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

  Delivery for palm trees and cycads is available

Delivery is available!

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HOW THIS BLOG WORKS

  • New plant arrivals, desirable & requested species
  • New species every few days, most recent at top of thread
  • Jump to older Blog Threads from links just below
  • Includes palms, cycads and tropical plants


                            

LEARN ABOUT PALM TREES AND CYCADS / BOOKMARK THIS PAGE

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

PRICING
  • On some, prices given below

SPECIALS

  • Special offers made here are for visits and mail order purchases
  • Specials expire as stated or when not on current blog thread
       Ten Day specials expire ten days after the date of posting.

  • For sales price, you must mention to us the special published here
  • Ten Day Specials expire ten days after date of posting in this current thread 

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  • No international shipping
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NOTE: TO ORDER ANYTHING, JUST CALL US:  619 291 4605

 

ANNOUNCEMENT TO PLANT ENTHUSIASTS IN THE SF BAY AREA
JUNGLE MUSIC IS COMING YOUR WAY!

Within a few weeks, we'll be traveling up to the San Francisco Bay area with a large truckload of plants.  We're taking orders now from people who would like plants brought right to their doors.  Any size plant  up to a 24 inch box is permissible.  Cycads, palms or tropical plants - anything you want that we have in stock.  There is a flat fee for delivering your purchased plants, whether you get three plants or thirty.  It's still the same flat fee.  For someone who wants a lot of plants, this is certainly a very good deal.  To find out specifics and get more information, contact us at:
Phone: 619 291 4605
email: phil@junglemusic.net 
I can also give you ideas for your area and send photos of the actual plants you'd be getting.
Phil
Jungle Music

 

 

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2013

 

BISMARCKIA NOBILIS
BLUE MALAGASY FAN PALM
MANY SIZES TO CHOOSE FROM

For several decades we've been growing this stunning blue fan palm from Madagascar.  We've concentrated mostly on the blue form although there is also a green form of Bismarckia.  However, most prefer the blue form and we've found it to be more cold hardy than the green.  Mature specimens in their native habitat reach heights of over forty feet.  It' not certain how tall they'll get in domestic gardens, but I anticipate about the same.  Trunk diameter can reach 18 inches or a bit more.  Leaf width can be up to eight feet.  This is a very attractive palm and should be given room in the garden to show it off.  It prefers full, hot sun.  Many people in desert locations have found they can grow it.  Cold tolerance is about 22 degrees, although plants seeing colder have come back from injury.

This plant is a good growing species.  It is sensistive to root damage, so bare rooting shipped plants is not advised.  Dug or bare rooted plants suffer at least 50% losses.  And, this can set them back for years.  Bismarckia prefers sandy, good draining soil.  The more intense your sun, the more blue it gets.  It is not a good plant for shade. 

We offer a complete assortment of sizes from 1 gallon on up to 48 inch boxes (crane size).  A good size for mail order is the 5g or perhaps the 15g.  If you want to learn more about Bismarckia, check out this link:

http://www.junglemusic.net/articles/Bismarckia nobilis/bismarckia_nobilis.html
Bismarckia nobilis
24 inch box size
Bismarckia nobilis
Bismarckia nobilis Bismarckia nobilis Bismarckia nobilis
25 gallon size
Bismarckia nobilis Bismarckia nobilis
15g size
Bismarckia nobilis
5 gallon size
Bismarckia nobilis
48 inch box size with up to 3 feet of trunk
Bismarckia nobilis Bismarckia nobilis
Bismarckia nobilis by TB
photo by TB
Bismarckia nobilis Bismarckia nobilis

 

CHAMAEDOREA BRACHYPODA
SUCKERING, SEMI-DWARF SPECIES FOR SHADE

Shown here are several very old specimens of this endangered species from Honduras where, in habitat, it reaches heights of six or perhaps eight feet.  It freely suckers and has multiple stems.  The leaflets are simple in shape without classical pinnate leaves.  The bifid leaflets can be about six inches wide and eight to ten inches long.  Stems are quite narrow, typicaly one quarter of an inch thick.  The specimens shown here are ten to fifteen years old and about maximum height.

This is a shade loving species with cold hardiness into the upper 20's F.  It can be propagated from seeds or divisions.  As this is a dioecious species, you'll need both sexes to set seeds. We only have a few mature specimens of this species for sale with nothing smaller.  If you want smaller plants to buy, consider the similar but easier to grow species, Chamaedorea stonlinifera.  I've found that Chamaedorea brachypoda is sensitive to the salts found in city water.  Using distilled water or reverse osmosis water can avoid this problem.  Too bright of sun will burn leaflets or make them turn yellow.  This is an attractive garden or patio plant but needs a little bit of care to look its best.  
Chamaedorea brachypoda Chamaedorea brachypoda
Chamaedorea brachypoda Chamaedorea brachypoda Chamaedorea brachypoda
Chamaedorea brachypoda Chamaedorea brachypoda Chamaedorea brachypoda

 

STANGERIA ERIOPUS
TEN DAY SPECIAL CITRUS POT SIZE

This South African cycad is a dwarf species with caudex size of six inches or less and leaf length of three, perhaps maximum four feet.  It's an understory species, good for filtered light or perhaps more sun along the coast.  It is quite fern like in appearance and cold hardy into the lower 20's F.  It's great as a patio plant or nice in a smaller spot in the garden.

REGULAR PRICE CIT POT SIZE $175
TEN DAY SPECIAL $145


Just mention this Blog special when ordering
Stangeria eriopus Stangeria eriopus

 

CHAMAEDOREA METALLICA
TEN DAY SPECIAL ON THIS DWARF SPECIES

This popular, shade loving species from Mexico is typically under three feet. But, very old specimens can reach six feet in height.  Leaflet shape is simple with bifid tips.  Stems are 1/2 inch in size.  It prefers filtered light and has a cold hardiness of about 23 degrees F, perhaps a bit less.  It looks best when grown as multiples or in small colonies.  It is also a good interior plant.

REGULAR PRICE ONE GALLON PLANTS $40
TEN DAY SPECIAL $30


Just mention this Blog special when ordering
Chamaedorea metallica

 


 

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

 


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
 

 

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2013

 

BRAHEA NITIDA
RARE SPECIES, COLD HARDY AND GOOD LOOKING

People in colder areas love Brahea because they, as a genus, tend to be fairly cold hardy.  But, even collectors in Southern California, where we don't always see terrible cold weather, love Brahea nitida.  This is because it's a Brahea that has a tropical look and can tolerate partial shade. It looks nothing like its cousin, Brhaea armata.

Native to the western coast of Mexico, this species is also found along the Pacific side of several Central American countries as well.  It prefers a drier area as this is what it sees in its habitat.  Trunk height can reach thirty feet in many decades; trunk diameter is one foot.  The cool thing about this species are the leaves.  They are large and flat.  The open leaf segments go about 40% into the leaf leaving a large central flat area of intact green leaf. It is a shiny green and very attractive.  The underside of the leaf is silver colored (see photo below).  Grown in full sun, the leaves seem to be more divided at their margins.  But, in shade or part sun, the leaf size seems to be bigger with less outer divisions of the segments.  They can approach the appearance of a flat leaf Licuala species. Cold tolerance is to 20 degrees, perhaps lower.

Shown here is a nice 15g plant, a tree pot, and shots of mature specimens, one from the wild.  I highly recommend this species if you like fan palms, see some cold, and can offer it sun or part day protection from the sun.
Brahea nitida Brahea nitida
Brahea nitida Brahea nitida Brahea nitida
Brahea nitida Brahea nitida by Justine Dobbs
in habitat by Justen Dobbs
Brahea nitida

 

ENCEPHALARTOS SENTICOSUS
SPINY LEAFLETS, MEDIUM SIZED
SOUTH AFRICAN CYCAD

Recently I discussed Encephalartos lebomboensis.  This latter species is from the Lebombo Mountains in South Africa.  A very similar species from the same area but smaller in appearance was grouped with lebomboensis.for decades.  Then it was discovered that it was a different species.  This smaller plant was studied and then named Encephalartos senticosus.  In habitat it grows in full or partial sun areas at an elevation of about 2000 feet.  It is basically a dry area with 20 inches of rain a year.

Trunks get up to twelve feet in habitat with a diameter of one foot.  Leaves are four to six feet long, keeled and have leaflets that are spiny.  Leaf color is glossy green.  Cones are orange yellow.  This species prefers sun along the coast and part sun far inland.  Cold tolerance is the low 20's F. 

Shown here is a nice 15g with an 8 inch caudex as well as a citrus pot and a few boxes.  This is a good growing cycad and is smaller when mature compared to many other green Encephalartos.
Encephalartos senticosus Encephalartos senticosus
Encephalartos senticosus Encephalartos senticosus Encephalartos senticosus
Encephalartos senticosus Encephalartos senticosus Encephalartos senticosus

 

HOWEA FORSTERIANA
THE KENTIA PALM, A GREAT HOUSEPLANT
TEN DAY SALE ON HUGE 1 GALLON SIZE

We are presently offering a fantastic deal on our one gallon Kentia Palms.  They are beefy in their pots and have heights of three to seven feet as shown.  These are bigger than most nursery's 5 gallon plants.  Along the coast they take full sun, inland part day sun.  Cold hardiness to about 24 degrees F.  They do quite well inside the home.

REGULAR PRICE THIS SIZE $40
TEN DAY SPECIAL, $25


Just mention this Blog special when ordering.  Because of their size, it'll cost more to ship these.


Howea forsteriana Howea forsteriana
Howea forsteriana Howea forsteriana Howea forsteriana

 

CERATOZAMIA SPECIES
WIDE LEAFLETS
TEN DAY SPECIAL 5 GALLON SIZE


This group of cycads are in 5g pots and have very wide leaflets.  They are similar to Ceratozamia latifolia but different.  Leaflet shape is unqiue, sort of puffy and not too long.  These will be plants for shade and end up being medium sized with a cold tolerance of lower 20's F.  This group of cycads are super attractive. Limited numbers.

REGULAR PRICE 5G SIZE $135
TEN DAY SALE PRICE $85


Mention this Blog special when ordering.
Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species

 

SCHIZILOBIUM PARAHYBA
THE FERN TREE
LACY, GRACEFUL AND JUST PLAIN GORGEOUS TROPICAL TREE
 

I have difficulty keeping this desirable tropical tree in stock.  It is quick growing, likes full sun and has a gorgous green, sometimes almost snakeskin like trunk.  It can get up to 30 feet or more and gives a very light shade below. This is because of its small leaflets.  It's a great light canopy producing tree.  Sometimes it goes decidious in the winter when its cold.  But, it bounces back in the spring.  It likes sun or strong part day sun and drops its leaves when weather freezes.  Absolute cold hardiness is probably in the low 20's F.   

We have a very limited number of these for sale.  They'll be gone soon.  Get one before that happens.  BTW, this is totally different than a "Tree Fern" which is an actual fern.  Schizilobium  is not a fern, but called the Fern Tree because of it's fern like leaves.
Schizilobium parahyba
Schizilobium parahyba
photo by unknown author
Schizilobium by biogeodb.stri.si.edu
Schizilobium by biogeodb.stri.si.edu


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 
 
 

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2013

 

CHAMAEDOREA HOOPERIANA
BAMBOO PALM THAT IS TALL AND FULL

Three decades ago this species would have probably been called a variety of Chamaedorea costaricana.  But, in his book on Chamaedorea, Don Hodel described this species named after friend and palm enthusiast Louis Hooper.  So, it now enjoys its own status as a species.  And, it deserved species status because it is quite different than Chamaedorea costaricana.  This species is native to high elevation rain forest in the Veracruz area of Mexico.  It grows at up to 5000 feet elevation in habitat. 

It reaches an overall height of twelve to fourteen feet.  It is also quite wide at maturity with many canes.  These canes will sometimes lean outwards, making the clump wider.  Trunks are about one inch thick.  Compared to Chamaedorea costaricana, this species is more full and wide.  It's hard to "see through" this species whereas you'd have a better chance of seeing through a costaricana.  Also, the leaves of costaricana are shorter.  Hooperiana leaves are four feet long or more.

Shown here is a 25 gallon sized plant that is abut ten feet tall.  This species likes good draining soil, adequate water, filtered light and is cold hardy to the low 20's F.  We have various sizes for sale including our big 3 gallons which are presently on sale (see below).  The last photo shows a leaf of a variegated plant of this species.   Compare this species with Chamaedorea costaricana, shown below..
Chamaedorea hooperiana Chamaedorea hooperiana
Chamaedorea hooperiana Chamaedorea hooperiana Chamaedorea hooperiana
Chamaedoreahooperiana TS RPS
by TS at RPS
Chamaedorea hooperiana Chamaedorea costaricana variegated
C. hooperiana, variegated

 

CHAMAEDOREA COSTARICANA
ANOTHER GREAT BAMBOO PALM

Today I want to specifically compare the suckering Chamaedorea costaricana to the previously discussed Chamaedorea hooperiana.  Although similar species, there are differences between them.   Native habitat for costaricana extends from Mexico well into Central America.  In habitat, it grows at much lower elevations than hooperiana.  Plants receive more rainfall in these habitats and mature heights of clumps is often up to twenty-five feet, much taller than hooperiana.  In domestic gardens, I've found a more typical height to be sixteen to eighteen feet.  Also, they tend not to be as wide a clump as hooperiana.  The latter may be the result of the leaning tendency of hooperiana trunks.  Individual trunks of both are similar, green and about an inch thick.  Costaricana leaves are shorter than hooperiana but both show a gentle arch.

At ground level, I've found the basal area to be more open with costaricana.  Typically they are easier to "see through" at this viewpoint.  Also, you'll sometimes see a few canes of costaricana that seem to reach above the others.  Hooperiana, when mature, seems to have more trunks in a given area and at the top more consistent heights.  Also, costaricana trunks, although they will lean, do so less than hooperiana.   Leaflets of hooperiana, in my experience, are also longer.

Shown here is about a ten foot 15g Chamaedorea costaricana.  This species wants filtered light although some coastal enthusiasts claim good survival in full sun.  Cold tolerance is the low 20's F.  This species grows easily in the San Francisco Bay area.  The last photo shows a hybrid I've grown between costaricana and C. schippii.
Chamaedorea costaricana Chamaedorea costaricana
Chamaedorea costaricana Chamaedorea costaricana Chamaedorea costaricana
Chamaedorea costaricana Chamaedorea costaricana by RPS
by TS of RPSS
Chamaedorea costaricana by Rolf Kyburz
by Rolf Kyburz PACSOA
Chamaedorea costaricana Chamaedorea costaricana hybrid
C. costraricana hybrid at home of author
 

 

ENCEPHALARTOS LEBOMBOENSIS
A MEDIUM TO LARGE GREEN AFRICAN CYCAD

This species of cycad is native to the Lebombo Mountains in northeastern South Africa.  It can get trunks over ten feet and has green leaves.  Initially it was compared to Encephalartos natalensis and altensteinii.  But, later taxonomic work proved that it was a different species.  It was noted to have smaller overall size, more crowded leaflets and spines of both sides of the leaflets, making it unique from the others.  But, to make things more interesting, later a smaller type of "lebomboensis" was renamed as Encephalartos piet retief.

Trunks of Encephalartos leobomboensis are about a foot thick and up to twelve feet tall.  Leaf length is three to five feet, lime or dark green in color.  Leaflets are about six inches long, one half to one inch wide.  Cones are greenish yellow as shown.

This species has a full, symmetrical head as shown.  It loves full sun along the coast and is cold hardy into the low 20's F.  It is a good growing species for almost any garden.  Shown here is an eight inch caudex sized 15g and several other nursery plants.  We have all sizes for sale.    
Encephalartos lebomboensis Encephalartos lebomboensis
Encephalartos lebomboensis Encephalartos lebomboensis Encephalartos lebomboensis
Encephalartos lebomboensis Encephalartos lebomboensis Encephalartos lebomboensis

 

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 at
phil@junglemusic.net  and I'll email you a coupon good for 15% 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



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

 

DASYLIRION LONGISSIMUM
THE MEXICAN GRASS PLANT/TREE
TEN DAY SPECIAL 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 $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. 
  Dasylirion longissimum
On Sale Size, 5g
  Dasylirion longissimum
On Sale Size, 5g
  Dasylirion longissimum
On Sale Size, 5g
Dasylirion l. Wikipedia
photo from Wikipedia

  Dasylirion longissimum
15g sized plant

 

DRACENA DRACO
THE DRAGON TREE
TEN DAY SPECIAL 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

 

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013

 

RAVENEA SPECIES
INTERESTING PLANT, 25 GALLON SIZE


A year or two ago, I showed you some interesting Ravenea.  These came from seeds just sent as "Ravenea species".  I thought I was out of them but fortunately found one more plant, a good sized specimen in a 25 gallon pot.  It has thin leaflets, but they are wider than R. glauca.  They also have a bit of ramenta (hairs) on the back of the leaves.  The stem color is a light brown. It sort of reminds me of what we used to call Ravenea monticola, a very cold hardy species.  I predict this will be a medium sized, sun loving plant.  It is quite attractive.  I have only this one.  I anticipate cold tolerance to about 23 degrees F.
Ravenea species 25g Ravenea species 25g
Ravenea species 25g Ravenea species 25g Ravenea species 25g

 

RARE AND GOOD LOOKING PALM
A FEW SMALL TO MEDIUM SIZED YET SHIPPABLE PLANTS

I thought I would quickly show you some super attractive species of palms that are in 2g or 5g size and can be quite easily shipped anywhere within the U.S.  I'll make brief comments on each.  Some are in very limited supplies.

AND FOR TEN DAYS, BLOG ONLY SPECIAL, 10% OFF THE REGULAR PRICE ON ANY OF THESE SEVEN PLANTS BELOW.  You must mention this special when purchasing.
To see prices of any plants, click here:
   
CYPHOPHOENIX ALBA
AKA VEILLONIA ALBA

This is a single trunk, crown shafted palm from New Caledonia that is near impossible to find.  This is a 5g plant.  Mature height is over thirty feet.  The trunk is thin, about 6 inches, silver in color with dark brown rings.  Crown shaft color is often white.  This gorgeous species likes part day sun or strong filtered light and has a cold tolerance into the mid twenties F.  5g $85
Cyphophoenix alba Cyphophoenix alba
BUTIA YATAY

This species of Butia loves heat and sun and is cold tolerant to the mid-teens F.  It is known for its blue color.  It is a medium rate growing palm that is native to multiple countries in South America.  It is also known to be the tallest of any Butia species. 5g $65
Butia yatay
CYPHOPHOENIX NUCELE

This New Caledonian palm actually comes from the small adjacent island of Lifou, in the Loyalty Islands.  It is quite endangered in the wild.  Trunk thickness is also thin on this species, about six inches.  Mature height is thirty to fifty feet.  The trunk is green, crown shaft white, and thee are prominent white rings on the trunk.  This is a very beautiful species.  Shown here is a 5g plant. 5g $75
Cyphophoenix nucele Cyphophoenix nucele
BECCARIOPHOENIX MADAGASCARENSIS

This Madagascar species matures into a large palm with long green leaves.  It has a thick trunk and a large overall crown size.  This species, in contrast to the "windows" variety shown recently, is quite cold hardy, probably into the 22 degree range.  Lots of folks in Southern California are growing it.  It likes full sun.  5g $65.
Beccariophoenix madagascarensis Beccariophoenix madagascarensis
BURRETIOKENTIA HAPALA

Medium sized, high elevation, crown shafted palm from New Caledonia that gets to a mature height of about 25 feet, perhaps a bit taller.  Trunk diameter is six inches.  Of the Burretiokentia, many feel this is the easiest species to grow.  It has a brownish colored crown shaft and a ringed trunk. Shown here is the 5g size. Cold tolerance is about 23 to 25 degrees.  5g $75
Burretiokentia hapala Burretiokentia hapala
BURRETIOKENTIA KOGHIENSIS

Another New Caledonian species which I talked about extensively below.  This is a large 5g plant.  Note the triangular shape to the base, unique to this genus.  It has a mature trunk height of over fifty feet.  It comes from Mount Koghi, just outside of Noumea.  This species has upright leaves and a shuttle cock appearance.  It eventually can take full coastal sun and cold tolerance is about 23 degrees.  5g $75
Burretiokentia koghiensis Burretiokentia koghiensis
CHAMAEDOREA METALLICA

This dwarf species of shade loving Chamaedorea rarely gets over about six feet in height.  It has a simple leaf and thin trunk.  There is a metallic sheen to the leaves.  This species looks great planted in small groups or colonies. Shown is a nice size  1 gallon plant. They can be grown inside the house and are slow growing.  Cold tolerance is into the low 20's F.  Price is $40

 


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

 

 

COLORFUL COMPANION PLANTS!!!
SOMETHING DIFFERENT EVERY SEASON
NEW THINGS STARTING TO ARRIVE


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.  Late winter and early spring is when we get the best things in.  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.  Note that these pictures are from previous seasons, but what we get in will be similar.  And, some may be on sale!    
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


SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2013

 

ARENGA ENGLERI
DWARF SUGAR PALM
COLD HARDY, SUCKERING, FRAGRANT FLOWERS

This suckering pinnate palm from the Japanese island of Ryukyu and Taiwan is quite remarkable for many reasons.  I'll list some below.

Variable heights from six to ten feet
Cold tolerant to about 18 degrees F.
Can tolerate full sun along the coast
Has leaflets resembling a Caryota
Leaflet back sides are silver
Has very fragrant flowers, as nice as Gardenia
Seeds contain irritant in their fruit
Great plant for filtered light location
Tolerates summer high humidity
Makes a nice potted specimen
Slow growing but easy to grow


For all these reasons, this is a superb species to grow.  Shown here are several sizes. Note suckering habit below and silver on back side of the leaves.  We have multiple sizes for sale.
Arenga engleri Arenga engleri
Arenga engleri Arenga engleri Arenga engleri
Arenga engleri Arenga engleri Arenga engleri

 

BECCARIOPHOENIX MADAGASCARENSIS
"WINDOWS VARIETY"

There are presently three distinct species/types of Beccariophoenix although there are only two species formally named. These include:

Beccariophoenix madagascarensis
Beccariophoenix madagascarensis "windows"
Beccariophoenix alfredii


Remember that, about fifteen years ago, there was felt to be only one "species".  It is this 'windows" variety that I am discussing presently.  This was the first species to be introduced to the commercial market.  As a younger plant, there are pominent windows in its rather flat, large leaf and this led to the common name mentioned here.  In the ground and with an overall height of above ten feet, these windows disappear.  Taxonomists will most likely give it a species status soon, but right now it stands as a variety of B. madagascarensis. 

It is a single trunk species, has no crown shaft, has windows until it gets significant height and eventually will reach heights above thirty feet.  It has a large crown of long leaves and is brilliantly green.   Surprisingly, we've found it to have cold tolerance into the mid, perhaps low 20's F.  This is surprising because it is so tropical in appearance.  Shown here is an assortment of plants that we have for sale and views to demonstrate the windows.  This species tends to yellow if not given adequate nitrogen and iron.  It is fast growing and can be worked into a full sun coastal location.  Shown are several specimen photos of what appear to be this windows form including one picture of a flower bract.. 
Beccariophoenix madagascarensis windows
Beccariophoenix madagascarensis windows Beccariophoenix madagascarensis windows Beccariophoenix madagascarensis windows
Beccariophoenix madagascarensis windows Beccariophoenix madagascarensis flower JS
photo of flower by JS
Beccariophoenix sp. wikipedia
photo c/o Wikipedia

 

BLECHNUM FERN
TEN DAY SPECIAL

This filtered light plant is ideal because it never gets too big, rarely over five feet tall.  It is a fern that resembles a cycad in terms of shape and form and also is like a miniature tree fern.  It is cold hardy into the mid to low 20's F. and likes to be kept wet.  The size we're showing to the right in a pot is on sale.

REGULAR PRICE $45
TEN DAY SPECIAL $35

Mention this Blog special when purchasing
Blechnum fern Blechnum growingontheedge website
c/o growingontheedge website

 

BRAHEA DECUMBENS
DWARF, SUCKERING FAN PALM
TEN DAY SPECIAL

For ten days we're having a special on this sought after blue fan palm that rarely gets over five to six feet.  Juvenile plants are green but in a few years in a sunny location they get blue.  Cold tolerance is into the teens F.

REGULAR PRICE 5G $75
TEN DAY SPECIAL $60


You must mention this Blog special to get this price
Brahea decumbens Brahea decumbens


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. But, we can probably get you one.  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

 

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013

 

BUTIA X SYAGRUS
THE MULE PALM
IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE EITHER PARENT!

There are multiple things that are quite fascinating about this popular hybrid between the Pindo Palm, Butia capitata and the popular Queen Palm, Syagrus romanzoffiana.  I'll mention a few interesting things here.

It is known as the Mule Palm or "Butiagrus"
The seed bearing parent must be the Butia, not the reverse
Seeds from Queen bearing hybrids are non-descript
Seeds from Mule Palms are infertile, thus the common name
It resembles neither parent when mature
It provides a more cold tolerant pinnate palm
Cold tolerance is about 16 degrees F., better than Queens
It is a good growing palm that gets to about 30 feet tall

So, if cold weather is an issue, this full sun, pinnate palm may be perfect for you.  We have available wonderful 20g plants as shown and 5g starter plants.  We can ship the smaller ones right to your door.
butia x syagrus mule palm butia x syagrus mule palm
butia x syagrus mule palm butia x syagrus mule palm butia x syagrus mule palm
butia x syagrus mule palm by MH
photo by M.H.
butia x syagrus mule palm by M.H.
photo by M.H.
 

 

ENCEPHALAROS NATALENSIS X WOODII
COMPARISON WITH PURE E. WOODII

In nature there has only been one known Encephalartos woodii to exist.  And, that plant is in the republic of South Africa and is a male.  Offsets have been propagated over the years and a limited number of progeny are growing in gardens around the world.  But, there will never be seedlings available until a female is found (unlikely) or created (a possibility).  The latter would be done through continual backcrosing of woodii pollen with the genetically nearest relative, E. natalensis, until offspring are almost pure woodii. 

Shown here is a first generation hybrid of these two species.  An E. natalensis female was obviously the seed bearer.  You'll note that this nursery specimen is a very full plant with long green leaves.  I've taken lots of photos of the leaves so you can compare it with the male parent, E. woodii (the last eight photos shown below).  I've done this because, on the Internet, it's usually near impossible to see up close, in detail photos of anything.  And, such a comparison, side by side, doesn't exist. 

You'll see that the hybrid plant leaflet doesn't have the width and margin lobe presence that the pure woodii has.  There is not as much stacking of the leaflets and no forward curve to the leaflets.  But, some of these traits are a bit evident in the hybrid.  It is hoped that back crossing such hybrid females with more male woodii pollen will create plants nearly the same as pure woodii in many back-crosses.  At least, this is the goal.  This first generation hybrid does look different than a plain natalensis.  This large nursery plant is for sale.  The caudex size in ten inches.  The crown width is at least eight feet and it is a gorgeous plant
.

Encephalartos natalensis x woodii Encephalartos natalensis x woodii
Encephalartos natalensis x woodii Encephalartos natalensis x woodii Encephalartos natalensis x woodii
Encephalartos natalensis x woodii Encephalartos woodii
Encephalrtos woodii
Encephalartos woodii
Encephalrtos woodii
Encephalartos woodii
Encephalrtos woodii
Encephalartos woodii
Encephalrtos woodii
Encephalartos woodii
Encephalrtos woodii
Encephalrtos woodii
Encephalrtos woodii
Encephalrtos woodii
Encephalrtos woodii
Encephalrtos woodii
Encephalrtos woodii pictured with friend and
cycad authority Libby Besse

 

BUTIA DWARF, UNKNOWN SPECIES
ATTENTION BUTIA ENTHUSIASTS!

Shown here is a plant that is a Butia but an unknown species.  I acquired this plant yesterday from someone who has about six more of these.  he told me they all look the same.  They are apparently six or seven years old.  He got them from someone who said "they are something different", whatever that means.  This plant has a fat trunk for it's overall size.  The trunk is eight inches thick and the newest central leaves are about 24 to 30 inches long. (grown in full sun) This is about half to third the length of a normal Butia capitata of this trunk size.  The leaflets are very upright and short.  Leaves are basically green in color with a hint of blue.  They are strongly keeled.  There are no hooks on the leaflets but one or two leaflets are folded back at the ends. 

This plant looks nothing like the Butia X Jubaea or Jubaea x Butia that I have or have had at the nursery.  If you were to say it's just poor culture, then you must explain why all six of his plants look the same, just like this.  And, nearby regular Butia capitata are growing well and normal.

So, what is it?  The thought crossed my mind that it could be Butia archeri, a dwarf species.  But, I've never had this species in this size.  If you recognize it, let me know.  This plant is for sale and I can probably get a few more if people want one.  It's just a plainly peculiar plant.  I like being stumped, but only if some day the correct answer appears.
Butia dward, unknown Butia dwarf, unknown
Butia dwarf, unknown Butia dwarf, unknown  

 

DIOON HOLMGRENII
TEN DAY SPECIAL

This species of Mexican Dioon is a medium sized plant.  Over many decades you'll perhaps see three feet of trunk.  The leaves are flat in cross section and the leaflets are minimally armed with spines.  It likes full sun, heat, and is cold tolerant to the low 20's.  Shown here is our citrus pot size, which we have on special.  Caudex size is about three inches, leaf length 30 inches, age 6 years.

REGULAR PRICE $165
TEN DAY SPECIAL CIT POT SIZE $125

Just mention this Blog special when ordering.
Dioon holmgrenii Dioon holmgrenii
Dioon holmgrenii    

 

CHAMAEDOREA HOOPERIANA
TEN DAY SPECIAL

This may be the last time we offer a special on these over-sized 3 gallon plants of this suckering Chamaedorea that gets to about twelve feight hight.  It makes a great house plant.  When mature, they are full, have green leaves and thin canes.  They are a quick growing species, like shade and are cold tolerant to about 22 degrees.  This is a great garden plant.  The first picture, 3g size, is on special.

REGULAR PRICE $65
TEN DAY SPECIAL 3G SIZE $45


You must mention this special when ordering or visiting.
Chamaedorea hooperiana
3 gallon size, on special
Chamaedorea hooperiana
15 gallon size

 

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  

 

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2013

 

BURRETIOKENTIA HAPALA
AN EXOTIC NEW CALEDONIAN PALM FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

In the mid-1980's I began to grow some of the very cool palms from new Caledonia.  By 1995 I was totally into it and this led to my arranging the fantastic International Palm Society Biennial trip to New Caledonia that happened during my tenure as President in the year 2000.  I just didn't know of a better place for a bunch of palm enthusiasts to go and see some of the best palms in the world.  This species, Burretiokential hapala, is one of those palms.

It is a crown shafted palm with a rather thin trunk of about eight inches that gets to a height of approximately 25 to 30 feet.  I has an intriguing brown color to the stems and crown shaft area.  It does not have the stripes you'd see with the Burretiokentia vieilllardii.  Cold tolerance is about 25 degrees F, or perhaps a bit less.  So, it's comparable to a King Palm.  If you can grow a King, you can grow this species.  One of the keys to culture is not letting the ground it's in go dry.  This species, like Chambeyronia, responds to water. 

Shown here is a nice 25 gallon plant and some garden specimens.  Along the coast, some are giving it near full sun.  I'd recommend morning sun, a few hours of mid day sun, or bright filtered light.  It's a great species to grow.  Many not only here but in other areas like Hawaii, Florida and southern Texas are having good luck with this species.  We have multiple sizes for sale.
Burretiokentia hapala Burretiokentia hapala
Burretiokentia hapala Burretiokentia hapala Burretiokentia hapala
Burretiokentia hapala Burretiokentia hapala Burretiokentia hapala
Burretiokentia hapala Burretiokentia hapala Burretiokentia hapala

 

BURRETIOKENTIA KOGHIENSIS
ANOTHER GREAT NEW CALEDONIAN PALM

Not too far from the capitol city of Noumea in New Caledonia is a medium sized mountain named Mt. Koghi.  In the years 2000 I visited this habitat and saw Burretiokentia koghiensis in person.  It is an endangered species.  It gets taller than Burretiokentia  hapala, up to sixty feet in the wild.  Note how the leaves are more upright than Burretiokentia hapala and the crown is often described as a "shuttlecock" in form.  It is a fairly open crown of leaves. The last photo below shows this.  Another difference is that the crown shaft of this species is white.  The last two pictures are from that trip in 2000.

Shown here are an assortment of sizes that we have for sale.  Although, at the nursery, we argue of the attributes of all the Burretiokentia, I think this species might be one of the easiest to grow.  I'd give it the same culture as hapala and keep up on the water.  Cold tolerance is about the same and it might be a little more sun tolerant than hapala.  It's another great palm species to try.  We have a good assortment of sizes available. 


Burretiokentia koghiensis Burretiokentia koghiensis
Burretiokentia koghiensi Burretiokentia koghiensi Burretiokentia koghiensi
Burretiokentia koghiensi Burretiokentia koghiensi Burretiokentia koghiensi
Burretiokentia koghiensi Burretiokentia koghiensi Burretiokentia koghiensi

 

BURRETIOKENTIA VIEILLARDII
THE TIGER PALM, ANOTHER SPECIES OF THIS GREAT GENUS

This species of Burretiokentia comes from the highest elevation of the three species discussed here today.  It grows at altitudes of almost 4000 feet.  It has a thin trunk of about six inches and can get to sixty feet tall.  It has a prominently bulging crown shaft that is known for it's diagonally dark markings.  Thus, the name "Tiger Palm".  The crown shaft is reddish-brown in color and has prominent striations as shown below.  Younger trunks are green with rings unless exposed to sun.

The crown of this species is full and round with upright and arching leaves.  Leaf length is about eight feet, leaflet length is three feet and the leaves are flat in cross section.  Some would argue that this species is the prettiest of all Burretiokentia.  Culture is similar to the species above, but I'd give it more shade when young and let it "grow into the sun" rather than starting it in direct sunlight.  As with all New Caledonian species, ample water is crucial.  Under-watered plants do not do well.

Although limited, we do offer various sizes for sale.  I've shown not only nursery plants here but also some mature specimens.  
Burretiokentia vieillardii Burretiokentia vieillardii
Burretiokentia vieillardii Burretiokentia vieillardii Burretiokentia vieillardii
Burretiokentia vieillardii Burretiokentia vieillardii Burretiokentia vieillardii
Burretiokentia vieillardii Burretiokentia vieillardii
by Rolf Kyburz PACSOA

 

THREE EXCITING AND RARE CYCAD SPECIES NEWLY AVAILABLE!

CERATOZAMIA MIQUELIANA
SEEDLINGS AVAILABLE

We are pleased 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

 

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2013
AN "NBP" DAY:  "NOTHING BUT PAMS"

 

RHOPALOSTYLIS BAUERI
THE NORFOLK ISLAND PALM

This is a single trunk, pinnate and crown shafted palm from New Zealand.  The more often seen species, Rhopalostylis sapida, is similar, but there are some differences as discussed below.  R. baueri has a trunk eight to ten inches thick, has a prominent green crown shaft, and has eight to ten foot leaves that have a gentle arch to them.  It is slow growing.  It may take twenty years to get a plant with ten feet of trunk.  Typically the trunk has prominent rings.  Cold tolerance is into the low 20's F.  People are growing this species easily in many San Francisco Bay areas.  In general, I recommend morning sun or filtered light.  Shown here is a 20g and 15g plant as well as some garden specimens.

Differences between the baueri and sapida are as follows:

R. sapida tolerates more sun, although neither is good for full sun far inland.  Near the ocean both may take full sun.
The leaves of R. sapida are more straight and upright whereas baueri have more of an arch to them
The leaf stems of baueri are somewhat brown whereas sapida are gray
The crown shaft of sapida is typically fatter than the baueri
Both are slow growing although some think baueri is faster

This is a highly recommended species.
Rhopalostylis baueri Rhopalostylis baueri
Rhopalostylis baueri Rhopalostylis baueri Rhopalostylis baueri
Rhopalostylis baueri Rhopalostylis baueri Rhopalostylis baueri
Rhopalostylis baueri Rhopalostylis baueri Rhopalostylis baueri

 

ARENGA MICRANTHA
TIBETAN SUGAR PALM

This clustering palm is a fairly new introduction into the palm market.  I first got seeds of this plant about ten years ago.  It is from Tibet and is also found in the eastern Himalayan mountains.  It natively grows in moist high altitude locations, some habitats more than a mile n a mile in elevation. There it commonly sees freezes and snow.  It is said to be the most cold hardy of all Arenga.  It gets to a height of over twenty feet (see picture below) and is a suckering palm.  Culturally, it prefers filtered light.  Of all the Arengas that I've grown, this one has the most prominent silver color on the back of the leaves.  Its stems also have a red color to them on some plants.  The trunk is fibrous and does produce offsets.

Exact cold hardiness is uncertain, although I suspect it is easily into the upper teens F., perhaps lower.  Growth rate is slow.  Filtered light or part day sun is recommended.  Shown here are a few 15g plants and a larger garden plant.  Tobias Spanner has contributed a photo from the wild.  We have very limited numbers of this palm for sale.
Arenga micrantha Arenga micrantha
underside (ventral) side of the leaf
Arenga micrantha Arenga micrantha
top side (dorsal) of leaf
Arenga micrantha
Arenga micrantha Arenga micrantha by Tobias Spanner
c/o Tobias Spanner RPS
Arenga micrantha, Eric from CFPACS
by Eric Schmidt, CFPACS

 

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 15g plants that I suspect will sell quickly.  But, the good news is that we have a nice crop of one gallon plants coming along.  The photos of the specimen plant are compliments of Tobias Spanner of RPS. 

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 at least six years to produce a 15g plant as shown.
Beccariophoenix alfredii Beccariophoenix alfredii
Beccariophoenix alfredii Beccariophoenix alfrredii Beccariophoenix alfrredii by TS at RPS
Beccariophoenix alfrredii by TS, RPS Beccariophoenix alfrredii Beccariophoenix alfrredii

 

DYPSIS CABADAE
A SPECIES WITH NO KNOWN NATIVE HOME
This is a suckering palm species felt probably to be from Madagascar.  But, in recent times, no plants have been found in the wild in Madagascar.  Specimens were originally found in Cuba where, by report, it was named after a well known medical doctor.  It is felt that this doctor traveled to Madagascar and collected seeds many decades ago.  It is now in botanical gardens and collections worldwide.  John Dransfield, in his book, The Palms of Madagascar, describes this species, but not from collected material from the wild.  This species is taller than many other Dypsis, up to about 30 feet, suckering,  with trunks of six inch diameter or larger.  If you check out the pictures of mature plants here, you can appreciate its size.  Trunks are silver green with light colored rings.   The crown shaft is silver and leaf length is about 10 feet.

Shown here are the 5g and 15g size.  On smaller nursery plants, I've noticed a dark color to the base of the petiole and the upper trunk.  Cold hardiness is into the upper twenties F.  It can tolerate sun along the coast but needs protection inland.  My thanks to those with photos of mature plants shown here.  .  
 
Dypsis cabadae Dypsis cabadae
Dypsis cabadae Dypsis cabadae Dypsis cabadae 
Dypsis cabadae R. Kyburz
Photo by R. Kyburz, PACSOA 
Dypsis cabadae T. Spanner RPS
by T. Spanner RPS 
Dypsis cabadae U of F, PACSOA
by U of F, PACSOA
 

BUTIA BONETTI
THE MOST COLD HARDY BUTIA? 
For people in colder areas of the country, there is always a search for the most cold hardy palm species.  You'll often hear that Butia bonetti is the most cold hardy of all the Butia.  It has been said that it will go down to 9 degrees F.  But, what exactly is this "species". 

Opinion now is that it is a smaller, shorter variety of Butia capitata.  Some feel it is just a cultivar of the Pindo Palm. This is because the flower parts are similar to the capitata.    It is felt to be native to Brazil.  It gets to about ten feet of height, making it a rather short palm and definitely smaller than the Pindo..  Leaf color is silver-green.  The fruit is edible.  It is also very difficult to find, even in palm specialty nurseries.  It is very slow growing.  We are lucky presently to offer a limited number of extremely large 15g Butia bonetti as shown here.  The mature photo is by Dennis Valdez from a specimen in the San Joaquin Valley in California.  If you need a super cold hardy small pinnate palm, this one might be perfect for you.  These can be shipped anywhere within the U.S.        
Butia bonetti  Butia bonetti 
Butia bonetti  Butia bonetti  Butia bonetti
by Dennis Valdez, No Cal Palm Soc 

 

ARCHONTOPHOENIX PURPUREA
THE PURPLE CROWN SHAFT KING
TEN DAY SPECIAL

This is a single trunk, crown shafted palm from Australia that is known for it's purple color to the crown shaft.  This color takes time to develop and is usually not seen on nursery plants.  It is a coastal sun species with cold tolerance of about 25 degrees F.

REGULAR PRICE 5G PLANT AS SHOWN $65
TEN DAY SPECIAL $49

Mention this blog only special to get this price.
Archontophoenix purpurea Archontophoenix purpurea

 

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2013

 

BUTIA PARAGUAYENSIS
COMPARED TO CAPITATA, OFTEN SHORTER, LEAVES MORE CURVED AND OLD RETAINED LEAF BASES

This species is obviously from Paraguay, but it can also be found in surrounding countries such as Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.  In the wild, mature specimens are usually shorter than Butia capitata.  But, in cultivation, trunk heights may be equivalent.  Leaves are never as blue as capitata and they are very curved.  Paul Craft mentions how the leaves often are so curled that they reach back to the trunk.   Another difference is that they tend to retain old leaf bases.  I don't have any good photos showing this.  Culturally, they are similar to Butia capitata, tolerating temperatures of about 15 degrees F. and demanding full sun, even in the desert. 

Shown here are 5g and 15g plants which we have for sale.  Surprisingly, this is a very difficult species to find for sale.  We have limited supplies.
Butia parguayensis Butia parguayensis
Butia parguayensis Butia parguayensis Butia paraguayensis
15 gallon size
Butia paraguayensis
15 gallon size
Butia paraguayensis by TS at RPS
photo by TS at RPS
Butia paraguayensis
Butia paraguayensis Flikr by Edwin Harvey
great photo by Edwin Harvey, Flikr
Butia paraguayensis by French palmiere
by French Palmiere
 

 

ENCEPHALARTOS NATALENSIS
A LARGE BOXED SPECIMEN FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

I wanted to show this morning a huge boxed specimen that we recently acquired from a private collection.  This species, Encephalartos natalensis, is named after is native habitat in the Natal region of  South Africa.  It also occurs in Zululand, and in both habitats it lives on the sides of rocky mountains and escarpments.  Trunks get over fifteen feet tall, leaves are green and up to eight feet, and the crown can be quite full with leaves.  There are multiple forms of this species, each with leaflets and leaves that are a bit different.  Some varieties even have a frosty coat of fur on the leaflets. 

This is an easy species to grow and is quick in the ground.  But, it does take a decade or two to get a specimen the size of the one in the box here.  We have everything from seedlings to such boxed plants.  Also shown are some mature garden plants.  Cold tolerance is down to about 22 degrees and along the coast this is a full sun species.
Encephalartos natalensis box Encephalartos natalensis box
Encephalartos natalensis box Encephalartos natalensis box Encephalartos natalensis
Encephalartos natalensis Encephalartos natalensis  

 

BUTIA PARAGUAYENSIS
TEN DAY SPECIAL

See above for description

REGULAR PRICE 5G $65
TEN DAY SPECIAL $45


Butia paraguayensis 5g Butia paraguayensis Flikr by Edwin Harvey
great photo by Edwin Harvey, Flikr
ANTHURIUM HYBRID DARK RED
TEN DAY SPECIAL

Understory companion plant that adds nice color to the garden.  Cold hardiness down to about a freeze.  Likes filtered light.  These have a rather long blooming period.  Easy to ship.

REGULAR PRICE $35
TEN DAY SPECIAL $25
Anthurium dark red
ENCEPHALARTOS VILLOSUS BOXED PLANTS
TEN DAY SPECIAL

This South African cycad is basically a small trunk species (up to 18 inches) that throws eight foot leaves straight up.  Most remarkable are the gold colored cones, especially on the females.  Cold tolerance is about 22 degrees F. and it is a filtered light species..  We have several huge boxed specimens, all coning size.  They are fifteen to twenty years old.  Some have maximum caudex diameter of over twelve inches.. We have known males and females for sale. So, you could make seeds if you had a pair.

REGULAR PRICE $1500- $1700
TEN DAY SALE PRICE $1300
Encephalartos villosus box Encephalartos villosus box
CARYOTA GIGAS
LARGE 15G PLANTS
TEN DAY SPECIAL


This large trunked species from Thailand is easy to grow and fast.  It takes temperatures into the low 20's F. and is being tried outside of Southern California with some success.  It has a very thick trunk and the base and huge, shade producing leaves.  We have very nice 15g plants for sale.

REGULAR PRICE 15G $175
TEN DAY SPECIAL $145

All these sales are blog only.   Just mention this special price when purchasing.
Caryota gigas
ENCEPHALARTOS NATALENSIS
TEN DAY SPECIAL

This species was described above in today's post.  These special plants are at least five years old, in band containers, caudex size approximately 2 inches and with 16 inch leaves or longer.  They are not wimpy new seedlings but chunky, aged band size.

REGULAR PRICE $75
TEN DAY SPECIAL $45
(limit three per customer at this price)


Just mention this special when purchasing.
E. natalensis band E. natalensis
RHOPALOSTYLIS SAPIDA
TEN DAY SPECIAL

Native to New Zealand, this attractive palm has a bulging crown shaft and gets to about twenty five feet height in many years.  It likes sun if you are right on the coast, otherwise part day sun or filtered light.  Our special is on the 5 gallon size.  Cold tolerance low 20's f.

REGULAR PRICE $65
SPECIAL TEN DAY PRICE 5G $45


Mention this special when ordering.  Blog readers only.
Rhopalostylis sapida 5g sapida balboa park

 

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2013

 

THIS MORNING: THREE DIFFERENT CYCAS SPECIES IN A ROW

If you follow the derivation of the word "Cycas" back, it takes you to the Greek word "kykas" which refers to "cycads" but more basically to "palms" or "palm-like".  This group of cycads do have palm like, pinnate leaves.  There are about a hundred species although the number of species has been increasing in recent times.  The distribution of Cycas is quite widespread, all throughout the Old World.  This goes from China and Japan, down through southern Asia to Australia and into the Pacific islands.  It has a bigger geographic distribution than any other genus of cycads.  There is a vast variability in habitats, growing conditions, sizes and leaf appearances in this genus.  This morning I'll show you three very beautiful species that we have available at the nursery.  All three species are very attractive and can be grown in Southern California.  In the past week, I did talk about another favorite of mine, Cycas wadei.  Read farther below for that species.
Cycas tanquingii

 

CYCAS CURRANII

Like Cycas Wadei, this species is also from the Island of Palawan in the Philippines.  It is a tall cycad and can get over thirty feet in the ideal environment.  You can see how it would be very "palm like" with this height.  Leaves can be up to eight feet long with a very full crown of leaves.  Spines are present on the stems.  Bare spiny petiole is typically under two feet long.  It is said that, with some plants, the leaflets can be undulating.  Please note that there is a gentle arch to the leaves and the leaves are basically flat in cross-section.

Shown here are several 15g plants with the first one having about a foot of trunk.  This is a good growing species.  The age of this first plant is at least ten years.  They are faster in the ground.  In most areas this is a part sun or strong filtered light species.  Right along the coast it may take full sun.  Cold hardiness is into the mid and perhaps low 20's F.  
Cycas curranii Cycas curranii
Cycas curranii Cycas curranii Cycas curranii
Cycas curranii Cycas curranii /Cycas curranii Lunkvist Garden by BGL
from Lundkvist Garden by BGL

 

CYCAS RUMPHII

This species of Cycas is most likely a complex of somewhat different appearing plants depending on where the native habitat is located.  Its distribution spreads through the Philippines, Indonesia and New Guinea.  This is also a tall species with trunks over thirty feet tall.  Trunks are thin, under a foot, and can branch above the ground.  Leaves are up to eight feet long and wooly when emergent.  Petioles are armed and leaf color is green when mature.  Leaves are also flat in cross section.

Characteristic of this species are the wide and glossy green leaflets  and rather wide leaves.  Shown here is a nice 15g plant demonstrating the appearance of this species.  Also shown are garden specimens and lastly a smaller nursery plant.  This species likes filtered light and perhaps full sun along the coast.  It is a good grower with cold tolerance in the mid to low 20's F. range.  Our nursery plants appear untouched by a freeze.
Cycas rumphii Cycas rumphii
Cycas rumphii Cycas rumphii Cycas rumphii
Cycas rumphii Cycas rumphii Cycas rumphii

 

CYCAS NEOCALEDONICA
PROPERLY CALLED CYCAS SEEMANNII
SPECIES WITH NEAR SPINELESS PETIOLE

When I visited New Caledonia in the year 2000, I was not only taken by the many species of outrageous palm trees they have on this island.  I also was charmed by a cycad which botanists there told me was unique to New Caledonia.  It was called "Cycas neocaledonica".  Residents of this island were very proud of their only cycad.  I stuck with this name for a few years but later came to realize it is not unique to New Caledonia and was first described as a different species, Cycas seemannii.  So, the latter is actually the correct name. 

This is a medium to large sized cycad, typically up to a height of about fifteen to twenty-five feet.  Its habitat is widespread throughout the South Pacific.  It extends from New Caledonia to Tonga.  One of the distinguishing things about this species is the absence or near-absence of any spines on the petiole.  If you look at the close up photo of the nursery plant below, you will see the lack of any spines on the stems.  The petiole is also somewhat short, leaves are glossy green in color, flat in cross section, and about six to eight feet long.  Shown here is a very old nursery plant with about 16 inches of trunk.  Also included is a great photo by Ken Hill in habitat and a colorful picture of an actual stamp illusrating this species from Fiji.  Cold tolerance is into the mid, perhaps low 20's F.  It is a filtered light plant.
Cycas neocaledonica Cycas neocaledonica
Cycas neocaledonica Cycas neocaledonica Cycas necaledonica
Cycas neocaledonica Cycas seemannii (neocaledonica) cycad pages Ken Hill
from Cycad pages, by Ken Hill
Cycas seemannii stampi
Cycas seemannii on Fiji stamp

 

PHOENIX CANARIENSIS
HUGE ONE GALLONS!  IS BIGGER BETTER?

Customers always love plants that are over-sized, too big for their container.  It's like they are getting a better deal.  But, it always worries me when someone gets a huge plant in a small pot.  I fear that it may not do well for them.  Think about it.  You have a lot of plant to support with less roots.  Sometimes clients get away with such a plant.  Other times the plant gets into trouble.

Shown here is a ridiculous example of such a plant.  This is a Phoenix canariensis, eight feet tall and with a base of eight inches wide.  It is in a one gallon pot.  The stem is wider than the pot.  The roots had gone into the ground below the pot, but not as much as I expected.  Somehow, this small root ball was supporting this huge plant.  Perhaps it will survive to look like the plants in the shopping center here.  Perhaps not.  If you want to be a gambler and try one of these, give me a call.  But, for sure, the shipping would cost more than the plant ($35)!  By the way, I didn't grow these plants. Rather, I brought them in for a customer who insisted that "bigger is better".
Phoenix canariensis 1g Phoenix canariensis 1g
Phoenix canariensis 1g Phoenix canariensis  
     

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
   

 

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2013

 

PHOENIX DACTYLIFERA
THE TRUE DATE PALM
5 AND 15 GALLON AVAILABLE

Although any species of Phoenix can be referred to as a "Date Palm", only Phoenix dactylifera is the True Date Palm and females of this species produce the dates that people purchase at stores and consume.  This is a large palm tree native to probably the Middle East, loves sun, has a cold tolerance into the mid to upper teens F., and is quite easy to grow.  Here's some things you may no know about this species:

Leaf color ranges from blue to green
Height can reach fifty feet
Cleaned trucks are "knobby" like you see below
Like all Phoenix, it has long dangerous spines on the stems
You need both a female and male to get edible date fruit
Phoenix love to hybridize making all sorts of weird crosses
This species has become popular in commercial plantings
Large specimens are dug from existing date farms for jobs
There are varieties of this species that produce different fruit
The blue color is exaggerated with intense sun and heat
It can tolerate desert heat and be grow xerophytically
If you grow one, give it plenty of space

We are presently offering 5g and 15g as shown.  These plants can be shipped right to your door.

Phoenix dactylifera Phoenix dactylifera
Phoenix dactylifera Phoenix dactylifera Phoenix dactylifera
Phoenix dactylifera Phoenix dactylifera Phoenix dactylifera

 

BRAHEA SPECIES 15 GALLON
JUST AN EDULIS?  NOT SO FAST....

Yesterday, while gathering plants for today's Blog, my son Jesse found an interesting 15g Brahea that he thought, from appearance, was Brahea dulcis.  He said this mostly because it is fairly hairy on the stems.  Rusty then pointed out that it had a label that said "Brahea edulis".  So, we had a problem.  From a distance, it does resemble the Guadalupe Fan Palm (B. edulis), but on close inspection it appears different.

In his reference book, Paul Craft mentions that Brahea edulis stems are often "free of spines" and no mention is made about hairs on the stems or leaves.  The petioles of this nursery plant are very hairy with rudimentary spines, almost like blunt barbs.  Craft mentions that Brahea dulcis petioles are heavy and do have barbs.  Close inspection of this nursery plant shows hairs on the stems and even the leaves.

So, I decided to compare this plant with photographs of known Brahea edulis and dulcis.  The second group of photos below are of edulis.  I think they demonstrate the lack of hairs or spines.  The third group of pictures, several by other authors, show spines and, if you look carefully, the fine hairs on the stems. 

So, you can't call this mystery plant a Brahea edule.  Is it a definite dulcis?  I cannot be sure.  It's always safest to just call it  "Brahea species" (or hybrid) and leave it at that.  It'll want full sun and be cold hardy into the teens F..



 
Brahea dulcis Brahea dulcis
Brahea dulcis Brahea dulcis Brahea dulcis
Brahea dulcis Brahea dulcis Brahea dulcis

The photographs below are of Brahea edulis, both at the nursery and mature.  You see no spines, barbs or hair.

 

Brahea edulis Brahea edulis Brahea edulis
Brahea edulis Brahea edulis Brahea edulis

The photographs below are of Brahea dulcis.  Remember this species has a green and blue form.  These pictures are from
nursery stock photos and close up photos by others.  On the two close up view, note barbs and hairy petioles.  I hope these
photos demonstrate the hairs.  There are no closer view of the hairs available. 

 

Brahea dulcis Brahea dulcis Brahea dulcis by Porcelli PACSOA
Brahea dulcis unknown author Flikr
unknown photographer, Flikr
Brahea dulcis, unknown author, Palmpedia
unknown photographer, Palmpedia
 

 

CERATOZAMIA SPECIES
FEMALE PLANT IN CONE
The plant shown here is in a 20g container and has a female cone.  Female cones tend to look like pineapples whereas the male cones are longer and thinner, more like a corn cob.  Note the prongs on the cone, typical of a Ceratozamia.  I can't be positive of the species of this plant, but closest would be Ceratozamia mexicana. 

I am showing this cycad because it is pretty typical of a lot of the Ceratozamia.  They are lush appearing, have leaves that in general spread outwards and not up (there are exceptions) and have a tropical green color.  Most prefer filtered light and are cold hardy into the lower teens F.  The are a wonderful species for the garden floor, below towering plants overhead.  We have a great selection of Ceratozamia for sale in all sizes.
Ceratozamia species female Ceratozamia species female
Ceratozamia species female    

 

ZAMIA SPARTEA
A DWARF THIN LEAF CYCAD
This species of Mexican cycad is quite unusual to see available because it has been neglected for so long because enthusiasts sought out the more broad leaf Zamia species.  Zamia spartea has extremely thin leaflets.  The leaf stems are mildly armed with small spines.  This is a dwarf cycad.  It lives in grassy areas and is difficult to spot in habitat because it is camouflaged by the adjacent grass. It gets a cuadex about four inches in size with leavesthat are two, perhaps a maximum of three feet long.  In the ground and in cultivation, it will hold five leaves or more.  It cones at an age of about five to six years after germination.  Shown here are some citrus pot and coning sized plants.  These are about ten years old.  Note the female cone shown in one photo.  Cold tolerance of this species is into the twenties F.  Along the coast it can tolerate a fair amount of sun.  Inland areas would require sun protection. 

We have citrus pot and band sizes available.  
Zamia spartea Zamia spartea
Zamia spartea Zamia spartea Zamia spartea
Zamia spartea Zamia spartea Zamia spartea


A FEW INTERESTING PALM TREES
READY FOR LANDSCAPE SIZES
I thought I would quickly show an assortment of nice, landscape-ready palms of various sorts.  I'm not commenting on the individual species, rather just showing some nursery plants.  We literally have thousands of such palms for sale.   
Roystonea regia
Roystonea regia 
Dypsis decryi
Dypsis decaryi 
Parajubaea torallyi
Parajubaea torallyi
Ravenea sanbiranensis
Ravenea sanbiranensis
Dypsis leptocheilos
Dypsis leptocheilos 
Butia capitata blue
Butia capitata blue 
Chamaedorea hooperiana
Chamaedorea hooperiana
pritchardia species box
Pritchardia species 
Kentiopsis oliviformis
Kentiopsis oliviformis 

Chamaedorea brachypoda 
Chambeyronia macrocarpa
Chambeyronia macrocarpa 
Caryota gigas
Caryota gigas  

Caryota urens 

Howea forsteriana

TWO NICE BLUE CYCADS
ENCEPHALARTOS LEHMANII & TRISPINOSUS

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


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2013

 

ENCEPHALARTOS UMBELUZIENSIS
A SMALL, THIN LEAF AFRICAN SPECIES FROM SWAZILAND AND MOZAMBIQUE

I don't recall if I've ever presented this filtered light cycad species that natively grows in fairly dense forests under canopy.  It has green leaves that are three to six feet long with crowded, long, narrow leaflets as shown here.  Leaflets are five to eight inches long and have spines on their margins.  Overall, this is a very small cycad.

It is quite similar to Encephalartos villousus.  But, the base of the leaf stem is free of spines or prickles, in contrast to E. villosus.  So, in 1951, it was given its own species status.  Caudex size is only up to a foot, so you can see that this is never a big plant.  I've previously shown cones of E. villosus.  This species also has similar yellow to gold female cones.

Shown here is a citrus pot plant with about a 4.5 inch caudex.  I've also shown a larger plant and mature plants with one shot showing the absence of spines or reduced leaves at the leaf base.  Cold tolerance is into the mid-twenties F, perhaps a bit lower.  This is an ideal garden cycad for that filtered light location and limited space.  It is also quite difficult to find available for sale..


Encephalartos umbeluziensis Encephalartos umbeluziensis
Encephalartos umbeluziensis Encephalartos umbeluziensis Encephalartos umbeluziensis
Encephalartos umbeluziensis Encephalartos umbeluziensis Encephalartos umbeluziensis
Encephalartos umbeluziensis Encephalartos umbeluziensis Encephalartos umbeluziensis

 

CERATOZAMIA "PACIFICA"
RARE MEXICAN CYCAD FROM THE PACIFIC COAST SIDE OF THE COUNTRY

There is very little data available on this species.  I used the quotation marks on the word "pacifica" because, as far as I know, this is not an accepted name at this time.  It is referred to as "pacifica" because it's the only known Ceratozamia to come from the Pacific coast side of the country.  All the others are from the gulf side of Mexico. 

This species has three to ten leaves.  Leaf color is light to dark green.  Leaves are glossy, flat and the stems have spines.  Leaflets are thick, leathery and have flat margins.  From the photos, you can see that the leaflets are rather liner, quite long and narrow for their length.  They have a gentle curve.  I apologize but there are essentially no pictures of mature specimens of this very rare species. I've shown what I have with a close up of the leaf by Art Vogel.and a habitat photo by the late Ken Hill.  We only have one or two of these plants available.  This species will take some coastal sun and is cold tolerant easily into the low 20's F. 
Ceratozamia pacifica Ceratozamia pacifica
Ceratozamia pacifica Ceratozamia pacifica Ceratozamia pacifica
Ceratozamia pacifica Ceratozamia pacifica Ceratozamia pacifica
Ceratozamia pacifica closeup Art Vogel
photo by Art Vogel
Ceratozamia pacifica by ken Hill
by Ken Hill, Cycad Pages
 

 

COCCOTHRINAX DUSSIANA
AKA COCCOTHRINAX BARBADENSIS

The botanical name of "Coccothrinax dussiana" has been formally changed to Coccothrinax barbadensis.  The native habitat of this species goes from the Lesser Antilles Islands into northern Venezuela.  It gets it's name because of it's locality in the Island of Barbados.  It is also known as the "Silver Palm".  It can get up to forty feet, has a thin six inch trunk, and leaves are green on the top side and silver underneath.  It loves full hot sun and is cold tolerant into the upper 20's F.  Shown here is a 5g plant and some mature trees.  Like other Coccothrinax, this is a slow growing plant in a container but faster in the ground.

I was first exposed to this species at the garden of well known Jim Wright in San Diego.  He had been growing one for twenty years.  But, because of his windy conditions near the beach and some leaf tear, he finally dug it and gave it to a friend.  His plant was fifteen feet tall at the time.  I don't know how it did with the dig, but was very attractive before the shovel got to it and didn't blink an eye at our local San Diego weather.  By th way, a close eye shows white on the leaves of the plant to the right.  That's drip from greenhouse roof paint that leaked down onto a few plants.  


Coccothrinax dussiana Coccothrinax dussiana
Coccothrinax dussiana Coccothrinax dussiana Coccothrinax dussiana
Coccothrinax dussiana Flikr by Blumenbien
on Flikr by Blumenbien
Coccothrinax barbadensis

 

 

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

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

 
 

 

CYCAS THOUARSII
AN INTERESTING TRIPLE HEADED PLANT
Just recently I sold this plant, but wanted to share with you its interesting appearance.  There is a difference between a suckering cycad and a "branching" cycad.  With "branching", the division of the trunk occurs above the ground.  It usually happens to the primary or original stem.  This is usually felt to be an interesting and desirable thing.  Oppose this to a plant that merely produces lots of offspring near the base. These are called "suckers" or "offsets".  The plant shown here, for whatever reasons, branched above the ground and is showing three separate heads of leaves.  Over time this plant will have three vertical trunks, each with their own set of leaves.

This species is from Madagascar and is a green leafed plant.  It can get rather tall, well over ten feet with leaves about 6 to 8 feet long.  I've seen very old specimens that have gotten very large.  The leaves are soft and the petioles have small armor.  Growth rate is fast.  Cold hardiness is into the mid-twenties, perhaps lower.  On the coast, this species tolerates full sun.  Far inland areas would definitely put this plant in filtered light or part day sun.
Cycas thouarsii triple head Cycas thouarsii triple head
Cycas thouarsii triple head Cycas thouarsii triple head Cycas thouarsii triple head
Cycas thouarsii
A different 5g plant, one trunk
Cycas thouarsii Cycas thouarsii

 

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2013

 

SOMETHING DIFFERENT THIS MORNING.  I thought I'd present some nursery plants quickly with minimal comments.  On the nursery plants, I'll show smaller, easy to ship plants.  Email me feedback if you like this quick presentation format.  CLICK HERE TO EMAIL FEEDBACK


BRAHEA EDULIS
Medium sized, sun loving fan palm that is cold tolerant well into the teens F. and slow growing.  Plants to far right are at least 30 years old.
Brahea edulis Brahea edulis
BUTIA CAPITATA BLUE FORM
Most desirable form of this species.  Medium sized pinnate palm that gets to about fifteen feet height and holds a very blue color.  This species likes full hot sun and is cold tolerant to 15 degrees F.
Butia capitata blue Butia capitata lblue by Paul Craft
photo by Paul Craft
BUTIA PARAGUAYENSIS
South American species with a variable height, sometimes taller than B. capitata.  Less blue than capitata and often has very re-curved leaves.  Cold hardy into the mid-teens F. and likes full sun.
Butia paraguensis Butia paraguayensisby TS RPS
photo c/o TS at RPS
CHAMAEDOREA RADICALIS TRUNKING FORM
In contrast to the trunk-less form of this species, the trunking form gets a height of about ten feet with a thin trunk.  It can tolerate some sun in coastal areas and is cold tolerant into the upper teens F.
Chamaedorea radicalis trunking form Chamaedorea radicalis trunking
DIOON EDULE
Perhaps the most cold tolerant of any cycad, this species loves sun and heat.  It's one of the few cycads that tolerates full blazing desert sun in areas such as AZ or Las Vegas.  Cold tolerant well into the teens F.  Mature clumps are rarely over five feet tall.
Dioon edule Dioon edule
ENCEPHALARTOS LONGIFOLIUS, GRAY FORM
Medium sized to large South African cycad that has varieties that range in color from green to blue.  This plant is gray in color and has sort of fuzzy fur on its leaves.  Along the coast a sun loving species, cold tolerant to the low 20's F.
Encephalartos longifolius, gray form E. longifolius
     
ENCEPHALARTOS LEBOMBOENSIS
Medium sized green South African cycad that loves sun and is cold hardy to about 22 degrees.  Easy to grow.  Has yellow cones.
Encephalartos lebomboensis Encephalartos lebomboensis
ENCEPHALARTOS LEHMANII
Medium sized South African cycad that is slow growing, seldom over five to six feet total height and has a stunning blue color.  It likes full sun coastal heat but needs partial sun far inland.  Cold tolerance 22 degrees F.

Encephalartos lehmanii Encephalartos lehmanii 
JUBAEA CHLENSIS
The Chilean Wine Palm has the thickest trunk of any palm and can get to a height of nearly forty feet.  It is very slow growing and sought after.  It likes sun in most areas and is cold tolerant to about 16 degrees F. 
Jubaea chilensis  Jubaea chilensis 
LVISISTONA CHINENSIS
A medium sized, green fan palm that slowly gets to a maximum height of twenty feet.  Leaves are large, typically flat and have a long petiole.  This is a full sun species but also likes partial sun.  Cold tolerance into the teens F.
Livistona chinensis  Livistona chinensis 
LIVISTONA DECIPIENS
The Ribbon Palm is from Australia and is quick growing.  It can get over thirty feet tall and likes full sun. Surprisingly, it is very cold tolerant and takes temperatures well into the teens.  It's ideal for cooler areas like Houston and Northern California. 
Livistona decipiens  Livistona decipiens 
PARAJUBAEA TORALLYI 
The "South American Coconut" is a good growing palm, pinnate with a medium sized trunk that can easily get over thirty feet tall.  It is quite cold tolerant and grows well in northern California.  Cold hardiness is into the teens F. and it likes full sun.
Parajubaea torallyi  Parajubaea torallyi PACSOA
photo c/o PACSOA 
RHOPALOSTYLIS OCEANA
AKA RHOPALOSTYLIS SPECIES "CHATHAM ISLAND" 
This New Zealand species is like a regular R. sapida on steroids.  It gets are large swell to the crown shaft and is an aggressive grower.  It takes sun right along the water (ocean) and inland needs partial sun or filtered light.  Cold tolerance into the low 20's F.
Rhopalostylis oceana  Rhopalostylis oceana 
ROYSTONEA REGIA
The Royal Palm does fairly well in many areas of Southern California.  The mature plant shown here is being grown in San Diego.  This is a tall pinnate palm that likes full sun, heat, and gets to abut 40 to 50 feet height.  It's cold tolerance is about 24 degrees F.
Roystonea regia  Roystonea regia 
SABAL CAUSIARUM
This large, thick trunked fan palm from the Caribbean is a near masterpiece of nature.  It is dramatic when viewed in person.  The trunk is white and very thick.  It loves sun, heat and is cold tolerant into the teens F.
Sabal causiarum  Sabal causiarum 

 

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2012

 

NEW ARTICLE AT THIS WEBSITE
ZAMIA, A GENUS OF VERY EXOTIC PLANTS

I've always found Zamia to be a fascinating, alluring and appealing genus of cycads.  I think it's mostly because they are so darn tropical and exotic appearing.  There is no question that Encephalartos, Dioons and Ceratozamia are a lot easier to grow in our gardens in Southern California.  But, once you're exposed to some tropical Zamia, there's no turning back.

About six months ago I started putting together photographs I had of the various species of Zamia.  In the last several months I've put a lot of time into creating an introductory article on this genus.  I've kept it fairly simple and not too technical.  The article covers general characteristics of the genus, culture, problems and pests and describes about thirty-five species that you are most likely to encounter.  There are lots of photos including pictures in habitat and from major botanical gardens.  
Click on the picture to the right to link to the article.  I hope you like this article.  Feedback by email is always appreciated.
Zamia Article Jungle Music
Click on picture above to read this article

 

ENCEPHALARTOS PAUCIDENTATUS
NATURAL HYBRID WITH SOME ENCEPHALARTOS HEENANII TRAITS?

A few weeks ago in this thread I discussed Encephalartos paucidentatus.  I will not repeat what I said then.  In any case, about a week ago in our inventory of cycads I found this 5 gallon Encephalartos paucidentatus, shown in the first four photos here.  But, on looking at it carefully, there are some very interesting differences between this plant and a normal appearing paucidentatus.

Remember that E. paucidentatus shares its native habitat in close proximity to E. heenanii.  E. heenanii is an almost impossible species for a collector to obtain.  Both of these species have habitats natively west of Swaziland in South Africa.  Natural hybrids do exist.  I'm thinking this 5g plant shown today represents such a natural hybrid between these two species.  I'll tell you why I feel this way. 

Note how the leaflets of this plant curve upward along the upper margin. (pictures 2-4)  There are also spines only along the lower margin and leaflets are veined as one would expect.  Pictures following of comparably sized E. paucidentatus (photos 5-7) show that the leaflets of regular paucidentatus do not curve upward.  This upward curve is more characteristic of E. heenanii, not of E. paucidentatus.  I;m also showing closeup pictures of E. heenanii leaflets.  The leaflet upper margins curve upward toward the sky in a similar fashion to the first plant. 

So, is this plant here a hybrid between E. paucidentatus and E. heenanii?  I think so.  Time will tell.  But, it is different than other E. paucidentatus that we have.  Is this a man-made hybrid?  I sort of doubt it because of the rarity of heenanii pollen.   
Encephalartos paucidentatus different
Encephalartos paucidentatus different
Encephalartos paucidentatus different
Encephalartos paucidentatus different
Encephalartos paucidentatus different
Encephalartos paucidentatus different
Encephalartos paucidentatus different
Encephalartos paucidentatus different
Encephalartos paucidentatus
Encephalartos paucidentatus normal form
Encephalartos paucidentatus
Encephalartos paucidentatus normal form
Encephalartos paucidentatus
Encephalartos paucidentatus normal form
Encephalartos paucidentatus
Encephalartos paucidentatus normal form
Encephalartos heenanii
Encephalartos heenanii
Encephalartos heenanii
Encephalartos heenanii
Encephalartos heenanii
Encephalartos heenanii
Encephalartos heenanii
Encephalartos heenanii
Encephalartos heenanii
Encephalartos heenanii
Encephalartos heenanii
Encephalartos heenanii

 

PRITCHARDIA KAALAE
ENDANGERED MEDIUM SIZED FAN PALM NATIVE TO OAHU, HAWAII
TEN DAY SPECIAL 15G PLANT
 

This rare species of Pritchardia comes from the west coast of Oahu, HI at about 2500 feet elevation in the mountains.  It gets to about 25 feet in height with a one foot thick trunk.  Leaves are semi-circular in shape, green in color and have a prominent petiole as shown.   This is a good growing species.  It tolerates coastal sun and is cold hardy into the mid-twenties F.  Inland areas require strong filtered light.  This is a very attractive fan palm and difficult to find.

REGULAR PRICE 15G $175
TEN DAY SPECIAL $14
0

Just mention this Blog special when you visit or inquire.
Pritchardia kaalae  Pritchardia kaalae 
Pritchardia kaalae  Pritchardia kaalae   


 

CERATOZAMIA SPECIES
AN INTERESTING PLANT WITH A TOUCH OF COLOR
As I have mentioned before, the genus of cycads known as Ceratozamia is often quite perplexing.  I say this because, historically, a smaller than anticipated number of species have been described.  Yet, observation of merely the plants we have in our nursery far surpasses the number of described species.  One asks himself, "So, what is this species in front of me" and you key it out and get no answer from the books.  Fortunately, in recent times things are getting better on this front and more species are being described by taxonomists.

But, there are still some mysteries.  There are still some plants where I am not quite sure what to call them.  So, they become more "Ceratozamia species".  The one shown here is such a plant.  It is a very old plant that I've probably had well over thirty years.  The caudex is quite enormous for a containerized plant; it's about 18 inches or so.  It has coned and is a male.  There is an interesting red color to the petiole as shown.  And, the leaves are long, the leaflets are cupped and the leaflet edges are an orange-bronze color. Leaflets are over twelve inches long and medium width.  I'm showing this plant just because it's very attractive and unusual.  It would want filtered light and has already seen freezes.  I'd estimate its cold hardiness into the low 20's F. 
Ceratozamia species, large red trim Ceratozamia species large with red trim  
Ceratozamia species large with red trim Ceratozamia species large with red trim Ceratozamia species large with red trim  
Ceratozamia species large with red trim Ceratozamia species large with red trim Ceratozamia species large with red trim  
Ceratozamia species large with red trim Ceratozamia species large with red trim    



PRITCHARDIA SPECIES
A NICE 25G SPECIMEN
I have been growing this 25g Pritchardia for about 12 years.  Long ago the label was lost.  It is somewhat difficult to accurately know a Pritchardia species name when they are not mature.  In fact, sometimes it's even difficult with large specimen plants.  Also, the names of Pritchardia have undergone quite a few changes lately.  By report, Don Hodel is writing a new book on this genus. 

In any case, this is a nice, sun-grown plant that is about eight feet tall.  It has a wide, rather flat green leaf with some tomentum on the petiole and stem.  I have shown both sides of the leaf here and you can see it is basically green.  Pritchardia are all un-armed and medium sized trees.  Mature, some are only eight to ten feet tall. There are species that get over thirty feet tall.  Most are from Hawaii and have cold tolerances into the upper to mid-twenties F.  Species not native to HI (i.e. from the South Pacific) do not do well in Southern California.  Along our coast, most will take sun or part sun.  Inland areas require strong filtered light or AM sun only.  I cannot show a mature plant of this species as I don't know for sure what it is.  But, I'm showing a nice Pritchardia martii below as well as several other large nursery plants.  We have all sizes of Pritchardia available.
Pritchardia species 25g Pritchardia species 25g
Pritchardia species 25g Pritchardia species 25g Pritchardia species 25g
Pritchardia species 25g Pritchardia martii
Pritchardia martii
Pritchardia

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

 

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

 

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

 

CHAMAEDOREA OBLONGATA
A GREAT HOUSEPLANT OR FILTERED LIGHT GARDEN SPECIES

About eighteen months ago we offered for sale some Chamaedorea oblongta.  They were so popular that we're offering them again.  The plants shown are several plants per container, giving a much fuller appearance as a multiple plant specimen.   

This is actually a single trunk species that gets to about ten feet height with a one inch trunk.  The leaflets are about eight inches long, puffy, a very glossy green and shiny.  The plants shown here were imported from Hawaii and are high interior quality plants.  Height is about five feet, perhaps a bit more.  These make wonderful interior palms.  In the garden you'd plant them in filtered light under canopy or grow them in a covered patio area.  Cold tolerance is about 25 degrees at best.

We have a limited number of these available.  I can easily ship one right to your door.  My suspicion is that they'll be gone in a week or two.  I can hold purchased plants for better weather if needed. 
Chamaedorea oblongata Chamaedorea oblongata
Chamaedorea oblongata Chamaedorea oblongata Chamaedorea oblongata
Chamaedorea oblongata Chamaedorea oblongata  

 

RHAPIS MULTIFIDA
ANOTHER GREAT INTERIOR PALM OR FILTERED LIGHT GARDEN SPECIES

Like the Chamaedorea oblongata above, Rhapis multifida is another wonderful interior palm species  People have been growing the common Lady Palm, Rhapis excelsa, for many decades inside of homes, hotels, bank lobbies, etc.  But, this particular species of Lady Palm is probably the best for interior use.  Compared to Rhapis excelsa:

Rhapis multifida has more leaflets
The leaflets are thinner and come to a nice pointed end
The trunks are thinner and much more tidy appearing
Trunks have less of the brown fibrous material on them
Plants are taller in general and more elegant appearing
Is the ideal maximum height for most people's homes.

I'd estimate that nine out of ten people would choose this species over excelsa when compared side to side.  Shown here are very attractive and full 5 gallon plants of Rhapis multifida. This size is five to six feet tall in the pot.  These do great inside the home or in the garden.  Maximum height is eight, perhaps ten feet.  Growth rate is slow.  These plants are interior quality and imported from Hawaii. We also have available larger 7g size which are about seven feet tall.  The last photo is a 7g plant.
Rhapis multifida Rhapis multifida
Rhapis multifida Rhapis multifida Rhapis multifida
5g plant size
Rhapis multifida
7g plant size
 

 

CYCAS, UNDETERMINED SPECIES
CAME IN AS CYCAS CURRANII BUT IS DIFFERENT

 
I am presently showing you a plant we have that I find quite interesting.  This plant came from seeds that were supposed to be Cycas curranii.  But, it is different appearing.  It has wide, shorter, crowded leaflets.  The leaflets are not droopy but rather straight.  They have a prominent dorsal vein running the length of the leaflet.  The leaves overall are flat in cross section.  If you compare this plant to C. curranii side by side, they are different appearing.  So, we are a bit stymied.  I could guess as to what I think it might be, but won't do that here. This is a very interesting plant.  I've posted a few photos of a nice sized curranii that we have for comparison. And, some day soon I'll do a post on plants known to be Cycas curranii.
Cycas species Cycas species
Cycas species Cycas species Cycas species
Cycas species Cycas species Cycas species
Cycas species Cycas curranii
Cycas curranii for comparison
Cycas curranii
Cycas curranii for comparison

 

PHOENIX ROEBELENII SUCKERING FORM FROM LAOS
DID YOU KNOW?  IN THE WILD, THE PYGMY DATE IS A TRUE SUCKERING SPECIES

Phoenix roebelenii is native to Laos, Viet Nam and China.  Most of you are familiar with the Pygmy Date Palm.  It is a commonly used species in commercial and home landscapes in temperate and tropical areas. 

But, did you know that, in its natural habitat, it is a suckering species?  If you go to your local nursery you might see single trunk plants or three in one pot.  Customers look at these plants and think it must be a suckering species.  But, the commercially available plants are just single trunk and those triples are that way only because the grower put three plants in one pot!

Somewhere from the Pygmy Date's transition from the wild to the common commercial market, it lost its ability to sucker.  This is a strange thing.  Perhaps the breedling stock for the Western World was taken from a single stem plant on purpose a century ago.  But, these single trunk plants are seen all over the world.  Seeds from our domestic plants produce single trunk plants.  In contrast, seeds from habitat, where most of the trees freely sucker, form suckering plants even if grown here.  Some call the suckering plants a 'variety" of Pygmy Date, Phoenix reasoneri.  But, you must understand that wild plants almost always sucker.

Shown here is a plant or two from wild collected seeds. The first one has yet to sucker, but it will. The close up photos shows the plant to be truly suckering.  The fifth photo shows a true suckering plant in a private garden in Palo Alto, CA.  The last photo c/o Tobias Spanner shows how attractive this suckering palm can look.  With this knowledge, tell your palm friends that "the Pygmy Date is a true suckering palm".  They'll either think you are really smart guy or just a dummy.  But, you now know the true story of this common palm.
Phoenix roebelenii suckering form Laos Phoenix roebelenii suckering form Laos
Phoenix roebelenii suckering form Laos Phoenix roebelenii suckering form Laos Phoenix roebelenii suckering by Jack Tomsky Norther California Palm Soc
by Jack Tomsky Northern California Palm Society
phoenix roebelenii suckering TS RPS
photo c/o Tobias Spanner at RPS
   

 

DIOON SONORENSE
A RARE BLUE DIOON SPECIES FROM MEXICO

This medium sized cycad species is from the region of Sonora, Mexico and hence the species name.  It grows there at elevations of two to three thousand feet in very hot and dry conditions.  It is often on mountain slopes or cliff-like areas.  Leaves are typically 3 feet long, upright and sometimes twisted on their axis and leaflets are green to blue in color.  There are several forms of the species and one of the main differences is the leaf color. As shown here, leaflets are thin and pointed.  Texture is fairly stiff to the touch.  At one point, this species was grouped together with Dioon tomasellii. 

Culture includes full sun in most regions.  It is possible that a desert location could require part day sun.  Good draining sandy soil is preferred.  Average watering is needed.  Shown here is a citrus pot sized plant and several garden specimens.  We have very limited numbers of these for sale.
Dioon sonorense Dioon sonorense
Dioon sonorense Dioon sonorense Dioon sonorense
Dioon sonorense Dioon sonorense by JS
Photo by JS
 

CERATOZAMIA MIQUELIANA
A BEAUTIFUL WIDE LEAFLET SPECIES
SEEDLINGS AVAILABLE

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.

Shown to the right is a 25g containerized male plant.  The cone is spent.  Below is a female cone.  We presently have available seedlings of a very desirable wide leaf form of this species.  It is extremely rare to be able to purchase Ceratozamia miqueliana, either seedlings or plants, so we hope people interested take advantage of our offering of this great species.      .
Ceratozamia miqueliana Ceratozamia miqueliana
Ceratozamia miqueliana Ceratozamia miqueliana Ceratozamia miqueliana
Ceratozamia miqueliana Ceratozamia miqueliana Ceratozamia miqueliana
Ceratozamia miqueliana Ceratozamia miqueliana Ceratozamia miqueliana

 

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2013

TODAY, A WHOLE BUNCH OF SPECIALS FOR BLOG READERS ONLY!

 

ALLAGOPTERA ARENARIA
TEN DAY SPECIAL

On special is the 15g size of this dwarf palm with plumose leaves.  It gets a maximum height of about six feet and is surprisingly cold hardy, probably into the upper teens F.  It likes full sun.  Limited numbers available.

REGULAR PRICE 15G SIZE $175
TEN DAY SPECIAL $135


Just mention this blog special when purchasing.
Alllagoptera arenaria Allagoptera arenaria
Allagoptera arenaria    

 

ENCEPHALARTOS GRATUS
TEN DAY SPECIAL

I have just one plant like this.  It's a massive specimen in a 24 inch plastic box.  Caudex size is estimated at fourteen inches as shown.  Leaves are about ten feet long.  It's been outdoor grown in partial coastal sun, stretching into full sun.  Cold hardiness is the low 20's F.  It's already seen temperatures of about 25 degrees.  Only one at this price.

REGULAR PRICE THIS SPECIMEN $1800
TEN DAY SPECIAL $1300


I've been growing this plant for about fifteen years.
Encephalartos gratus Encephalartos gratus
Encephalartos gratus    

 

BUTIA CAPITATA BLUE
TEN DAY SPECIAL

We're offering the super desirable blue variety of Butia capitata in the 15g size.  They are almost as blue as a Bismarckia or Brahea armata.  This species is cold hardy to 15 degrees and loves full hot sun.  Easy to grow. 

REGULAR PRICE 15G SIZE $175
TEN DAY SPECIAL $125


I can ship these right to your door.  Make sure you mention this blog price when visiting or ordering.
Butia capitata blue Butia capitata blue
Butia capitata blue    

 

BUTIA CAPITATA BLUE
TEN DAY SPECIAL

REGULAR PRICE 5 GALLON $65
TEN DAY SPECIAL $45
Butia capitata blue Butia capitata blue

 

BLECHNUM FERN
TEN DAY SPECIAL

This dwarf "tree fern" appearing plant never gets over about six feet tall.  It resembles a cycad.  It is a filtered light plant and enjoys water.  Cold hardiness into the low 20's F.  These plants on special are about 30 inches tall and very full.

REGULAR PRICE THIS SIZE $45
TEN DAY SPECIAL $35

Blechnum Fern Blechnum Fern
Blechnum Cal Hort Soc
by Cal Hort Society
   

 

COCCOTHRINAX ARGENTATA
TEN DAY SPECIAL

This medium sized Caribbean fan palm is known for its silver color, especially on the underside of the leaves.  In the greenhouse it's green, but turns silver in the sun.  Cold hardiness is into the mid to lower 20's F.  These are slow growing palms and like sandy soil. 

REGULAR PRICE 5G $65
TEN DAY SPECIAL $45


Just mention this Blog special when purchasing.
Coccothrinax argentata Coccothrinax argentata
Coccothrinax argentata    

 

ENCEPHALARTOS HORRIDUS
TEN DAY SPECIAL BAND SIZE

This is the most popular and sought after rare cycad we sell at the nursery.  It is a small species with very pokey blue foliage.  A huge caudex is two feet tall.  Crown size is four feet.  It likes full sun and is xerophytic in nature.  Cold hardiness is 22 degrees F. with colder temperatures possible with cold protection.  These are hard to find in affordable small size.

REGULAR PRICE BAND SIZE $55
TEN DAY SPECIAL $45


It's easy to ship these right to your door.
Encephalartos horridus band Encephalartos horridus
Encephalartos horridus    

 

CRYOSOPHILA STAURONTHA
TEN DAY SPECIAL

This is an interesting medium sized fan palm with a think trunk.  The upper side of the leaves is green while the underside is intense silver colored.  Height gets to about twenty feet.  It likes coastal sun and more inland some protection.  Cold hardiness appears to be into the low 20's F.

REGULAR PRICE 5G $65
TEN DAY SPECIAL $45


 
Cryosophila staurontha Cryosophila staurontha
Cryosophila species
Cryosophila species
   

 

CHAMAEDOREA COSTARICANA
TEN DAY SPECIAL

This suckering, thin trunk medium sized palm is from Central America and gets to about sixteen feet.  Trunk diameter is one inch.  In most areas, it wants part day sun or filtered light.  It is very tropical appearing.  Cold hardiness is certainly into the low 20's F, possibly a bit lower.  It's a great palms for cooler areas like Houston and San Francisco.  It is hard t find plants of this species.

REGULAR PRICE 5G SIZE $65
TEN DAY SPECIAL $45


These are easy to ship.  If you visit or order, mention this Blog only special price.
Chamaedorea costaricana Chamaedorea costaricana
Chamaedorea costaricana    

 

BISMARCKIA NOBILIS
TEN DAY SPECIAL

We are offering a ten day discount on a special purchase of some great 15g plants of this single trunk, blue fan leaf palm from Madagascar.  It is a medium grower and likes some room.  It loves heat, sun and good draining soil.  Cold hardiness is into the low 20's F.  It is strikingly beautiful.

REGULAR PRICE 15 G SIZED PLANTS 4175
TEN DAY SPECIAL $85!

And, yes we can ship this size.
Bismarckia nobilis Bismarckia nobilis
     

 

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2013

 

ENCEPHALARTOS LEHMANNII
GOOD SIZED PLANTS IN SHIPPABLE CONTAINERS

For many people who like blue South African cycads, Encephalartos lehmannii is ideal because it shows the nice color but is not as sharp and poky as horridus or trispinosus.  Native to cliffs and mountain slopes in the Eastern Cape Province, this is a small to medium sized plant.  It's trunk rarely gets over four feet tall.  Leaves are covered with a powder white bloom and about three to five feet long.  Opposed to the two other species above, leaflets are entire with a sharp terminal point.  Only on seedlings will you see spines on the leaf margins.  Leaflet and leaf color is blue, silver blue, or green if grown in a humid greenhouse or in the shade.  Overall size is not large, usually with a crown about four to five feet wide.  Cold tolerance is about 22 degrees F. and this is a sun loving species in most coastal areas.   Desert culture demands part day sun.

Yesterday Rusty went around the nursery and quickly took a whole bunch of photos of E. lehmannii.  He wanted to show plants that are strong juveniles of good size and not too far from coning.  But, he only looked for plants that were not in huge containers or boxes.  All of these plants here can be easily shipped.  You'll note color differences depending on their individual location/conditions in the greenhouse. Outside, in full sun, all will be more intensely blue.  Consider this a quick "blue lehmannii nursery tour", understanding that we have many more both smaller and larger.
Encephalartos lehmannii Encephalartos lehmannii
Encephalartos lehmannii Encephalartos lehmannii Encephalartos lehmannii
Encephalartos lehmannii Encephalartos lehmannii Encephalartos lehmannii
Encephalartos lehmannii Encephalartos lehmannii Encephalartos lehmannii
Encephalartos lehmannii Encephalartos lehmannii Encephalartos lehmannii
Encephalartos lehmannii Encephalartos lehmannii Encephalartos lehmannii
Encephalartos lehmannii Encephalartos lehmannii Encephalartos lehmannii

 

PALM AND CYCAD SEED GERMINATION
BAND SIZE CONTAINERS

I am often asked two questions.  First, do we produce our own plants and germinate our own seeds?  The answer is a definite "yes".  Secondly, I'm often asked "what is a band container?"  It is a more commonly used square and tall plastic pot.  It is 3x3x9 inches in size.  Because of its square shape, it conserves bench space on tables compared to the common round one gallon pot.  Yet it produces a comparably sized plant compared to the one gallon.  Also, bands can be conveniently placed in a carrying flat as shown here.

The best way to tell if a nursery is brokering plants grown elsewhere is to look for plants of all sizes.  Do you see germinating seeds?  Small plants in band or one gallon?  Bigger plants?  Different sizes of the same species?  If you don't see these things, probably the nursery you are visiting is only brokering someone else's plants.  Now, this doesn't mean that a propagating nursery doesn't buy in desirable material.  We do, if it's something that is desirable.  But, the vast majority of our plants come from many thousands of seeds that we germinate yearly.  Shown here is an assortment of newly germinated plants put into band containers or germinating "community pots" or trays.  Someday I might discuss here our germinating techniques, but for now I can say we don't use the "Baggie Technique" but rather a community pot.  Once a seedling is a viable size, we almost always put them into our smallest pot, the band container.  Rarely, if roots are very large, will we use the one gallon pot for a new seedling.  The last three photos show some community pots or trays. 

Ptychosperma lineare
Ptychosperma lineare
Ptychosperma lineare
Ptychosperma lineare
Ptychosperma lineare
Ptychosperma lineare
Jubaea chilensis blue
Jubaea chilensis blue
Rhopalostylis baueri
Rhopalostylis baueri
Rhopalostylis baueri
Rhopalostylis baueri
Chamaedorea beniei
Chamaedorea benziei
Chamaedorea beniei
Chamaedorea benziei
Cycas (revoluta x tatungensis) x debaoensis
Cycas (revoluta x tatungensis) x debaoensis
Cycas (revoluta x tatungensis) x debaoensis
Cycas (revoluta x tatungensis) x debaoensis

older cycads in band containers
germinating seeds
community pot 

community tray, cycad seeds 

germinating area with multiple trays 
 

CYCAS WADEI VARIETY PALAWAN 
EXTREMELY RARE CYCAS WITH ARCHING LEAVES AND DROOPY LEAFLETS

This is a medium to large Cycas species from the Philippine Islands.  Southwest of Manila are the islands of Palawan.  Native to these islands are Cycas wadei, the cycad shown here.  There is one from Palawan itself and another from Culion, an island to the north of Palwan.  Because of political instability, it is near impossible to obtain seeds from these localities.  Shown here are two nursery plants from the island of Palawan.  It gets to about fifteen to twenty feet with a trunk height maximally of twelve to fifteen feet, according to references.  Trunk diameter is twelve to eighteen inches.  Leaves are four to five feet with a long petiole that has two rows of spines (see photo).  Leaflets are closely set and, in my experience, drooping as shown.  Although I've read descriptions that leaflets are stiff, I have never found this to be the case on our nursery plants.   

The two nursery plants shown are very exotic.  They have about sixteen inches of trunk.  Leaves gently arch and leaflets hand in a downward direction.  I apologize but I now of only one garden specimen photograph available at the Prague Botanical Garden, and it doesn't note locality of habitat.  I've found no other mature plants visible on the internet or Cycad Society websites.  Culturally, little is known.  I'd recommend filtered light.  I don't know if it'll take full sun along the coast.  Cold tolerance is likewise unknown although the plants seen have been undamaged by temperatures in the upper twenties F.  I doubt that we'll really see this species available again in the near future. This is one gorgeous cycad! Only one or two available.
Cycas wadei var palawan  Cycas wadei var palawan 
Cycas wadei var palawan  Cycas wadei var palawan  Cycas wadei var palawan 
Cycas wadei var palawan  Cycas wadei var palawan  Cycas wadei var palawan 
Cycas wadei Wikipedia foreign Prague B.G.
Cycas wadei Wikipedia, foreign site
Prague Botanical Garden, unknown photographer
   

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

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


DIOON CAPUTOI
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.
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
 

 

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

 

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2013

 

ENCEPHALARTOS LONGIFOLIUS
BLUNT TIP, FISHTAIL FORM

Encephalartos longifolius is a medium sized cycad from the Natal district of the Republic of South Africa.  In locality, trunks get up to about fifteen feet.  Leaf color is variable from green to blue.  Leaves are keeled and leaflets tend to overlap, especially toward the end of the leaf.  It is interesting to note that, in its natural habitat, it is in close proximity to E. horridus.  Hybridization is known to occur.

In any case, there are several different leaf forms.  I've talked before about the "blunt tip" form of E. longifolius.  The last phtos shows how these leaves come to a blunt but pointed apical tip, often with a slight curve or irregularity of the leaf margin at the end.  But, there is another form known as "fishtail" where the end of the leaflets is forked.  The second photo shows this well.  We not only have a few near coning sized plants but also seedlings of this rare and hard to find "fishtail" form available for sale.  Sun tolerance is good and cold tolerance is into the low 20's F.  Desert areas must give all E. longifolius part day sun only.
Encephalartos longifolius blunt tip fishtail Encephalartos longifolius blunt tip fishtail
Encephalartos longifolius blunt tip fishtail Encephalartos longifolius blunt tip fishtail Encephalartos longifolius blunt tip fishtail
blunt tip but NOT fishtail

 

ARCHONTOPHOENIX ALEXANDRAE
THE ALEXANDRA PALM, AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE COMMON KING PALM

This attractive but tall single trunk, pinnate palm is from Queensland, Australia.  In habitat, it gets to a height of eighty feet.  Its trunk is typically one foot in diameter, sometimes having a bit of a bulge at the base.  Trunks are usually straight with a long green crownshaft.  The overall crown is larger than the regular king with leaves up to ten feet.  Archontophoenix cunninghamiana are a bit shorter in length.  Another importnt difference is that the underside of the leaves are silver colored on the alexandrae.  Regular King Palms are a dull green and have ramenta (small fibrous hairs). 

This species is attractive if planted in groups of two or three together.  Shown here is a 25g double as well as a single trunk plant.  Cold tolerance is about 25 to 26 degrees.  They do well with part day sun or full sun along the coast.  They prefer a rich, well draining soil and love water.  We have an excellent assortment of sizes of this species for sale.  The last photo shows a nice plant in full sun in Southern California.  The next to last photo is one of my all time favorite pictures.  I took this photo south of Hilo, Hawaii.  It shows a naturalized colony of this species mixed in with flowering Coral Trees.   


 
Archontophoenix alexandrae Archontophoenix alexandrae
Archontophoenix alexandrae Archontophoenix alexandrae Archontophoenix alexandrae
Archontophoenix alexandrae Archontophoenix alexandrae Archontophoenix alexandrae

 

NINE DIFFERENT RARE AFRICAN SPECIES:  STARTER PACK:  
IF WE CHOOSE, 25% OFF.  YOU PICK AND CHOOSE, 20% OFF REGULAR PRICES 

Call for details.  These plants are in band sized containers, some 4 year old, very nice seedlings. 
Easy to ship all together in one box, NOT bare rooted but rather sent with soil in containers. 
No losses or set backs this way.  Start a nice African cycad collection and save.
Information available on indoor culture.

THIS SPECIAL ENDS IN TEN DAYS!  Can buy now, save and ship later if you live in colder area!


     African Starter Pack

Note: no double discounts on specials.

 

DIOON EDULE
COLD HARDY, INTENSE SUN TOLERANT, SEVERAL TYPES/VARIETIES AVAILABLE
Cycad enthusiast tend to really like Dioons.  This genus is quite diversified with a variety of appearances of the various species.  Dioon edule is a species from Mexico.  As a group, they are very tough plants.  They take blazing hot sun, tolerate heat and are probably one of the most cold hardy of all cycads.  They tolerate temperatures into the upper teens F.  Within this species, one will find plants that are different appearing but still would be called an edule.  These "varieties" are all a bit different.  They are often referred to by their locality of origin with such terms as 'rio verde", "rio pescado", "tomalipas" or other such habitat names.  And, all are a bit different.

Shown here are an assortment of cycads from this species; All would called a Dioon edule.  But, simple observation shows the differences between them.  The first species (3 photos) has long green leaves.  The second plant (pictures 4 through 7) is a blue species.  The rest are an assortment of older plants.  Please note the variety in appearance of these plants.  All of these make smaller mature plants.  None get over about six feet tall in many years.  Crown width on all is not that great, maximum six feet.  Growth rate is slow.  All love sun and heat.  If you live in the desert in such places like Phoenix and Las Vegas, you may find that Dioon edule is the only species of cycad that will take your sun.

We have a nice assortment of Dioon edule in all sizes.  Everyone has a place in the garden for one.
Dioon edule Dioon edule
Dioon edule Dioon edule blue Dioon edule blue
Dioon edule blue Dioon edule blue Dioon edule
Dioon edule Dioon edule blue Dioon edule

 

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

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

 

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2013

 

BRAHEA DECUMBENS
SMALL, SUCKERING, BLUE FAN PALM
BUT, NOT BLUE WHEN YOUNG

Brahea decumbens is a smaller, suckering Brahea species from northeastern Mexico where it is found natively in elevations up to almost one mile.  Mature plants are typically six, possibly eight feet tall.  Trunks are never more than six feet.  It forms suckering smaller stems at the base of the primary trunk.  This species loves full, hot sun.  Cold tolerance is into the upper teens F. 

But, what about the blue color?  I've had customers look at our 5g nursery stock and ask "why aren't they blue?".  The answer is "in a few years, outside and in hot full sun they will get blue".  They are a green one gallon, 2 gallon and almost always a 5g plant.  I'd estimate time from germination to development of the blue leaves to be seven to eight years.  I'm showing you presently a five year old 5g plant that is just showing hints of the blue.  This will become more intense over the next few years.  The mature plants below show the color we all want to see with this species.  Of note, suckers are also slow to develop on this species.  We have 1g and 5g for sale.

Brahea decumbens Brahea decumbens
Brahea decumbens
new leaf showing faint hint of blue
Brahea decumbns Brahea decumbens

 

ENCEPHALARTOS AEMULANS
MEDIUM SIZED GREEN CYCAD FROM SOUTH AFRICA
MALE CONE IN A 15 GALLON POT

I must first apologize that I missed taking a photo of the 15g plant shown here when the cone was in color.  It's a ten to twelve in caudex male that we think is E. aemulans.  The plant tag was unfortunately lost.  This is a South African species that has stem height up to about five feet and leaves the same length.  It is similar to E. natalensis but was given it's own species status because the cones are covered with wool.  Leaflets are six inches long and one half to three quarters of an inch wide.  They have only a few spines on both the upper and lower margins.  Native habitat is 2000 to 3000 feet in Natal. 

Shown first is a nice 15g plant that has a spent male cone.  I've also shown a citrus pot, another 15g and a boxed specimen.  Note how the leaflets are rather narrow.  On occasion you will see cones form on an Encephalartos that is only in a 15g pot.  But, the caudex size usually has to be quite enormous to do this.  The last photo from the Cycad Society of South Africa shows the male and female cones. This is a full sun species along the coast and is cold tolerant to about 22 degrees F.  Colder temperatures would require cold protection. 


Encephalartos aemulans Encephalartos aemulans
Encephalartos aemulans Encephalartos aemulans Encephalartos aemulans
Encephalartos aemulans Encephalartos aemulans Encephalartos aemulans
E. aemulans by Wayne Atkinson Arkive Website
by Wayne Atkinson, Arkive Website
Encephalartos aemulans cones by Cycad Society of South Africa
unknown photographer
 

 

ENCEPHALARTOS, UNDETERMINED SPECIES TRANSVAAL REGION
INTERESTING PLANT WITH FURRY CAUDEX AND SUCKERING HABIT

I am showing you here an interesting Encephalartos from the Transvaal region of South Africa.  The Transvaal region is in the northeastern part of the country and is home to very sought after species like E. cupidus, dyerianus, eugene-maraisii, dolomiticus and others.  In this region, cycads are often found in scrub and rocky areas where cold weather is seen.  Frosts are not uncommon.  The plant shown here is similar to E. nubimontanus

But, there are two very peculiar things about this plant.  First, the caudex is unbelievably furry and wooly.  Second, this plant has gone crazy with suckers.  If you look carefully, there are four suckers off the main caudex and none have leaves as of yet. I have seen other species of Encephalartos that, for some unknown reason, make lots of suckers.  We refer to them as "clustering" plants.  There is probably something in their genes that tells the plant to do this.  This unusual plant is for sale.  I'd anticipate it'd like full sun and be cold tolerant like other Encephalartos into the mid to lower 20's F.  I can't show mature photos because I can't be positive as to what this plant is.  
Encephalartos species Transvaal Encephalartos species Transvaal
Encephalartos species Transvaal Encephalartos species Transvaal Encephalartos species Transvaal
Encephalartos species Transvaal    

 

KENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS
BATCH OF 5 GALLON PLANTS WITH "MEALY BUG" PETIOLE AND RACHIS

Kentiopsis is a genus of palms native to New Caledonia.  Two days ago I discussed Kentiopsis oliviformis and showed many pictures of this species.  But, I wanted today to show you a peculiar thing about a batch that we are presently growing.  This group of juvenile plants have a tremendous amount of spotty markings on the stems.  These markings are white or tan in color and what enthusiasts often call "mealy bug" markings.  I'm showing several photographs to show this trait.  I've never seen this so prominent as on these plants.  The first five photos are from this group of plants.  The next three show plants from other seed batches.  Perhaps I just missed this before, but I sort of doubt this. I am not sure of the significance of these stem markings.  In any case, it is most likely these plants will grow out of these markings and they'll be lost or diminished to a slight frost as seen on the other nursery plants.  But, it is interesting.
Kentiopsis oliviformis Kentiopsis oliviformis
Kentiopsis oliviformis Kentiopsis oliviformis Kentiopsis oliviformis
Kentiopsis oliviformis Kentiopsis oliviformis Kentiopsis oliviformis



DYPSIS LEPTOCHEILOS
THE TEDDY BEAR PALM


Most people would put this species on their "top ten" list of favorite palms for Southern California.  It is native to Madagascar, is single trunk, has a gorgeous rusty red crown shaft (thus the common name) and only gets to a height of about 25 feet.  Along the coast it tolerates full sun but prefers part day sun inland.  Cold tolerance is into the mid-twenties F.  Its growth rate is about average.  The trunk is an interesting silver color with prominent dark rings.  Shown here is a 25 gallon, locally grown specimen.  We also have available 15g plants (shown below) as well as 5g. 

The last photo is a specimen grown in Southern California.   

Dypsis leptocheilos Dypsis leptocheilos
Dypsis leptocheilos Dypsis leptocheilos Dypsis leptocheilos
Dypsis leptocheilos Dypsis leptocheilos

 

TI PLANTS, PINK, RED AND DARK GREEN
TEN DAY SPECIAL

Remember that these Hawaiian Ti plants prefer bright filtered light and don't tolerate a freeze very well.  We're offering a nice price on these 18 to 24 inch plants in 6 inch pots.  These are a good plant to add color to the garden.

TEN DAY SPECIAL:  $15

We can easily ship four in one box right to your door.
Ti, red-black Ti, red-black

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2013

 

ENCEPHALARTOS FEROX
CONES CAN FAKE YOU OUT!

Encephalartos ferox is from Mozambique and resembles in leaflet shape a Holly Fern.  It is typically dark green in color and is a species that tolerates filtered light.  In fact, in many areas, it burns with direct sun.  Although it can have leaves over six feet long, the caudex remains smaller and subterranean to an extent.  Stem heights over 18 inches are rare.  It spreads laterally as much as it get tall.

Growers love the cones on this species. Both males and females are either red or orange.  Females tend to be a bit more colorful and sometimes fire engine red like the date printed above.  We had a nine inch plant in a 15g pot that started to cone.  By looking at these photos from last August, you'd swear it was a female.  But, a few months later, it proved to be a male.  When new cones are first emerging as in this plant, it is easy to be wrong on sex.  As the cone matures, it becomes very apparent.  The photos below show mature cones of both sexes as well as some very nice red female cones.  You can see how the female resembles a pineapple and the male a corn cob.

This plant did fake us out!  Cold hardiness is down to about 22 degrees F.  We have all sizes for sale.
Encephalartos ferox Encephalartos ferox
Encephalartos ferox! Encephalartos ferox Encephalartos ferox
Encephalartos ferox female cone
female cone with pen to left
Encephalartos ferox
male cone
Encephalartos ferox
female cone
Encephalartos ferox female cone cycad society webpage
female cone from Cycad  Society Webpage,
unknown photographer
Encephalartos ferox female Wikipedia
female cone from Wikipedia
E ferox female cone

 

PRITCHARDIA PACIFICA
GEORGEOUS FAN PALM BUT NOT FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

If you have followed this Blog for a while, you know that I have an affinity for Pritchardia.  I consider them one of the most tropical and beautiful fan palms around.  They are un-armed, have attractive green leaves and often are colored with white wool or hair on the leaves or stems.  I've found that almost any species from Hawaii does well for us in Southern California.  But, those native to other South Pacific Islands don't survive our winters here.  If you are in Southern Florida you can grow them.  But, over the long haul, they'll decline in our locality.

Pritchardia pacifica is not from Hawaii but rather from Tonga, Fiji and Samoa.  It is one pretty palm.  It has large, flat leaves with white tomentum on the leaf stems.  The pictures here actually don't do it justice.  You can see it gets quite tall, up to forty feet or more.  In tropical environments it is a full sun species.  I'd estimate cold hardiness at about 40 to 45  degrees F.  This means that most of us will eventually lose this species in Southern California. But, don't be bummed out.  There are plenty of other equally pretty Hawaiian species that we can grow.

Pritchardia pacifica Pritchardia pacifica
Pritchardia pacifica Pritchardia pacifica TS at RPS
by TS at RPS
Pritchardia pacifica Missouri Botanical Garden Website
from Missouri Botanical Garden Website
Pritchardia pacifica from Flora of Singapore Website
from Flora of Singapore Website
   

 

LACCOSPADIX AUSTRALASICA
VARIOUS FORMS, THIS IS THE GOOD ONE!
TEN DAY SPECIAL BAND SIZE

Laccospadix australasica is from Australia.  In habitat, there are various forms.  The lowland form suckers (sparingly), has very shiny green leaves that are red emergent and is very slow growing.  I've found there is a much preferred variety that grows at higher elevations in the mountainous habitat.  It suckers much more freely, doesn't usually throw a new red leaf and has a dull green color to the leaflets.  This latter plant is what I recommend for Southern California.  There is also a single trunk form that never suckers.

The photos below show examples of the preferred form of this species.  These include one photo from my garden (plant other side of railing).  If you see the shiny and dull leafed plants side by side, you can easily tell them apart.  Our special is for this hard to find, dull green leaf form.  You should be able to grow this plant in San Francisco.  It likes part day sun or filtered light and has a cold hardiness into the mid-twenties F., or perhaps a bit colder. 

REGULAR PRICE BAND SIZE $30
TEN DAY SPECIAL $20
OR, THREE FOR $50
Laccospadix australasica Laccospadix australasica
Laccospadix australasica Laccospadix australasica  

 

PHILODENDRON GREEN CONGO
A CLIMBING GREEN SPECIES
From time to time I talk about companion plants.  Shown here is a good growing, shade loving species of Philodendron that could be used to climb up a palm trunk, attach to a fence or occupy a vacant ground area.  I am showing this plant to demonstrate how it forms trunks with aerial roots.  It's these roots that the plant uses to attach to another tree's trunk.  We also sell the red variety of this plant.  It tolerates a freeze and needs a protected, under the canopy environment. As I am typing this Blog, I am looking out my window into the garden where I see a variety of Philodendron climbing my palm trunks.  Some of these have gone up well over twenty feet.  It's very cool.   
Philodendron green congo Philodendron green congo
Philodendron green congo Philodendron green congo Philodendron green congo


PHILODENDRON CANNIFOLIUM
AKA PHILODENDRON MARTIANUM
Good news for those of you who missed out on this impressive and rare understory plant, Philodendron cannifolium.  Recently we got in a limited number of huge 7g plants.  As you can see from the second photo (this batch of plant) they stand up to five feet tall.  These can be easily shipped anywhere within the U.S.  They get long leaves, three to four feet long.  These leaves are wide, thick and very fleshy.  Specimens are impressive.  They tend to be more of a rosette type of Philodendron as opposed to a climbing species.  The ones we have presently available are bigger than the first photo but can be shipped in a box.  This species likes filtered light and is an easy grow in Southern California.  I don't know of another So Cal retail nursery that is offering this species presently.  If you like this species, get one before they are gone. They like filtered light and are cold hardy to at least 25 degrees F.   
Philodendron cannifolium Philodendron cannifolium
Philodendron cannifolium    

 

KENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS
A RARE CROWN SHAFTED PALM FROM NEW CALEDONIA
New Caledonia is such a treasure trove for great palm species for enthusiasts.  This species is no exception.  It is single trunk, medium sized up to about 25 feet, clean, self-pruning, crown shafted and has silver green leaves when grown in full sun.  Its trunk is thin to medium sized, typically about 8 inches.  The crown width is about like a King Palm.  On the coast it tolerates full sun; inland partial sun or strong filtered light.  It is more cold hardy than the King Palm with low tolerance about 24 degrees.  Growth rate is medium.  Shown here is a 25 gallon plant and several garden specimens from around Southern California.  The tall specimen below is being grown in the Clairmont community of San Diego and is about 25 feet tall.  We have available a very limited number of this species.
kentiopsis oliviformis kentiopsis oliviformis
kentiopsis oliviformis KENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS KENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS
KENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS KENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS

 

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2013

 

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

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

Shown here is a very nice boxed specimen with close up views of the leaves.  I'm also showing a few other nursery plants as well as photos of male and female cones.  We have all sizes for sale.  The last three photos are of garden plants including one estimated to be several hundred years old.
Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana
Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana
Lepidozamia peroffskyana
female cone

young male cone
Lepidozamia peroffskyana
near spent male cone
Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana
Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana
Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana Lepidozamia peroffskyana

 

LIVISTONA CHINENSIS
A GREEN, COLD HARDY FAN PALM
TEN DAY BLOG SPECIAL 5G PLANTS

This medium sized fan palm from Asia is very slow growing and eventually gets to a maximum of about twenty feet.  It has large, flat, shiny green leaves when mature.  Its petioles are armed when juvenile but later lose the spines.  Shown here are some very nice 5g plants, ready for the garden. It will take full coastal sun and is cold hardy into the upper teens F.

REGULAR PRICE 5G $65
TEN DAY SPECIAL $40

Just mention this special when purchasing to get the discount.
Livistona chinensis Livistona chinensis
Livistona chinensis    
   

 


VEITHCIA MERRILLII
THE CHRISTMAS OR MANILA PALM
NOT A GOOD OUTDOOR CHOICE FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

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

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

 

CRYOSOPHILA STAURACANTHA
SINGLE TRUNK FAN PALM WITH SILVER BACKS:  THE STAR PALM
Cryosophila is a genus of single trunk fan palms from Mexico, Central America and northern South America.  All have a prominent silver color to the backs of their leaflets.  The first two photos to the right show this trait nicely.  They are also known to have spines on the trunks.  These "spines" are not the thin sharp spines one might imagine.  Rather, they are thicker, not as pointed and near the base of the trunk. 

Cryosophila stauracantha can get a thin trunk over 20 feet tall, trunk diameter 4 to 6 inches.  At the base of the trunk spines can form roots.  The leaves are plentiful and circular in shape.  The photo in the third row by Tobias Spanner shows a nice plant of this species that has some trunk.  The other mature specimens are of other Cryosophila.  Cold hardiness is into the mid-twenties F.  This species can tolerate full sun along the coast but demands protection from cold and sun inland.    
cryosophyla staurontha cryosophyla staurontha
cryosophyla staurontha Cryosophylla warcewiczii
Cryosohyla warscewiczii by Tim Brian
Cryosophyla species
Cryosophyla species
Cryosophila stauracantha Tobias Spanner
photo by Tobias Spanner
Cryosophila species
Cryosophila species
 

 

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

 

CHAMAEDOREA TEPEJILOTE
PLANT A SINGLE OR MULTIPLE?  WHICH IS BETTER?

Visitors who come to our nursery and see Chamaedorea tepejilote usually love this species.  Its habitat stretches from Mexico into northern South America.  It is not a wimpy palm.  It has nice thick trunks up to three inches in diameter that are dark green and prominently ringed.  This trunk is similar to but a bit thinner than the trunks of C. woodsoniana and linearis.  And, C. tpejilote is a tall tree, sometimes getting up to twenty feet.  The five to six foot long leaves sport wide, long leaflets.  Flower bracts are orange, seeds are black when mature, and this plant is fast growing.  It prefers shade and is cold hardy down to the mid to low 20's F.

But, do you plant just one?  Or put two or three plants side by side to make a colony?  People's opinion varies on this.  Although it is sizeable enough to be a stand alone, single plant, I  sort of prefer the small colony look.  So, we sometimes will grow two or three in the same pot.  I'll let you make up your mind after looking at some nursery plants that are either singles or multiples.  I've included a few garden shots as well.  Remember that singles grow faster, multiples are a lot fuller.  BTW, this is a great interior palm for usage in the house.  And, in my experience, it does not like direct So Cal sun.  This same argument about multiples can be applied to almost any thin trunked palm. 
Chamaedorea tepejilote Chamaedorea tepejilote
Chamaedorea tepejilote Chamaedorea tepejilote Chamaedorea tepejilote
Chamaedorea tepejilote Chamaedorea tepejilote Chamaedorea tepejilote
Chamaedorea tepejilote Chamaedorea tepejilote Chamaedorea tepejilote
immature fruits
Chamaedorea tepejilote Chamaedorea tepejilote Chamaedorea tepejilote by Ian Edwards, PACSOA
by Ian Edwards PACSOA
Chamaedorea tepejilote by TS RPS
by TS RPS
Chamaedorea tepejilote by Ajourneythroughguatamala blog
by a journeythroughguatamalablog
 

 

CERATOZAMIA SPECIES
SIMILAR TO CERATOZAMIA SANTIAGO TUXTLA
The cycad I'm showing here presently is a cycad "species" that you have not seen at this Blog before.  It is similar in leaf shape to Ceratozamia "santiago tuxtla", a Mexican cycad named after its habitat.  But, it is different in that the leaves are not as upright.  They are more dependent.  Santiago tuxtla is felt to be part of the Ceratozamia robusta complex.  This plant has a few upright leaves, but the majority are laying horizontal.  It is a very spreading crown of leaves.  I've discussed before how there are so many Ceratozamias that don't fall within a given species description.  This plant today is such a cycad.

This plant is in a 24 inch box.   I've been growing it for well over twenty-five years.  It has four large caudexes ranging in size from six to ten inches.  The leaves initially are a bit upright but quickly relax to a more dependent position.  It has coned and is a female.  The leaflets are about two inches wide and sixteen inches long.  The petioles are spiny.  As you can see from the caudex close up, there are two female cones in photo number five.  I would recommend a few hours of direct sun or bright filtered light for this plant.  It has seen 22 degrees F. previously without a blemish.  The last photo is a Cz robusta for comparison.  Remember that any nursery plants that I shown at this Blog are for sale and can be delivered or shipped to anywhere within the U.S. 
Ceratozamia santiago tuxtla Ceratozamia santiago tuxtla
Ceratozamia santiago tuxtla Ceratozamia santiago tuxtla Ceratozamia santiago tuxtla
Ceratozamia santiago tuxtla Ceratozamia santiago tuxtla Ceratozamia robusta
Ceratozamia robusta

 

ROYSTONEA PRINCEPS
RARE JAMAICAN SPECIES
TEN DAY SPECIAL 2G PLANTS

This tall species of Royal Palm is native to Jamaica and is very difficult to locate in nurseries.  It is sun loving and has cold tolerance similar to other Royals.  It gets to sixty feet with a one foot trunk, swollen at the base.  It is known for its droopy leaflets.  Shown here is a 2g size which we're offering on special to readers of this Blog.  These plants are from wild collected seeds, so you know they are the real thing!  Just mention this special when you visit or order..

REGULAR PRICE 2G $45
TEN DAY SPECIAL $35
Roystonea princeps Roystonea princeps
Roystonea princeps Roystonea princeps
photo by R.L.
 

 

PALMS ON A FOGGY MORNING
WHAT I LOOK AT AS I WORK ON THE BLOG

I get up quite early in the morning to work on this blog.  It's my favorite time of the day.  My office has quite a few large windows, allowing me to peer out into the garden.  This morning just before dawn, it is a bit cool.  I'd estimate about 55 degrees F.  Fog is evident before the sun actual peeks out over the horizon.  Here's a few photos of what I look at as I prepare the morning Blog.  I thought you'd enjoy seeing it. 
Palms on a foggy morning Palms on a foggy morning
Palms on a foggy morning Palms on a foggy morning  

 

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

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

 

 

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2013

 

BISMARCKIA NOBILIS
A CONTAINER SIZE FOR EVERYONE AND FACTS YOU MAY NOT KNOW

Many of you already know about this most attractive blue fan palm from Madagascar.  Shown here today is a large number of sizes available.  We offer everything from one gallon plants on up to 36 inch boxes or larger.  Through our nursery or one of our associates, we can get you trunked out specimens if you wish.  This species loves full hot sun and is cold hardy down to the lower 20's F.

Here's a few things that you may not know about this species:
1.  Bismarckia is a monocarpic genus with only one species in the genus.
2.  Bismarckia are very sensitive to root damage.  Cutting or damaging major roots will often kill the plant.  Never purchase a plant that has firmly rooted into the ground because lifting it (tearing roots from the bottom of the pot)may kill it.
3.  Bismarckia are a favorite food of gophers and they can kill a good sized specimen.  Basket the roots when planting this species if you have any threat of gophers.
4.  There are very blue plants and green ones.  Make sure you select for a nice blue color if that's what you want.
5.  The purple color you see on the leaves of Bismarckia, especially on younger plants, is from exposure to cold.  It is quite common to see this.  Bigger plants don't do it as much.  To see this color, look at the plant in the next post below.
6.  Some larger plants have very hairy (dark brown) petioles and others are as clean and shiny as metal.  No one knows what this means.  See photos below.
7.  This is a great desert palm as long as you don't get down into the teens.
8.  Bismarckia tolerate dry conditions but also thrive in such humid areas as Miami and Hawaii.  Native habitat is hot and dry.
9.  Bismarckia like sandy soil but will respond to watering if you have good draining soil.
10.  Because of the difficulty with torn roots, in Southern CA this is a near impossible species to dig and move.
Bismarckia nobilis
24 inch box
Bismarckia nobilis
Bismarckia nobilis Bismarckia nobilis
30 inch box
Bismarckia nobilis
36 inch box
Bismarckia nobilis
36 inch box
Bismarckia nobilis
15 gallon
Bismarckia nobilis
5 gallon
Bismarckia nobilis by T.B. Bismarckia nobilis Bismarckia nobilis
Bismarckia nobilis by MR
habitat picture by MR
Bismarckia nobilis smooth petiole
steel clean petioles
Bismarckia nobilis hairy petiole
hairly petioles

 

BISMARCKIA NOBILIS
TEN DAY BLOG SPECIAL

REGULAR PRICE 15G $175
TEN DAY SALE PRICE $85

Just mention this special blog price at time of purchase.  It is possible to ship this size of plant.
Bismarckia nobilis Bismarckia nobilis

 

DUDLEYA BRITTONIA
IF YOU LIKE BLUE, YOU'LL LOVE THESE LITTLE GUYS.  AND, CHECK OUT THE SMALL FLOWERS FORMING.

This small blue succulent is native to Baja California and tolerates drought and temperatures down to 15 degrees F.  It never makes a mature plant over about 16 inches. Thus, it's a very small accent color plant for the garden.  It is known as the "Chalk Dudleya" because it puts out a chalky white wax substance that makes the leaves anywhere from white to blue.  The plants you see here, during our winter, are a definite blue color.  But, last summer these same plants were white as snow.  This species does not want to be watered very often and desires full sun.  They are sort of hard to find in nurseries.  I don't know how they'd do inside the house but would need lots of light if you wanted to try one.  We only have these one gallon plants in limited numbers.  They'd be simple to ship by male order.

You'll notice our plants have gone to flower.  Eventually these will put out small pink flowers.  The small flower stalks look like miniature mature plants.  I haven't tried to propagate from cutting these off, but it may be possible.
Dudleya brittonia Dudleya brittonia
Dudleya brittonia Dudleya brittonia Dudleya brittonia
     

 

ENCEPHALARTOS WHITELOCKII
A STRIKING LARGE CYCAD WITH UPRIGHT LEAVES

This Central African cycad is so popular that I thought I should mention it again and show some more photos.  It is a quick and easy to grow species that can tolerate coastal sun but looks so pretty if you give it part day sun.  Filtered light may be needed in desert areas.  It has very long, upright leaves that can reach twelve feet.  The boxed specimen to the right has about eight foot long leaves.  The leaflets are long, narrow and minimally armed when mature.  Cold tolerance is into the low 20's.  the boxed specimen shown here saw 22 degrees in 2007 and did fine with it.

The last photo shows how this plant is definitely a monster cycad. There are only a few species that can stretch up higher than E. whitelockii.  It is quite impressive and is like a palm tree without the tall trunk!.

We have all sizes for sale from seedlings to big plants. 
Encephalartos whitelockii Encephalartos whitelockii
Encephalartos whitelockii Encephalartos whitelockii Encephalartos whitelockii
Encephalartos whitelockii Encephalartos whitelockii Encephalartos whitelockii
Encephalartos whitelockii  Encephalartos whitelockii  Encephalartos whitelockii 

 

PHILODENDRON RED CONGO
This is another very desirable Philodendron that likes filtered light and is quite showy.  They are only intermittently available on the market. It is similar to the green species above except for its color.  We presently have some 2g plants for sale.  They are easy to grow and take temperatures down to about a freeze.  The plants definitely have a red color to the underside of the leaves and stems.  Shown are the 2g size we have available and larger plants to show its beauty. This species can be grown as a stand alone plant or placed next to a tree trunk where it will slowly climb the trunk.  It is not as an aggressive climber as the green form above. 
 
philodendron red congo philodendron red congo
Red congo Red congo  


ENCEPHALARTOS ALTENSTEINII
AN IMPRESSIVE SPECIES FOR LANDSCAPE
This medium to large green, South African species can become a very impressive statement in the landscape.  With trunks up to fifteen feet and crown width of ten to fourteen feet, it is sizeable and stately.  Native to the Eastern Cape region of South Africa, this species is prized for collections in botanical gardens across the planet.  Garden enthusiasts love it as well because it is a good growing species that can tolerate hot sun and is fairly cold hardy. 

Leaves are green and up to eight feet long.  Leaflet edges, especially on smaller plants, have small prickles.  I've found one of the best ways to spot this species is to inspect the base of the leaf stem, right where it meets the caudex, and look for an area with no spines of prickles.  This bare area of stem can be six to twelve inches long.  It is typical of E. altensteinii.  At this location you could harmlessly grab the petiole without getting stuck.  Although not the only species with this trait, it helps you with identifying it.  Cold hardiness is into the low 20's F..  Desert areas may need protection from full sun. 

Shown here is an impressive 10 gallon plant with about a 12 inch trunk.  Also shown are larger boxed specimens and a 5g plant.  The garden photos show how impressive a mature specimen appears.  We have an excellent supply of Encephalartos altensteinii from small seedlings to coning sized plants. 
Encephalartos altensteinii Encephalartos altensteini
Encephalartos altensteini Encephalartos altensteini Encephalartos altensteini
Encephalartos altensteini Encephalartos altensteinii Encephalartos altensteini
Encephalartos altensteini Encephalartos altensteini Encephalartos altensteinii
 

ENCEPHALARTOS TRANSVENOSUS
AN EVEN MORE IMPRESSIVE LANDSCAPE CYCAD
Many people think of cycads only as smaller, companion type plants for the garden.  This is not true.  Many are quite competitive with larger palms.  Encephalartos transvensosus, native to north eastern parts of the Republic of South Africa and most famously to the Modjadji Forest Reserve, is a huge, impressive plant that takes on the characteristics of a larger palm tree.  Trunks have been known to get over 35 feet tall with crown widths of twelve to fourteen feet.  And, trunks are over two feet thick.  The very last photo below shows old specimens from habitat in the Modjadji forest.  Granted, cycads are usually slower growing than cycads, but old mature specimens are spectacular landscape items.

Leaflets of this species are usually dark green, sometimes with a glaucous tint, almost like over-sprayed white paint had frosted them.  Suckering can occur.  E. transvenosus is cold hardy to about 22 degrees and does perfectly in full sun along the coast.  Desert areas may require part day sun.  Shown here is an impressive large plant with a 20 inch caudex in a 15g pot.  Also shown are an assortment of sizes as well as an impressive specimen with a child sitting on an old decumbent trunk.  If you want something different that is a very majestic and impressive plant, consider this species.  We have all sizes available.   
Encephalartos transvenosu Encephalartos transvenosu
Encephalartos transvenosu Encephalartos transvenosu Encephalartos transvenosu
Encephalartos transvenosu
E. transvensosus with new throw of leaves
Encephalartos transvenosu Encephalartos transvenosu
Encephalartos transvenosu Encephalartos transvenosu Encephalartos transvenosu
Encephalartos transvenosu Encephalartos transvenosu Encephalartos transvenosus
Encephalartos transvenosu Encephalartos transvenosu Encephalartos transvenosus



 

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2013

 

CARYOTA GIGAS
BIG 15G PLANTS AVAILABLE

Also known as the Black Trunk Fishtail, King Kong, and Thai Mountain Giant, this species of Caryota is ideal for Southern California.  It is a gorgeous palm that gets to about 35 feet tall and has a very thick trunk.  Characteristics are:

Full sun in most areas
Has 30 inch or greater basal trunk diameter
Leaves 14 feet long and very wide
Needs room away from home or structure
Responds to adequate water
Cold hardiness to low 20's where it will burn
Not as cold hardy as C. urens
Monocarpic, dies when it blossoms
Quick growing

Shown here are some very nice 15g plants, outdoor grown, that we just got in.  They are huge for their containers.  We also have 5g, 25g and boxes for sale.
Caryota gigas Caryota gigas
Caryota gigas Caryota gigas Caryota gigas
Caryota gigas Caryota gigas
25g size
Caryota gigas

 

ENCEPHALARTOS LONGIFOLIUS
ONE PRETTY CYCAD

I was talking to Rusty, one of my salesman, yesterday and we were discussing which cycad you'd choose if you could only have one species.  Encephalartos longifolius was very high on the list.  So, we picked out a very pretty plant and took photos.  It's shown in the first five photos here.

This species can get fairly tall, easily to ten feet.  It can have a stout trunk 18 inches thick or more.  The thing I like about this species is its leaves.  They can be green to blue or anything in between.  Leaves can curve downwards at their end.  Leaflets often stack on top of each other, sort of like a row of dominos.  Sometimes there is  a faint frost of white on the leaflets.  Leaf length can be up to eight feet, but usually leaves are four to six feet long.  Trunks are clean and attractive. 

This is a full sun cycad in most areas and a good grower.  Cold tolerance is down to about 22 degrees F.  We have lots of sizes for sale of this desirable species.

Encephalartos longifolius Encephalartos longifolius
Encephalartos longifolius Encephalartos longifolius Encephalartos longifolius
Encephalartos longifolius Encephalartos longifolius Encephalartos longifolius

 

MACROZAMIA RIEDLEI
BLUE-GREEN AUSTRALIAN CYCAD

This medium sized cycad species is from Western Australia.  Stems are usually under one foot in size and leaves are typically four to six feet long.  Leaf color is green or blue green as shown here.  Leaves spread out forming a half circle of leaves with some droop of the leaf ends.  Leaflets are narrow and pointed at their ends.  This is a sun or part sun plant Cold tolerance is into the upper teens F. at best. 

Shown here is a nice 20g plant with an eight inch caudex.  I am showing it today because of its nice color.  For those in cooler areas, this might be a cycad to consider.  Most Macrozamia are fairly easy to grow. 
Macrozamia riedlei Macrozamia riedlei
Macrozamia riedlei Macrozamia riedlei Macrozamia riedlei
Macrozamia riedlei Macrozamia riedlei  

 

LVISITONA DECIPIENS
AKA LIVISTONA DECORA
TEN DAY SPECIAL 5G SIZE

This fast growing and fairly cold hardy fan palm is from Australia.  For its height, it has a fairly narrow trunk.  It is known as the Ribbon Palm because leaflet tips hang downward like ribbons.  It can tolerate temperatures into the upper teens F. and is an ideal palm for Northern California.  We are having a special on the 5g size.

REGULAR PRICE 5G $65
TEN DAY SPECIAL $45

Livistona decipiens Livistona decipiens

 

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

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

Pictures here are an assortment of nursery plants, domestically grown plants and habitat specimens.  If you live in an area that doesn't get below the mid-twenties, it is a fun species to grow.  We have very nice 5g plants that can be easily shipped right to your door.  We also have smaller and larger sizes available.
 
Archontophoenix purpurea

Archontophoenix purpurea 5g
Archontophoenix purpurea

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

 

EASY TO SHIP CYCADS
FIVE GALLON AND CITRUS POT SIZES

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

 

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2013

 

(ENCEPHALARTOS NATALENSIS X WOODII) X (ENCEPHALARTOS WOODII)
DOUBLE BACK CROSS
Getting Closer to the Rarest Cycad Around


As many of you may be aware, Encephalartos woodii is one of the most coveted, expensive, sought after and rare cycads on this planet.  Only one original male plant is known to exist.  It is in a botanical garden in South Africa.  From that plant, over time, suckers have been removed and distributed around the world.  And from those suckers other new offsets have been removed over time.  But, there still remains just a very limited number of plants on this planet.  Offsets are extremely hard to root and this makes things more difficult.  No seedlings have ever been available.  This would be impossible as there are only female plants.  The last four photos below show this unbelievably rare species.  Obviously, it is a male.  One picture shows pollen producing cones.

Fortunately, male plants do make viable pollen and this pollen has been used in hybridization.  The species felt to be most similar to E. woodii is E. natalensis.  Thus, it was felt to be the best species around to hybridize with the E. woodii pollen.  First generation hybrids of these two have been done many times.  But, what if you took E. woodii pollen and crossed it back with one of your female (E. natalensis x woodii) that had become mature and coning?  Such progeny would have a double dose of E. woodii pollen and therefore be more similar to pure E. woodii.  The plant shown here today is such a plant.  There are very few of these around in the world.  Some day we'll have triple back crosses available.  But, not yet.  The thinking is that sooner or later we'll have progeny that are almost identical to E. woodii and these would be 50% males and females.  Such work could theoretically nearly replace an extinct female species. 

Note the shape of the leaflets and cupping seen in photos three through six.  These leaflets are fat, a bit bizarre shaped and cupped.  This is typical of this double cross.  We only have this one plant for sale.
Encephalartos natalensis x woodii x woodii Encephalartos natalensis x woodii x woodii
Encephalartos natalensis x woodii x woodii Encephalartos natalensis x woodii x woodii Encephalartos natalensis x woodii x woodii
Encephalartos natalensis x woodii x woodii Encephalartos woodii
Encephalartos woodii
Encephalartos woodii
Encephalartos woodi
Encephalartos woodii
Encephalartos woodi
Encephalartos woodii
Encephalartos woodi
 

 

ANOTHER THIN LEAFLET CERATOZAMIA
CERATOZAMIA KUESTERIANA??

Since I showed you Ceratozamia kuesteriana yesterday, i thought I'd show you another plant that is similar but has distinct differences.  This plant has been grown in full sun and seen temperatures of about 22 degrees.  It's in a box and has a cuadex of about eight to ten inches with a pup. 

In contrast to the Cz kuesteriana, this plant has narrow leaflets that are more widely spaced with distint gaps between the leaflets, is extremely keeled, and has very cupped, induplicate leaflets.  The second photo shows how strongly keeled the leaves are. It's  very attractive plant if you like thin leaf cycads.  I suspect it's a kuesteriana, but it is different.  In his book, Loran Whitelock describes this species' leaf a "flat to keeled", so I suspect this applies here.  
Ceratozamia, undetermine species Ceratozamia, undetermine species
Ceratozamia, undetermine species Ceratozamia, undetermine species Ceratozamia, undetermine species

 

 


CARYOTA KIRIWONGENSIS
ALMOST EXTINCT AND MASSIVE FISHTAIL
By report, there are only about two dozen specimens of this species in existence in southern Thailand.  Original descriptions of this species were submitted by Don Hodel, taxonomist from California.  This is a massive Fishtail Palm and would put Caryota gigas to shame with its size.  It is supposed to get well over 100 feet tall with trunks three feet in diameter.  Little is known about this palm by collectors.  There are ONLY a hand full of plants being grown worldwide by collectors or in botanical gardens.  Internet searches fail to show you much information about Caryota kiriwongensis.  It is felt to be most closely related to Caryota obtusa, but seeds share characteristics of C. ophiopellis and zebrina. 

As most of you know, Caryotas are monocarpic palms.  A plant has to die in order to get seeds.  Well, if there are only a few in the wild and one died to give seeds, that could potentially leave even less plants in the wild.  This puts a huge responsibility on the person growing this species.  You have to make sure it survives. 
 
By report, it'll take temperatures down to about a freeze, but this is not documented.  It does get very large, so you have to give it room.  I have one or perhaps two of these for sale.  They are big one gallon plants and not inexpensive.  The only picture I could find of a large plant was by Tobias Spanner who distributed the seeds.  I apologize that I cannot show more pictures of native plants at this time.  But, to read more you could reference Don Hodel's book on the Palms of Thailand.   
Caryota kiriwongensis Caryota kiriwongensis
Caryota kiriwongensis C aryota kiriwongensis by TS, RPS
photo by Tobias Spanner
 

BUTIA CAPITATA
TEN DAY SPECIAL 5G SIZE

This is a pinnate palm that loves sun and heat, can tolerate temperatures down to 15 degrees F., and peaks out at a height of about fifteen feet.  Leaf color is typically green to blue green.  Our special is on our regular 5g Butia capitata.  These are not our super blue variety.  This special is directed at those of you who live in colder areas and want something different to try in your area.  These can be easily shipped in their container with the soil as we are a certified nursery.

REGULAR PRICE $65

TEN DAY SPECIAL $39
Butia capitata Butia capitata
Butia capitata    

 

 

HOWEA BELMOREANA
THE OTHER TYPE OF KENTIA PALM
This umbrella shaped species is from the
island of Lord Howe and is in the same
family as the Kentia Palm.  However, there
are striking differences, mostly in the
appearance of the leaves and crown.  This
species has a curve of the leaves toward the
ground, giving it the umbrella shaped crown.
It is also a bit more cold hardy, possibly to
as low as 24 degrees.  It can take full sun
along the coast and wants protection inland.
Shown here is a super 15g plant as well as
very nice sized 1g.  The specimen photo
demonstrates the shape of the crown of
leaves.  The larger containerized palm is to
the right is about seven feet tall.  We have
an excellent selection of large one gallon plants.
The largest of these are over two feet tall and
easily shipped.  The price on these 1g is $40 for
the smaller and $45 for the larger. Some of the
latter plants would be considered large for
a 5g plant.  Limited numbers available.    
Howea belmoreana Howea belmoreana
Howea belmoreana 1 g Howea belmoreana 1g howea belmoreana

 

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



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