Jungle Music Palms and Cycads Nursery

Nursery Hours:
Monday -Saturday 10AM-3PM

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

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  • Brief comments given about species presented
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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2012

 

ENCEPHALARTOS UMBELUZIENSIS
SMALL CYCAD FOR FILTERED LIGHT
This is a small cycad with a trunk no greater than twelve inches that is native to Swaziland (just north of Republic of South Africa) and Mozambique.  It has leaves that are erect, three to six feet long with leaflets that are narrow and mildly armed.  It has a similarity to Encephalartos villosus but the basilar part of the leaf stems are less spiny or prickly compared to villosus.  Also, the leaves of E. villosus tend to be longer. This species prefers strong filtered light.  Full sun, especially inland, may burn the leaves. Cold hardiness is into the low 20's F.  Shown here are a 15g plant, a citrus pot plant and two garden specimens.  We have limited supplies of this species. 
Encephalartos umbeluziensis Encephalartos umbeluziensis
Encephalartos umbeluziensis Encephalartos umbeluziensis Encephalartos umbeluziensis
Encephalartos umbeluziensis Encephalartos umbeluziensis Encephalartos umbeluziensis

 

STANGERIA ERIOPUS
SMALL SHADE CYCAD, MALE CONE
For many years we have been growing this species of shade loving South African cycad that looks more like a fern than a cycad.  I just photographed a male plant in cone in a citrus pot.  So, I wanted to show it here.  I have also included one photo below of a female cone on a different plant.   This is a small cycad species.  Leaves are usually four feet long or less.  Caudex size is typically six inches or less.  Plants in 15g pots frequently cone and, as you can see, so do older citrus pot plants.  It's not unusual for us to have five to ten plants coning at the same time..  Right on our coast, some people are growing this plant in full sun. But, most grow it in filtered light.  It holds typically three or four leaves which are a lush green color.  The male cone is thinner but not necessarily taller.  The shape of the female cone is more like a pineapple.  Setting seeds is not difficult on this species.  Cold tolerance is into the low 20's F. 
Stangeria eriopus male
Stangeria eriopus male Stangeria eriopus male
male cone
Stangeria eriopus FEmale
female cone
Stangeria eriopus male
two male cones on a different plant
Stangeria eriopus  

 

CARPENTARIA ACUMINATA
THIN TRUNKED, FAST GROWING
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.  In Florida,
it is not unusual to find this species.  But,
for some reason, few nurseries have them
available in Southern California.  For those
in warm areas locally, it might be another
species to try.
Carpentaria acuminata Carpentaria acuminata
Carpentaria    

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

I know this type of plant is off-theme, but once in a while I like to show something to surprise you.  And, wouldn't this be a great Holiday gift for someone who likes different plants.  It's a full sun plant and can easily be shipped to areas in the U.S., weather permitting.
Bonzai rock Ficus Bonzai rock Ficus
Bonzai rock Ficus Bonzai rock Ficus Bonzai rock Ficus

 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2012

 

DIOON STEVENSONII
SUPER RARE, NEWLY DESCRIBED SPECIES
 
This morning I am pleased to announce that we are offering a Dioon species which is not only attractive and extremely rare, but also a species that is essentially unavailable on the cycad market .  Many years ago I obtained some seeds which I germinated.  I have been growing these for about eight years.  These plants have been extremely slow growing.  I have some in citrus pot size and a few in 15g.  They seem to resemble Dioon tomasellii, but have noticeable differences.  The leaflets are thinner, longer, softer to the touch and widely spaced.  They do have spination.  The caudex and petioles, especially on new leaves, is extremely tomentous with tan or slightly red colored hairs.  There are persistent white hairs on the stems.  But, the most different characteristic are the golden-brown emerging new leaves which are also extremely hairy.  All of these different characteristics are illustrated in the photos presented here. 

My son Jesse picked this as his favorite of all the Dioon species.  Because we didn't know the true identity of this species, were merely called them "Dioon species".  That is, we called them this until this past weekend.  A close friend of mine and noted author on the cycads of Mexico, Jeff Chemnick, visited me and saw these plants. He was shocked to see them and immediately recognized them from his cycad research.  Before he told me what they were, he wanted to see every plant we had.  He then confirmed, in his opinion, that they were Dioon stevensonii.  This is a newly described species that has been separated off from Dioon tomasellii.  Below, I will give you a link to the descriptive article from 2009 by Nicolalde-Morejo, Andrew P. Vovides et al, that described this species.  Most notable characteristics from the article are: 
1. Trunk size up to 120 cm, diameter 25 cm
2. Variable number of leaves that are 60 to 120 cm long, arch downwards and have golden-brown tomentum when emerging
3. Petiole and rachis have dense white tomentous hairs when young and later turn green
4. Paired leaflets at right angles to the rachis, thin, widely spaced, pointed with a few spines and gently arching downwards
The article below is technical, not right for all readers.
Link to Article on this species  


This is a medium sized, full sun or part day sun species.  I anticipate cold hardiness into the mid to low 20's F.  Very limited numbers available.  The first seven photos here are of the 15g size, the rest are citrus pot sized. Because of rarity in collections, there are no reliable photos to show mature specimens.  But, the article above shows the plant in habitat.
Dioon stevensonii Dioon stevensonii

Dioon stevensonii
Dioon stevensonii Dioon stevensonii Dioon stevensonii
Dioon stevensonii Dioon stevensonii Dioon stevensonii
Dioon stevensonii Dioon stevensonii Dioon stevensonii
Dioon stevensonii Dioon stevensonii Dioon stevensonii
Dioon stevensonii Dioon stevensonii Dioon stevensonii

 

RHAPIS EXCELSA
THE LADY PALM
SPECIAL ON FOUR FOOT TALL PLANTS

Rhapis excelsa has long been known as the Lady Palm and is a filtered light garden species and an excellent interior palm.  Mature heights are variable, but typically about eight feet.  It is a suckering species with fibrous thin trunks.  Leaves are palmate (fan palm) with thin leaflets that are irregularly "chopped" off at the ends.  The number of leaflets per leaf is usually five to eight.  Cold tolerance is into the upper teens.  This species does not like full sun.  Like other Rhapis species, this one is native to Asia.

Shown here are interior quality plants with multiple stems.  They have been imported from Hawaii.  They are in a 10 inch pots.  In the container, their heights are three to four feet.  They are perfect for interior usage.  These are slow growing and don't like to be overly fertilized.  Distilled water in the home maintains nice green leaves.  These are very easy to ship right to your door.

Regular price is $95
Special Sale Price for 10 days from today is $65.
Rhapis excelwsa 4 feet Rhapis excelwsa 4 feet
Rhapis excelwsa 4 feet Rhapis excelwsa 4 feet Rhapis excelwsa 4 feet
Rhapis excelwsa 4 feet Rhapis excelwsa 4 feet Rhapis excelwsa 4 feet

 

SABAL URESANA
ATTRACTIVE BLUE, MEDIUM SIZED PALM

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

PHOENIX THEOPHRASTII
PERHAPS THE MOST COLD HARDY PHOENIX
I have previously discussed this extemely cold hardy species of Phoenix.  This species is suckering (typically) and is from the island of Crete.  It is a bristly palm with lots of spines.  It has a pronounced yellow color in its petioles.  But, most important to people in cold areas, it is possibly the most cold hardy of all the Phoenix, even better than the Canary Palm.  It is somewhat smaller than Phoenix dactylifera and the leaves are green in color.  Shown here are views of 15g plants.  We presently have 5g and 7g for sale.  It likes sun and cold tolerance should be about 15 degrees F.  The last photo shows a single trunk plant (RPS website), perhaps pruned this way or perhaps naturally single trunk.  You can see that it is a medium sized palm species.  These plants are easy to ship by mail order.
Phoenix theophrastii Phoenix theophrastii
Phoenix theophrastii Phoenix theophrastii phoenix theophrastii by TS at RPS
Single trunk plant by TS at RPS website

 

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2012

 

COCCOTHRINAX ALTA
In my last several posts on this Blog, I have discussed several Coccothrinax species.  I thought I'd add another.  Coccothrinax alta is from Puerto Rico and several other nearby islands.  It has flat green leaves that are silver underneath.  The ends of the leaf segments can droop downwards a bit.  It gets to a height of ten to twenty-five feet.  It is rarely discussed in palm reference books.  This species prefers full sun and is very slow growing.  Cold hardiness is into the mid to upper twenties F.  Shown here is a 5g and a 15g  (already sold)  plant.  Pictures of the larger plants do show how this specie's leaves are flat but don't demonstrate how they can droop downwards.  
Coccothrinax alta 5g Coccothrinax alta 5g
Coccothrinax alta 5g Coccothrinax alta Coccothrinax alta
Coccothrinax alta University of Florida FIAS
photo by University of Florida, IFAS
   

 

CHAMAEDOREA STOLINIFERA
A MULTI-STEMMED, SIMPLE LEAF DWARF PALM
BOTH SEXES AVAILABLE IN ONE POT
This dwarf palm is one of my favorite shade loving species.  I say this because it is very easy to grow, doesn't get overly tall, has very cute simple leaves (one segment, no individual leaflets) and finally because it has the most interesting fashion of propagating itself.  Most palms simply make another stem at the base, adjacent to the mother stem.  This species sends out a runner just on top of the soil.  This mall "running" stem then dives under the soil and emerges a short distance away and grows vertically as a new stem.  It's crazy to watch.

Native to high elevation in Mexico where it grows at 2500 feet, stem diameters are a quarter of an inch.  Leaves are short with a short petiole.  Leaf length and width is under a foot.  They are simple, bifed at the end and green in color.  They are known to be somewhat difficult to set seeds on as a domestic plant.  You need both a male and female plant to set seeds.  You must time your pollination of the female flower just right.  To facilitate hobbyists who want to set seeds, I potted up male and female plants into the same pots about a year ago.  These plants came from cane divisions of known parents of both sexes.  They aren't big yet (not shown here), but will someday give people the chance to propagate this species.  Culturally, it is a shade plant with cold tolerance into the low 20's F.  We have other sizes available, limited numbers.
Chamaedorea stolinifera Chamaedorea stolinifera
Chamaedorea stolinifera Chamaedorea stolinifera Chamaedorea stolinifera
Chamaedorea stolinifera Chamaedorea stolinifera Chamaedorea stolinifera

 

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

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

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

 

DIOON EDULE
SUPER BLUE FORM
Dioon edule is a slow growing cycad from Mexico and is typically green in color.  We recently got in some very blue ones.  As these photos show, this cultivar is a very appealing blue-green color.  We are very near the beach and our environment isn't pefect to maintain the blue color shown here.  But, if you live in an inland hot area, this plant will stun you with its nice color.  The plants had been grown in full sun and have leaves about two to three feet and caudex size of four to five inches.  Interestingly enough, the caudexes are very fury.  Dioons have a slow growth rate.   A caudex of twelve to eighteen inches is an extremely old plant.  Overall plant height is often under five feet.  They do cluster and form other trunks.  Cold hardiness of this species is one of the best; probably into the upper teens.  Also, they are excellent at handling desert sun.  The latter capability is almost unique to Dioon edule and its cultivars or subspecies.    
Dioon edule blue Dioon edule blue 
Dioon edule blue  Dioon edule blue  Dioon edule blue 

 

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

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

COPERNICIA BAILEYANA IN BAND SIZE
5g and band size available

Copernicia baileyana is the king of the Copernicia genus. The trunks are thick, tall and almost white in color.  It is a gorgeous plant.  And, anyone who has ever germinated or grown this species knows that they are unbearably slow.  For three years after germination all you see are a few blades of grass.  And, it is extremely difficult to find this species for sale anywhere.  The seedlings shown here are six years old, already showing a few palmate fan leaves.  They are large for a band container.  And, they can be easily shipped.  We also have nice 5g available.

This is a full sun species. Cold tolerance is into the mid-twenties F.  It likes good draining, sandy soil.  Growth rate is super slow.  This species is near impossible to find for sale.  Some of the large specimens in the last photo were from Fairchild Botanical Garden in Miami and were lost during Hurrican Andrew about two decades ago.  
Copernicia baileyana band Copernicia baileyana band
Copernicia baileyana band Copernicia baileyana band Copernicia baileyana band
Copernicia baileyana Copernicia baileyana Copernicia baileyana

 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2012

 

COCCOTHRINAX BARBADENSIS
THIN TRUNK, TALL, SILVER-GREEN FAN PALM
As you might expect with the name, this species is native to the Island of Barbados, but is also found in Trinidad, Tabago and northern Venezuela.  This is a medium to tall height, thin trunked fan palm that can get up to forty feet in the right environment.  Trunk diameter is always less than six inches; leaves are three feet across.  The color of the leaves is green to silver-green.  The underside of the leaves is more prominently silver than the dorsal side.  This is a sun loving palm that can be grown in Southern California.  Cold tolerance is perhaps to the mid-twenties F.  Coccothrinax are known to be slow growing, especially in pots.  The plant shown here is in a 7g plant and probably about six to seven years old. It is about four to five feet tall.  Also shown are several mature specimens.
Coccothrinax barbdensis Coccothrinax barbdensis
Coccothrinax barbdensis Coccothrinax barbadensis Coccothrinax barbadensis
Coccothrinax barbadensis Coccothrinax barbadensis Coccothrinax barbadensis

 

BISMARCKIA NOBILIS
FANTASTIC SILVER FAN PALM


Many of you are familiar with this rather large, brilliantly silver-blue fan palm from Madagascar.   Our 15g palms are showing their color quite well as you can see.  They are about four feet tall.  Mature height of this species is supposed to be forty feet, but we'll have to wait and see if they get this tall in California.  Cold tolerance is into the mid and possibly lower 20's F.  They demand full sun and are a great species for desert climates.   During the winter it is better not to over water them.  Enthusiasts in Northern CA are also giving this species a try.  At the nursery we also have larger and smaller sized Bismarckia for sale. species.      
Bismarckia nobilis 15g Bismarckia nobilis 15g
Bismarckia nobilis 15g Bismarckia by TB  

 

CEROXYLON AMAZONICUM
SMALLER SPECIES WITH WHITE TRUNK
Ceroxylon are a genus of palms that are all from South America and grow at extremely high elevations.  Many species are quite cold hardy and are known to do quite well incolder regions such as Central and Northern California.  Some have columnar white trunks that are appealing.  Ceroxylon amazonicum comes from southern Venezuela and is one of the shorter palm of this genus.  It gets to about thirty feet tall and natively grows at elevations of 2500 to 3500 feet.  I've personally seen some species of Ceroxylon growing at over 6000 feet elevation. 

There's a general rule in horticulture that the higher the native elevation of the species, the more cold hardy that species should be.  In general, I've found this to be true.  Even on the Equator, high elevation locations get very cold and can freeze.  This species is not quite as tall as the other species of Ceroxylon, so you might predict it would have less cold tolerance.  But, I still anticipate it to be in the low 20's F.  Some say this species resembles a 'Coconut".  All Ceroxylon has a silver color to the underside of the leaves as demonstrated here.  Trunks of this genus, including this species, are white and clean.  Shown here is a nice 7g plant, about six years old, and several native habitat pictures by Tobias Spanner at RPS.  This is a very rare palms and quantities are limited.  We have other species of this genus for sale. 
 
Ceroxylon amazonicum Ceroxylon amazonicum
Ceroxylon amazonicum Ceroxylon amazonicum Ceroxylon amazonicum
Ceroxylon amazonicum Ceroxylon amazonicum by TS at RPS
Ceroxylon amazonicum by TS at RPS
Ceroxylon amazonicum by TS at RPS
Ceroxylon amazonicum by TS at RPS

 


COCCOTHRINAX MIRAGUAMA VAR HAVANENSIS
Coccothrinax miraguama is only found on the island of Cuba.  There are several varieties of this species.   The variety of this genus that has a natural habitat near Havana, the capitol, is called C. miraguama variety havanensis.  They are medium sized species, up to about thirty feet. This is a fan palm with a crown width of about twelve feet.   All plants within this genus are mostly known for the interesting pattern of woven fibers on the trunk as shown below.  This woven mesh is mostly right below the trunk.  Further down the trunk of an older specimen, the trunk is clean and bare.  As a species, Coccothrinax miraguama is often felt to be one of the prettiest of the genus.  Shown here is a 7g plant of the variety havanensis.  It is about six years old.  Although I don't have any pictures specifically of this mature plants of this variety (it is super rare), I am showing several photos of the species C. miraguama.  This is a sun loving species with cold tolerance into the mid-twenties F.   Of note, compared to the Coccothrinax barbadensis previously described, this species has thinner leaflets, is somewhat shorter and has the interesting woven pattern on the trunk.    
 
Coccothrinax miraguama var havanensis  Coccothrinax miraguama var havanensis 
Coccothrinax miraguama var havanensis  Coccothrinax miraguama by Univ. of Florida
Coccothrinax miraguama by Univ. of Florida
Coccothrinax miraguama 
Coccothrinax miraguama trunk by SF landscape and gardens website
by SF Lanscape and Gardens website 
Coccothrinax miraguama roseocarpa   

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2012
 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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


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

 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2012

 

CERATOZAMIA LATIFOLIA
NEWLY EMERGENT RED LEAVES
This smaller Ceratozamia is a tropical appearing cycad that comes from eastern Mexico where it grows in cloud forests at an elevation of about 2500 feet.  Its trunk is usually less than a foot tall.  Leaves are three to four feet long.  When new leaves emerge, they are a bronze or red-pink color.  This color lasts for about a month.  The first five photos here show three newly emerging leaves on a 5g plant about 3 inch caudex size.  Nothing is quite as exciting as seeing newly emerging red leaves.  Imagine, with a large specimen, how spectacular this appears. 

This is a filtered light or part day sun species.  Cold tolerance is easily into the lower 20's F.  People in the San Francisco Bay area can easily grow this plant.  The last photo shows leaves about three weeks after emerging.  You can see how the red color is changing to green.   I'm also showing several other nursery plants including an old photo of a boxed specimen.  We typically have a good supply of this species.  It's a nice addition to the floor of the garden under overhead canopy.  

Ceratozamia latifolia red emergent leaves Ceratozamia latifolia red emergent leaves
Ceratozamia latifolia red emergent leaves Ceratozamia latifolia red emergent leaves cERATOZAMIA LATIFOLIA
Ceratozamia latifolia Ceratozamia latifolia Ceratozamia latifolia
Ceratozamia latifolia Ceratozamia latifolia Ceratozamia latifolia
Ceratozamia latifolia Ceratozamia latifolia Ceratozamia latifolia

 

ECHEVERIA "AFTER GLOW"
BETTER PHOTOS SHOWING TRUE COLOR
About two weeks ago I showed you pictures of this desirable succulent for usage in the garden.  I wasn't happy with the color shown in those photos.  It just didn't show the appealing colors of the plants.  I came to find that the pictures taken have everything to to with the light on them and that these shots, taken in the morning, showed the true colors.  They are the most interesting combination of silver, purple and pink.  I think you can see it in these four pictures.  It's a sun loving plant and never gets more than about eighteen inches across.  The leaves are fleshy and thick and have the most interesting pink margins on the leaves and a soft pink spine at the end.  It puts out pink blossom during the summer that last for months.  I might comment that most women love this plant because of the colors.  I highly recommend this species!
Echeveria after glow Echeveria after glow
Echeveria after glow Echeveria after glow  

 

MERYTA BALANSAE
EXTREMELY RARE, LARGE LEAF TROPICAL TREE FROM NEW CALEDONIA
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine and the nursery, Len Geiger, brought by some seedlings of this interesting thin trunked, big leaf tree from New Caledonia.  I had had absolutely no experience with it.  He highly recommended it as a good addition to the garden for those of us in Southern California.  He's been growing it successfully outdoors for quite a few years and has one about eight feet tall tall in his garden and this plant how flowered.  

This is a dioecious species; you must have a male and female to set seeds. Len did this (or got seeds from a friend who did it) and thus was able to propagate these plants.  Mature trees can get to over fifteen feet tall.  The leaves are huge.  It almost looks like an "Anthurium" with a vertical trunk.  I cannot comment on cold hardiness as of yet, but I think Len experiences a frost from time to time.  I'd plant this in a filtered light location.  We have very limited supplies of this species.  Mature specimen pictures are from other websites.   

Meryta balansae Meryta balansae
Meryta balansae Meryta balansae  Meryta balansae by TS at RPS
photo c/o TS at RPS 
Meryta balansae by Endemic.NC
photo from Endemia.NC website 
   


CYCAS PETRAEA
GEORGEOUS, MEDIUM SIZED TROPICAL CYCAD

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

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

 

RAVENEA JULIETIAE
A RARE PALM FROM MADAGASCAR

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

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

 

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

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

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

Lepidozamia peroffskyana
female cone
Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana

 

 

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

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

 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012
 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

DIOON ANGUSTIFOLIUM
AKA DION EDULE VAR ANGUSTIFOLIUM

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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


Dypsis basilongus Dypsis basilonga
Dypsis basilonga Dypsis basilonga Dypsis basilonga

 

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

 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2012

 

RHOPALOSTYLIS OCEANA
AKA RHOPALOSTYLIS SP. CHATHAM ISLAND
A good distance off the coast of New Zealand is an island named "Chatham Island".  Native to this island is a very quick growing and large Rhopalostylis "species".  Many feel that it's a robust form of sapida.  When this palm was first introduced, it was known by its place of origin.  Later the name "oceana" was given to it.  It has been said that this may well be the most southern growing palm species in the world.

It is known for its larger size with a very swollen crown shaft.  It is also faster growing than the regular R. sapida.  Its cold tolerance is into the low 20's F.  Along the coast it will take full sun but inland area require filtered light.  We have been out of this species for some time but are pleased to offer a limited number of 5g plants as shown.  It is a great palm for Southern California.  It is only available from time to time.
Rhopalostylis chatham island Rhopalostylis chatham island
Rhopalostylis chatham island Rhopalostylis chatham island Rhopalostylis chatham island by DC

 

CYCAS DEBAOENSIS
MULTIPINNATE, SMALL CAUDEX, LONG LEAVES
In my opinion, this is one of the most desirable cycad species introduced in the past several decades.  It was formally described in 1996.  Native to China, it is a plant with a rather small caudex, typically under a foot in size, but with long leaves that stretch upwards and will divide to the third order.  Some argue that it's just "bi-pinnate", but if you look carefully at these photos, there is a small stem leading to two or three leaflets.  Therefore, I consider it to be "tri-pinnate".  In other words, the main stem will fork and that branch will fork again, this last stem holding the leaflets..  The Caryota palm divides to the second order and is considered to be multipinate as well.  With this branching, this species produces a very tropical and exotic appearing leaf.

It typically will hold two to four leaves, but has been reported to hold as many as ten leaves.  Length of these can reach ten feet.  They tend to go straight upwards, flexing down over time.  Cycas debaoensis prefers filtered light and is cold hardy to the lower 20's F.  Shown here is a nursery plant holding two very nice leaves.  Caudex size is about four to five inches.  I've shown other plants of this species before, but such a beautiful plant cannot be shown too many times.   At nurseries, this is considered super rare and is always hard to find.

Cycas debaoensis Cycas debaoensis
Cycas debaoensis
photo from above the plant, looking down
Cycas debaoensis Cycas debaoensis
Cycas debaoensis Cycas debaoensis Cycas debaoensis

 

DICTYOSPERMA ALBUM
PRINCESS PALM, HURRICANE PALM
This crown shafted, thin trunked palm comes from the Mascarene and Reunion Islands.  It has a faint resemblance to the King Palm but is from an entirely different part of the world.  Height is typically up to twenty five feet, trunk diameter under one foot and it has a slightly bulging crown shaft.  Dense flower stalks can be seen clustering right below the crown shaft when it's in flower.  There are several varieties of this species with the names of "variety album, rubrum or furfuracea", depending on the predominant color of the crown shaft and inner stems.  Rubrum shows some red, especially when the plant is juvenile.  Furfuracea shows more silver tomentum.

Cold tolerance of this species is about like the King Palm, more of less the mid-twenties F.  It is shorter than the King and has a  thinner trunk.  It is a sunloving plant and much slower growing than a King.  Shown here is a 5g plant and a boxed specimen.  For those of you who only like "feather palms", this is another species to try.  Plants available are limited. 
Dictyosperma album var album Dictyosperma album var album
Dictyosperma album var album Dictyosperma album Dictyosperma album
Dictyosperma album Dictyosperma album Dictyosperma album

 

ENCEPHALARTOS TRISPINOSUS
LARGE NURSERY PLANTS AVAILABLE
As a nurseryman, I can say without doubt that the most popular cycads are the blue colored species.  And, of these, the most sought after are the blue Encephalartos.  The four blue Encephalartos that you'll see at cycad nurseries are Encephalartos horridus, trispinosus, lehmanii and princeps.  There are other blue species in this genus, but these four are the species you'd most likely come across.  All four of these are extremely slow growing.  What I want to show today is show large nursery specimens of Encephalartos trispinosus.  This is a blue species with prominent spiny lobes on its leaflets.  The name "tri"- spinosus comes from the fact that, in the classical leaflet, there are "three spines" including the terminal tip of the leaflet.  But, this is quite variable and there are even "spineless" forms of this species. 

The four nursery plants shown here may well be about as big as you'd ever see in any nursery in the U.S.  It would take an individual thirty years to grow such plants from a seedling.  These plants are usually acquired by very enthusiastic collectors or upscale garden projects.  We certainly have all sizes available from seedlings on up, but thought I'd show you some big ones this morning.  This species likes full sun along the coast but needs some part day protection in desert areas.  Its cold tolerance is to about 22 degrees F.  Below that needs winter protection on the coldest nights. The last photos show how brilliantly blue this species becomes in full, hot sun.  
Encephalartos trispinosus 16 inch Encephalartos trispinosus 16 inch
Encephalartos trispinosus 16 inch Encephalartos trispinosus 16 inch Encephalartos trispinosus
Encephalartos trispinosus Encephalartos trispinosus 16 inch Encephalartos trispinosus
Encephalartos trispinosus Encephalartos trispinosus Encephalartos trispinosus

 

 

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

 

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

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  
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   
DYPSIS PRESTONIANA
A single trunk and hard to find species from Madagascar.  Height is to thirty-five
feet with a trunk diameter twelve to sixteen inches.  Leaves are plumose.  This is
a full sun plant with a good amount of cold tolerance for a Dypsis.
Dypsis prestoniana  
LACCOSPADIX AUSTRALASICA
This is a suckering, medium sized pinnate palm from Australia.  Some consider it
to appear like a "suckering Howea".  Height is typically fifteen to twenty five feet.
Cold hardiness is into the mid-twenties F.  This is a very attractive palm with
prominent red seeds.
Laccospadix australasica  
COERNICIA BAILEYANA
This is a thick trunked fan palm that can get over thirty feet tall.  The most striking
feature are the light colored massive trunks that seem to tower overhead.  The crown has near complete and upright fan leaves that are held tightly together.  This is a sun loving
species that can tolerate mid-twenty F. temperatures.  Very difficult to find.
 
Copernicia baileyana  
 

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.

 

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2012

 

BRAHEA DULCIS
ROCK PALM, SOMBRERO PALM
A GREEN AND A BLUE FORM
This is a medium sized, usually single trunked fan palm that has a native habitat that extends from Mexico down into Central America.  It has flat and roundish leaves that are either green or a prominent blue-green in color.  Therefore, it is known to have a "green form" as well as a "blue form".  This color is not evident until the plant gets larger in the ground.  The trunk is about ten inches thick and usual does not have hair or fibers.  Leaves are flat, round in shape and about three feet wide.  Leaflet segments are open about half way into the leaf.  Fruits are known to be edible.  In my opinion, compared to Brahea armata, the dulcis leaves are more round, flat and softer to the touch.  And, obviously, not as blue as the armata. 

Shown here are two different 5g plants.  The first three photos are of a "blue" B. dulcis, although the color is not evident at this age.  The fourth and seventh photos show the blue variety.  The other garden specimen is the green form.  This species can be grown in strong filtered light or sun.  In less sun, the leaves are larger and more exotic appearing.  Cold tolerance is probably into the low twenties F., perhaps into the upper teens.  We may have larger and smaller specimens for sale at the nursery.

 

Brahea dulcis Brahea dulcis
Brahea dulcis Brahea dulcis Brahea dulcis
Brahea dulcis blue in Miami, FL
Brahea dulcis Brahea dulcis Brahea dulcis by Angelo Porcelli PACSOA
photo by Angelo Porcelli PACSOA

 

COCCOTHRINAX MONTANA
LITTLE KNOWN ABOUT THIS VERY RARE SPECIES
There is little known or published about this thin trunked fan palm from Hispaniola, mostly in Haiti.  Palm reference books don't even mention it.  I've, for some time, been very fond of Coccothrinax.  So, when I had the option of getting several small plants of this species, I jumped on it and figured I'd read more about this species later.  Well, there isn't much information out there.  It is a very thin trunked palm with deeply divided leaves. It is mentioned as probably one of the most rare species of this genus and to have extremely large seeds.  Also, as it comes from very high mountain elevation in Haiti, it is speculated that perhaps it's the most cold hardy species in this genus.

The mature plant shown here from Palmpedia is about the only photo of a large plant that I know of.  The 15g plant shown here was taken by Mike Harris at PACSOA.

I am only showing you these two one gallon plants here just because you'll probably never get a chance to see them again.  I've grown a lot of Coccothrinax, but this species is a first for me.  I assume this species wants some sun and is cold tolerant probably into the mid-twenties F.  

Coccothrinax montana Coccothrinax montana
Coccothrinax montana Coccothrinax montana Coccothrinax montana, unknown author, from Palmpedia and RPS
C. montana, unknown author, from Palmpedia
Coccothrinax montana by Mike Harris, PACSOA    

 

ENCEPHALARTOS CAFFER
DWARF CYCAD FROM SOUTH AFRICA
This is a very small species of cycad from the Republic of South Africa.  It has a trunk that is never over one foot tall and is usually subterranean.  Leaves are green in color, sometimes with a frosty white powder over the green, upright and two to three feet long.  Leaves are keeled in cross section.  Leaflets are thin and about three to four inches long.  Shown here are multiple nursery plants and one small plant in a garden.  We try to have this species available, although supplies are very limited.  It prefers sun and is cold hardy to the low 20's F.  It likes good draining, sandy soil.  Plants never become very large in the garden. 
Encephalartos caffer Encephalartos caffer
Encephalartos caffer Encephalartos caffer Encephalartos caffer
Encephalartos caffer Encephalartos caffer Encephalartos caffer

 

ENCEPHALARTOS MUNCHII
ANOTHER "BLUE" CYCAD
Native to Mozambique, this small to medium sized cycad grows in scrub forest among rocks and boulders.  It is distinguished by its blue to blue-green color and by having leaflets that are prominently spiny.  In my experience, leaf color is sometimes very blue, other times blue-green.  You'll sometimes hear the description as "soapy green" to describe the leaves.  Overall, the leaf color is variable and I've shown several photos here to demonstrate this.  I've seen specimens that are as blue as an Encephalartos horridus.  Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of such plants.  Trunk size is usually under three feet.  Upright leaves are about four feet long or less.  Leaves are keeled and leaflets are lanceolate and spiny.  This species likes full sun and is cold tolerant into the low 20's F.  The first two photos here show a juvenile plant that is green at this stage but in time will become blue like both of its parents.  The third photo is a one gallon plant, already demonstrating its blue color. 
Encephalartos munchii blue Encephalartos munchii blue
Encephalartos munchii Encephalartos munchii Encephalartos munchii
Encephalartos muchii Encephalartos munchii Encephalartos munchii
     

 

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

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

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

 

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

Here are a few general comments about Ceratozamia:

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2012

 

CYCAS DIANNANENSIS
AKA CYCAS PARVULUS
This is a medium sized cycad with trunks up to a maximum of ten feet.  Its leaves are green and flat.  It is from the region of the Red River in Yunnan Province, China.  It was described about a decade ago and was previously known as Cycas parvulus.  Trunk diameter is under one foot and leaf length is up to eight feet.  The most prominent feature are the long, totally flat leaves.  There is some leaf stem armor.  It is extremely rare in collections.

Shown here is a citrus pot size plant.  I have no photos of mature plant and there are very few available on the Net.  This is a cold hardy cycad, known to go into the low 20's F.  I would recommend growing it in filtered light.
Cycas diannanensis Cycas diannanensis
Cycas diannanensis Cycas diannanensis  

 

CYCAS GUIZHOUENSIS
ANOTHER CHINESE CYCAS SPECIES
This species of cycad is smaller in stem size than the C. diannanensis above.  Trunks of guizhouensis only get to about three feet.  Leaves are five to eight feet long, green in color and slightly keeled.  Leaflets are usually under an inch in width.  Leaflets can be twisted on the Rachis.  Cones are yellow in color and large.  There are minimal spines on the leaf stems.  It is native to the Guizhou Province in China.

Cold hardiness is into the mid to lower 20's F. and it should be grown in strong filtered light.  Several nursery plants are shown here as well a mature plant, photo by George Yao.
Cycas guizhouensis Cycas guizhouensis
Cycas guizhouensis Cycas guizhouensis Cycas guizhouensis George Yao PACSOA
photo by George Yao PACSOA
Cycas guizhouensis Cycas guizhouensis  

 

DYPSIS LANCEOLATA
MEDIUM SIZED, HIGH ELEVATION PALM FROM MADAGASCAR
This species of palm is usually, but not always suckering and comes from high mountain elevations in Madagascar and the Comoro Islands east of Africa.  It grows at native elevations of 1000 to 3000 feet.  The name of this species comes from the word "lanceolate", which means "Tapering from a rounded base toward an apex; lance-shaped".  This applies to the shape of the leaves. 

This palm gets to a mature height of about twenty feet and usually clusters.  One of the plants shown here appears to be a single stem example.  Stem diameter is three to five inches.  Leaves are up to eight feet long, arching somewhat and green in color.  Leaflets are a glossy green, taper at the ends and hang downwards.  Trunks are silver or green, prominently ringed and the crown shaft is silver, often with some brown speckling.  Leaves are slightly keeled.  A similar species, Dypsis pembana, is similar appearing.  However, as a juvenile plant it has more brown speckling in the inner crown.  Also, when mature, stems are larger. 

I am showing a large number of photos here because this is an important landscape species for Southern California.  I'd recommend growing it in part day sun or strong filtered light.  Cold tolerance is in the mid-twenties F.  Interestingly enough, the three five gallons to the right were grown in nearly full sun and did quite well with it.
Dypsis lanceolata Dypsis lanceolata
Dypsis lanceolata Dypsis lanceolata Dypsis lanceolata
Dypsis lanceolata Dypsis lanceolata Dypsis lanceolata
Dypsis lanceolata Dypsis lanceolata Dypsis lanceolata
Dypsis lanceolata Dypsis lanceolata Dypsis lanceolata
Dypsis lanceolata Dypsis lanceolata Dypsis lanceolata

 

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

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

 

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

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

The most common one seen in nurseries is
Archontophoenix cunninghamiana.  This is the
one you'd see if you drive around in So Cal
looking for a King Palm.  But, it is not the
prettiest species and does have problems with
leaf tip burning in full sun.  A. purpurea has
a purple color to the crown shaft and
A. myolensis has a very clean, emerald green
crown shaft. Both have silver color on the under-
side of the leaves. 

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

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

Archontophoenix maxima
Archontophoenix maxima

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2012

 

BURRETIOKENTIA VIELLARDII
THE TIGER PALM
This single trunk, pinnate palm from New Caledonia has become quite popular.  Many find it difficult to locate, but we have a nice assortment for sale.  It is a medium sized plant, perhaps 25 feet overall height when mature.  The trunk is typically six to eight inches thick.  The crown shaft has interesting dark marks, sometimes quite prominent.  See the last photo below.  This finding may lighten with age.  Growth rate is medium.  It prefers part day sun or filtered light inland.  Cold hardiness is probably about 25 degrees F, or a bit higher. 

Shown here are several reasonably sized plants.  Also shown are some more mature plants.  We have a limited number of seedlings through 15g plant with perhaps a few larger.  If you like this species, also consider Burretiokentia koghiensis and hapala.  They are quite nice as well.  
Burretiokentia viellardii Burretiokentia viellardii
Burretiokentia viellardii Burretiokentia viellardii Burretiokentia viellardii
Burretiokentia viellardii Burretiokentia viellardii Burretiokentia viellardii

 

EUTERPE EDULIS
A FORM OF THE "ACAI" BERRY PALM
I had been growing this palm for over twenty years before I ever heard of anyone drinking "Acai berry juice".  And then, almost overnight, it became an industry.  This species makes large numbers of dark purple seeds, so it's no surprise that it is loaded with antioxidant properties and someone would market it.  The original "Acai berry" was from another species, Euterpe oleracea.  But, I've heard juice from Euterpe edulis is also being used.  I might add that it's super expensive.  Euterpe are also a good source for the "hearts of palms" that some may eat in their salads. 

Euterpe edulis is a fast growing, thin trunked, pinnate palm with a long colorful crown shaft.  Crown shaft color varies from green to a mahogany brown.  This species is native to Brazil and northern Argentina.  It is cold hardy into the mid-twenties F.  It prefers to start as a younger plant in strong filtered light and work its way into the sun.  On the pictures here, I am showing a nice 5g plant with color already showing on the trunk (crown shaft).  Also look at the large nursery specimen.  The photo from habitat was taken by Gaston Torres from PACSOA.
Euterpe edulis 5g
Euterpe edulis 15g Euterpe edulis Euterpe edulis
Euterpe edulis photo by Gaston Torres PACSOA
photo by Gaston Torres, PACSOA
Euterpe edulis  

 

 

RHAPIS MULTIFIDA
ONE OF THE BEST INTERIOR PALMS!
NOT THE SAME AS RHAPIS HUMILUS
This suckering fan palm from China is often mentioned by inexperienced nurserymen to be 'Rhapis humilus".  It is not the same.  This species only gets to ten feet of height and is much shorter than the twenty-five foot humilus.  Also, the canes are more thin and the leaflets smaller.  Nurserymen call it Rhapis humilus because this name is much more known and easier to remember.  Seeds of true humilus are not now and have essentially never been available.  One must get a dug division of a mature plant to get a specimen of this species.

Rhapuis multifida can be grown outdoors in filtered light if you don't get below about 22 degrees F.  It's trunks are always under an inch in diameter. Typical leaves have twelve to twenty thin, pointed leaflets.  The canes are much tidier than the common Lady Palm.  As a houseplant, it is one of the superior species you can buy.  The plant shown here are imported from Hawaii and are interior quality, ready for the best hotel lobbies or banks.  Or, they'd look nice in anyone's living room.  The 5g plants we have are about six feet, the seven gallon are about eight feet. These can easily be shipped right to your door.  


rhapis multifida 5g rhapis multifida 5g
rhapis multifida 5g rhapis multifida 5g rhapis multifida 5g
rhapis multifida 5g rhapis multifida 7g rhapis multifida 7g

 

DYPSIS BARONII
MEDIUM SIZED SUCKERING PALM FROM MADAGASCAR
This morning I am showing a lot of photographs of this species as it is truly a spectacular palm   I say this because it displays a variety of colors in the trunk and crown shaft, especially through its juvenile years.  Also, it's fairly cold hardy (to about 25 degrees F. or lower), it has thin trunks and gets to a height of typically twenty feet.  This makes is a perfect size, not overly large.  One of the fascinating things is the variety of color in the base of the juvenile stems.  This varies from red to orange and pink and to silver and yellow.  There's a color for everyone!  As plants mature, stems usually become silver or green.  Crown shafts are often a powdery white as shown here.

This plant is not difficult to grow.  It prefers part day sun when small but can tolerate coastal sun.  Inland areas should try filtered light.  Shown here is an assortment of plants from the nursery as well as domestic and habitat pictures.  I'd highly recommend this species.

Dypsis baronii Dypsis baronii  
Dypsis baronii Dypsis baronii Dypsis baronii  
Dypsis baronii Dypsis baronii Dypsis baronii  
Dypsis baronii Dypsis baronii habitat by JS
habitat photo by JS
Dypsis baronii
photo by JS
 
       
Dypsis baronii Dypsis baronii Dypsis baronii by DC
photo by DC
 
Dypsis baronii Dypsis baronii
Photo by DC
Dypsis baronii by JS
Photo by JS, habitat
 

 

DYPSIS LUTESCENS
THE ARECA PALM
NICE TEN NINE FOOT TALL PLANTS
For those who like suckering type palms that tolerate sun and don't get overly tall, we just got in some nice specimens of Dypsis lutescens, nine to ten feet tall.  This species typically gets a maximum height in Southern California of under twenty feet.  Trunk diameters are usually under three inches.  A predominant color with this species is yellow, seen in the stems and petioles.  These are nice, full plants with lots of canes.  Cold tolerance is into the mid to low 20's F.  Coastal sun is well tolerated by the Areca Palms.  We also have smaller plants for sale on this species.
Dypsis lutescens 9-10 feet Burretiokentia viellardii
Burretiokentia viellardii Burretiokentia viellardii Burretiokentia viellardii

 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

 

BASSELINIA GLABRATA
AKA ALLOSCHMIDTIA GLABRATA
ATTRACTIVE THIN TRUNK PALM FOR FILTERED LIGHT
This species is very thin trunked, prominently crown shafted, pinnate and medium in size.  It is native to New Caledonia, where it grows in mountainous locations.  In the recent past, the previous genus name of "Alloschmidtia" was changed by Don Hodel to "Basselinia".  Trunk diameter is typically under two inches, overall height at maturity under twenty feet.  The crown shaft is green, often with some grey or brown speckling. 

As it's overall size and crown diameter are not that great, it can easily be placed into almost any garden.  But, it is an "under-canopy" type of palm requiring filtered light.  It also requires adequate water.  Under-watering will result in brown tipping of the leaves.  Cold tolerance is probably into the mid-twenties F.  Shown her are 5g and 15g plants, domestic plants and several pictures from habitat.  Most consider this a very extotic and collectible species. 
Basselinia glabrata Basselinia glabrata
Basselinia glabrata Basselinia glabrata Basselinia glabrata
Basselinia glabrata Basselinia glabrata Alloschmidtia glabrata
Alloschmidtia glabrata Alloschmidtia glabrata Alloschmidtia glabrata

 

ALOCASIA SEDENII
EXOTIC COMPANION PLANT
At our nursery, when available, we try to offer very different companion plants that you might not find elsewhere.  This includes Philodendron, Alocasia, and different aeroids that we find appealing.  The plant I am showing today is such a species.  I know a private collector who has this species and every year offers me one or two plants from his mother plant.  Shown here is a one gallon Alocasia sedenii.

This species is quite striking in appearance.  The leaves are dark green, sometimes almost black in color.  The backs of the leaves are purple-red.  It suckers and is never much above eighteen inches in height.  It grows by producing more tubers in the soil, thus giving rise to more rosettes of leaves.  It is a filtered light plant and has a cold tolerance down to about a freeze.  A cold winter will cause some leaf decline, but in the Spring it comes back nicely.  Finding this species is very difficult, so if you like its appearance and think you can grow it, contact me soon.  
Alocasia sedenii Alocasia sedenii
Alocasia sedenii Alocasia sedenii Alocasia sedenii

 

CERATOZAMIA KUESTERIANA
THIN LEAFLET CYCAD FROM MEXICO
SALE ON FOUR YEAR OLD 1G SIZE

This species grows at high elevation, above 3000 feet, in a  mountain range in southern Mexico.  Its caudex is usually under one foot in height and about four to six inches in diameter.  Leaves are three to six feet long and emerge with a red-brown color as shown in a photo below.  Petioles have a small number of spines.  Leaflets are numerous and thin, pointed, and 1/4 to 1/2 inch in width.  Very mature plants can be quite full, but this is never considered a large cycad.  The bronze emergent leaves convert to green color over about a month.

The juvenile plants in the first four photos here are 4 year old from domestic seeds from an identified male and female plant.  An interesting thing about this species is how juvenile foliage is different than mature foliage.  Look how the seedling leaflets are actually wider than the mature leaflets on the photos.  This is a part day sun species that can take perhaps full sun along the coast and needs filtered light inland.  Cold tolerance is into the low 20's F.  I have shown a few larger nursery plants to view as well as picturs from PACSOA of larger domestic plants.

SALE 1g Size: Regularly $65, Sale Price $45

Just mention this website special to get this price.  Sale ends in ten days from today.  Easy to ship by mail order. 


 
Ceratozamia kuesteriana Ceratozamia kuesteriana
Ceratozamia kuesteriana Ceratozamia kuesteriana Ceratozamia kuesteriana
Ceratozamia kuesteriana Ceratozamia kuesteriana Ceratozamia kuesteriana by Ian Edwards PACSOA
photo by Ian Edwards, PACSOA
Ceratozamia kuesteriana by Colin Wilson, PACSOA
Photo by Colin Wilson, PACSOA
Ceratozamia kuesteriana by Colin Wilson, PACSOA
Photo by Colin Wilson, PACSOA
 

 

THREE SPECIES OF TRITHRINAX BELOW!

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

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

 

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

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

 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2012
Some Interesting Succulents today (below)

 

DYPSIS PRESTONIANA
A NEWLY INTRODUCED MADAGASCAR PALM

I've grown well over a hundred species or varieties of palms from Madagascar.  Once in a while a real winner comes along.  I would consider Dypsis prestoniana to be in this group of fantastic Malagassy Palms.

This highly sought-after, single trunk species from Madagascar is very beautiful.  This species comes from mid-elevation in southern Madagascar and is proving to be a great species for Southern California.  It has a height of over 35 feet, a trunk thickness of about twelve to sixteen inches, with prominent rings, plumose upright leaves and a colored crown shaft.  Cold tolerance appears to be definitely into the mid twenties F, perhaps lower.  People up in the San Francisco Bay Area are really excited about this new introduction.  Mature trees tolerate full sun along the coast. 

Shown here are some band sized and two gallon plants.  The mature plants below are photos taken by others in habitat.  I particularly want to thank my friends and authors of the Palms of Madagascar, John Dransfield and Henk Beenjte for usage of their photos (last row).  The juvenile plant is from a garden here in Southern CA.   Note that we have limited numbers of these just available and they'll be gone quickly. 
Dypsis prestoniana Dypsis prestoniana
Dypsis prestoniana Dypsis prestoniana Dypsis prestoniana
Dypsis prestoniana Dypsis prestoniana by TS RPS
photo by TS at RPS
Dypsis prestoniana
Dypsis prestoniana Dypsis prestoniana Dypsis prestoniana
Dypsis prestoniana by John Dransfield, RBK
Photo by John Dransfield, Royal Botanical Garden Kew
Dypsis prestoniana by John Dransfield, RBK
Photo by Henk Beentje, Royal Botanical Gardens Kew
 

 

DUDLEYA BRITTONII
DUDLEYA CHALK PLANT
This small and hard to find silver-blue succulent comes from northern Baja California.  The most amazing thing about this plant is its color.  It is about as silver as a succulent can get.  This color is secondary to a very reflective wax that is exuded by the leaves.  This wax traps water as well as conserves on water losses from the leaves. 

This is a small species, only up to eighteen inches wide.  It tolerates bright hot sun.  Cold hardiness is somewhere in the upper teens F.  It is also xerophytic and only requires a rare watering.  Some people don't water it at all and allow only rain water to hit the plant.  Overwatering could rot the plant.  It does very well in a small pot.  I've also been told it's an ideal species for a rock wall display.  We grow very few succulents, but I can spot a winner when I see it. Also, it's an ideal plant for a Holiday gift; small enough to fit in a box with a bow!  
Dydleya brittonii Dydleya brittonii
Dydleya brittonii    

 

KENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS
GREAT 5G PLANT JUST AVAILABLE
FAIRLY COLD HARDY PINNATE PALM

We just have available some very nice 5g Kentiopsis oliviformis.  They are good sized for a 5g and ready for someone's garden.  This species comes from New Caledonia and is probably one of the easiest species to grow from that South Pacific island.  It thrives in Southern California.  Figure that it will get to about 30 feet and have a trunk diameter of about a foot, perhaps less.  The leaves are upright and the crown shaft is dark green.  Cold hardiness is into the lower 20's F.  Therefore, it's more cold hardy than a King Palm!  It is being grown up in San Francisco by many.

An interesting thing is how the leaf color of this species is sort of blue green when grown in the sun.  The first photo in the third row below shows this color.  

Shown here are photos of our 5g size.  We also have available larger and smaller plants.  But, these 5g are a perfect starting size and can be mail ordered to anywhere within the U.S.  
Kentiopsis oliviformis Kentiopsis oliviformis
Kentiopsis oliviformis Kentiopsis oliviformis Kentiopsis oliviformis
20 gallon size
Kentiopsis oliviformis Kentiopsis oliviformis Kentiopsis oliviformis

 

CERATOZAMIA, UNKNOWN SPECIES
SALE ON 5G SIZE
We just got in several plants of a species of Ceratozamia that is quite unique.  The leaflets are wide and rather short.  These plants are in a 5g container with caudex size about two inches.  The leaves are two, perhaps three feet long.   The interesting thing is that the leaflets are widely spaced, revolute at the edges, and wide and plump.  The is minimal armor on the petioles.  The petioles are a reddish green color.  At first glance I thought they were Cz latifolia, but the leaves and spacing is different.  They don't appear to be microstrobilis either.  So, I'll just leave it at "species".  I've sold some already and only have three or four left. 

They'll want filtered light and should have cold hardiness into the low 20's F.

SALE 5g Size: Regularly $115, Sale Price $79

Just mention this website special to get this rate.  Sale ends in ten days from today.  Easy to ship by mail order. 

 
Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species
Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species

 

ECHEVERIA "AFTERGLOW"
SMALL SUCCULENT, INTERESTING COLOR
This small succulent has a very different appealing color.  It is silver-pink-purple and has pink flowers during the summer.  Overall size is twelve to eighteen inches.  It prefers sun but can be grown in part sun.  It wants good draining soil and is a xerophytic species.  It is probably our best selling succulent.  It is a hybrid of two other species, both native to Mexico. 

Some have described the leaf color as "mystifying".  From different angles it shows different colors.  The plants shown here are in 5g pots.  
Echeveria "Afterglow" Echeveria "Afterglow"
Echeveria afterglow Echeveria afterglow  

 

AGAVE ATTENUATA
FOX TAIL AGAVE
SALE ON 5G SIZE

There are many Agave which I don't like because of their large size and very pointed, sharp and piercing leaftip ends.  This species is different.  It's gently curving leaves are soft, pliable and friendly to the touch.  It won't poke you.  It gets up to a height of four feet and the width can be larger because of basal suckers produced.  But, this is easy to control by removing suckers.  It is silver-lime green in color.  It likes sun.  Cold tolerance is down into the mid to upper 20's F.  It is a xerophytic plant and wants sandy, good draining soil.  Shown here is the 5g size.

SALE 5g Size: Regularly $55, Sale Price $39

Just mention this website special to get this rate.  Sale ends in ten days from today.  Easy to ship by mail order. 

Agave attenuata Agave attenuata
Agave attenuata Agave attenuata Agave attenuata photo by Carefreegardener.com
photo from Carefreegardener.com

 

GAUSSIA ATTENUATA "KARA'S STRIPE"
ATTRACTIVE VARIEGATED PLANT
SALE ON 5G SIZE

This hybrid plant was recently introduced from tissue culture from work on the pure mother form above.  It has  nice variegated edge to the sides of the individual leaves.  It should otherwise be very similar to the regular attenuata above.

SALE 5g Size: Regularly $55, Sale Price $39

Just mention this website special to get this rate.  Sale ends in ten days from today.  Easy to ship by mail order. 


Agave attenuata karas stripe Agave attenuata karas stripe
Agave attenuata karas stripe Agave attenuata karas stripe  

 

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2012

 

BRAHEA EDULIS
GUADALUPE FAN PALM

SALE ON 5 GALLON SIZE!
This is a single trunk fan palm only native to a small island named Guadalupe Island off the Pacific Coast in northern Baja California.  It is just south of the US border.  Interestingly enough, it is not found natively on the mainland of Mexico.  It is a thick trunked palm that domestically is never over twenty feet.  Very old specimens have a trunk of about ten feet.  The crown of leaves is not overly large.  As shown in the photos below, it looks quite nice as a small colony.  This grouping is at Mission Bay Park in San Diego, just adjacent to the Bay.  It is a sun loving palm and has a cold tolerance into the teens.  It tolerates salty ocean breezes.  For some peculiar reason, it is fairly difficult to find this species for sale.  We are fortunate enough to have a nice supply of 5g plants which we are offering at a good discounted rate.

SALE 5g Size: Regularly $65, Sale Price $39

Just mention this website special to get this rate.  Sale ends in ten days from today.  We also have other sizes for sale.  Easy to ship by mail order.
Brahea edulis
On Sale Size, 5g
Brahea edulis
On Sale Size, 5g
Brahea edulis
On Sale Size, 5g
Brahea edulis
On Sale Size, 5g
Brahea edulis
Brahea edulis Brahea edulis Brahea edulis
Brahea edulis Brahea edulis Brahea edulis
Brahea edulis Brahea edulis Brahea edulis

 

DASYLIRION LONGISSIMUM
THE MEXICAN GRASS PLANT/TREE
SALE ON 5G SIZE

This species is not a palm.  Rather, it is a succulent type of plant from northern Mexico.  It is a very tough species and tolerates hot sun including desert areas and is cold tolerant to about 15 degrees F.  It is composed of thing long leaves that radiate out from the trunk is a circular pattern.  if the lower leaves are trimmed, in time a medium sized trunk is exposed.  The average crown width of a planted specimen is about six feet.  Over many decades, the trunk can get over five feet tall.  This species is drought tolerant and can be considered a xerophytic plant.  It is fairly slow growing.  We presently have a supply of nice 5g plants that are about four years old. 

SALE 5g Size: Regularly $65, Sale Price $39br />
Just mention this website special to get this rate.  Sale ends in ten days from today.  We also have other sizes for sale.  Easy to ship by mail order. 
  Dasylirion longissimum
On Sale Size, 5g
  Dasylirion longissimum
On Sale Size, 5g
  Dasylirion longissimum
On Sale Size, 5g
  Dasylirion longissimum
On Sale Size, 5g
  Dasylirion longissimum
15g sized plant
  Dasylirion longissimum
looking from above a 15g plant
Dasylirion l. Wikipedia
photo from Wikipedia
 

 

DRACENA DRACO
THE DRAGON TREE
SALE ON LARGE 5G PLANTS

Dracena draco is a sought after monocot that is a tree but actually a member of the asparagus group of plants.  It is native to the Canary Islands and known as the Canary Islands Dragon Tree, the Dragon Tree and the Dragon Blood Tree.  As a younger tree it is single stemmed.  After a decade or more, when the leaves are overhead, the tree branches out to form an umbrella shaped crown of leaves.  It utilizes an interesting trifurcating system for branching.  I've often felt that large tree branches look like a lot of plump sausages attached together.  The leaves are thick and gray, silver or silver-green in color.  It is a slow growing species.  Cold hardiness is to the mid or possibly lower 20's F.  It demands full sun.  It can tolerate drought. 

For educated plant enthusiasts, this species is always on their "plant wish list".  Larger nursery specimens as shown below are quite expensive.  We are presently offering a special discounted price on some huge, chunky 5g plants.  In time, even though the leaves are more green at this time than silver, they will develop the typical blue color.  Plant height is about thirty to forty inches on these 5g plants on sale. 

SALE 5g Size: Regularly $75, Sale Price $49

Just mention this website special to get this rate.  Sale ends in ten days from today.  We also have other sizes for sale.  Easy to ship by mail order.

 
Dracena draco
On Sale Size, 5g
Dracena draco
On Sale Size, 5g
Dracena draco
On Sale Size, 5g
Dracena draco
On Sale Size, 5g
On Sale Size, 5g
On Sale Size, 5g On Sale Size, 5g
this photo shows typical color of leaves
On Sale Size, 5g
On Sale Size, 5g On Sale Size, 5g On Sale Size, 5g

 

DYPSIS CRINITA

This is a multi-stemmed pinnate palm from northern Madagascar.  It is a tall palm and has dichotomously branching stems.  New leaves emerge red and gradually turn green.  Trunks are covered with thick and stringy, fibrous and matted material.  Overall height expected in Southern California can be over thirty feet.  This palm prefers coastal sun.  Exact cold tolerance is uncertain, but plants at our nursery have withstood 25 degrees F.  I anticipate this may be a low 20's palm.  Shown here is the 5g size which we have available.  The larger garden plant is from Southern California.  
 
Dypsis crinita Dypsis crinita
Dypsis crinita Dypsis crinita Dypsis crinita
Dypsis crinita Dypsis crinita  

 

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  

 

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

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

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

 

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2012

 

CHAMAEDOREA ARENBERGIANA
EXOTIC THIN TRUNKED PALM
This is a single trunk pinnate palm with a habitat location that extends from southern Mexico into Central America.  Overall height is twelve feet.  The trunk is light green to dark green, prominently ringed and about an inch in diameter.  Leaves are six feet long, dark green in color.  Leaflets are up to two feet long, widely spaced and have a prominent drip tip for rainwater to run off the leaves.  Also, note how the terminal leaflet is wide and complex, joined to the adjacent paired leaflet. 

In the right location, you can hardly do better in selecting an exotic, tropical appearing species.  We've found the cold tolerance to be into the mid to upper twenties F.  This is a shade loving species.  Shown here is a nice 5g plant.  Because of rarity, few of this species are mature in gardens.  So, I am showing a female plant from our nursery from back in 2007.  Note the interesting blossom full of almost ripe seeds.
Chamaedorea arenbergiana Chamaedorea arenbergiana
Chamaedorea arenbergiana Chamaedorea arenbergiana Chamaedorea arenbergiana
Chamaedorea arenbergiana Chamaedorea arenbergiana  

 

 

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

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

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

 

COPERNICIA MACROGLOSSA
CUBAN PETTICOAT PALM
As the common name implies, this palm is native to northwestern Cuba.  It is a medium sized palm and gets to a height of about fifteen feet.  Actually, the trunk is rather thin for the canopy of leaves.  It's usually about eight inches.  But, you'd be fooled because this species forms a petticoat of old leaves and it's hard to see the trunk.  My own personal preference is to see the old leaves removed.  Shown here are larger plants both with and without the old petticoat.

Leaves are wide, up to seven feet, erect and tight within the crown.  When you see a smaller plant it is quite impressive.  It appear as if the swirl of erect, stiff, flat leaves are emerging from the ground.  Leaf color is green with a touch of gray beneath.  Like other Copernicia, growth rate is not fast.  Shown here is a five gallon plant and mature specimens.  Cold tolerance is perhaps into the upper twenties F.  It is a full sun plant.  
Copernicia macroglossa Copernicia macroglossa
Copernicia macroglossa Copernicia macroglossa Copernicia macroglossa
Copernicia macroglossa Copernicia macroglossa  

 

COPERNICIA BERTEROANA
This is a medium to large size, single trunk fan palm from Haiti and Dominican Republic.  It gets to a height of about thirty feet.  But, the trunk is thin, rarely over nine inches and smooth without old leaf bases.  The leaves are three feet across with the distal segments showing one third the way into the leaf.  It is a full sun palm and can tolerate temperatures down to about a freeze.  It responds to water but can withstand some degree of drought.  Shown here is a 5g plant and several garden specimens.
Copernicia beteroana Copernicia beteroana
Copernicia beteroana Copernicia beteroana Copernicia beteroana
Copernicia beteroana    

 

HYOHORBE INDICA "RED"
Nice 15 gallon Sized Plant
I thought I'd remind you about a very cool single trunk palm from Reunion Island.  For those of you who like a medium sized tree that is self-cleaning, had a crown shaft, doesn't get too large and has color: This palm is for you!  Maximum height is about 20 feet, this species likes sun and heat.  It's cold tolerance is down to about 25 degrees F.  Shown here is a nice 15 g plant demonstrating some of the dark red color you see when the tree is a juvenile.  Availability is variable, but we often have an assortment of sizes.
Hyophorbe indica red 15g Hyophorbe indica red 15g
Hyophorbe indica red 15g Hyophorbe indica red 15g  

 

WASHINGTONIA FILIFERA
CALIFORNIA FAN PALM
This is a single trunked fan palm from Baja, Mexico with extension of its distribution into Southern California. It is the only palm tree native to 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, especially from wild collected seeds.. 

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

 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2012

 

CHAMAEDOREA COSTARICANA
A GREAT BAMBOO PALM SPECIES
When one talks about a "Bamboo Palm", he is considering a suckering palm with thin trunks, prominent trunk rings and green leaves.  It should resemble "bamboo".  Historically an in the nursery trade, the classic Bamboo Palm has always been Chamaedorea seifritzii.  Unfortunately, this species has many cultural problems and I'd not recommend it as one's first choice. Far superior are two other species,  Chamaedorea costaricana and Chamaeorea hooperiana.  There are subtle differences between these two.  This post will be about the C. costaricana.

This species is native to Southern Mexico and Central America.  All Chamaedorea species are found only in the New World.  It reaches a maximum height of twenty feet with individual cane diameters of one inch.  Old clumps can have a total width of ten feet.  Trunks show prominent light colored rings over a dark green trunk color.  Leaf length is three to four feet.  Blossoms are yellow to orange and seeds, when mature, are black.  This species tolerates temperatures into the low 20's F. and is known to thrive in the San Francisco Bay Area.  It also makes an excellent interior or patio plant.

An interesting question is how much sun should one give Chamaedorea costaricana?  I've always recommended partial sun or filtered light.  But, I've had many species who have grown it in full sun if they are not too far from the ocean.  One can thin out canes to give it the preferred density.  Compared to C. hooperiana, costaricana is taller overall and has shorter leaves.  In general, hooperiana is a little more full and dense appearing.  Either species is great.  Shown here are some nursery plants of C. costaricana with a picture by Rolf Kyburz of this species in habitat. Finally, this species is a wonderful parent for hybridization.  One picture below shows a hybrid with Chamaedorea schippii, now felt to be a variety of costaricana

Clicking on the final photo below (banner) will take you to a comprehensive article introducing you to Chamaedorea.
 
Chamaedorea costaricana Chamaedorea costaricana
Chamaedorea costaricana Chamaedorea costaricana Chamaedorea costaricana
Chamaedorea costaricana Chamaedorea costaricana X schippii Chamaedorea costaricana x schippii
C. costaricana hybrid
Chamaedorea costaricana RPS T.S.
photo by T.S. RPS
Chamaedorea costaricana habitat Rolf Kyburz PACSOA
Habitat photo by Rolf Kyburz, PACSOA
Chamaedorea banner

At this website there are three
comprehensive articles on
Chamaedoreas.  Click on the
banner above
to see an introduction
to this genus.

 

CHAMAEDOREA HOOPERIANA
ANOTHER GREAT BAMBOO PALM
Having just introduced Chamaedorea costaricana, it is appropriate to simultaneously tell you about another palm that is a superior Bamboo Palm.  This species was discovered by Don Hodel about two decades ago and named after a close friend of mine, Louis Hooper, a long time palm enthusiast from Southern California.  This plant is not as tall as C. costaricana.  Maximum height on this species is usually fourteen to sixteen feet.  The leaves are longer than costaricana, usually four to five feet.  They also have some bare petiole.  When mature, I think the overall density of this species is more than we see with costaricana. Culture is about the same with preference for filtered light, good draining soil and adequate watering.  Cold tolerance is similar, probably into the low 20's F.

Shown here is a good sample of nursery plants.  Included are two shots of an interesting variegated specimen of this species that we sold last summer.  Like C. costaricana, this is a wonderful house or patio plant. 

The last photo is a banner that you can click on to read about many other species of Chamaedorea.
Chamaedorea hooperiana Chamaedorea hooperiana
Chamaedorea hooperiana Chamaedorea hooperiana Chamaedorea hooperiana
Chamaedorea hooperiana Chamaedorea hooperiana Chamaedorea hooperiana
15g size packed for someone's car
Chamaedorea hooperiana  Chamaedorea hooperiana TS RPS
photo by TS at RPS 
Chamaedorea species banner

At this website there are three
comprehensive articles on
Chamaedorea.  Click on the
banner above
to read about the
many different species in this
genus.
 


ENTEROLOBIUM CYCLOCARPUM
A LARGE TROPICAL TREE
At our nursery we grow a very limited number of tropical type non-palm trees.  These have included such genera as Schizolobium, Delonix, Brachychiton and some others. 

Enterlobium cyclocarpum is a large tropical tree species with a natural distribution from Mexico to South American.  It is commonly used to produce shade.  It can reach a height of well over sixty feet with a similar horizontal spread.  It reminds me a lot of Schizolobium.  The leaflets are small and fine.  The shade it produces, if the crown of limbs is kept open, is a mild, thin shade.  Oppose this to a dense shade where no light comes through.  For this reason, it is often used to create a canopy for palms that want some sun but not full sun.

Be aware that it can go decidious and drop its leaves during the cold season.  This lasts for about six weeks.  Shown here is a nursery grown Enterolobium cyclocarpum and a mature tree from the Wikipedia website.   
 
Enterolobium cyclocarpum  Enterolobium cyclocarpum 
Enterolobium cyclocarpum  Enterolobium cyclocarpum  Enterolobium wikipedia
photo from Wikipedia website 
 

DYPSIS LUTESCENS
THE BUTTERFLY PALM, THE ARECA PALM
Article at This Website
For those not familiar with this species, it is a medium sized, suckering pinnate palm with typically a yellow color to the stems and petioles that gets to a height of twenty feet or less in most conditions.   Trunks are narrow, self cleaning, and leaves are about six feet long.  There are variations in the appearance and size of this species. It is a great species to block view of an ugly neighboring house/building or to plant near a fence to obstruct view into your yard.   

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

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

 

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


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2012

 

SABAL MAURITIFORMIS
THE TROPICAL SABAL
For people who enjoy fan palms, this is often one of their favorites.  This is because this species has more of a tropical appearance.  It is slow growing yet gets quite tall over time.  Most importantly Sabal mauritiformis has a leaf with leaf segments that extend in a complete or almost complete 360 degree circle.  It' native habitat extends from Mexico to the northern parts of South America.  There it can attain a height of up to 80 feet.  Trunk diameter is usually under one foot. 

The leaves are green on the dorsal surface and a blue or silver-green underneath. (see photo)  Leaves have a long petiole and the leaf diameter is wide, sometimes up to eight feet.  It's quite impressive to see a cut leaf from a mature specimen.  They are a full circle of leaf segments on a long stem.

Cold hardiness is pretty good on this species, probably into the low 20's F.  This is not as good as many of the Caribben Sabal species, but adequate for many areas including Southern California.  It can tolerate full sun or part sun. The leaf color is darker in part day sun. In the garden, this species adds a different look, adding diversity to the overall garden appearance.  The last photos (CFPCS) shows a domestic plant well on its way to being a tall specimen.  The nursery plant here is a 5g size.   
Sabal mauritiformis   Sabal mauritiformis
Sabal mauritiformis Sabal mauritiformis   Sabal mauritiformis
Sabal mauritiformis   Sabal mauritiformis Central FL Pamd & Cycad Soc
from Palm & Cycad Soc Central Florida website

 

ARENGA OBTUSIFOLIA
A SUCKERING PINNATE PALM ON STEROIDS
Imagine an Arenga engleri on steroids.  This is what Arenga obtusifolia looks like.  It is a very tal, thick trunked, typically clustering palm.  It is natural habitat spreads from Thailand down into some of the Indonesian Islands.  It can reach heights of up to fifty feet with individual trunk diameters of one foot.  Occasionally it is just a single trunk palm.  Trunks are covered with black fibrous material.  Leaflets are thick and lethery.

Leaves are up to sixteen feet long, individual leaflets three feet long.  The underside of the leaves is silver, the dorsal side green.  It can tolerate sun or partial sun but can't take below a freeze.  It likes adequate moisture.  It would be the ultimate species to hide a large adjacent and ugly building or a bad neighbor.   Shown here is a 5g plant and several larger specimens.
Arenga obtusifolia Arenga obtusifolia
Arenga obtusifolia Arenga obtusifolia Arenga obtusifolia
Arenga obtusifolia by Rolf Kyburz PACSOA
by Rolf Kybruz, PACSOA
Arenga obtusifolia Arenga obtusifolia from Enc of Life website
by AFM at EOL website

 

COLORFUL COMPANION PLANTS!!!
SOMETHING DIFFERENT EVERY SEASON


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.  This includes an assortment of Ti's, Crotons, Bromeliads, Philodendrons, Ginger, and other exciting items.  Many of these plants can be used on the patio or inside the house.

Availability of these companion plants varies literally from week to week. I'm showing here representative photos of material we've had in the past six months or so.  So, if you want some cool colorful additions to your garden, visit us/call us right soon.  We'll always try to have a good assortment of these plants of one type or another.  .   
Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants
Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants
Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants
Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants
Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants
Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants
Color Companion Plants Color Companion Plants Blechnum fern
ginger red nerogelia Succulent
Hedychium Prince of Orange Heliconia by Eric Schmidt
succulent succulent Anthurium
orchid prince of orange succulent

 

PRITCHARDIA
THE HAWAIIAN PALM
This genus is mostly native to Hawaii, but some species
extend into the South Pacific.  At our nursery, we
specialize in the native species from Hawaii because
they are more cold tolerant and easier to grow in
Southern California.  All are tropical fan palms
and all are very desirable.  For those of you who "only
like feather palms", think again.  These plants are
gorgeous and add a real diversity to the garden.  There
are about 25 or so species in this genus, and at any time
we typically offer ten or more species for sale.  They
tend to be small to medium sized palms, typically
under 20 feet of height with thin or medium sized
trunks.  The leaves are near entire and often flat in
their shape.  They are easy to grow and some tolerate
temperatures into the mid-twenties F.  In coastal areas
they take full or part day sun.  Inland they may be grown
in strong filtered light. 

We have all sizes from seedlings, medium sized plants on
up to boxed specimens.  Shown here are an array of sizes
and species.  Come visit us and you'll be pleasantly
surprised to see that we have hundreds of this genus
for sale.  Over the past 3 decades we have sold
thousands of Pritchardia  of all species and
everyone loves them.  We are one of the only nurseries
in the country that offers so many species and
sizes of Pritchardia.   By the way, Pritchardia are
the only true palm species native to the Hawaiian
Islands.  All other palm species were introduced by man!

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


Pritchardia seedling
pritchardia


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

 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012

TODAY, TWO INTERESTING ENCEPHALARTOS IN MORE DETAIL WITH LOTS OF PHOTOS 

ENCEPHALARTOS ARENARIUS
SIMILAR TO E.  HORRIDUS
This species of South African cycad is quite fascinating for several reasons.  The leaflet color of E. arenarius can range from dark green to light green, blue-green and powdery bue like E. horridus.  And, the leaflets have prominent wide barbs, sometimes reflexed, similar to horridus.  In fact, there is one rare varietal of this species known as the "blue arenarius" (2 pictures below) that are so blue and similar to E. horridus, that it is difficult to tell them apart.

However, the cones on these two species are not the same and there is no golden colored collar at the base of the petiole on E. arenarius..  E. horridus plants have this gold colored circumferential collar at the very base of the stem.   See the last row of photos which demonstrate this difference. 

Encephalartos arenarius, although not a large cycad, is larger than E. horridus.  Crown width is easily four feet and often six feet across.  E. horridus is more like three to four feet.  Leaf length can be up to five feet on arenarius.  Trunk height is usually not more than three feet, but old specimens in habitat can reach ten feet.  

Pictures here show a variety of nursery plants of all sizes.  We have one of the best selections around of Encephalartos arenarius, from seedlings, juvenile and mature coning sized plants.  Do note the variation in color shown here and the pokey, spiney leaflets.  This species is a fast growing cycad, tolerates coastal sun, can be grown in partial sun inland and is cold hardy to the low 20's F. Every serious cycad enthusiasts seeks at least one Encephalartos arenarius for his garden.  I have shown an abundance of photos here because of this and to demonstrate the variable appearance of this species. 
Enephalartos arenarius Encephalartos arnarius
Encephalartos arnarius Encephalartos arnarius Encephalartos arnarius
Encephalartos blue arnarius
Encephalartos blue arenarius
Encephalartos arnarius Encephalartos arnarius
Encephalartos arnarius Encephalartos arnarius Encephalartos arnarius
Encephalartos arnarius Encephalartos arnarius Encephalartos arenarius
Encephalartos arenarius Encephalartos arenarius Encephalartos blue arenarius
Encephalartos blue arenarius
Encephalartos arenarius
E. arenarius, note NO gold collars
Encephalartos horridus, cold collars
E. horridus, note gold collars at base of petioles
Encephalartos arenarius


ENCEPHALARTOS HORRIDUS
ONE OF THE MOST SOUGHT-AFTER CYCADS IN THE WORLD
There is a saying among cycad enthusiasts that "you can never have too many horridus".  After 36 years as a nurseryman growing cycads, I can say this is definitely true.  E. horridus is always the cycad that I run out of in smaller sizes.  The Latin derivation for the word "horridus" is "pickly or bristly".  I sometimes tell people that its derivation is from the word "horrible, and that's how you'll feel if you fall into it".  This is because, of all the cycads, it is one of the most gnarly and spiny cycads of any. 

With this said, this South African cycad is also one of the most beautiful and striking of all cycad species.  Its color is powdery blue.  This is dependent on the plant receiving direct sunlight and on heat.  Remember, the blue color is from a powder that the leaflets exude as a protection from desiccation.  So, in the shade or in a humid greenhouse, the plant doesn't need to produce this powder.  Consequently, blue leaves will turn green.  You can actually wipe off the blue powder (and color) with your finger.

E. horridus is a smaller to medium sized plant.  A caudex that is three feet tall is considered "enormous" for this species and hardly, if ever, will get taller.  Crown width is typically three to four feet, rarely larger.  Leaves often are recurved downward or even upon themselves with a 360 degree circle.  Leaflets are prominently barbed with a backward flip to the proximal barb.  A similar species, E. trispinosus, doesn't typically have this flip to the barbs and this is a good way to tell them apart.  Growth rate is slow.  Note that, even though this species loves sun, growers in desert areas must only give part day sun or the leaves will burn.  Cold tolerance is about 22 degrees F.

One last comment and a point I want to make is that, among this species as a group, there are variations in the appearance of the plants.  Just like people, plants individually do vary.  This can be seen in overall size, leaflet shape and leaf shape.  A dear friend of our nursery, now deceased, thrilled in his collection of different appearing horridus.  He had well over twenty different appearing forms of this species.  My feeling is that you should not consider all of these "varieties" or "dwarfs, giants, etc" but rather consider them as variability in the appearance of this species.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON E. HORRIDUS, CLICK HERE     
Encephalartos horridus
A boxes specimen with nice color



Encephalartos horridus
Encephalartos horridus
Once again, note golden collar at base of leaf stem



Encephalartos horridus
Encephalartos horridus seedling bare root Encephalartos horridus Encephalartos horridus
Encephalartos horridus Encephalartos horridus Encephalartos horridus
Encephalartos horridus Encephalartos horridus Encephalartos horridus 
Encephalartos horridus  Encephalartos horridus  Encephalartos horridus 
Encephalartos horridus  Encephalartos horridus  Encephalartos horridus 
Encephalartos horridus  Encephalartos horridus  Encephalartos horridus
Emerging female cone 
Encephalartos horridus female cone
female cone 
Encephalartos horridus  Encephalartos horridus 

 

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

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

Sabal dominguensis Sabal dominguensis

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

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


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


 

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

 

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

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

 

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2012

ENCEPHALARTOS PTEROGONUS
AN EXTINCT IN HABITAT CYCAD
The average cycad enthusiast may never see this species in person in his lifetime.  It is native to Mt.. Mruwere, Mozambique, where only a single colony of plants was discovered in 1969.  Within six years it was extinct in habitat, felt to probably be secondary to poaching.  It has a trunk about four to five feet tall with leaves light green and about four to five feet long.   Petioles are wooly.  Female cones are green.  Male cones are wooly and said to have "wing like" protrusions from the scales.  The Greek derivation for ""pteron" is "wing", thus the name.  

This species is obviously super rare and has also been an enigma to enthusiasts for decades.  People looked for the "wings" on male cones and sometimes didn't find them.  This lead to confusion about the species.  Shown here are two citrus pot plants of this species.  These are seed grown plants from seeds delivered as ""Encephalartos pterogonus".  Perhaps time and a male cone will let us know for sure. 

Also shown are some garden specimens,.with photos of a female cone. This species is a Central African, so cold tolerance is not as good as cycads from further south on the African continent.  Cold tolerance is probably into the upper twenties F.  I would recommend growing it in sun along the coast, partial sun inland.  We have only a few of this rare cycad for sale.    
Encephalartos ptrogonus Encephalartos ptrogonus
Encephalartos ptrogonus Encephalartos ptrogonus Encephalartos ptrogonus
Encephalartos ptrogonus Encephalartos ptrogonus Encephalartos ptrogonus
ENCEPHALARTOS PTEROGONUS ENCEPHALARTOS PTEROGONUS ENCEPHALARTOS PTEROGONUS

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

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

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

 

SYAGRUS CORONATA
THE LICURY PALM
This is a lowland Atlantic coast Brazilian species and comes from a somewhat 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.  By this I mean digging it out of the garden, not planting a nursery plant. Digging a large specimen from the garden 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 lanatusus unknown photographer
Encephalartos lanatus unknown photographer
Encephalartos lanatusus unknown photographer
Encephalartos lanatus unknown photographer
Encephalartos lanatusus, unknown photographer
Encephalartos lanatus unknown photographer
Encephalartos lanatus, unknown photographer

 

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


BOWENEA SPECTABILISIS
A CYCAD WITH BRANCHING LEAVES
This is a small cycad from the rainforest areas of Queensland, Australia.  One of its hallmarks is that the leaves birfurcate or branch.  This would be like the Cycas  Debaoensis or multipinnata, although not as pronounced as these species.  If you look carefully at the fourth picture below, you will see the branches off of the main leaf stem.  This species' trunk is often subterranean with multiple heads of leaves.  Leaves are three to six feet long and green in color.  Leaflets are arranged in a regular fashion along the stem in a binpinnate leaflet fashion as shown here on the mature plants. . Bowenia spectabilis has smooth edges whereas Bowenia serrulata has spines along the edges of the leaflets.  The presence or absence of these small leaflet spines allows you to identify which species of Bowenia you ar looking at.   

Shown here is a small Bowenia spectabilisisin a one gallon pot.  Note that the leaves do not show bifurcation at a young age.  As seeds can no longer be exported from Australia, this species is becoming next to impossible to find in the U.S..  Hopefully we'll have a supply of our own domestic seeds over time.  The fourth photo below was taken by a friend on mine, Lyle Arnold, in the Daintree Rainforest in Queensland and the fifth at Flecker Arboretum in Cairns, QLD.   Culturally, this is a filtered light species, likes good draining soil, and can tolerate temps a bit below a freeze.
Bowenia spectabilis Bowenia spectabilis
Bowenia spectabilis Bowenia spectabilis by L.A. PACSOA
Photo by L.A., PACSOA
Bowenia spectabilis by Lyle Arnold, PACSOA
Photo by L.A., PACSOA

 

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2012

CERATOZAMIA  SPECIES
NEWLY EMERGING RED LEAF
A very cool thing about some cycad species is that newly emerging leaves have color.  This is variable with the genus or species that you consider.  I've seen red, yellow, purple, powder blue, gold and lots of other colors with new cycad leaves.  

Ceratozamiaia are know to have an array of color with the new leaves as well. This varies from red to orange, pink to bronze.  Shown here is a Ceratozamia with a reddish-orange new leaf.  You can see in the fourth photo how a previous red leaf turned to green. This usually takes a few weeks to revert to green.  The only hint as to previous color is the red petiole.  The last photo shows a different plant with a bronze colored new leaf.  No one knows for sure why plants throw colorful new leaves.  Some feel that it makes these new soft (and potentially edible) leaves take on the appearance of a brown, dead leaf.  The latter would not be appealing to a predator. . 

Nothing is quite as exciting as a new flush that is entirely red.  This plant only threw one leaf this time, but usually it throws a whole flush of leaves at once.  We have an assortment of Ceratozamia that should produce new red leaves.

Ceratozamia species new red leaf Ceratozamia species new red leaf
Ceratozamia species new red leaf Ceratozamia red leaf Ceratozamia sp belize red leaf

PTYCHOSPERMA ELEGANS
THE SOLITAIRE PALM

This is a single trunk, pinnate, crown shafted palm tree from Australia.  Some refer to it as the "Alexander Palm", but this is a poor choice of names because of confusion with Archontophoenix alexandrae.  It is fairly cold hardy and tolerates temperatures well below a freeze.  I recommend starting it in part day sun or strong filtered light and allowing it to work its way up through the canopy.  Growth rate is about average.  Most prominent about this palm is its elegant appearance with a thin trunk, usually about four to five inches in diameter.  Mature height in this locality is usually under thirty feet.  The crown shaft is silver.  the leaflet tips are premorse and jagged at their ends (fifth photo).  This is one of the defining characteristics of. 

Shown first here are several 5g plants followed by a 15g.  Also shown are a few specimens.  Many have found this to be an ideal palm in Southern California.  Inland areas would require some sun protection whereas it'll grow in full sun along the coast.
Ptychosperma elegans Ptychosperma elegans
Ptychosperma elegans Ptychosperma elegans Ptychosperma elegans
Ptychosperma elegans Ptychosperma elegans Ptychosperma elegans

CYCAS SPECIES FROM THAILAND
UN-ARMED, THIN LEAFLETS

This plant is a "one of a kind" type of plant for our nursery.  About fifteen years ago I received an assortment of Cycas  seeds from Thailand.  Included was seed that made this plant.  But, it has ended up being quite different.  In all these years, as you can see, it has never gotten very big.  So, my prediction is that it'll be a dwarf species.  But, there's two other things that make this plant unique.  First, the leaflets are very thin for a Cycas species.  Secondly, there is absolutely no spines or prickles on the leaf stems.  I've seen no spines on Cycas neocaledonica (known by other names) but this plant is certainly not that species.  So, what is it?  I am no sure.  

It is in a 15g pot with about a 4 inch caudex.  Overall size is about four feet.  If you are confident you know what species this plant is, send me an email.  It is for sale. It has already seen a freeze and would probably do best in strong filtered light.    
Cycas species Thailand un-armed, thin leaflets Cycas species Thailand un-armed, thin leaflets
Cycas species Thailand un-armed, thin leaflets Cycas species Thailand un-armed, thin leaflets Cycas species Thailand un-armed, thin leaflets

ENCEPHALARTOS LAURENTIANUS
CYCAD WITH LONGEST LEAVES IN THE WORLD
This monster cycad comes from the Congo in Central Africa.  It not only has a thick, extremely tall caudex, but it also produces leaves that are felt to be the longest cycad leaves of any cycad species.  They get up to about 7 meters long (22 feet).  Trunks can get up to ten to fifteen meters tall and sucker freely.  This is a green leafed cycad and is very fast growing when it receives proper culture.  It likes sandy, well draining soil and is known to throw out multiple flushes of leaves per year.  Leaflets are long and a bit peculiar shaped. 

If you look to the right, you'll see how they are different from other species.  Shown here are several nursery plants and a few good sized plants in domestic gardens.  However, mature plants are much larger than these.  We have a very limited number of these for sale.  In the garden, they prefer part day sun.  Too much sun may burn them.  Remember, they are "central" African plants and used to humidity.  Cold tolerance is perhaps into the upper 20's.  They are not as cold hardy as South African cycad species.  Because of rarity, these are never inexpensive plants to buy.
Encephalartos laurentianus Encephalartos laurentianus
Encephalartos laurentianus Encephalartos laurentianus Encephalartos laurentianus
Encephalartos laurentianus Encephalartos laurentianus Encephalartos laurentianus by P.Heibloem PACSOA
By. P. Heibloem PACSOAOA


ENCEPHALARTOS GRATUS
BEAUTIFUL BOXED SPECIMEN
This is a desirable, quick growing Central African cycad with green leaves.  Like the E. laurentianusus (described above) it makes a big plant, but not as big nor does it have leaves as long.  Leaves are about five to eight feet long, trunk size one to two meters tall and diameter two feet.  It is quick growing with a deep green color when grown in part sun.  In full sun, the color is more of a lime green.  I'd recommend growing it with some sun protection if you live inland. I'd recommend growing it with some sun protection if you live inland.  

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


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2012

 

PHILODENDRON HYBRID
"PRINCE OF ORANGE"
WEBSITE SPECIAL!
This is a hybridi  Philodendron that was developed because of its brilliant color on the newer leaves.  They emerge a prominent orange color and gradually, over time, revert to green.  These plants are just stunning!  These photographs really don't do them justice in showing their color.  They provide instant bright color to the garden and can be grown inside the home.  They require filtered light.   Be aware they are NOT frost hardy and cannot tolerate a freeze. 

Website Special is $34.99 each, normally $55.  They are in small containers so they can be shipped easily.  This offer expires in 2 weeks and there are limited numbers of these for sale.  Cold weather may prevent shipping to some areas.
Philodendron Prince of Orange Philodendron Prince of Orange
Philodendron Prince of Orange Philodendron Prince of Orange Philodendron Prince of Orange
older green leafaf

PACHYPODIUM LAMERI
THE "MADAGASCAR PALM"
WEBSITE SPECIAL!
There are so many plants that are called "palms" that really are not a palm at all.  Consider "Pony Tail Palm", "Traveler Palm", etc.  These are totally other types of plants.  Well, the "Madagascar Palm" is another that falls within this group of misnamed common names.

Pachypodium are a spiny succulent plant that comes from South Africa typically. They are xerophytic and don't want to be overwatered, especially when it is cold.  They can tolerate full sun along the coast and part sun inland.  They are hardy down to perhaps a little below a freeze. They make ideal potted plants and can be grown inside the house in a very bright location.  As a potted plant, it's not unusual to grow one to ten feet.  They branch when older and produce flowers.  Shown here are some 5g plants that have about 18 to 24 inches of trunk and are in 5g pots. 

WEBSITE SPECIAL:  $49.99.  Normal price is $65.  These can be mail ordered to anywhere within the U.S., weather permitting.  This sale lasts 2 weeks are limited numbers are available.
Pachypodium lameri
This size on special
Pachypodium lameri
This size on special
Pachypodium lameri
This size on special
Pachypodium lameri Pachypodium lameri
Pachypodium lameri Pachypodium lameri  

BECCARIOPHOENIX ALFREDII
"THE CALIFORNIA COCONUT"
A NEW, RATHER COLD HARDY SPECIES

It's only with a good deal of hesitation that I mention the above common name.  Some growers would like to see this as the common name for Beccariophoenix alfredii because the scientific name is hard to remember.  I'll let you decide if it really looks like a Coconut Palm.  Regardless, this is a fantastic newly available species from Madagascar that makes a large pinnate palm with a prominent crown of leaves.  In habitat, it comes from a high elevation, so it has the best cold hardiness of any species of this genus.  AT our nursery, I've had a Beccariophoenix "windows variety" survive 25 degrees F., and B. alfredii is suppose to be more cold tolerant.  I cannot say for sure, but perhaps it's a low 20/s species.

It prefers a sunny location.  Far inland areas may require part day sun or strong filtered light.  As mentioned, it is a new species and large specimens are not available.  We do have a very limited number of 5g plants (first 3 photos) and perhaps a few 15g (following photos).  The photos of the specimen plant are compliments of Tobias Spanner of RPS.  The last photo shows how strikingly different the "windows" form of Beccariophoenix appears.

This is an exciting new species and people are just about to buy every plant available at any nurseries.  I predict in a year or two, it'll be near impossible to find this species.  There's been a shortage of available seeds and it takes five years to produce the five gallon plant shown.
Beccariophoenix alfredii Beccariophoenix alfredii
Beccariophoenix alfredii Beccariophoenix alfredii Beccariophoenix alfredii
Beccariophoenix alfredii Beccariophoenix alfredii Beccariophoenix alfredii RPS T.S.
Beccariophoenix alfredii RPS T.S.
Beccariophoenix alfredii RPS T.S.
Beccariophoenix alfredii RPS T.S.
Beccariophoenix "windows" leaf
Beccariophoenix "windows" species
 


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

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

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

I've found that Rhopalostylis sapida is the best species for sun, although even it cannot tolerate full sun any further inland than six or eight miles.  R. baueri is best grown in filtered light or part day sun.  Cold tolerance is about 20 degrees F.  A final comment is that some feel that such a hybrid might be a better growing plant because of "hybrid vigor". 

 

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

 

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.  Consider them a "special order" item as availability is sporadic.  Shown is some nice 5 gallon plants.  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



SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2012

CHAMAEDOREA WOODSONIANANA
A TALL, THICK TRUNKED SHADE  CHAMAEDOREAEA
This desirable species of Chamaedoreaea has a natural habitat distribution that stretches from Southern Mexico to South America.  It gets quite tall with plants reaching forty feet in habitat.  Trunks can get up to four inches although in domestic gardens I've not seen them thicker than three inches.  The leaves are four feet long with a nice bare petiole.  Leaf color is green.  On the trunk there are prominent white rings.

Shown here are several flowering sized 15g plants with some trunk.  We have a variety of sizes for sale.  Also shown is a patio plant with a northern exposure.  This species likes filtered light and can tolerate temperatures well into the mid-twenties.  It's been known to grow well in San Francisco.  Remember that they do get tall and can't take full sun.  So, don't plant them where they'd pierce the canopy into the sun.  

chamaedorea woodsoniana woodsoniana trunk
chamaedorea woodsoniana chamaedorea woodsoniana chamaedorea woodsoniana
chamaedorea woodsoniana chamaedorea woodsoniana  

STANGERIA ERIOPUS
INTERESTING WAVY LEAFLET FORM
Stangeria eriopususis a dwarf cycad from South Africa.  Caudexes typically are not over five to six inches in size and leaves are three feet tall.  We've grown quite a few of this species.  On occasion we will geminate and grow one and it has an interesting wavy pattern to the leaflets.  Customers see these and scoop them up quickly because they are quite attractive.  This citrus pot plant demonstrates this trait.  The last photo shows the typically flatter leaflet appearance.  If I get time, I'd like to someday show a whole array of leaflet appearances with this species.  Some are quite fascinating.

This is a filtered light cycads with cold tolerance into the low 20's  F.  It is a good growing cycad and like well-draining soil.    

Stangeria eriopus wavy leaflets Stangeria eriopus wavy leaflets
Stangeria eriopus wavy leaflets Stangeria eriopus
Flat leaflet appearance compared to wavy leaflets aboveve
 


ZAMIA VAZQUEZII
AKAKA ZAMIA FISCHERI
This dwarf species of Mexican cycad gets a trunk to a maximum size of about 12 inches.  So, you can see that the plant shown here is not only mature, but about as big as this species can get.  Many times the trunk is subterranean.  The leaflets are soft and gentle to the touch.  There is nothing "spiny" about this species.  Shown here in the first five pictures is a female specimen with two female cones.  I have shown several other plants from the nursery including another female in cone.

Historically this plant has been known as Zamia fischeri, but a decade or two ago the name was changed to vazquezii.  

This is a small plant with leaves typically about two feet long.  It likes filtered light and is cold tolerant into the twenties F.  It is probably one of the most representative of the cycad companion plants.  It can fit almost anywhere in the garden under larger plants.  We have an assortment of sizes for sale. 
 
Zamia vazquezii Zamia vazquezii
Zamia vazquezii Zamia vazquezii Zamia vazquezii
Zamia vazquezii Zamia vazquezii Zamia vazquezii
Zamia vazquezii Zamia vazquezii  


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012 

THREE EXCITING AND RARE CYCAD SPECIES NEWLY AVAILABLE!

CERATOZAMIA MIQUELIANA
SEEDLINGS AVAILABLE
We are please to announce that we have available seedlings of this rare and hard to find cycad.  It's been quite a few years since we last offered them for sale. Ceratozamia miquelianana is a small to medium sized cycad species from the Veracruz area of Mexico.  It is best known for its wide leaflets and attractive, tropical appearance.  Also, newly emerging leaves are a powder blue-green color.  The caudex is usually not more than 8 inches across; height can be up to three feet but is typically much shorter.  Leaves are three to five feet long,   Leaflets are sometimes over 2.5 inches wide but more typically a bit less than this.   This is a filtered light species and usually gets yellow-green in full sun.  Thus, it is best to grow it in filtered light.  Cold tolerance is into the mid to low 20's F.  

We have a limited number of seedlings available as shown.  This is the "lake form" of this species, known to have the widest leaflets of any forms.  These plants can be shipped anywhere within the United States.  The photos below that are blue-green are of newly emerged leaves.  This may fade to a regular green over a month or two.
Ceratozamia miqueliana Ceratozamia miqueliana
This small to medium sized cycad species from the Veracruz area of Mexico has always been one of my favorites.  It's main hallmarks are that the trunk is not large, the leaflets are wide and new leaves emerge with a powdery blue-green color.  Caudex size is usually not more than 8 inches across; height can be up to three feet but is typically much shorter.  Leaves are three to five feet long,   Leaflets are sometimes over 2.5 inches wide but more typically a bit less than this.  Newly emerging leaves are blue-green secondary to a blue powder exuded by the leaflets; this color persists for a while.  This is a filtered light species and usually gets yellow-green in full sun.  Cold tolerance is into the mid to low 20's F.  It has a very exotic appearance compared to many other Ceratozamia. Ceratozamia miqueliana Ceratozamia miqueliana
Ceratozamia miqueliana Ceratozamia miqueliana  

ZAMIA NESOPHILA
NEWLY DESCRIBED, EXTREMELY EXOTIC
This recently described species of Zamia comes from an island off the coast of Panama.  It's hallmarks are the size of the leaflets (huge) and the plicated leaflets (groves in the leaves).  Overall it is a medium sized plant.  If you look in cycad texts, you will not find this species listed.  This is because it was first described several years ago.  Internet searches show a few photos at best.  It is felt to be critically endangered in habitat.  It lives in sandy soil natively.  Little is known or published about this rare species.  Cycad enthusiasts will note it's similarities to Zamia neurophyllidia.   But, apparently the leaflets are larger on Zamia neosphila

I cannot comment on cold hardiness, but suspect it needs protection from a frost.  It would like filtered light, not direct sun. 

We have  very limited number of these.  They will, most likely, sell out quickly.  I wish to thank Tobias Spanner at RPS for his beautiful photos.
Zamia nesophila Zamia nesophila
Zamia nesophila Zamia nesophila Zamia nesophila RPS by T.S.
Courtesy of T.S. at RPS
Zamia nesophila RPS by T.S.
Courtesy of T.S. at RPS
Zamia nesophila RPS T.S.
Courtesy of T.S. at R.P.S.
 

ZAMIA SPECIES "BLANCO"
ANOTHER NEW & EXOTIC PANAMANIAN ZAMIA
This is another unbelievably rare cycad species from Panama.  It is similar in appearance toto Zamia elegantissimama. But, overall, it is smaller in size and, most importantly, its newly emergent leaves are very light colored, sometimes almost white. (see photos).  It's leaves are held in an upright position and glossy green.  Its rather narrow trunk can get over 8 feet tall.  Like other tropical Zamias, assume that it is frost sensitive and wants filtered light.  I wish to thank Tobias Spanner for his habitat photos (RPS).

The last photo below that I am showing here is not this "blanco" species but rather a fifty year old
Zamia elegantissimama from our nursery for comparison.  Of note, this plant has tolerated temperatures into the low 30's F. 

Reports are that the "blanco" is an aggressive grower.  Note that
Zamiaia "blanco" is not an accepted name yet by taxonomists and will undoubtedly have a different name when established.  
Zamia species blanco Zamia species blanco
Zamia species blanco Zamia species blanco Zamia species blanco RPS T.S.
Zamia species blanco RPS T.S. Zamia species blanco RPS T.S. Zamia elegantissima
Zamia elegantissima




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Phil Bergman

Owner, Jungle Music Palms and Cycad

 

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