below
 Coccothrinax argentea leaf

     
Coccothrinax dussiana
Coccothrinax dussiana
Coccothrinax argentea
Coccothrinax argentea 
Coccothrinax alta
Coccothrinax alta 
Coccothrinax readii
Coccothrinax readii 
Coccothrinax miraguama var roseocarpa
Coccothrinax miraguamar v. roseocapa 
Coccothrinax miraguamar v. roseocapa
 Coccothrinax miraguamar v. roseocapa
Coccothrinax crinita
Coccothrinax crinita 
Coccothrinax crinita trunk
Coccothrinax crinita trunk 
Coccothrinax miraguama
Coccothrinax miraguama 
Coccothrinax barbadensis
Coccothrinax barbadensis 
Coccothrinax agentea
Coccothrinax argentea 
Coccothrinax species SElby
Coccothrinax species Selby Gardens 
Coccothrinax miraguama
Coccothrinax miraguama 
Coccothrinax proctorii leaf
Coccothrinax proctorii leaf 
Coccothrinax spissa
Coccothrinax spissa 
Coccothrinax scoparia
Coccothrinax scoparia 
Coccothrinax radiata
Coccothrinax radiata 
Coccothrinax proctorii
Coccothrinax protcorii 
Coccothrinax argentea
Coccothrinax argentea /span>
Coccothrinax litoralis
Coccothrinax litoralis 
Coccothrinax leaf
Coccothrinax leaf 
Coccothrinax spissa, swollen trunk
Coccothrinax spissa, cigar trunk 
Coccothrinax inaguensis
Coccothrinax inaguensis 
Coccothrinax barbadensis
Coccothrinax barbadensis 

 

 

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

SUNDAY, JUNE 3, 2012

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

 

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

 

FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 2012

 

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.  The ones just in yesterday and shown here are monsters; instant landscape.  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.  It is so difficult to find interesting tropiocal 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 thse plants, but these huge Ti's are a once a year thing.   
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

 

 

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

 

 

WE'RE DOING IT AGAIN.  GREAT PRICES!
SPECIAL ON BARE ROOT SEEDLINGS!  MIX OR MATCH BELOW: THREE PLANTS
FOR $49.99 PLUS S/H AND PHTYO CERTIFICATE IF NEEDED.   OFFER EXPIRES JUNE 15, 2012    

LEPIDOZAMIA PEROFSKYANA
This is an un-armed, dark green and very
lush Australian cycad.  It does get quite
large and over one's lifetime can get a
very tall trunk.  We call it a "user-friendly"
cycad because you can brush the leaves
against your face without pain.  We are
offering a good buy on these bare root
seedlings:  #3 for $49.99
plus s/h and phtyo if required.  These are
3 year old plants that we are putting into
1g pots. For a seedling they are excellent size.

We also have bigger plants in larger
sizes like 5g to 24 inch box.    A larger
plant in a 25g is shown below.  Cold
tolerance is into the low 20's F
Lepidozamia perofskyana lepidozamia perofskyana

lepidozamia

 

ENCEPHALARTOS GRATUS
This is another rare cycad, this time an Encephalartos
from South Africa.  This one likes full sun along the
coast and part sun inland.  These are bare root seedlings
with the special price of #3 seedlings, $44.99 plus s/h
You'll note these are not fresh, tiny seedlings but rather
established seedlings with some age to them.


Also shown is a larger garden plant.  We also have
for sale 5g, 15g, and big boxed specimens.  This
species makes a big cycad and is cold tolerant
into the low 20's F.  
Encephalartos gratus Encephalartos gratus

 

ENCEPHALARTOS FEROX
This is another South African cycad
with leaflets that look like a Holly Fern.
It is a medium sized plant that essentially
does not form vertical trunk.  It is best
known for its colorful cones, fire engine
red with the female. 

Shown are seedlings of this species.  Our
special is #3 seedlings, $44.99 plus s/h.  
We also have 5g, 15g and coning sized
boxed plants.  The second photo is a 15g.
Below is a mature female plant with
that super red female cone.

We're running out of these, so don't wait
too long to order this very cool cycad.  We
of course have larger for sale as well.

 
e.ferox Encephalartos ferox
Encephalartos ferox female cone   E.ferox

 

THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2012

 

DYPSIS AFFINIS SEEDLING
I discussed this species at length yesterday; see post below.  I took these photos yesterday afternoon.  This species is quite rare.  These plants are $35 and I have a very limited supply. 
Dypsis affinis band Dypsis affinis band

 

CLUSTERING ENCEPHALARTOS LEHMANNII

It is quite common among Encephalartos for a plant to mature, get a good sized primary caudex and then put out suckers or "offsets" at the base.  In fact, this is normal behavior with many species.  Collectors often remove these smaller suckers and establish them as individual plants.

Sometimes and quite rarely, an Encephalartos plant will sucker and one plant will become many at a very young age.  You may see a three to four year old seedling start putting out lots of offsets.  You end up with a one gallon plant with perhaps four or five different little seedlings, all attached together.  I call this a "clustering" plant as opposed to a bigger plant that merely puts out basilar offsets.  I've seen this occur with E. lehmanii, horridus, princeps and many other species.

These clustering plants end up being quite different.  None of the caudexes get as large as a "normal" plant of the same species.  They tend to grow slowly and make a group of smaller sized plants, all attached, of the same species.  They will all be the same sex.  This might be a good thing for someone who wants to fill an area with a plant but doesn't want the "whole" plant to get overly large.  Shown here is an example of a clustering Encephalartos lehmanii.  I purchased this plant from a private collector.  This clustered grouping is at least twenty years old.  I suspect in another twenty years, individual plants will be a bit bigger, but not by much.  There are five plants in this cluster.  It is for sale.

At the end I show a 15g clustering E. horridus and a boxed clustering Dioon merolae.  This clustering phenomena is not unqiue to Encephalartos.  However, the Dioon below clustered because the primary caudex was damaged.  The plant responded by putting out a lot of secondary trunks.  No one knows why a healthy looking plant (still small) starts clustering.  Perhaps there is some king of unknown assault or problem.     
Encephalartos lehmannii clustering plant Encephalartos lehmannii clustering plan
Encephalartos lehmannii clustering plan Encephalartos lehmannii clustering plan Encephalartos lehmannii clustering plan
Encephalartos lehmannii clustering plan Encephalartos horridus cluster
Encephalartos horridus cluster
Dioon merolae cluster
Dioon merolae, clustering

 

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

 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2012

 

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.  I apologize, but I don't have a photo of the seedlings we have available. 
Dypsis affinis Dypsis affinis
Dypsis affinis seeds Dypsis affinis Dypsis affinis
Dypsis affinis Dypsis affinis Dypsis affinis

 

CHAMAEDOREA OBLONGATA
A BEAUTIFUL INTERIOR OR GARDEN SPECIES
I wanted to mention this species again because we only have a few of these beuties left for sale.  This species of Chamaedorea is from Mexico and Central America.  it is a thin trunked, solitary species that gets to a height of about eight to ten feet.  The leaves are about two feet long on a long petiole.  Leaflets are thick, leathery, shiny and puffy in shape with a pointed drip tip.  Also note how there is essentially no stem to the leaflets; they are closely attached to the petiole.  And, the leaflets tend to be oval in shaped, flexed down and end in a fine point.  There is also a prominent gap between the leaflets, typical of this species.  We just got in these beauties and they are interior quality and about seven feet tall in their pots.  They are being grown in attractive groups of five to six plants per pot.  This gives a much fuller appearance.  This is an extremely attractive house plant.  In the garden it thrives here in Southern California.  It is a filtered light plant with a cold tolerance of about 25 degrees F.  These beauties can be easily shipped right to your door.
Chamaedorea oblongata Chamaedorea oblongata
Chamaedorea oblongata Chamaedorea oblongata Chamaedorea oblongata
Chamaedorea oblongata    

 

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. 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. 
Phoenix hanceana 5g Phoenix hanceana (loureiri)

 

 

BURRETIOKENTIA KOGHIENSIS
We've probably discussed this species before because it is one of our favorites at the nursery.  This New Caledonia palm is a good grower here in Southern California.  It is native to Mt. Koghi, just outside of Noumea.  The IPS Biennial trip in the year 2000 visited this habitat.  I've seen this plant in its habitat and can vouch for the fact that it is a very attractive species.  They are thin trunked with a white crown shaft and can reach a height of over forty feet.  We have a good selection of these for sale.  Shown are some containerized plants as well as photos from habitat and a few photos from gardens here in Southern California.  It is a good growing palm and should be no problem for most of you in this locality.  Part day sun or filtered light would work best for these.  Cold tolerance is not documented, but anticipated to be into the mid-twenties F., perhaps a bit lower.  An interesting thing about this species is the triangular shape to the base of the crown shaft when you grow it.  The five gallon picture in the last row tries to demonstrate this.  When you palpate the base, it is triangular in shape just like Dypsis decaryi.   Most have found this species just as easy to grow as Burretiokentia hapala. 
Burretiokentia koghiensis Burretiokentia koghiensis
Burretiokentia koghiensis blower Burretiokentia koghiensis wild Burretiokentia k wild
Burretiokentia koghiensis band Burretiokentia k. new leaf Burretiokentia koghiensis
Burretiokentia koghiensis Burretiokentia koghiensis Burretiokentia koghiensis

 

 

 

TUESDAY MORNING, MAY 29, 2012: 
REQUEST TO BLOG READERS:

We're approaching our one year anniversary of this Blog.  Please click on the link below and give me feedback so I can write about
what you like.  Do you prefer information on palms?  Cycads?  Tropical plants?  Do you prefer the longer more descriptive narratives
like the last dozen or so, or really short ones?  Do you like lots of pictures or just a few?  Your brief feedback is very appreciated. 
Thank you.
CLICK HERE TO GIVE YOUR FEEDBACK
Phil Bergman
Owner of Jungle Music, author and past President of the International Palm Society and the Palm Society of Southern California

picture of Phil

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

MONDAY, MAY 28, 2012

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

 

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
     

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   

 

SUNDAY, MAY 27, 2012

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

 

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    

 

 

FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2012

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

 

 

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

 

 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2012

HYOPHORBE INDICA
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.  It does not make a very
large palm with typical heights about twenty feet.
It is also a quick grower.  Shown here are some
oversized 5g plants with chunky bases.  I only have
a few of these.  Also shown is that boxed specimen.
Trunk size is thin, perhaps six to eight inches.
This species prefers heat and sun along the coast.
It would qualify as a short to medium sized palm
but is very quick growing to reach an overhead
size.  These 5g plants have been outdoors for
approximately 3 years and have seen 27 to 28
degrees already.  They are ready for the garden!
5g plants are $75, very good sized.  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.
Lastly, remember to give this plant full sun.  The
only plants I've lost are those put outdoors in
shade.  Like the Bottle and Spindle Palm, this
species likes full sun.
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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

TUESDAY, MAY 22, 2012

 

ENCEPHALARTOS LONGIFOLIUS
BLUE OR GREEN?
Fairly recently I discussed this South African species.  My post today is to just talk about the leaf color of this species.  Decades ago, I thought this species was basically a green species.  The first few plants I had seen were green.  Then I ordered in some juvenile plants from South Africa and found they were blue in color; sometimes as blue as Encephalartos horridus.  So, I called my supplier there and said "I really liked those "blue" longifolius".  He seemed puzzled and I asked why.  He said that, in his area of Port Elizabeth South Africa, Encephalartos longifolius are always blue.  This prompted me to really examine the color of this species.

Reference texts describe the leaves as green with a bluish color.  As I looked at more and more plants, I came to find there are super blue colored plants, blue-green plants and totally green specimens.  Rarely one sees a green one with dark olive green leaves.  What I'd like to demonstrate here is the color variation of this species and show you a superb, dark green specimen that we just sold from our nursery. It's the last photos way below.  But, first I'll show some plants that are obviously blue in color.   
Encephalartos longifolius blue Encephalartos longifolius blue
Encephalartos longifolius blue Encephalartos longifolius blue Encephalartos longifolius blue
So, the plants above are definitely blue.  Here we are going to look at plants that are green with some blue in them.  Encephalartos longifolius blue-green Encephalartos longifolius blue-green
Encephalartos longifolius Encephalartos longifolius blue green Encephalartos longifolius blue green
And here we are looking at plants that are totally green.  The boxes specimen is a very dark olive green.  I think this variety of E. longifolius will never get blue, even in the brightest sun.  It is true that sun exposure is an important factor in a cycad's developing blue color.  But, sometimes it is just not in the genes.  Some cycad brokers will talk about specific localities such as "joubertina" and it is true that certain habitat locality plants may share some common characteristics such as the blue color.  In California right now, I think it might be harder to find the dark green one than the blue. Encephalartos longifolius green Encephalartos longifolius green
     
Encephalartos longifolius green Encephalartos longifolius green Encephalartos longifolius green
Encephalartos longifolius green Encephalartos longifolius green  

 

 

 

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

 

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    

 

 

 

MONDAY, MAY 21, 2012

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2012

 

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

 

SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2012

 

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.
Rhopalostylis cheesemanii Rhopalostylis cheesemanii
Rhopalostylis cheesemanii Rhopalostylis cheesemanii Rhopalostylis cheesemanii

 

SOME CYCADS AT THE NURSERY
From time to time I like to show general photographs of our nursery.  I know many of you have never been here.  So, these pictures tell you a little bit more about Jungle Music.  This area is just one little part of the property and is where we grow some of our assorted cycads.  Most of these plants are in full sun.  Shown are some Encephalartos, Ceratozamia, Lepidozamia and Dioons.  If you are in our area, drop by to see some of these beautiful plants.  Or, if you are interested in any given species or type, just drop me an email and I can send individual photographs of any species you seek.    
Cycads outdoors front GH Cycads outdoors front GH
Cycads outdoors front GH Cycads outdoors front GH Cycads outdoors front GH

 

 

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

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

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

 

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


Ceratozamia mexicana





Ceratozamia hildae x plumosa
Ceratozamia hildae x plumosa

 

 

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

 

FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2012

 

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 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

 

 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2012

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  

 

 

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 last picture shows a Clinostigma.
I am not sure of the species name of this plant, but
it is definitely an exotic specimen.  


     
Clinostigma savoryanum 15g Clinostigma savoryanum
Clinostigma savoryana 5g Clinostigma savoryana Clinostigma savoryana
Clinostigma    

 

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012

 

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.
lepidozamia peroffskyana leaf Lepidozamia peroffskyana
Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana
     

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

Cycas bifida Cycas bifida
Cycas bifida    

 

 

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.  Sporting from
Mexico, this rare and hard to find species
is perfect for people who see cold
temperatures in the mid to upper teens F.
They never get over about six feet tall
and are definitely blue when larger.
Shown is an example of one for sale.
Be aware that they must reach a certain
size before becoming blue.  Small plants
are always green.  They like sun and take
temperatures down to about 17 degrees F.
Brahea decumbens 5g Brahea decumbens
Brahea decumens

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

 

SUNDAY, MAY 13, 2012

 

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

 


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

 

CHAMAEDOREA TEPEJILOTE

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

 

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

 

SATURDAY, MAY 12, 2012

DYPSIS DECIPIENS
MANAMBE PALM
AN ASSORTMENT OF PHOTOS OF THIS COMPLEX

This morning I'm just dealing with one "species".  It 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 remendous 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 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

 

FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2012 

A FEW QUICK NURSERY PHOTOS
Yesterday 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

 

SABAL PUMOS
THE ROYAL PALMETTO
This is another Sabal palm.  It's 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
     

 

CYCAS DEBAEOENSIS
I've discussed this species before, but every time a plant throws a new leaf, I just have to get out the camera.  This is a super rare species that it totally unique in the cycad world.  I say this because the leaf branches to the third order.  Only this species and Cycas multipinnata do this.  The first four pictures are of one plant, the rest of the photos are of other plants at our nursery.  This species is from China and lives in mountainous areas.  It is surprisingly cold hardy in that it easily tolerates temperatures into the mid to perhaps low 20's F.  It prefers filtered light in most areas.  It's trunk is surprisingly small for the height of the leaves.  This plant carries typically two to four leaves and they tend to go straight up.  Leaves can get up to ten feet long.  The caudex is seldom much bigger than a soccer ball.  Photos here easily show the branching of the leaves.  This species is rare and tends to be expensive.  Presently we have several nice 15g plants, but none smaller at this time.  People enjoy this species because it is so tropical and enticing.  It's ideal for an existing garden where filtered light is plentiful.
Cycas debaoensis 15g Cycas debaoensis 15g
Cycas debaoensis 15g Cycas debaoensis 15g Cycas debaoensis 15g
Cycas debaoensis 15g Cycas debaoensis 15g Cycas debaoensis 15g

 

THURSDAY,  MAY 10, 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

 

DRACENA DRACO
This species of Dracena actually makes
a rather large tree.  It has silver thick 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.
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.
Butia X Jubaea Butia X Jubaea
Butia X Jubaea    

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

OUR APOLOGIES TO READERS.  A COMPUTER/SERVER MALFUNCTION CAUSED THE LOSS OF ABOUT FIVE POSTS BETWEEN
MAY 4TH AND 9TH.  WE'LL TRY TO RECREATE THESE SOON.

 

TUESDAY,  MAY 1, 2012


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    

 

CHAMAEDOREA "ROBUSTA"
If this is indeed a true species, I had never heard of it until recently.  Apparently seeds were distributed by a well known seedsman a few years back.  I obtained these one gallon plants and am still trying to make sense of it.  On first glance, they resemble Chamaedorea glaucifolia, but the foliage is different and there is no glaucous powder.  The stem and leaves are green.  The also show a different growth pattern with shorter internode length than I'm familiar with.  I cannot give information on cold hardiness and culture because this species is entirely new to me. 

The photographs here show the very thin green leaflets.  Also note that this plant is blossoming from the very first internode, a somewhat unusual thing to see.  Also note that there is no white powder on the stem or crown shaft area.  In the bottom row of pictures of Chamaedorea glaucifolia, note the powdery white tomentum on the crown shaft, not seen with this "robusta".  Also note the different arrangement of leaflets, more plumose and somewhat grouped with glaucifolia.  This could certainly represent a natural hybrid, but who knows.  It is not mentioned in Don Hodels book on Chamaedoreas.  
Chamaedorea robusta 1g Chamaedorea robusta 1g
Chamaedorea robusta 1g Chamaedorea robusta 1g Chamaedorea robusta 1g
Chamaedorea glaucifolia
Chamaedorea glaucifolia
Chamaedorea glaucifolia
Chamaedorea glaucifolia
 

 

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    

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Phil Bergman

Owner, Jungle Music Palms and Cycads 

 

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