Jungle Music Palms and Cycads Nursery

Nursery Hours:
Monday -Saturday 10AM-3PM

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

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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

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  • 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
  • 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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THURSDAY, JANUARY 31, 2013

 

CERATOZAMIA KUESTERIANA
VERY OLD SPECIMEN OF A THIN LEAF MEXICAN CYCAD

Today I'm showing you a thirty five year old specimen of this smaller species of Mexican Ceratozamia from the state of Tamaulipas.  This species' trunk doesn't get over one foot in height.  So the plant you see here is about as large as it gets.  I've been growing it forever.  In more recent years, it throws new leaves but the trunk doesn't get any bigger.  Leaves emerge reddish-brown and are about five feet long.  In general, the leaves are flat or every so slightly keeled in cross section.  One picture below shows this nicely.  Leaflet width is one quarter to one half inch and their length is about twelve inches.  Surprisingly, the leaflet tips are not too pungent.  Trunks will sucker but, in general, don't branch. 

This specimen is in a box and has seen weather into the low 20's F.  I have customers who are exposing their plants to temperatures into the upper teens without damage.  Most people grow it in filtered light, but right along the coast it tolerates full sun.  I also have smaller plants available as shown in the citrus pot.  Although I don't recall the sex on this big plant, I am showing you a female cone of a smaller Cz kuestriana. 

Feb. 1, 2013 update.  I found a female in our nursery and am showing the cone of this boxed plant in the last photo.
Ceratozamia kuesteriana Ceratozamia kuesteriana
Ceratozamia kuesteriana Ceratozamia kuesteriana Ceratozamia kuesteriana
Ceratozamia kuesteriana Ceratozamia kuesteriana Ceratozamia kuesteriana
Ceratozamia kuesteriana
by Ian Edwards, PACSOA
Ceratozamia kuesteriana by Colin Wilson, PACSOA
by Colin Wilson, PACSOA
Ceratozamia kuesteriana
female cone nursery plant
Ceratozamia kuesteriana female cone
female cone, boxed plant
   

 

CERATOZAMIA MEXICANA
SUPER WIDE AND EXOTIC LEAVES

I'm showing two Ceratozamia in a row because I have this real affinity for this genus.  I find them so exotic and interesting.  This genus is so easy to fit into almost any location in the garden.  The boxed specimen Ceratozamia here is another that I've been growing for about thirty years.  Although labeled as a "species", I find it to be most similar to Ceratozamia mexicana.  The leaves are thirty inches wide (side to side) which is the maximum that a Cz mexicana can be.  The third photo shows Joaquin holding a leaf.  Leaflets are crowded and surprisingly thick, leathery and soft.  The caudex is about fourteen inches and it is suckering as shown.  Leaf length is about six feet.  So you can get an idea of how this plant would look in the garden, I am showing two garden specimens of Ceratozamia mexicana.  And, for those of you who want smallersized plants for purchase, we offer these in plants from one or two gallon on up to affordable and shippable 15g.  This is a filtred light species with cold tolerance into the upper teens.  It's an easy grow in area like San Francisco and Houston.  But, you will need rich, good-draining soil.
Ceratozamia species wide leaf Ceratozamia species wide leaf
Ceratozamia species wide leaf Ceratozamia species wide leaf Ceratozamia species wide leaf
Ceratozamia species wide leaf Ceratozamia mexicana Ceratozamia mexicana

 

HYOPHORBE VERSCHAFELTII
THE SPINDLE PALM WITH ITS CIGAR SHAPED TRUNK
TEN DAY SPECIAL 15G SIZE

Hyophorbe verschafeltii is known as the Spindle Palm.  It is closely related to Hyophorbe lagenicaulis, the Bottle Palm.  BUT, the Spindle Palm is a bit more cold hardy and therefore the one that is a better choice for Southern California.  Both are native to the Mascarene Islands.  Mature height is about ten feet.  On the trunk, the Spindle Palm has the bulge off the ground, somewhere in the middle of a mature trunk.  the Bottle Palm swells at the base and above this gets more narrow.  Cold tolerance of the Spindle Palm is about freezing.  The Bottle Palm gets into trouble below thirty-five degrees.  This small difference makes a huge difference for growers. 

Shown here is the 15g size of H. verschafeltii which I've decided to put on special.


REGULAR PRICE $165
TEN DAY SPECIAL PRICE $140

We do have smaller sizes for sale.  BTW, in the San Diego area there are quite a few specimens outside that have trunks well over six to eight feet.  This is a full sun only species.
Hyophorbe verschafeltii Hyophorbe verschafeltii
Hyophorbe verschafeltii Hyophorbe verschafeltii Hyophorbe verschafeltii
Hyophorbe verschafeltii Hyophorbe verschafeltii  


DYPSIS DECIPIENS SUPER SILVER &
DYPSIS DECIPIENS RED
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
As with many species of palms from Madagascar, it seems that they represent more of a "complex" than an exact species with a consistent appearance.  By this I mean, if you pick a species like, let's say, Dypsis baronii, you'd think they'd all look alike.  But, this is not true.  Some sucker, others don't.  Some have silver crown shafts, others are green or yellow.  Some have droopy leaves, others are upright.  Thus, we have a "complex" where we'd call it a Dypsis baronii, but recognize there are lots of variations within that species.

Such is the case with Dypsis decipiens.  Some sucker, some don't.  Some have green crown shafts, others have silver.  Some have plumose leaves, others are flat.  And, some even have a blue color to the leaves.  There is one form of Dypsis decipiens that most collectors feel is most desirable.  And, it's the one with the silver crown shaft.  This variety is called "super silver" or "decipiens red".  This is what I'm showing this morning.  It has a definite red color to the newly emerging spear and sometimes the petiole and leaf (see photos here).  And, over time, the crown shaft becomes brilliantly silver as shown in the pictures.

I would say all forms of D.decipiens are similar in culture and growth.  They are fairly cold hardy into the low 20's F.  They like to be reared in less than full sun when young but then exposed to full sun when larger, especially along the coast.  They do not like the combination of cold and wet; rot may develop.  For all, growth rate is very slow.  it takes 6 years for me to grow a standard 5g plant.  The last photo of a plant in the ground is a "super silver form" from the garden of Mardi Darian in Vista, CA.
Dypsis decipiens super silver Dypsis decipiens super silver
Dypsis decipiens super silver Dypsis decipiens super silver Dypsis decipiens super silver
Dypsis decipiens super silver Dypsis decipiens super silver Dypsis decipiens super silver
Dypsis decipiens super silver Dypsis decipiens super silver  

 

DYPSIS LUTESCENS
ARECA OR BUTTERFLY PALM
We presently have available some very nice ten foot tall Dypsis lutescens.  This is a suckering species from Madagascar that is medium sized, seldom over 18 feet in Southern California.  It has attractive, thin trunks with a prominent yellow color.  This color can extend into the leaf stems as well.  It has a medium growth rate.  Along the coast, it prefers sun or very bright filtered light.  In inland areas it cannot take full sun.  Cold tolerance is into the mid-twenties F.  We also have smaller plants available.

By the way, this is the most popular palm for blocking the neighbor from looking over the fence into your yard!  For this reason we also call it the "Neighbor Blocking Palm".
Dypsis lutescens 10 foot plants Dypsis lutescens 10 foot plants
Dypsis lutescens 10 foot plants Dypsis lutescens 10 foot plants Dypsis lutescens by D.O.
photo by D.O.
Dypsis lutescens Dypsis lutescens  donated photo
photo by E.S.
 

 

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 30, 2013

 

CYCAS CURRANII
A GORGEOUS CYCAD FROM PALAWAN, PI
This species is a large sized plant that was originally discovered by an American visiting the Island of Palawan in the Philippines in 1906.  But, soon thereafter, lost it's status as a species until Ken Hill reestablished its species status in 1995.  Trunks attain a height of over thirty feet with a diameter one to two feet.  Leaf length is six to eight feet, Leaflets are about ten inches long, one half inch wide and, as the leaf ages, become somewhat dependent and droopy.  There is little information available on this species. 

Shown here are multiple nursery plants including a larger boxed specimen.  The 15g plants are about eight to ten years old and have heights in their pots of about seven feet.  Note how their leaves and the leaves of the box are not droopy as of yet.  I've shown another nursery plant where the leaves, with age, droop.  This is a part day sun species, perhaps tolerating full sun along the coast.  I have seen it tolerate temperatures into the mid-twenties F.  I find it to be prettier than Cycas thouarsii. 
Cycas curranii Cycas curranii
Cycas curranii Cycas curranii Cycas curranii
Cycas curranii Cycas curranii Cycas curranii
Cycas curranii Cycas curranii by George Yao PACSOA
by Gorge Yao PACSOA
Cycas curranii
Droopy leaflet specimen
Cycas curranii Cycas curranii Cycas curranii by George Lao PlantAPalm
by George Lao PlantAPalm

 

JUBAEOPSIS CAFFRA
EXTREMELY RARE & SLOW GROWING
A SUCKERING COCONUT LOOKALIKE?

Back when I started with palms in about 1976, not only did I not have this species in my collection, but it took years before I actually got to see one in person.  Even today, it's near impossible to find Jubaeopsis caffra for sale.  The reasons for this are:
1.  Seeds are extremely rare.  And, if someone plants one, it takes decades for that plant to produce fruit.
2.  If you get your hands on seeds, the chances are you'll just get just one in ten to germinate.
3.  Seeds are extremely expensive
4.  These are unbelievably slow growing.  The plants shown here in 5g pots are eight years old.
5.  Most nurseryman will not fool with something that takes this much time to get a sellable plant. 

There are a limited number of large specimens of this South African clumping palm found here in Southern California.  Most enthusiasts can name on one hand the best plants to view in our area.  The last photo in the fourth row below is at the Catamaran Hotel in San Diego.  This plant, after twenty-five years in the ground, was sold by now deceased Jim Specht from his La Mesa garden to the hotel.  Palm Society members have also been following the tree at the Hilton Hotel in Newport Beach for two decades and it' slowly getting bigger.  Mature plants can reach a height of thirty feet.  They get quite wide and need some room to spread.

Question: Do they look like a suckering Coconut?  A lot of people think so, even with the yellow or orange color to the petiole.  You decide.  In terms of culture, this is a sun species.  Cold tolerance is into the low 20's F.  We have a few 5g Jubaeopsis left as shown here.  When they sell out, you'll have to wait another eight years for our seedlings to get up to this size to offer them again.  .  





Jubaeopsis caffra




Jubaeopsis caffra





Jubaeopsis caffra




Jubaeopsis caffra
Jubaeopsis caffra Jubaeopsis caffra Jubaeopsis caffra
Jubaeopsis caffra Jubaeopsis caffra  Jubaeopsis caffra 
Jubaeopsis caffra  Jubaeopsis caffra  Jubaeopsis caffra 
Jubaeopsis caffra  Jubaeopsis caffra by Wikipedia
from Wikipedia website 
 


FURCRAEA MACDOUGAL
TEN DAY SPECIAL ON BAND SIZE

This species is a stunning member of the Agave family.  It is known as the tallest Agave and is native only to a small area Oaxaca, Mexico.  There is lives in hot, dry scrubland.  Overall height in the wild gets to twenty feet, although plants in cultivation often flower at a height of about ten feet.  Leaves are blue-green in color, very fleshy and stiff, and pointed upwards.  They are also thick and firm with small spines along their margins.  When old dead leaves are cleaned from the trunk, it is very cool looking.  The second specimen photo shows old leaves that haven't been removed.  

When this species flowers, a huge upright flower up to twenty feet emerges.  Initially there are white flowers and these are followed by a large number of "bubils" that fall to the ground and are the means of propagation.  The mother plant then dies.  So, you can see that growing this species requires that you know of a plant that is flowering and about to perish.  A friend of mine recently had such a plant and I was given young bubils to grow.  The bands shown are about six months old.  Cold tolerance from my friend's experience is that this species survived 22 degrees F in 2007.  It is a full sun plant. 

REGULAR PRICE BAND SEEDLINGS $30
TEN DAY SPECIAL PRICE BAND PLANTS $15
OR, THREE FOR $40


This species is stunning and rarely seen available at nurseries.  

FURCRAEA MACDOUGALII  FURCRAEA MACDOUGALII 
FURCRAEA MACDOUGALII  FURCRAEA MACDOUGALII  Furcraea m. by TS RPS
photo by TS at RPS 
Furcraea m by TS RPS
photo by TS at RPS 
Furcraea m. by FLIKR Jardin Boracua
photo by FLIKR Jardin Boracua 
 

ALLAGOPTERA ARENARIA
15G BEACH PALMS NOW AVAILABLE
 I discussed this species from Brazil earlier this month, so I will not say a lot here.  It is a dwarf palm for full sun that is fairly cold tolerant.  Because it is slow growing, it's rare to see 15g plants available.  I wanted to let you know we have a limited number of this size presently available.  Note their fluffy leaves (plumose) with grouping of the leaflets.  Maximum height is usually about six feet.  Natively they live on sand dunes close to the ocean, so obviously this is a salt tolerant species.
 
Allagoptera arenaria 15g  Allagoptera arenaria 15g 
Allagoptera arenaria 15g  Allagoptera arenaria   


COPERNICIA BAILEYANA
TEN DAY SPECIAL 5G PLANTS
This is another species we've previously discussed but I wanted to put these great 5g plants on sale.  This is a single trunk fan palm from Cuba that is very stout in the trunk and have stiff, flat upright leaves.  Shown here are 5g plants that are six to seven years old.  You almost never see this species on sale!

REGULAR PRICE 5G $75

TEN DAY SPECIAL ON 5G SIZE $50!  
Copernicia baileyana 5g  Copernicia baileyana 5g 
Copernicia baileyana 5g  Copernicia baileyana    


MONDAY, JANUARY 28, 2013

 

ENCEPHALARTOS BUBALINUS
HIGH ELEVATION TANZANIAN CYCAD
Tanzania is a country north of Mozambique and south of Kenya in Central Africa.  A distant, remote and high elevation locality there is the home for Encephalartos bubalinus.  There is grows at elevations of up to 7000 feet.  With this said, one must realize that this species is not as cold hardy as more southern species in South Africa.  But, it will take temperatures down to the mid twenties F. Colder temperatures may result in leaf damage or defoliation of the crown.  It is a fast growing species that tolerates sun in many areas.

Trunk size gets to about six feet.  Leaves are two to five feet long.  Leaf color is an interesting gray-green and the leaflets are a bit cupped.  Shown here is a citrus pot and 15g plant with several garden specimens.
 
Encephalartos bubalinus  Encephalartos bubalinus 
Encephalartos bubalinus  Encephalartos bubalinus  Encephalartos bubalinus 
Encephalartos bubalinus  Encephalartos bubalinus by Colin Wilson, PACSOA
by Colin Wilson, PACSOA 
 


PANDANUS FURCATUS
A FAIRLY COLD HARDY SCREW PINE
Pandanus is a genus of dioecious plants that form their leaves in a "screw like" fashion as they go up the trunk.  Thus, they are called a "Screw Pine" because they are 'affiliated with Pine Trees.  There are an estimated 600 species within this genus and only a few survive in Southern California.  Pandanus furcatus is one of the more cold hardy of the Pandanus genus.  This species is native to the Himilayan region including India and Nepal.  It's distribution extends south through Thialand, Malaysia and into Madagascar and Australia.  It grows at elevations of 1000 to 4000 feet.  Cold tolerance is into the upper twenties F.  Mature trees can get to forty feet and stems often branch.  Leaf color is green or lime colored and the leaf margins are armed.  They are, however, less spiny than Pandanus utilus.  Leaves on both are stiff and arch downwards.  Trunks can form stilt roots.  They are a sun plant but can tolerate partial sun. If you look at the second and third photos, you can see the leaves emerging in a rotating swirl or "screw" pattern. 

Shown here are several nursery plants as well as some larger specimens.  We have very limited supplies of this species.

 
Pandanus furcatus  Pandanus furcatus 
Pandanus furcatus  Pandanus furcatus  Pandanus furcatus by RPS, TS
by TS, RPS 

DYPSIS BARONII
IDEAL SUCKERING MADAGASCAR PALM
LARGE PLANTS AVAILABLE THIS SPRING

Over the years and having grown between fifty and one hundred different species of Dypsis, I can say that Dypsis baronii is one of the best species of Dypsis for Southern California.  It is a reliably performing plant and quite beautiful.  Palm enthusiasts get real excited about the variety of color seen in the stem, crown shaft and new petioles.  The color in these plant parts varies from red to yellow to powder white.  Eventually, most plants give a silver green trunk with a light colored crown shaft as shown here.  Trunks are several inches thick, leaves are about five to six feet long and overall heights peak out under twenty feet. Right on the coast this species can be grown in full sun although strong filtered light or part day sun is ok too.  Cold tolerance is into the mid and perhaps low 20's F.  Growth rate is slow to medium. 

Availability on this species is variable.  Right now we have 5g sizes available.  But, in the spring,
we'll be offering some trunked out ten foot plants that have been field grown in full coastal sun.  We are taking early reservations for these plants as they will be in limited numbers.  Success rates with survival of these dug plants so far is quite good.  The last picture shows what we'll be offering.  Also shown are some domestic plants and habitat shots by J.S.
 
Dypsis baronii  Dypsis baronii 
Dypsis baronii  Dypsis baronii  Dypsis baronii 
Dypsis baronii  Dypsis baronii  Dypsis baronii by JS Habitat
in habitat by JS 
Dypsis baronii  Dypsis baronii Madagascar by JS
in Madagascar by JS 
Dypsis baronii 
Dypsis baronii habitat by JS
 in habitat by JS
Dypsis baronii  Dypsis baronii
Field grown plants 


ENCEPHALARTOS KISAMBO
EXOTIC CENTRAL AFRICAN CYCAD

TEN DAY SPECIAL ON BAND SIZE

Encephalartos kisambo is a fast growing species native to Kenya where it grows at elevations of 3000 feet. It is a medium sized mature plant with trunks to eight feet.  Leaves are green to soapy green in color, stand erect and are six to ten feet long.  Leaflets are 1.5 inches wide, pungently tipped at the end, and spiny along the margins.  This is a fast growing species that can tolerate our coastal sun.  Far inland locations should use part day sun.  Cold tolerance is into the mid-twenties, perhaps a bit lower.  We had no leaf damage at the nursery in 2007 with lows of 25 degrees F.  Shown here are bands that we have on a ten day reduced price.  Also shown are other sizes we have and a domestic specimen.  Note the cone color is yellow.

Of note, these are
strong four year old seedlings, average 16 inches tall in the band size.  They are not wimpy one leaf seedlings.  They are ready to be repotted into a 5g pot.

REGULAR PRICE BAND SIZE $65
TEN DAY SPECIAL PRICE $45
OR, THREE FOR $120


Just mention this Blog special.  These are simple to ship by mail order.  No coupon double discounts.  Seeing how seeds on this species average $5 to $6 each with 50% germination and three to four years growing time, this is a very good deal.
Encephalartos kisambo  Encephalartos kisambo 
Encephalartos kisambo  Encephalartos kisambo  Encephalartos kisambo 
Encephalartos kisambo
 boxed specimen at nursery, three photos
Encephalartos kisambo  Encephalartos kisambo 
Encephalartos kisambo  Encephalartos kisambo  Encephalartos kisambo 

 

TODAY, A LOOK AT RHOPALOSTYLIS
I thought this morning I'd do a presentation on the the Shaving Brush Palms.  I'm doing this here, with various species/varieties together,
so you can compare them individually.  I have not included here all the varieties that are available, but this will serve as a good introduction
to the majority of Rhopalostylis that you will see.  I hope that you enjoy this group of palms and like seeing all of the photos.

 

RHOPALOSTYLIS SAPIDA
SHAVING BRUSH PALM
FEATHER DUSTER PALM
This species is probably the first species that you'll encounter with the genus Rhopalostylis.  So, it's a nice palm to start with.  All Rhopaolstylis species are from New Zealand.  R. sapida has the most upright leaves of all the species and gets to about 25 feet height.  Such heights may take several decades.  When I think of this species, I remember mostly the upright leaves and the thick, bulging crown shaft. Rhopalostylis sapida would also be on most people's top twenty list.  It can tolerate full sun if you are within five to eight miles of the ocean in Southern CA.  Most people in other areas give it morning sun or filtered light.  In the garden, getting any significant trunk from a nursery plant may take five to seven years. Cold tolerance is about 22 or 23 degrees F.  I recently saw some wonderful specimens of this species in the SF Bay area.  The most common mistake is giving it too much sun if you live in a hot area.  Shown here are an assortment of nursery plants we have for sale.  Also shown are photos to demonstrate the two main characteristics of this species: upright leaves and bulging crown shaft. 
Rhopalostylis sapida 25g Rhopalostylis sapida, 5g
     

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

 

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

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

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

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

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


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

 

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

 

RHOPALOSTYLIS SAPIDA
LITTLE BARRIER ISLAND VARIETY
This variety of Rhopalostylis sapida comes from a small island off the coast of New Zealand called "Little Barrier Island". This island is about fifty miles off the coast from Auckland.  It is not to be confused with other islands like Chatham Island, which is much further out from the main island.  Tourists and enthusiasts cannot visit Little Barrier Island.  It is a plant and game reserve.  So, getting seeds from this location is no easy feat.  The Rhopalostylis from Little Barrier Island are known to be faster growing with larger trunks and bigger crown shafts.  But, reports are that this feature is variable on where the plants are growing there.  Those in full sun have bigger crown shafts.  But, it is noted, that full sun can burn the leaves a bit.  Shown here are pictures of a 5g and 15g of this species.  I'm also posting two photos from a friend of mine, Tobias Spanner, of this rarely seen "species".  Most consider this to be a varietal form of sapida.  Cold hardiness is reportedly into the low 20's F. and I'd recommend growing it in part day sun.  Inland areas may require filtered light or morning sun only.  We only have a few of these for sale. 

The photos here by Tobias Spanner show the appearance of this variety of Shaving Brush in the wild.   
Rhopalostylis sapida little barrier island 5g Rhopalostylis sapida little barrier island 5g
Rhopalostylis sapida little barrier island 5g Rhopalostylis sapida little barrier island 5g Rhopalostylis sapida little barrier island by Tobias Spanner
Photo by Tobias Spanner RPS
Rhopalostylis sapida little barrier island Tobias Spanner
Photo by Tobias Spanner RPS
Rhopalostylis sapida little barrier island 15g
A 15 gallon sized plant
Rhopalostylis sapida crown shaft
Rhopalostylis spida in my garden

RHOPALOSTYLIS SAPIDA X BAUERI
AN INTERESTING AND HARDY HYBRID

At various points throughout this blog I have talked about hybrid palms.  One certainly sees this with Shaving Brush Palms.
Plants in front of you don't seem to key out specifically to one species.  So, I am going to talk about this hybrid with some
plants that we have at the nursery.


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

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

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

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

 

SUNDAY, JANUARY 27, 2013

 

COPERNICIA MACROGLOSSA
SLOW GROWING BUT WORTH THE WAIT
BAILEYANA THICK TRUNK, MACROGLOSSA NARROW TRUNK

For a nurseryman, growing the desirable Copernicia is a real pain. This is because, from a germinated seed, they are so slow.  It's taken me five to six years to produce in CA the two five gallon plants to the right.  But, I am firmly convinced that it is worth it, not only for me to produce them but for you to grow them in your garden.  Check around; they are near impossible to find.  But, no other fan palm looks anything like a Copernicia.  They have their stiff, large, flat leaves tightly packed into the crown, most of them pointed upwards and erect.  Shown previously on this blog was C. baileyana with its massively thick trunk that looks like a freeway bridge pillar.  Copernicia macroglossa has a similar appearance to the crown, but sports a rather thin trunk about a foot thick. The crown is smaller but otherwise these two species are very similar. 

They do form thick petticoats as shown in the last three photos.  These can be easily removed if you wish.  They like full sun.  This species tolerates temperatures into the mid-twenties F.  I only have a few of both of these species, so take advantage of this very desirable and eventually very satisfying species.  Some of the most popular of all the palms in Fairchild Tropical Garden are their Copernicia.  It showed great insight when David Fairchild brought in these Cuban beauties.  Many years later they are so majestic.

Copernicia macroglossa Copernicia macroglossa
Copernicia macroglossa Copernicia macroglossa Copernicia macroglossa
Copernicia macroglossa Copernicia macroglossa Copernicia macroglossa

 

CERATOZAMIA PLUMOSA
AKA CERATOZAMIA NORSTOGII 
SMALL CYCAD, FLUFFY LEAVES

This species of Mexican cycad has always been one of my favorites.  It has very thin leaflets and they spin on the rachis giving a very plumose appearing leaf.  For as long as I've been growing them, I've seen the name of this species change several times.  Right now Ceratozamia norstogii is taxonomically correct, but I've always felt that the name Ceratozamia plumosa, because it is so descriptive, is a better choice.  These are small cycads.  A decades old caudex may be less than a foot tall.  The leaves are also small, typically three feet.  Emerging leaves are orange, orange-brown (see below) or sort of purple but turn green over time.  Leaflets are un-armed and stiff.  Petioles are armed with small spines.  Overall plant size is seldom over four to five feet.   

As a young plant you may not recognize this species because its leaves have not begun to 'twirl".  With age, they do.  It can tolerate full sun along the coast and needs protection inland.  It is fairly cold hardy, down into the low 20's F. and is being grown in cooler areas of Texas and the SF Bay area.  It can tolerate some drought.  Shown here are several nursery plants and a mature garden plant,  This species also makes an excellent potted patio plant.
Ceratozamia plumosa Ceratozamia plumosa
Ceratozamia plumosa Ceratozamia plumosa
Ceratozamia plumosa  Ceratozamia plumosa  Ceratozamia plumosa 
Ceratozamia plumosa  Ceratozamia plumosa   

 

PHILODENDRON BIPENNIFOLIUM
THE HORSEHEAD OR FIDDLE LEAF PHILODENDRON 

By no means am I an expert on Philodendron.  But, we are fortunate to be on an exchange program with a well known botanical garden and get really cool aroids from time to time.  They want rare palms and cycads.  In return, we get rare aroids.  So, on any given day, you may drop in and see tropical companion plants that you just can't find elsewhere.

This species is from Brazil.  I am actually showing two different plants that I think are both bippenifolium.  But, they are a little different.  The third photo shows how juvenile leaves are totally unlike the mature arrowhead shaped leaves.  This is a climbing species that can go well into the canopy from roots in the ground.  It is a shade loving plant that tolerates temperatures down to about a freeze.  Come by and check out the unusual species that we offer.
Philodendron bipennifolium  Philodendron bipennifolium 
Philodendron bipennifolium  Philodendron bipennifolium  Philodendron bipennifolium 
Philodendron bipennifolium  Philodendron bipennifolium   


SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 2013


HYOPHORBE INDICA
A BEAUTIFUL MEDIUM SIZED PALM
This species of medium sized palm from Reunion Island has been grown by many successfully in Southern CA.  It doesn't get too tall (about 20 ft), likes full sun and tolerates temperatures into the mid 20's F.  When young some varieties show a red-brown color to the stem and base.  In addition to not being very large in height, it also has a rather thin trunk as you can see below.  It is pinnate and crown shafted.  It is also a quick grower.  Shown here are some oversized 5g plants with chunky bases.  I only have a few of these.  Also shown is that boxed specimen. Trunk size is thin, perhaps six to eight inches.  This species prefers heat and sun along the coast. It would qualify as a short to medium sized palm but is very quick growing to reach an overhead size.  These 5g plants have been outdoors for approximately 3 years and have seen 27 to 28 degrees already.  They are ready for the garden! 5g plants are $75, very good sized.  Also shown are some 15g & boxed specimens.  I think the red and green form are comparable in terms of cold tolerance.  Note the color variation in the photos. Remember to give this plant full sun.  The only plants I've lost are those put outdoors in shade.  Like the Bottle and Spindle Palm, this species likes full sun

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


DIOON MEJIAE
AN ATTRACTIVE MEDIUM SIZED CYCAD
For many people, Dioon mejiae is one of their favorite cycads.  It doesn't get too large, it has a very attractive crown of leaves, and newly emerging leaves are soft, fuzzy and so inviting.  They are almost like a baby rabbit's foot.

Native to southern Mexico and Honduras, this species is similar to Dioon sinulosum.  But, unlike the spinulosum, leaflets do not have the spines on the leaflet edges.  And, the leaflets appear slightly different shaped.  Leaves are four to six feet long, trunks typically under five feet although old habitat plants have trunks over twenty feet, and new leaves emerge vertically.  Although they are soft at emergence, they eventually become straight and flat with firm leaflets.. Seeds of this species are large and tan in color.

I've found this cycad does best in part day sun or strong filtered light.  Right on the coast, some grow it in full sun.  But, I've found this creates more of a lime colored green cycad.  For this reason, I prefer filtered light.  It likes good draining soil and will tolerate temperatures into the low 20's F.  Shown her are some larger nursery plants as well as garden specimens.  We have all sizes of this species for sale.    
Dioon mejiae Dioon mejiae
Dioon mejiae Dioon mejiae Dioon mejiae
Dioon mejiae Dioon mejiae Dioon mejiae
Dioon mejiae Dioon mejiae Dioon mejiae


CARYOT URENS
SUPER TALL, SUPER FAST GROWING
For most, this is probably the fastest growing species that you could add to your garden.  And, it is not unusual for this species to get over sixty feet tall!  It is one of the most successful species for establishing a canopy.  It is not unusual to put in a standard 15g sized Caryota urens and have a plant that's over thirty feet tall in three or four years.  It's natural habitat stretches from the India region to northern Thailand. Trunk diameter is 12 to 18 inches and the color is white.  There is tomentum on the trunk.  If you scratch this tomentum or write your name, it'll be there for the life of the palm. 

This is a multipinnate palm with long wide leaves.  It's canopy produces a lot of shade.  It responds to good draining soil and adequate water.  Because of it's height, strong hurricane type winds can blow this species over to the ground.  Shown here are several sixteen foot specimens in 25 gallon containers.  We also have big 15g for sale.  Compared to Caryota gigas, this is a much taller tree with a thinner trunk.  Also, growth rate is faster.  As it is a monocarpic species, anticipate a life of about twenty years.  Blossoming occurs prior to the plant's dying.  It takes about four to five years for the blossoming cycle to end.  An ample number of black seeds usually result and you can grow another one with your seeds.  (see photos of blossoms and seeds).  The last photo demonstrates how tall this species can grow.  In my garden, one got to approximately 80 feet.  
Caryota urens http://www.junglemusic.net/New%20Plant%20Arrivals/new_plant_arrivals.html
http://www.junglemusic.net/New%20Plant%20Arrivals/new_plant_arrivals.html http://www.junglemusic.net/New%20Plant%20Arrivals/new_plant_arrivals.html http://www.junglemusic.net/New%20Plant%20Arrivals/new_plant_arrivals.html
http://www.junglemusic.net/New%20Plant%20Arrivals/new_plant_arrivals.html http://www.junglemusic.net/New%20Plant%20Arrivals/new_plant_arrivals.html
Caryota urens in blossom
http://www.junglemusic.net/New%20Plant%20Arrivals/new_plant_arrivals.html
http://www.junglemusic.net/New%20Plant%20Arrivals/new_plant_arrivals.html
Also note blossoms hanging on this tree/span>
http://www.junglemusic.net/New%20Plant%20Arrivals/new_plant_arrivals.html http://www.junglemusic.net/New%20Plant%20Arrivals/new_plant_arrivals.html

 

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 2013 

 

BBIRD NEST FERN
ASPLENIUM FERN
TEN DAY SPECIAL PRICE
Bird Nest Ferns are in the genus Asplenium.  There are multiple species and varieties of these ferns.  Almost all are epiphytic plants that natively live on the trunks of trees in rain forest areas.   As an epiphyte, they  rely on rain water and nature provided nutrition.  Fortunate for us, they can also be grown in the garden or in containers.  You can even grow them in your trees if you provide a misting watering system.  In general, they are plants that want filtered light.  They need adequate water.  Their size increases with age.  I've seen many plants with three foot leaves.  Leaves are a deep lime green in color, shiny, and to the touch have a leathery texture.  Be aware that snails love to feed on these plants.  Snail damage appears as actual holes in the leaves.  So, keep them aware from these predators. Cold hardiness is easily into the mid-twenties or lower.  Folks are growing these in Northern California, no problem. 

Shown here are just arrived, gorgeous 8 inch pot size plants with leaves 18 to 24 inches long  They are quite stunning.br />
REGULAR PRICE THIS SIZE $35
TEN DAY SPECIAL PRICE $19.99
OR, FOUR FOR $69.99


These are easy to mail order right to your door if needed.  Just mention this Blog to get this price.
Bird Nest Fern Bird Nest Fern
Bird Nest Fern Bird Nest Fern Bird Nest Fern by hawaiianForest.com
growing epiphytically by HawaiianForest.com
Bird Nest Fern by mysarawak travelogue
by mysarawak travelogue
   

 

RUFFLED BIRD NEST FERN
TEN DAY SPECIAL PRICE ON LARGE PLANTS
As mentioned above, there are various species of Asplenium as well as different varieties.  One group of Bird Nest Ferns have ruffled edges.  Hybridization of these ferns has been done so you may see all sorts of appearances when you carefully look at these ferns.  This newly arrived batch of plants have ruffled edges.  Otherwise, all of what I said above applies to these as well.

These ruffled plants are twice the size of the ferns above. Leaves are about 2.5 feet long and they are beautiful and full.  These too can be mail ordered easily.  They are in 2g containers.
 .
REGULAR PRICE $45
TEN DAY SPECIAL PRICE $32.50

 
Ruffled Bird Nest Fern Ruffled Bird Nest Fern
Ruffled Bird Nest Fern Ruffled Bird Nest Fern  

 

PRITCHARDIA HILLEBRANDII DWARF BLUE
A MEDIUM SIZED "BLUE" PRITCHARDIA
As most of you know by now, the only native palm genus on the Hawaiian Islands is Pritchardia.  Culturally, we've found the Hawaiian species of this genus to be far superior growing in our area of Southern California compared to South Pacific species such as Pritchardia pacifica.  The latter doesn't do well here at all.  Pritchardia hillebrandii green form is felt to probably be native to Molokai. There is a rare blue variety that is being grown by enthusiast that looks like the green plant but, over time and good culture, develops a blue-green and sometimes a prominent blue color (see below).  Most people call it  "dwarf" although I suspect this is mostly because of its slow growth rate.  It actually makes more of a medium sized palm up to about twenty feet tall.  Remember, there are some Pritchardias that never get over ten feet.  The nursery plants shown here are from seeds collected from a blue variety of this species. 

Shown here are very old 15g plants of Pritchardia hillebrandii dwarf blue.  They have been outdoor, sun grown and seen temperatures in the mid-twenties F.  But, you'll note they are not blue as of yet.  This is typical and it takes a developing plant years in the ground to show the color.  No one knows why, but this is the observation by growers.  The two pictures in front of the church were taken in Kauai. The next to last photo shows how dramatic this variety of Pritchardia can appear.  This photo by Mike Merritt is stunning!  I am also showing a flower and seeds below to help in identifying this species if you ever visit the Islands.  The plants in front of the church are an estimated thirty years old.  I've been following them for twenty years and collect seeds there.  The plants we have for sale are about eight years old and stand about head high in their pots.  So, you can see this species is slow growing.  I'd recommend growing these in full sun along the coast although partial sun is fine as well.  We only have a few of these left.


Pritchardia hillebrandii dwarf blue Pritchardia hillebrandii dwarf blue
Pritchardia hillebrandii dwarf blue Pritchardia hillebrandii dwarf blue Pritchardia hillebrandii dwarf blue
Pritchardia hillebrandii dwarf blue Pritchardia hillebrandii dwarf blue Pritchardia hillebrandii dwarf blue
Pritchardia hildebrandtii dwarf blue Pritchardia hillebrandii blue by Mike Merritt PACSOA
Pritchardia hillebrandii dwarf blue by
Mike Merritt, PACSOA
Pritchardia hillebrandii seeds by Melany Chapin PACSOA
Pritchardia hillebrandii seeds by Melany Chapin
PACSOA


CYCAS PANZHIHUAENSIS
ONE OF THE MOST COLD HARDY CYCADS 
I thought I'd mention one of the most cold hardy cycads for those who live in a colder area.  Cycas panzihuaensis is from high elevation mountainous areas of southern China.  It comes from elevations above 6000 feet and can tolerate snow.  It is quite attractive and has many advantages over the Sago Palm, Cycas revoluta.  First, it is a smaller plant with stems usually three to six feet tall.  Secondly, it has a smaller spread of the leaves, which are an interesting green with a blue sheen to them.  Also, it doesn't have quite the proclivity to make a massive clump.  Finally, the leaves are softer than the Sago and cold hardiness may be even better.  The hardest thing to remember about "Cycas panzhihuaensis" is how to spell the name.  As of yet, it has no common name.  Perhaps the "Chinese Sago" would work.  Cycas revoluta originates in Japan.   

Leaf length is typically about 3 to 5 feet.  Stem diameter is about 6 to 8 inches, much thinner than the 18 - 24 inch Sago.  It is fairly rare to see in nurseries because of limited numbers of seeds being available.  It tolerates coastal full sun and can take strong filtered light or part day sun.  Cold tolerance is into the upper teens F.  It is known to survive areas of the United Kingdom.  Over time, we feel this species has the potential to replace the common Sago palm because of all of its desirable characteristics.
  
Cycas panzhihuaensis  Cycas panzhihuaensis  
Cycas panzhihuaensis   Cycas panzhihuaensis   Cycas panzhihuaensis  
Cycas panzhihuaensis   Cycas panzhihuaensis   Cycas panzhihuaensis  

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

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

 

CYCAS TAITUNGENSIS
THE EMPEROR CYCAD
Another Very Cold Hardy Cycad

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

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

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

  

THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2013

 

ENCEPHALARTOS PAUCIDENTATUS
ANOTHER LARGE CYCAD FROM THE TRANSVAAL AREA OF SOUTH AFRICA
This tall cycad comes from the Transvaal area of South Africa, close to Swaziland, where it also occurs.  In years past it was confused with Encephalartos heenani, but the latter is a more wooly cycad with a basket shape to the crown of leaves.  E. paucidentatus can get trunks over fifteen feet tall.  Leaves are four to six feet long, erect, and may have a bit of incurve in their shape.  Leaflets are under an inch in width and have rare spines on their margins.  A hallmark of this species are the raised veins on the underside of the leaflets.  This is only seen on a limited number of Encephalartos. In habitat, this species sees very cold winter temperatures and can be found at elevations up to 1500 meters.

I've found culture to be fairly easy.  Along the coast it wants full sun.  It is cold hardy to at least 22 degrees F.  Shown here are several 15g plants with close up photos of the first one.  I've also shown a boxed specimen and a nice garden plant.  This is a very rare species and severely threatened in habitat. 
Encephalartos paucidentatus Encephalartos paucidentatus
Encephalartos paucidentatus Encephalartos paucidentatus Encephalartos paucidentatus
Encephalartos paucidentatus Encephalartos paucidentatus Encephalartos paucidentatus
Encephalartos paucidentatus Encephalartos paucidentatus Encephalartos paucidentatus

 

WHAT IS THIS PALM?
TEST YOUR SKILLS (answer below)
I have never meant for this Blog to be a guessing game or a quiz.  But, I thought something different might be fun. At the nursery, labels get lost all the time so sometimes we have to use our plant ID'ing skills to identify a certain plant.  Or, sometimes we might buy a plant that has no label or name.  With this in mind, look at the plant here.  It's in a 1.5 gallon container and is about 18 inches tall.  Think about what it might be.

The first thing you'll notice about this plant is that the leaflets are 'praemorse", which means the ends are sort of rough and chopped off.  You'll see this with the genus Ptychosperma.  This is an important clue.  Next, you'll note the undersides of the leaves are silver.  Although this plant looks a bit like a Caryota, they are never silver on the ventral leaflets.  Next, note that the leaflets are basically flat in cross section and are not perfectly matched side to side.  Next you note the trunk (small plant) is a bit shaggy and seems not to be developing any crown shaft.  And, the trunk and petiole color is dark, sort of a brown-black.  This is another clue.  Now, note the overall appearance of the plant. 

An experienced grower would say this palm looks like an Arenga species.  And, he would be right that this is a possibility.  But, is this the correct answer?  Are there other possibilities?  Go to the bottom of today's blog for the answer.
Wallichia disticha Wallichia disticha
Wallichia disticha Wallichia disticha Wallichia disticha

 

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

If you like this species, we have a good assortment of sizes from seedlings to large 25g plants with trunk.    The last photo, by long time acquaintance Ian Edwards, is from PACSOA.
Chambeyronia red leaf Chambeyronia red leaf
Chambeyronia red leaf Chambeyronia red leaf Chambeyronia red leaf
Chambeyronia red leaf Chambeyronia red leaf Chambeyronia red leaf
Chambeyronia red leaf Chambeyronia red leaf Chambeyronia red leaf
Chambeyronia red seeds
Photo by HJD
Chambeyronia red seeds Chambeyronia red leaf Ian Edwards PACSOA
Chambeyronia macrocarpa new red leaf by Ian Edwards, PACSOA

 

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

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

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

 

COCCOTHRINAX MIRAGUAMA

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

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

 


ORANGE PHILODENDRON HYBRID
Thank goodness for the meristem culture boys.  They are always hybridizing and developing something unreal and shocking.  With this said, check out this Philodendron hybrid that does indeed have newly emerging orange leaves.  They turn to green over time, but what a shocking color to add to the garden. Plants available in 5g size.
Philodendron orange  Philodendron orange 

 

 

MYSTERY PLANT ABOVE
ANSWER:  WHAT IT REALLY IS
The mystery plant above is actually
Wallichia disticha.  Wallichia is a genus of six species.  Many cluster with multiple trunks.  But, Walichia disticha is a single trunk species.  It is also a monocarpic species.  This means tht it grows, flowers, and then dies.  Wallichia are closely related to Arenga and Caryotas and are all from Asian countries.  The most interesting thing about this species is that it is "distichous".  This means that the leaves are arranged on opposite sides of the trunk and only in a single plane.  Therefore, it is a flat, full crown of leaves when looking from the front.  But, when you take a look from the sides, it is a thin, narrow crown of leaves.  You just don't see much.  this is sort of like the popular Traveler Palm Ravanala madagascarensis. (not a true palm)  Very few palm species do this. 

Wallichia disticha get to a height of about thirty feet, have a foot thick trunk, and the trunk is covered with black to brown colored fibers.  It is a peculiar palm that is sought out by collectors.  You'll probably get twenty years before this species seeds and dies.  Cold hardiness is down to the mid, perhaps lower 20's F. and it likes sun.  Shown here are photos of a large tree.
Wallichia disticha Wallichia disticha
Wallichia disticha Wallichia disticha  
     

 

TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2013

 

ENCEPHALARTOS TRISPINOSUS
CONING SIZED PLANT, UNUSUAL FORM
I thought this morning I'd show you an individual plant that you haven't seen before.  Yes, I've shown Encephalartos trispinosus, but not one like this.  This species comes from South Africa and is known to be a very slow growing plant.  It loves heat and direct sun in most areas.  The species name "trispinosus" refers to "three spines" on each individual leaflet.  This counts the terminal spine at the end of the leaflet.  In it's classic form, this is what you see.

This individual plant is different because the leaflets pretty much point straight up.  Many don't have the classic three spines.  You can see this in the photos.  Also, note that the leaflets are a bit cupped and twirled.  The color is a nice blue and the leaves curve downwards toward the ground.  It's a striking leaf form.  The caudex is about ten inches, both in diameter and height.  It's been outdoors for many years.  Cold tolerance should be about 21 degrees F.  I only have this one and can't show you a mature plant in a garden because I don't recall ever seeing one like this in a garden.  So, this plant is unique and different.  I don't know the sex on this plant, but it is ready to cone.
Encephalartos trispinosus Encephalartos trispinosus
Encephalartos trispinosus Encephalartos trispinosus Encephalartos trispinosus
Encephalartos trispinosus Encephalartos trispinosus Encephalartos trispinosus

 

COLORFUL ANTHURIUM
RED TO BLACK
Anthurium are a group of New World flowering plants.  There are almost a thousand different species and many hybrids.  Hybridization is done to accentuate desirable color traits.  Anthurium, as shown here, were discovered first in Columbia in the 1800's.  They are sometimes called "Flamingo Flowers" or "Boy Flowers" for obvious reasons.  Flower colors fill almost the entire rainbow with pink being the color most often seen.

I particularly like the dark colored flowers.  Plants shown here range from red to almost black.  The foliage is triangular and green.  This is basically a filtered light plant.  Many species prefer no frost, but in our area people have grown these with temperatures down into the twenties F.  If you like these super dark ones shown here, let me know soon.  They are in very limited supply and colorful ones seem to come and go with the wind..  
Anthurium black red Anthurium black red
Anthurium black red Anthurium black red Anthurium black red
Anthurium black red Anthurium black red Anthurium black red

 

ALLAGOPTERA ARENARIA
THE BEACH PALM, SAND PALM
There are four species of Allagoptera.  A. arenaria comes from the coast and beach areas of southeastern Brazil. Native habitats are on sand dunes very close to the ocean.  It is a small palm that rarely gets over six feet tall.  It carries a full head of leaves with ribbon like leaflets that are silver on the underside.  Although not strictly a suckering species, it can hold several heads of leaves.  It is cold hardy into the low 20's F. and likes full sun.  It i obviously salt tolerant but can also withstand a drought.  Shown here is a very nice 5g plant and a mature garden plant in fruit.   

Many people like to use this species as a very short palm in the garden where a view is not obstructed.  It tolerates heat quite well and can be grown in some desert areas.  Mature flowers with seeds are also unusual and bizarre appearing. 
Allagoptera arenarium Allagoptera arenaria
underside of leaf
Allagoptera arenaria Allagoptera arenaria Allagoptera arenaria

 

ENCEPHALARTOS MIDDLEBURGENSIS
RARE BLUE SOUTH AFRICAN CYCAD
This hard to find blue cycad comes from the Transvaal area in northern South Africa.  It is a medium to large cycad that suckers freely and can get caudexes over fifteen feet tall.  Leaf color is blue or blue-green.  Leaves are erect and four to five feet long.  Leaflets are narrow, have a harsh distal tip and are minimally spiny  along the edges or have no spines at all.  This species is closely related to Encephalartos eugene-maraisii.  The citrus pot juvenile plant here is in the greenhouse and has not developed the waxy blue bloom that it would have outdoors.  The garden specimen shows the normal blue color that you'll see with this species.  All Transvaal species of cycads are sought after by collectors worldwide.  

Encephalartos middleburgensis Encephalartos middleburgensis
Encephalartos middleburgensis Encephalartos middleburgensis Encephalartos middleburgensis

 

ALLOSCHMIDTIA GLABRATA
AKA BASSELINIA GLABRATA
This is a thin trunk, crown shafted understory palm from New Caledonia.  It is rare and highly sought after by collectors.  It does well for us in Southern California if it gets enough moisture in the air and ground water.  It likes good draining, rich soil.  Maximum height is about twenty feet.  It is definitely an understory palm and cannot tolerate full sun.  The crown shaft is quite long for the thin nature of the trunk; it has a mild bulge in its shape an is prominently green in color.  The leaves are about four to five feet long.  Cold tolerance appears to be in the mid-twenties F., perhaps a bit lower (data limited).  Shown here are several 15g plants and a few pictures from habitat.  
Alloschmidtia glabrata  Alloschmidtia glabrata 
Alloschmidtia glabrata  Alloschmidtia glabrata  Alloschmidtia glabrata 
Alloschmidtia glabrata  Alloschmidtia glabrata  Alloschmidtia glabrata 

 

LIVISTONA DECIPIENS, AKA L. DECORA
THE RIBBON PALM
TEN DAY SPECIAL PRICE 5G PLANTS
This tall, thin trunked fan palm comes from Australia and is known for its cold hardiness and for its drooping leaflets that hang downwards.  Thus, it gets its common name as the leaves appear to have ribbons hanging down toward the ground.  It is a sun palm and cold hardy into the teens F.  We are offering a special on the 5g size.

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


Just mention this Blog special when you visit or order.
Livistona decipiens Livistona decipiens
Livistona decipiens    
     

 

CEROXYLON SPECIES
TALL, SOUTH AMERICAN PALMS
T
here are a lot of reasons that palm enthusiasts love the genus of Ceroxylon.  For starters, they are rare and you don't see them that often.  This allures collectors.  They are tall and rather thin for their height.  But, the trunks are gorgeous.  Almost all are light in color (near white) with prominent rings (see photos).  Another interesting characteristic is the silver color to the underside of the leaves.  Three photos here demonstrate this glaucous nature.  People also appreciate their very tall trunks.  Some species get well above 100 feet and are known as the tallest palms in the world.  Finally, for being so beautiful, they are remarkably cold hardy.  some species will survive temperatures into the teens F.  It is well known that they thrive up in Northern California.

About two years ago we were loaded with these rare palms.  We have about eight species up to 20g size.  Well, those days are over.  Now we are down to the a much smaller supply.  Shown here are some nursery plants, various species.  All are desirable and worth trying.  I've found that starting these plants in filtered light and letting them "work their way" up into the sun has worked for most.  They do like good draining soil and adequate moisture.  Santa Ana winds are hard on them and letting their roots go dry might do them in.  Remember that these are cloud forest plants that grow to altitudes of nearly 10,000 feet in habitat, so it is no surprise they like moisture and water..  .

If you like this genus, give one a try while we still have them available.  . 
 
Certoxylon alpinum
Ceroxylon alpinum 
Ceroxylon alpinum
Ceroxylon alpinum
 
Ceroxylon species
Ceroxylon species
Ceroxylon species
Ceroxylon species
Ceroxylon amizonicum
Ceroxylon amizonicum
Ceroxylon species
Ceroxylon species
Ceroxylon trunk
Certoxylon sp. trunk
Ceroxylon amixonicum
Ceroxylon amizonicum by TS
Ceroxylon quiduiiense leaf
Ceroxylon quinduiense
Ceroxylon sp. trunk by JS
Ceroxylon sp. trunk by JS
Ceroxylon species
Ceroxylon species


MONDAY, JANUARY 21, 2013

 

RAVENEA SPECIES "GIANT"
UNDETERMINED SPECIES WITH LONG LEAVES
Over the last several decades, we've found that most Ravenea do well for us in Southern California  The species shown here came in as a "giant" species with extremely long leaves.  At this stage, as you see on the fourth photo, it has interesting appearing orange spots on the petioles and rachis.  The photos of the larger garden plants are from the garden of Mardi Darian in Vista, CA.  I cannot be sure that our nursery plants are this same plant, but it'll serve as an example of what our plants may look like in time.  Mardi's plant has leaves that (estimate) are about fourteen feet long.   I'd estimate cold tolerance on this species to be, at best, the upper 20's F, although I don't know for sure..  I don't think it'll be a super cold hardy species like Dypsis decipiens..  I'd grow it in part day sun or strong filtered light and let it work its way into full sun.  Very limited supplies are available on this unusual Ravenea species from Madagascar..  
Ravenea species giant Ravenea species giant
Ravenea species giant Ravenea species giant Ravenea species giant
Ravenea species giant Ravenea species giant  

 

RHAPIS LAOSENSIS X HUMILUS
A UNIQUE AND BEAUTIFUL RHAPIS HYBRID
This is a unique and peculiar hybrid between two different species of RhapisRhapis laoensis is a very small species from Laos and Thailand with a height always under three feet and a limited number of leaflets.  True Rhapis humilus is an extremely tall species from China and can reach heights of over twenty feet.  Nurserymen often confuse true humilus with R. multifida.  True humilus has a large number of narrow and pointed leaflets.  Both are filtered light plants although R. humilus will tolerate coastal sun.  Both have cold hardiness into the low 20's F.

A long time friend of mine, Louis Hooper, began hybridizing Rhapis about twenty years ago.  The hybrid I'm showing here is one of his crosses.  The parent R. laosensis was the seed bearer.  It looks like neither parent but you can see how it's sort of an "in-betweener".  Below is a photograph of Louis, a mature humilus, a laosensis and a nursery plant of the reverse cross, humilus x laosensis.  I don't have a mature picture of the cross shown here in this 5 gallon pot.  I only found this one plant recently and thought I was out of them.  I have no idea if there will ever be others.
Rhapis laoensis x humilus Rhapis laoensis x humilus
Rhapis laoensis x humilus Rhapis laoensis x humilus Rhapis laoensis x humilus
Rhapis laoensis x humilus Rhapis laoensis x humilus Rhapis humilus x laoensis
R. humilus x laosensis
Louis Hooper
Louis Hooper (from PalmTalk)
Rhapis laosensis by TS at RPS
R. laosensis by TS at RPS
Rhapis humilus
Rhapis humilus LA Botanical Garden

 

ENCEPHALARTOS FEROX
RARE CYCAD WITH RED CONE
TEN DAY SPECIAL ON BAND SIZE
This South African cycad is perhaps best known for two things:  It can grow in shady conditions and the cones (especially the female cone) are red.  The cone color varies from fire engine red to orange.  Female cones seem to be more colorful.  The leaflets look like a holly fern.  Right along the coast, this species can take almost full sun and look good.  But, most people grow it in part day sun or filtered light.  From a seedling, it takes about ten years in the ground to get a big, coning sized plant.  Cold tolerance is into the low 20's F.  Shown in the first two pictures to the right are seedling E. ferox.  This size is what's on special for ten days.  We can ship either bare root or in the band container.  No international shipments allowed.

REGULAR PRICE BAND SIZE, $35
TEN DAY SPECIAL $25 OR THREE FOR $60

Encephalartos ferox Encephalartos ferox
Encephalartos ferox Encephalartos ferox Encephalartos ferox
Encephalartos ferox Encephalartos ferox Encephalartos ferox

 

HAWAIIAN TI PLANTS
PINK AND GREEN
TEN DAY SPECIAL 2G SIZE
Hawaiian Ti's are shade plants that come in a variety of colors.  They are an ideal companion plant to add color to the garden.  We've had everything from red to pink to yellow and even pure black varieties.  Presently we have some pink and green plants that show lime green through a blackish green.  These are young plants but strong and nice.  The minimally tolerate a freeze and do best if not in full sun.  Limited numbers available.   

REGULAR PRICE $35
TEN DAY SALE PRICE 2G SIZE $20
OR THREE FOR $50
Ti, pink and green Ti, pink and green

 

BUTIA CAPITATA
SUPER BLUE VARIETY
TEN DAY SPECIAL 5G SIZE
I'm bringing back our sale on this popular, super blue colored clone of Butia capitata.  In bright hot sun these plants are almost as blue as a Brahea armata.  Our 5 gallon size is the one on sale.  I've shown a 25g size plant (last photo) to demonstrate the color as the plant gets bigger.  They like full sun and are cold tolerant to 15 degrees F.  These would be ideal for the SE  and lower central U.S. in places like Louisiana, north Florida or Houston. 

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

Butia capitata blue
5g size
Butia capitata blue
Butia capitata blue Butia capitata blue Butia capitata blue
25g size

 

SUNDAY, JANUARY 20, 2013

 

ENCEPHALARTOS NATALENSIS
EASY TO GROW & RARE GREEN CYCAD
Encephalartos natalensis is from the Natal and Zululand regions of South Africa.  It is usually considered a medium to large cycad and can get get trunks to over fifteen feet.  Such plants would be hundreds of years old and can have multiple stems.  Leaf length is usually four to six feet long, but can be up to eight feet.  These leaves form a rounded crown.  Leaflets can have spines at their margins when mature and diminish in size toward the base of the leaf.  Cones are yellow or orange-yellow. 

There are at least six different varieties of E. natalensis.  The main differences of these are the leaf and leaflet appearance.  The closest other species to natalensis is E. altensteinii, which was separated off from E. natalensis in 1951.  

This species likes sun and heat, but in desert areas requires part day sun or filtered light.  Cold tolerance is down to about 22 degrees F.  With winter protection, plants can be grown in even colder areas.  Given good culture, this is a very durable and easy to grow plant.  A typical 15g plant can produced plants as shown in gardens below is about twenty years.  Also shown here are an assortment of nursery plants in various sizes.  We offer plants from seedlings to large boxed specimens.  Enthusiasts in such areas as San Francisco, Phoenix and Houston have even been able to grow this species.  I highly recommend it. 

Encephalartos natalensis Encephalartos natalensis
Encephalartos natalensis Encephalartos natalensis Encephalartos natalensis
Encephalartos natalensis Encephalartos natalensis Encephalartos natalensis
Encephalartos natalensis Encephalartos natalensis Encephalartos natalensis
Encephalartos natalensis Encephalartos natalensis Encephalartos natalensis
Encephalartos natalensis Encephalartos natalensis Encephalartos natalensis

 

BLECHNUM GIBBUM
A MINIATURE TREE FERN
TEN DAY SPECIAL PRICE!

Also known as the Silver Lady Fern, this unique form of tree fern rarely gets trunks over three to four feet.  The leaves are soft and about two feet long.  It is native to various South Pacific islands including New Caledonia, Fiji and Hawaii.  It is very exotic appearing and has a resemblance to a cycad in its overall appearance.  It is a filtered light species and can take partial sun along the coast.

It prefers high humidity.  Allowing it to dry out would not be good for this or any fern.  In pots, it likes good draining soil. Also, it is known to like acidic pH soil and doesn't like lime.  People are growing this as a patio plant quite easily and even inside the home.  For those who like tree ferns but want a miniature, this is the perfect plant for you.  Cold tolerance is into the mid to upper twenties F.  We presently have some very nice 10 inch plants that are about 30 inches tall as shown to the right. . 

REGULAR PRICE 10 INCH POT, $45
TEN DAY SALE PRICE THIS SIZE $35
Blechnum Gibbum
This size on special
Blechnum Gibbum
Blechnum Gibbum Blechnum Gibbum Blechnum Gibbum
Blechnum Gibbum Blechnum Gibbum by Growing on the Edge
by Growing on the Edge Website
Blechnum Gibbum Wikipedia
by Wikipedia

 

CHAMAEDOREA COSTARICANA
EXOTIC SUCKERING SHADE PALM
TEN DAY SPECIAL PRICE!

I am offering a special price on nicely sized band container plants of this very desirable species.  It occurs natively from southern Mexico down into Latin America.  It is one of the more robust of the Bamboo Palms.  It can get to heights of sixteen feet or more with canes about one inch in diameter.  It is a vigorously growing species that, in most areas, prefers filtered light and adequate water.  But, there are many who are successfully growing this species in coastal full sun.  Leaves are about four feet long with a prominent bare petiole.  Color is green on both sides of the leaflets.  It is very similar to Chamaedorea hooperiana but the leaves of Chamaedorea costaricana are shorter and overall the plant is less crowded and the canes are more vertical with less leaning.   

Today I am offering our band sized plants on special.  These are vigorous seedlings with some having several plants per pot.  Height of these band plants is about eighteen inches.  These plants, in the ground, should be overhead in about three to four leaves with many canes.  Cold hardiness is into the mid to lower 20's F.  It is being grown by many in northern California including the SF Bay area. 

REGULAR PRICE BAND $30
TEN DAY SPECIAL PRICE $22.50
OR, THREE FOR $55

Chamaedorea costaricana
special on this band size
Chamaedorea costaricana
Chamaedorea costaricana Chamaedorea costaricana Chamaedorea costaricana
this is a 5g plant
Chamaedorea costaricana 5g
5g plants
Chamaedorea costaricana Chamaedorea costaricana hybrid

 

 

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

 

CLINOSTIGMA SAVORYANUM
THE PACIFIC BEAUTY PALM
We've discussed this palm previously, but because
it's so beautiful, I thought it merited another mention. 
This exotic single trunk, crown-shafted species
comes from Bonin Island near Japan.  It has been
proven possible to grow this species in warmer
areas of Southern California.  It is very exotic
appearing with a prominent green crown shaft.
Interestingly, there are several species of
Clinostigma that can be grown here. 
Clinostigma savoryana can potentially get to
a height of 30 feet or more and prefers a sunny
location.  Cold tolerance is down to about a
freeze. 
 
Clinostigma is a very exotic pinnate palm and would
be one of the more exotic and unusual of palm
types possible in this area.  Shown here are a 5g and
15g plant from our nursery.  Also shown are a
variety of sizes of domestic plants in Southern
California.  The sixth picture shows a Clinostigma.
I am not sure of the species name of this plant, but
it is definitely an exotic specimen.   BTW, I was just
at an enthusiast's garden yesterday in Encinitas, CA
and saw a gorgeous ten foot plant doing great.
     
Clinostigma savoryanum 15g Clinostigma savoryanum
Clinostigma savoryana 5g Clinostigma savoryana Clinostigma savoryana
Clinostigma Clinostigma savoryana  

 

ARCHONTOPHOENIX TUCKERI
VERY UNUSUAL TYPE OF KING PALM

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

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

 

SATURDAY BONUS SPECIAL!

 

RHOPALOSTYLIS BAUERI
NORFOLK ISLAND PALM
TEN DAY SPECIAL BAND SIZE

This species is a single trunk, prominently crown shafted palm tree from New Zealand.  It gets to a height of about 25 feet with a trunk diameter of typically eight to ten inches.  It is cold hardy into the low 20's F. and prefers part day sun or filtered light in most areas.  It can take full sun right along the coast. 

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


Just mention this Blog special to get this price.
Rhopalostylis baueri Rhopalostylis baueri
Rhopalostylis baueri Rhopalostylis baueri Rhopalostylis baueri
Rhopalostylis baueri Rhopalostylis baueri  

 

SATURDAY, JANUARY 19, 2013

 

POLYANDROCOCOS CAUDESCENS
A SILVER BACK SOUTH AMERICAN PALM
I have long been attracted to this species because of its peculiar name, the silver backside of the leaves and because of its most unusual clustering of seeds.  Native to Brazil, this species gets to a height of about thirty-five feet, although it's not uncommon to see much shorter specimens in the wild, even some with almost no trunk.  There is no crown shaft on this species.  Leaf lengths are eight to ten feet.  This is the only species in the genus Polyandrococos.  The backside of the leaves displays a shimmering silver color as shown here.  If you look at a newly emerging spear you'll see "Zebra striping" with green alternating with silver.  It's very cool and unusual looking.  The seeds get orange, like the color of orange sherbert, and are clustered together, hanging from the trunk in a cob-like fashion. 

The nursery plant shown here is a 15g.  Nowadays it is quite unusual to see a nursery offering this species.  This plant will tolerate full sun along the coast and is cold hardy to below the mid to low-twenties.  I say this because I know of a specimen in Ventura, CA that withstood a 22 degree winter.  So, it's a good species for most areas of Southern California.

I should also mention that some people call this species "Allagoptera caudescens" because the famous Brazilian biologist Barbosa Rodrigues described it in 1916, possibly antedating the commonly used name of "Polyandrocos".  Also, because of the variation in mature specimen appearance, I wouldn't doubt that more species will be added to this genus in the future.
Polyandrococos caudescens Polyandrococos caudescens
Polyandrococos caudescens Polyandrococos caudescens Polyandrococos caudescens
Polyandrococos caudescens Polyandrococos caudescens Polyandrococos caudescens
Polyandrococos caudescens by Daryl Occonor Palmpedia
by Daryl Oconnor, Palmpedia
Polyandrococos caudescens Wikipedia
from Wikipedia
Polyandrococos caudescens RPS TS
by TS, RPS

 

PRITCHARDIA KAALAE
A TALLER PRITCHARDIA FROM OAHU
Some palm enthusiasts make a game out of trying to identify the various species of Pritchardia.  Most Pritchardia are native to Hawaii and these are the species most important to us in CA because they have better cold tolerance than the several species from the South Pacific.  There are over twenty Hawaiian species.  Don Hodel's new book on this genus should be out soon.  In any case, to identify a species requires one methodically to look at leaf color top and bottom, to look for color changes and tomentum, to look for white discoloration or fuzz on the petiole, to look at the upper stem near the growth point and to check out the flowers or seed if they are available for examination.  Summing up all this data, you try to ID the species.  Give it a try and you'll get better over time.

This species comes from 2500 feet elevation in western Oahu, HI.  Trunk diameter is one foot, height is twenty-five feet, leaves are hemi-circular (as opposed to very wedge shaped or circular), leaf color green on both side, there is white tomentum on the rachis, petiole and new spear, leaves are folded along the segments, the end portion of the segments are open terminally, and there is white fuzz along the ventral leaf folds.  On mature specimens the flowers emerge out of the crown of leaves.

Shown here is a 15g plant and some garden specimens.  This is a full sun coastal plant but also does well in part day sun or filtered light.  It tolerates temperatures into the mid-twenties F.  Remember, Pritchardias are the only type of palm native to Hawaii.  All other types were imported by man except for perhaps the Coconut. 

Pritchardia kaalae Pritchardia kaalae
Pritchardia kaalae Pritchardia kaalae Pritchardia kaalae
Pritchardia kaalae Pritchardia kaalae Pritchardia kaalae

 

BRAHEA EDULIS
THE GUADALUPE FAN PALM
TEN DAY SPECIAL PRICE 5 G SIZE

This is a single trunk fan palm from the small island off the coast of northern Baja California, Guadalupe Island.  It is extremely cold hardy, surviving into the upper teens F.  It is sun loving, gets to a height of ten to fifteen feet and has a trunk diameter of about eighteen inches.  The fan leaves are green and stiff.  Seeds are plentiful, black in color at maturity.  This plant demands full sun and is good for desert areas.

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


Just mention this Blog special when ordering  to get this price.  These plants are easy to mail order and we can hold purchased plants for free until weather permits safe shipping.  . 
Brahea edulis Brahea edulis
Brahea edulis Brahea edulis Brahea edulis
Brahea edulis Brahea edulis Brahea edulis

 

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

 

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

 

CHAMAEDOREA TEPEJILOTE
GREAT TROPICAL SHADE PALM FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

This is a very attractive single trunk Chamaedorea whose natural habitat spreads from Mexico through Central America and down into northern South America.  It is most commonly seen as a single trunk species, but a suckering species does exist.  As a single trunk species, it is quite tall, getting up to 20 feet or more.  The trunk is thick and even gets up to three inches.  The leaves are long and somewhat flexed toward the ground with a length of four to five feet.  The leaflets can be up to two feet long, have an "S" shape coming to a point, a flat in cross section and dark green in color.  Likewise, the trunks are very dark green with prominent white rings.  An interesting thing is that almost always one sees a faint yellow stripe down the dorsal side of the petiole and rachis.  This can help identify this species but is also seen in other species.  The blossoms are large and branched.  A male blossom can explode with pollen, almost like a cloud of dust.  Pollination usually occurs without assistance if males and female plants are nearby.  The inflorescent of this species are edible.  The seeds are dark black in color (when mature) on orange bracts. 

This species is easy to grow, cold tolerant into the mid to upper twenties F, and likes only shade.  Direct sunlight will burn it.  It is an excellent houseplant if one has enough overhead room.  Compared to C. alternans, it is a more powerful plant with a thicker and taller trunk.  It is also another species where planting more than one plant per pot is very attractive.  One photo shows the suckering species with a tiny sucker at the stem base.

 

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

 

 

FRIDAY, JANUARY 18, 2013

 

BISMARCKIA NOBILIS
LARGE BOXED SPECIMENS AVAILABLE
Bismarckia nobilis has the reputation on not doing well after being dug and not tolerating root pruning.  Why this is important to you is that it means you can't "dig up a nice one and put it in your yard" with much success.  Likewise, a nursery plant that has rooted into the ground and then pulled up and sold to you offers a lot of risk.  As far as this concerns big plants, it means you have to find one that is grown in a big container and one that ideally is not rooted into the ground.  Preventing the latter is difficult, but can be done by growing plants on blocks or on a concrete slab.  I have several associates who grow large Bismarckia.  Shown here are some 36 inch boxed specimens.  The largest have about three feet of trunk.  These weigh over 3000 pounds.  If anyone out there is interested in these larger plants, just give me a call or email me. 
 
Bismarckia large box size Bismarckia large box size
Bismarckia large box size Bismarckia large box size Bismarckia large box size

 

BRENTWOOD TREE FERNS
LIMITED AVAILABILITY ON THE BEST TREE FERN AROUND
I would like to remind you that we have a limited number of probably the best tree fern around.  This variety came from an estate in Brentwood, CA and it's exact species name and heritage is unknown.  All I can comment on are the trees I'm growing.  The plants I have for sale presently came from spores off my trees.  Mine are thirty five feet tall, in full sun in San Diego and have husky trunks.  Leaves are about eight feet long.  Full crowns are typical.  In our locality, this is without a doubt the best tree fern you can grow in coastal sun.  The two pictures are from my yard.  You can see that they compete with adjacent Caryotas.  Their growth rate is very rapid.
Brentwood Tree Fern Brentwood Tree Fern
Brentwood Tree Fern Brentwood Tree Fern Brentwood Tree Fern

 

ALLAGOPTERA ARENARIA
BEACH PALM, SAND PALM
 
I am mentioning this palm from Brazil again because we just got in some very nice band sized plants.  We also have 5g swize.  This is a dwarf to semi-dwarf palm that loves growing in sandy soil, can live near the ocean and gets to a height of about six, perhaps maximum eight feet tall.  It does have a comparable width.  Its trunks can divide but it is not a true suckering palm.  The leaves are very plumose as shown; quite fluffy in appearance.  And, it has the most peculiar blossoms, as shown here.  Cold tolerance is into the low 20's F.  It typically prefers full sun. 
Allagoptera arenaria Allagoptera arenaria
Allagoptera arenaria Allagoptera arenaria Allagoptera arenaria
Allagoptera arenaria Allagoptera arenaria Allagoptera arenaria 

 

CYCAS BIFIDA
AKA CYCAD MULTIFRONDIS
This cycad gets its name from the dichotomously divided leaflets as shown in the many pictures here.  Note that leaflets seem to divide into two parts.  This species is from China and northern Viet Nam.  It holds a small number of leaves, typically three to five, that go upwards but can get to a height of over twelve feet.  The color is green.  The leaf stems are mildly armed.  It prefers filtered light and appears to be cold hardy into the lower teens F.  So, it is an exotic cycad species that looks really tropical but can be grown in some cooler areas.

Contrast the appearance of these leaves with the last photo of Cycas debaoensis.  The latter is a multipinnate leaf, so stems themselves divide and show more leaflets per primary leaf stem.  I might comment that, having grown quite a few of the "Cycas micholitzii complex" plants, there appears to be some variability in the appearance of Cycas bifida.  If you carefully look at the leaves of the four or five nursery plants shown here, you will see subtle differences from plant to plant.  But, none qualify as Cycas multipinnata or debaoensis, which both have branching leaflet stems. 

Of note, initially C. bifida was known as "C. multifrondis" and some still refer to it by this name. 


 
Cycas bifida  Cycas bifida 
Cycas bifida  Cycas bifida  Cycas bifida 
Cycas bifida  Cycas bifida  Cycas bifida 
Cycas bifida  Cycas bifida  Cycas debaoensis
Cycas debaoensis 
 

 

BRAHEA DECUMBENS
Blue, Suckering, Dwarf, & Cold-Hardy
We have available a few of the 5g size of this fabulous dwarf palm that turns blue as it gets older.  It has to be at least 5 g size and in the direct sun to get the blue color.  Native to Mexico, this rare and hard to find species is perfect for people who see cold temperatures in the mid to upper teens F.  They never get over about six feet tall and are definitely blue when larger.  Shown is an example of one for sale.  We have voth one gallon and 5g for sale.  They like sun and take temperatures down to about 17 degrees F.  Enthusiast can use them in locations close to a walkway because they don't get too massive.  Of note, their growth rate is steady but slow.
Brahea decumbens 5g Brahea decumbens
Brahea decumens

 

THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 2013

 

COPERNICIA ALBA
COLD HARDY, BLUE-GREEN, SOUTH AMERICAN FAN PALM
TEN DAY SPECIAL PRICE!

This tall fan palm with a very thin trunk comes from Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, and southern Brazil.  The species name "alba" refers to the white color of the underside of the leaves.  Heights can reach up to one hundred feet, but the trunk is never more than 12 inches in diameter.  Of all the Copernicia, this species is the most cold hardy, easily tolerating temperatures down to about 20 degrees.  Leaves are 3 feet wide, gray-green in color with a white waxy coat.  It is a full sun plant.

Shown here is our 15g size which I decided this morning to put on special.  The have basal diameters of about four inches and are four feet tall by estimate. It is possible to mail order this size and have it shipped right to your door.

REGULAR PRICE 15G IS $175
TEN DAY SPECIAL PRICE $135!


Here in California, this species and size are difficult to find.  It's a great alternative to the typical fan palms available.  It also tolerates desert sun and heat.  Limited numbers available.  Also nice is is lack of tendency to form the "ugly" petticoat below the crown seen with so many fan palms.
Copernicia alba Copernicia alba
copernicia alba Copernicia alba Copernicia alba
Copernicia alba Copernicia alba Copernicia alba

 

BRACHYCHITON RUPESTRIS
FAT SNAKESKIN TRUNK
TEN DAY SPECIAL PRICE!

About three decades ago I visited Seaborne Nursery up in the Lake Hodges area of San Diego County.  It has long since vanished as a nursery.  The owner was a fellow who knew a lot about palms, cycads and certain tropical trees.  His name was Bill Seaborne.  To old time enthusiast, this name might ring a bell.  He even wrote a book back then on tropical plants.  In any case, Bill (now deceased) convinced me to try a few of this interesting species of tropical tree.  I planted them and within about five to ten years found they had the most peculiar, large and swollen trunks.  The leaflets are quite fine with a hint of red.  But, the trunk is massive and swollen at the base.  It is a green trunk and has a  snake skin type of texture.   Growth rate is quite fast.  I have a few 15g trees for sale.  But, it's the 5g size that I'm putting on special.  This size is shown here.  I am also showing you pictures of mature trees off the Internet.  This species is not known for flowers, but rather for it's peculiar swollen trunk.  It can get to fifty feet tall, likes sun, and has a cold tolerance that is probably into the low 20's F. 

REGULAR PRICE FOR 5G IS $65
SPECIAL 10 DAY PRICE 5G $45


Brachychiton rupestris Brachychiton rupestris
Brachychiton rupestris Brachychiton rupestris Brachychiton rupestris by angv.gov
by anbg.gov
Brachychiton rupestris by Adelaide Zoo, Australia
by Adelaide Zoo, Australia, website
   

 

LIVISTONA DECIPIENS
AKA LIVISTONA DECORA
OVERSIZED 15G PLANTS AVAILABLE

This palm is native to Australia and is also known as the Ribbon Palm.  It is a fan palm.  The terminal leaflets hang downwards, thus given the ribbon appearing look to the leaves.  It is a fast palm and easy to grow.  Cold hardiness is into the upper teens, F.  It prefers full sun. Shown here is a massive 15g plant.  We only have a few of these available.   They are twice the size of our normal 15g.  Basal diameter is about a foot or more.  Height in the pot is about eight to nine feet.  And, we can mail order this size.  It's not cheap to do this, but is possible.  You will pay a premium for these special oversized plants, but I think it's worth it.  These plants are equivalent to most nursery's 24 inch boxes!

I am also showing some mature plants so you can note what an attractive palm this is.  It's one of my favorite Livistona.  It is a sun loving species in almost all areas.  It's a piece of cake in areas like San Francisco and Houston.  I had a friend in Sacramento, CA and he told me this species was one of the easily palms for him to grow up there.



Livistona decipiens Livistona decora Livistona decipiens Livistona decora
Livistona decipiens Livistona decora Livistona decipiens Livistona decora Livistona decipiens Livistona decora
Livistona decipiens Livistona decora Livistona decipiens Livistona decora Livistona decipiens Livistona decora

 

HYPHAENE
THE GENUS:  BRANCHING AFRICAN PALM
Hyphaene is a branching palm from southern and eastern Africa.  Yes, I mean "branching", just like a normal tree.  This is opposed to basal offsets at ground level known as suckers. Hyphanae has trunk that fork and divide well into the air overhead.  They are also sun-loving fan palms that are dioecious (males and females), prefer hot dry climate, can tolerate drought conditions, and don't like cold/wet winters.  There are about ten species and all have rough trunks with retained leaf bases.  Most have one major trunk that support several crowns of leaves.  But, this is variable.  I've seen plants with no branching.  The seeds are large with a fibrous attached fruit.  These seeds are very difficult to clean.  The leaves are large and color ranges from green to powder blue. 

From time to time, we have species of Hyphaene for sale.  Shown here is a Hyphanae coriacea in a one gallon size and a 15g plant.  This is the species we have available right now.  Also shown are a variety of mature plants.  I'll also show some mature flowers with seeds.  Cold hardiness appears, on most, to be in the mid-twenties F.  If you are like most, your favorite will be Hyphanae crinita.  It is a really nice blue color, sometimes even white.  We don't have these right now but, from time to time, do have them available.    
Hyphanae coriacea
Hyphanae coriacea

Hyphanae coriacea
Hyphanae coriacea 15g
Hyphanae coriacea
Hyphanae coriacea
Hyphanae coriacea
Hyphanae coriacea
Hyphanae turbinata
Hyphanae turbinata
Hyphanae semiplaene
Hyphanae semiplaene
Hyphanae turbinata
Hyphanae turbinat seeds
Hyphanae crinita
Hyphanae crinita
Hyphanae crinita
Hyphanae crinita
Hyphanae crinita
Hyphanae crinitia
Hyphanae coriacea seeds
Hyphanae coriacea seeds
Hyphanae petersiana
Hyphanae petersiana
Hyphanae coriacea  

 

GAUSSIA MAYA
A VERY DIFFERENT PALM FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

In the "old days", this species was known as Opsiandra maya, a name that I really enjoyed.  It is a single trunk palm that can be grown in Southern CA.  It has the interesting habit of getting a very swollen base, especially when planted in the ground from a smaller plant. Interestingly enough, this swollen base to the trunk if quite noticeable, but abruptly disappears with age.  It's quite fascinating because one day it's there and almost the next day it's gone.  I apologize that I don't have a photo to show this swelling, although some photos here hint at this swelling. 

Shown here are various specimens of this species with several box size.  We have several of these as well as smaller sizes for sale.  Along the coast it takes full sun.  Cold tolerance is into the mid-twenties F.  The plant you see immediately to the right saw temperatures outside in 2007 of 24 degrees.  The third photo is of a containerized plant in the greenhouse.  Note the swelling at the base.  I am also showing you a few pictures of larger domestic plants to give a feel for the species.  Typically this species only holds abut five or six leaves, one of its drawbacks.  The trunk diameter is about six to perhaps maximum eight inches.  I've grown it in part day sun, which it loved.  however, the trunk will often curve to seek more sun.  Some grow it in full sun with success.  The fifth picture below shows a plant with a curving trunk.  My first garden plant I grew with an eastern exposure and this is exactly what it did.

I''m showing a lot of photos of this species here so you should be able to recognize it.  These larger plants have taken me well over ten years to produce.   
Gaussia maya Guassia maya
Gaussia maya Gaussia maya Gaussia maya
Gaussia maya Gaussia maya Gaussia maya
Gaussia maya  Gaussia maya  Gaussia maya 
Gaussia maya  Gaussia maya  Gaussia maya 

 

TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, 2013

 

PHOENIX DACTYLIFERA
THE COLD HARDY DATE PALM WITH THE KNOBBY TRUNK
We just got in some very good sized five gallon true Date Palms, Phoenix dactylifera.  This species is native to the Middle East and is typically grown as a single trunk specimen.  But, it has a natural tendency to sucker and these suckers are usually removed by most growers.  Leaf color is blue or blue green.  There are multiple varieties.  Heights can get to forty or fifty feet as shown below.  The trunk has a peculiar "knobby" look.  Of note, you must have a female plant to set edible fruit.  And, you need a male plant in the neighborhood as well.  This species is often used as a statement and stand alone palm in residence plantings or shopping centers.  Some consider it a nice alternative to the Canary Island Date Palm.   

Shown here are some very healthy five gallon plants which can be easily mail ordered.  These 5g are robust and chunky.  We also have some very blue 15g plants.  For some reason, it is difficult to find this species in shippable sizes, especially the five gallon size.  This is a totally full sun species great for hot and dry areas including the desert.  Cold hardiness is well into the teens F.  

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

 

PHOENIX RECLINATA
THE SENEGAL DATE PALM
TEN DAY SPECIAL DISCOUNT ON HUGE 5G PLANTS

This popular form of the Date Palm is native to South Africa and suckers, producing multiple trunks.  It gets it name from the fact that the various trunks lean or "recline" away from the center of the plant, thus giving it the name "reclinata".  Mature height can be well over thirty feet although most specimens are shorter than this.  It is a good growing plant that loves sun and can tolerate temperatures into the upper teens F.  It is not quite as cold tolerant as the true Date Palm above.  It is easy to grow.  But, you must give it adequate room.  Shown here are huge 5g plants.  These are the size of most nursery's 15g plants.  AND, they are at a special reduced price!  Some are over six feet tall.

REGULAR PRICE $65
TEN DAY DISCOUNT PRICE $45

To order just give us a call and we can ship the same day.  If needed, purchased plants can be held for later shipping when weather permits.

 
Phoenix reclinata Phoenix reclinata
Phoenix reclinata Phoenix reclinata Phoenix reclinata
Phoenix reclinata Phoenix reclinata Phoenix reclinata

 

LIVISTONA CHINENSIS
THE CHINESE FAN PALM
TEN DAY SPECIAL DISCOUNTED PRICE

This single trunk fan palm comes from Southern Japan and Taiwan.  Maximum height in habitat is forty feet, but most domestic plants are well under twenty feet.  This is probaby due to the fact that this species of Livistona is very slow growing.  It has a trunk diameter of one foot and the trunk is slightly rough but clean.  Leaves are green, flat, shiny and six feet across.  Growth, although slow, is predictable.  Over times it is not unusual for this species to lose the spines on the petioles giving very user friendly leaves for trimming.  It is one of the most cold hardy plants of the genus, tolerating temperatures into the upper teens F.  It can tolerate sun or shade and has a very exotic look when grown in filtered light.  As you can see, the leaves almost have a "Licuala look" when grown in filtered light.  It may be the most tropical appearing cold hardy fan palm.  Heavy watering will speed up the growth rate.  Shown here are some great 5g plants we just got in and decided to put on special.  These are an easy mail order plant.

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


To order just give us a call and we can ship the same day.  Or, we can hold plants for free and ship when weather permits.
Livistona chiinensis Livistona chiinensis
Livistona chiinensis Livistona chiinensis Livistona chiinensis
Livistona chiinensis Livistona chiinensis Livistona chiinensis

 

CHAMAEDOREA PLUMOSA
THIN TRUNK, FLUFFY LEAVES, AND SUN-TOLERANT IN MANY AREAS

This remarkable species of Chamaedorea is known for it's attractive thin, green trunks, its plumose leaves with narrow leaflets, and it's tolerance of full sun along coastal areas.  It is a very fast growing palm and looks best when planted in small colonies of three to five plants.  Maximum height is about fifteen feet.  In far inland areas, it may need filtered light.  When old leaf bases are removed, the trunk is a mottled green and white, but over time this changes to dark green with prominent rings.  Trunk diameter is one to two inches, leaf length is three to five feet.  Cold tolerance is the low 20's F.  Growers are trying this species in the San Francisco Bay area.  I've even had reports of people in the San Joaquin Valley growing this species. 

Shown here is an assortment of flowering size 15g plants that we just got in.  These are ready for your garden.  They work wonderfully along narrow planting areas that typically are seen on the side areas of houses.  You can plant these one foot from a walkway.  But, because the leaves are overhead, they are not an impairment to walking by the plants.  We are continually running out of these, so if you like this species come by soon.
Chamaedorea plumosa Chamaedorea plumosa
Chamaedorea plumosa Chamaedorea plumosa Chamaedorea plumosa
Chamaedorea plumosa Chamaedorea plumosa Chamaedorea plumosa

 

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

 

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

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

 

STANGERIA ERIOPUS
PICTURES SHOWING VARIATIONS OF LEAFLET APPEARANCE
Stangeria eriopus is a dwarf cycad species from South Africa.  It has fern-like leaflets and overall fern-looking appearance.  One thing that has fascinated me about this species has been the variation in the appearance of its leaflets.  Some leaflets are flat, some are keeled (like the bottom of a ship) while others have leaflet edges than reflex downwards.  Some have smooth edges and others show a fine degrees of spination (as seen on several plants here).  But, these are not pokey types of spines.  Rather they are soft and only visible.  Also, some leaflets are undulating, sort of "wavy", while others have a flat surface.  The plant to the immediate right almost has "crinkled" leaflets.  With these pictures here I am going to try to show you some of these differences.  At this time I am unaware of any importance to this other than curiosity and diversity among the species.  There might be age related differences, but I have found similar differences among older plants as well. 
Stangeria eriopus Stangeria eriopus
Stangeria eriopus Stangeria eriopus Stangeria eriopus
Stangeria eriopus Stangeria eriopus Stangeria eriopus

 

MONDAY, JANUARY 14, 2013

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR FEEDBACK ON YESTERDAY'S POST.  THESE PLANTS APPEAR TO BE VERY POPULAR.

 

TRACHYCARPUS WAGNERIANUS
COLD HARDY, SHORT TRUNK AND SMALL STIFF LEAVES
Trachycarpus wagnerianus has always been one of my favorite Windmill Palms because it has small, stiff leaves, a nice hairy trunk and small overall size. It is native to high elevations in China.  In domestic plantings, you hardly ever see one with a trunk more than eight to ten feet tall.  They are definitely shorter than T. takil and fortunei.  Leaf size is typically twelve to eighteen inches across.  The segment ends do not reflex down toward the ground like other species of Windmills.  It is common for most of the leaves to be directed upwards, not hanging down.  Cold hardiness is somewhere between ten and fifteen degrees F.  They like sun in most areas.  But, they are extremely slow growing.  The ones in gardens below probably took a decade or two to get this tall. 

Shown here are nice 15g, 5g and 1.5 gallon plants.  All are available for sale.  We occasionally get boxed plants as well.  You'll find in searching around that wagnerianus are sometimes a bit difficult to find, especially pretty ones.  Make sure if you plant one not to ever let it get shaded out by surrounding plants that get overhead.  T. wagnerianus doesn't do well with shade and may rot on you and be lost.  Once established, this species also doesn't need a ton of water, so one might consider it a water conserving species.
Trachycarpus wagnerianus
15 gallon size
Trachycarpus wagnerianus
Trachycarpus wagnerianus Trachycarpus wagnerianus Trachycarpus wagnerianus
5 gallon size
Trachycarpus wagnerianus
1.5 gallon size
Trachycarpus wagnerianus by MG in the UK
by MG in the United Kingdom
Trachycarpus wagnerianus
 


CARYOTA GIGAS
THE MOST POPULAR FISHTAIL PALM
Twenty years ago, Caryota urens was the Fishtail Palm that everyone wanted.  But, in the past ten to twenty years, the "Thai Mountain Giant Fishtail" (Caryota gigas) has replaced it.  I think this is mostly because the leaves of the gigas are much prettier.  They seem to tolerate sun better and don't brown tip.  And, the leaves are enormous.  Typical leaf length is fourteen to sixteen feet long and as much as twelve feet across.  Trunk diameter, for a Fishtail, is enormous.  It can reach three feet.  Caryota gigas is not the biggest Fishtail Palm in the world, but presently it's the most popular.  Make sure a nursery plant is given enough room to grow.  Do NOT plant it right up against the house!

Cold tolerance of Caryota gigas is not quite as good as urens.  It goes down to the low 20's F.  Lower temperatures will burn the leaves.  We saw such burn in our 2007 winter freeze here.  Caryota urens takes down to about 18 degrees.  Shown here is an example of some nice 15g plants which we have for sale.  We also have smaller and larger sizes.
Caryota gigas Caryota gigas
Caryota gigas Caryota gigas Caryota gigas
Caryota gigas Caryota gigas Caryota gigas

 

MACROZAMIA MONTANA
MEDIUM SIZE, FAIRLY COLD HARDY

Named in 1998 by the late Ken Hill, this medium sized Macrozamia comes from New South Whales, Australia, in a fairly southern distribution for cycads.  In habitat there, it grows on cliffs and the sides of small mountains.  Also, in habitat, this species sees temperatures down near 20 degrees F. and experiences snow.  It also tolerates a great deal of heat.  Trunk size is not large, typically subterranean or perhaps a foot or two tall.  Leaves are green, flat in cross section and six to eight feet long.  This species is most closely related to Macrozamia communis, but montana is a smaller plant.

Shown here is a very nice 15g plant that we have for sale.  Also shown are several photos native plants from PACSOA..  This is a nice cycad species for people in colder areas like the Bay Area or Phoenix.  It would prefer full sun except in desert locations.  We have a limited number of these for sale. 

Macrozamia montana Macrozamia montana
Macrozamia montana Macrozamia montana Macrozamia montana
Macrozamia montana by paul kennedy and craig thompson PACSOA
by Paul Kennedy and Craig Thompson PACSOA
Macrozamia montana by paul kennedy and craig thompson PACSOA
Macrozamia montana by Paul Kennedy & Craig
Thompson PACSOA
 

 

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

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

 

PARAJUBAEA TORALLYI
SOUTH AMERICAN COCONUT
TEN DAY WEBSITE SPECIAL

This rare and nearly extinct species from Bolivia in South America is a single trunk pinnate palm that gets to about forty feet height with a twelve to eighteen inches in trunk diameter.  In its natural habitat high in the Andes Mountains, it sees a fair amount of cold weather.  In domestic gardens, reports of this species tolerating temperatures into the teens have surfaced.  Seeds are huge in size, expensive and germination is sporadic.  For the first time is a long time, we are pleased to offer affordable band sized seedlings as shown. 

REGULAR PRICE IS $40
WEBSITE SPECIAL FOR 10 DAYS IS $25


Just mention this blog when ordering.  Remember, seeds on this species are expensive, sometimes 2 to 3 dollars each and one typically only gets a small percent germination.  So, this is a super fair price.  These can be easily shipped. This is a full sun species.  Growth rates are medium.  It would be an attractive replacement for the Queen Palm and nearly as cold tolerant.  This species has thrived in the San Francisco Bay area.  We also have plants available in 5g, 15g and some larger 25g specimens.  On the foliage close up picture, you can see the blue green color of the leaves, typical of this species.  The last photo, by an acquaintance of mine, Gaston Torres, is from PACSOA.  You can see this species makes a large, exotic tree.
Parajubaea torallyi Parajubaea torallyi 15g
Parajubaea torallyi Parajubaea torallyi  Parajubaea torallyi
Parajubaea torallyi Parajubaea torallyi PACSOA by Gaston Torres
Photo by Gaston Torres, PACSOA
 

 

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

 

JUBAEA X BUTIA HYBRID
MORE PICTURES OF FOLDED LEAFLET ENDS
Yesterday, when I discussed the hybrid Jubaea, I wasn't totally satisfied with the photographs of the folded ends to the leaflets.  This phenomena is quite variable.  In the first photo to the right, it is quite obvious.  Other times it is very subtle and appears as a flattened area of the leaflets, double thickness.  I hope these two pictures help clarify this trait that you'll see in the hybrids.
Jubaea X Butia, folden leaflet ends Jubaea x Butia, folded leaflet ends

 

SUNDAY, JANUARY 13, 2013

 

TODAY:  JUBAEA, BLUE JUBAEA AND JUBAEA HYBRIDS

 

JUBAEA CHILENSIS
THE CHILEAN WINE PALM
Recently, I discussed Jubaea chilensis.  But, today I am going to mention it again as a prelude to the Blue Jubaea and to a few Jubaea hybrids. 

Regular, true and pure Chilean Wine Palms have typical trunk widths from three to foot feet, have green leaves, and their trunks are smooth, without attached leaf bases.  When you look at an older plant with trunk, below the crown the trunk should be smooth.  If you see attached leaf bases going many feet toward the ground, then you are not looking at a pure Jubaea.  You can see this with the photos below. 

I have noticed in the field that there appears to be variability in the shapes of the crowns.  Some have very upright, wedge shape crowns.  This is not entirely from pruning off the lower leaves.  Rather, the plants just grow this way.  But, there are others where the crown is more rounded; some leaves hanging downwards. And, there are others in between. Also, the leaves themselves have only a gentle, minimal curve downward toward the ground.  None are strongly curved.  In cross section the leaves are minimally keeled or flat.  Petioles are un-armed.  Leaf color is green, both on the dorsal side and underneath.  Fruit is yellow.  This species likes sun and cold tolerance is to about 16 degrees F.

Shown here are some nursery plants and mature specimens.  Note that one mature garden plant with about twenty feet of trunk is also for sale.  Just contact me if you know of someone interested.

 .  
Jubaea chilensis Jubaea chilensis
Jubaea chilensis Jubaea chilensis Jubaea chilensis
Jubaea chilensis Jubaea chilensis Jubaea chilensis
Jubaea chilensis Jubaea chilensis
This mature specimen is for sale
Jubaea chilensis
This mature specimen is for sale
Jubaea chilensis Jubaea chilensis Jubaea chilensis

 

JUBAEA CHILENSIS BLUE
THE BLUE CHILEAN WINE PALM
As I mentioned above, the leaf color of the Chilean Wine Palm is green.  But, in habitat in Chile, there is a population of plants further north in a drier environment where the leaf color is blue.  Otherwise, the plants are near identical.  They have fat, smooth trunks.  The leaves are not particularly arched nor keeled, and the fruit is similar.  Of all the Jubaeas you'll see in botanical gardens or private plantings, probably only one in a thousand is blue. 

Shown here is an excellent nursery example of the Blue Jubaea.  This is a 15g plant with a basal trunk diameter of about ten inches.  The leaf color is blue and more intensely blue on the underside of the leaves.  The leaves are minimally keeled as one would expect and are not strongly curved.  (If very curved, you'd expect hybrid blood).  It is almost impossible to obtain these from nurseries, but we have been lucky enough to offer a few for sale.  Some speculate that this form is more tolerant of dry conditions in the garden.  Cold hardiness should be about the same.  If you see one of these for sale, I'd recommend jumping on it.  You'll probably not see it again.
Jubaea chilensis blue Jubaea chilensis blue
Jubaea chilensis blue Jubaea chilensis blue Jubaea chilensis blue
Jubaea chilensis blue Jubaea chilensis blue Jubaea chilensis blue
Jubaea chilensis blue by C. del Rio, RPS
by C. del Rio at RPS Website
Jubaea chilensis blue Jubaea chilensis blue

 

JUBAEA CHILENSIS X BUTIA CAPITATA
SUPER COLD HARDY WINE PALM HYBRID
Remember that Jubaea is a monotypic genus.  There is only one species of the genus Jubaea.  But, hybridization does occur with Jubaea chilensis.  Sometimes this occurs without the efforts of man and naturally by insects or wind.  With such pollination with another palm's pollen, a hybrid results.  One would notice this by looking at the offspring and noting that some "look different".  If spontaneous Jubaea hybridization occurs, it is most often with the Pindo palm, Butia capitata.  This is because Butia is one of the only commonly found species that is abundantly planted and capable of hybridizing with the Jubaea.  Nature only made it possible typically for any given species to have the ability to cross with a limited number of other genera.  Don't dream up that your hybrid Jubaea is something super exotic.  Look at what's around that could have pollinated the seed bearing Jubaea.  The Pindo Palm is the most likely candidate.    

In contrast to natural hybridization, there are folks interested in creating inter-generic hybrids and go to great efforts to hand pollinate Jubaea.  Hybridizers tend to be somewhat kooky guys who will try anything as long as it makes scientific sense.  They manually transfer pollen to the receptive seed bearing parent tree.  It is very important to know which parent provided the seeds.  Jubaea X  Butia (Jubaea is the seed bearer) is totally different appearing than Butia X Jubaea (Butia is the seed bearer)

What I am showing here from the nursery is a Jubaea X Butia, with the Jubaea being the seed baring parent.  It is in a 15g pot with a basal diameter about eleven inches.  You'll note that it is a green plant but with hints of blue.  It is not as blue as the blue Jubaea above.  Leaves are still basically flat in cross section and leaves appear to be longer.  On these hybrids you'll see hooks at the end some leaflets.  And, you'll see some "folding" of the terminal potions of the leaflets as seen in my video on this subject and below.  This hybrid seems to be aggressive grower.  It is still a sun loving plant.  Cold tolerance is better than Jubaea, probably to about 14 degrees F.

Regarding the appearance of a mature specimen, it will basically look more or less like a Jubaea but will have retained leaf bases on the trunk.  Leaves may be longer than a pure Jubaea and color is often a bit blue compared to the normal green of the Wine Palm.  

Remember, the tip off, is the retained leaf bases on the trunk.  These hybrids are super rare and we have several for sale.  In terms of cold hardiness, they're basically equivalent to Med Fans and Pindo's.    

 
Jubaea X Butia


Jubaea X Butia
Jubaea X Butia



Jubaea X Butia
Jubaea X Butia Jubaea x Butia Jubaea X Butia 
Jubaea X Butia Jubaea X Butia
folding over of leaflet ends
Jubaea X Butia
photo donated
Jubaea x Butia Jubaea X Butia
Jubaea x Butia Jubaea X Butia Jubaea X butia
possible Jubaea X Butia

 

BUTIA CAPITATA X JUBAEA CHILENSIS
A DIFFERENT APPEARING HYBRID
It is known that if two genera cross with each other, than a reciprocal or reverse cross is usually possible.  Or, put differently, if Jubaea can be pollinated by Butia pollen, it is also accepted that, most likely, a Butia can be pollinated with Jubaea pollen.  But, this is usually a man made hybrid nursery plant.  Think about it.  In communities there are very few mature Jubaeas but lots of Butias.  Thus, there is potentially lots of Butia pollen for that single Jubaea that may exist.  In contrast, for all those Butias, there are very few Jubaeas with pollen to find its way to the Butia.  So, one might anticipate, this opposite cross would be more rare.  If you had a bunch of Butia capitata seeds, it would be very unlikely that any would be spontaneous hybrids with Jubaea.  A cross with a Queen Palm would be much more likely.  I think this is the case that you're more likely to have a Mule Palm in random Butia seeds than a BXJ..  But, this particular hybrid is seen and is usually man made.

The Butia X Jubaea hybrids take on a lot more of the characteristic of the seed bearing Butia capitata.  They are more blue than the reverse cross.  Leaves are more keeled and curved down toward the ground.  Trunks are equally littered with old retained leaf bases.  When you see one of these, sometimes it's hard to know for sure what it is.  But, if you apply what I'm telling you here, you'll probably have a good hunch.  Of note, in my experience, this cross also has barbs on some leaflet tips and some folding of the leaflet ends (see photo above).

Shown here are several 15g Butia X Jubaea.  Note the leaves and color.  Also shown are what are felt to be some mature hybrids.  Some speculation has been used on these mature plants.  This hybrid is remarkably cold hardy, to about 14 degrees F.  It wants full sun.  We have or can get 15g plants for those interested.
Butia x Jubaea Butia x Jubaea
Butia X Jubaea Butia X Jubaea Butia x Jubaea
Butia x Jubaea Butia x Jubaea Butia x Jubaea
Butia X Jub aea TS RPS
Butia x Jubaea TS, RPS (note listed as the opposite)
Butia X Jubaea unknown author palmtalk
by unknown author palmtalk
Butia X Jubaea PalmPedia website
photo by Palmpedia
Butia X Jubaea by ffeeddee Flikr
by ffeeddee Flikr
Butia X Jubaea AD
possible B X J, by AD, donated photo
 

 

ENDING COMMENT:  Above I've shown regular Jubaea, blue Jubaea, and hybrids between Jubaea and Butia.  I have
acquaintances who are presently doing further crosses.  These include crosses of (JXB) with Syagrus.  Others are
attempting other genera.  Also, be aware that there is variability among any given cross.  In other words, one JXB may look a
bit different from another of the same hybrid seed batch.  So, expect to see this.  This is why all the mature specimens
above are not identical.   This also creates a bit of a challenge when trying to guess at the parentage of a given mature
tree in front of you.  I hope that you enjoyed this and will consider us if you want to try some of these very rare and unusual,
super cold hardy plants.  We have all described above for sale. 

 

SATURDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012

 

BUTIA YATAY
BIG, BLUE, COLD HARDY
This single trunk Butia species comes from Brazil and Argentina. and is the tallest species in this genus.  It also is known to have the longest leaves.  These leaves have small armor at their bases and are often quite blue in color.  Some people feel that it is more cold hardy than Buita capitata, but I can not confirm this.  It likes sun and heat.  I would anticipate cold tolerance in the mid-teens F., much like the Pindo Palm. 

Shown here are some nice 5g plant sporting their nice blue color.  Also shown are mature plants.  We have limited supplies of these, so consider them if you live in a colder area.  They are a piece of cake to mail order.  Unlike almost all other nurseries, we typically send plants in their containers, soil and all.  The reason for this is to avoid any initial shock or losses of plants and to avoid the inevitable one year setback with bare rooted plants.  We are on a special program that allows us to do this.
Butia yatay Butia yatay
Butia yatay Butia yatay Butia yatay
Butia yatay by TS RPS
by TS at RPS
Butia yatay by Gaston Tores, PACSOA
by Gaston Tores, PACSOA 
Butia yatay 

 

ENCEPHALARTOS WHITELOCKII
CENTRAL AFRICAN CYCAD WITH UPRIGHT LEAVES
In 1995 J. Hurter described this species from Uganda and named it after cycad author Loran Whitelock.  Prior to his publication, it was known as "Encephalartos species St. George", "The Uganda Giant Cycad" and other names.  When I first grew this species I had heard it was a huge green plant with super long leaves.  Now, several decades later, I can say that E whitelockii has proven itself to be one of the most exciting Central African cycads because of its long upright leaves, fast growth rate and ease of care.  It is native to cliffs and mountains in Uganda at an elevation of 3500 to 4000 feet.

Plant stems can get over ten feet.  Leaves are green and upright, maximum length of fourteen feet.  Leaflets are toothed, twelve inches long and only an inch wide.  Leaflets are also angled slightly toward the end of the leaf.  I've found that, ideally, this species is not planted in full sun.  Too much sun in our area tends to yellow the leaves.  Better would be part day sun or strong filtered light.  Note on the pictures how leaves emerge very upright.  This is a nice feature if room for planting is limited.  If you allow old swirls of leaves to persist, the plant can put on a wide crown diameter.  Cold tolerance is about 22 degrees.  I've never lost one of these outdoors to cold in our area.  Shown here is an assortment of our nursery plants and some mature garden specimens.  The first four photos are of a gorgeous fifteen gallon plant begging to be in someone's garden.
Encephalartos whitelockii  Encephalartos whitelockii
Encephalartos whitelockii  Encephalartos whitelockii  Encephalartos whitelockii 
Encephalartos whitelockii  Encephalartos whitelockii  Encephalartos whitelockii 
Encephalartos whitelockii  Encephalartos whitelockii  Encephalartos whitelockii 
Encephalartos whitelockii  Encephalartos whitelockii  Encephalartos whitelockii 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

FRIDAY, JANUARY 11, 2013

 

CERATOZAMIA SPECIES
I thought this morning I'd do something a bit different.  I will show you a series of Ceratozamias where I'm not quite sure what the species is.  This was inspired by a customer who said he wanted to see photos of different looking Ceratozamia.  In my experience, more than any other genus of cycads, sometimes it's just not possible to pick the exact species name for a Ceratozamia plant in front of you.  I've been growing this genus for thirty-five years.  I can say that I have acquired plants during this time where not only I, but others, cannot come up with the plant's identity.  We could guess at it or say "it's similar to....", but were unable to exactly identify it.  I think, over the years, cycad experts have sort of left this subject alone in reference books.  As recent as just a decade ago, there were probably no more than ten species firmly identified.  But, in my nursery, I had dozens of different looking plants.  In recent years some Mexican biologists have been working to clarify all these Ceratozamia species.  But, there's a lot of work to be done.  Today I'll just scan through a bunch of nursery plants, show them to you, and call them all 'species" with perhaps a descriptive name.  In a perfect world, I'd just be showing mature plants with cones.  But, in the real world, you have a certain cycad in front of you and you try to decide what it is.  I am sure these photos will make you just as confused as most cycad enthusiasts are about such plants.

 

CERATOZAMIA SPECIES WIDE LEAFLETS
A few months ago I got a small collection of Ceratozamia that were in 5 gallon pots.  They came from the same seed batch.  I'm showing a few here.  The leaflets are wide, not too long, and have a hint of red in the petioles.  I do not know their age.  These are quite attractive plants.  
Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species
Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species  
CERATOZAMIA, ANOTHER WIDE LEAFLET PLANT
Shown here is another plant in a citrus pot.  These leaves are similar to the previous plants, but to my eyes look to have larger and longer leaflets.  The leaves are also more dependent. 
Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species
Ceratozamia species    
CERATOZAMIA SPECIES
This plant is in a 5g pot and has clustered into three distinct caudexes.  It has reddish petioles with a hint of red along the leaflet edges.  The underside of the leaves is dull with a red hue as well.  Petioles are largely unarmed. 
Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species
Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species
CERATOZAMIA SPECIES
ROBUST 15G PLANT
This good sized plant has a husky eight inch caudex and is in a 15 gallon pot.  If I were to give it a name, it'd probably be . Ceratozamia mexicana.  But, there are difference is the size and shape to the leaflets compared to what I'd say is the classic mexicana.  It's very attractive. 
Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species
Ceratozamia species    
CERATOZAMIA SPECIES WITH CURLED LEAFLETS
I had several of these plants.  They were interesting because on all of them, the leaflets curled under as shown here.  Petioles and rachis had a bit of red color.  These plants are fairly old and caudex size is about four inches, so I think these will be a small mature plant.
Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species
Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species  
CERATOZAMIA SPECIES "CORRIENTE"
Years ago I received seeds of a Ceratozamia species labeled 'corriente".  You can see characteristics of these plants here.  Stems are essentially unarmed, sometimes have a red hue to the rachis, and leaflets medium length and width.
Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species
Ceratozamia species    
CERATOZAMIA SPECIES DARK EMERGENT
New Cz leaves can emerge green, bronze, pink, yellow-red, red, and sometimes almost black as shown here.  Mature leaflets, as shown, are rather small and green in color.
Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species
Ceratozamia species    
CERATOZAMIA LATIFOLIA
RED EMERGENT
In contrast to the almost black leaves above, this Cz latifolia has red emergent new leaves. 
Ceratozamia latifolia red Ceratozamia latifolia red emergent
CERATOZAMIA SPECIES
ANOTHER RED EMERGENT
This red emergent species is a bit different than the plant immediately above.  It has thinner and more tightly placed leaflets.  But, the color is similar on the new leaves.
Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species
Ceratozamia species    


CERATOZAMIA SPECIES, GOLD EMERGENT
This interesting plant came from seeds named as 'tlanchinol hidalgo" locality and emerged a yellow-gold color.  It appears that this will be a thinner leaflet species.
Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species
CERATOZAMIA SPECIES
LONG THIN LEAFLETS
This species is different than any above.  It has very long and quite thin leaflets.  The leaflets are gently curved with tips pointing proximal. 
Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species
CERATOZAMIA SPECIES THIN LEAFLET
MATURE PLANT, UPRIGHT LEAVES
I only have one photo of this plant, but it is a mature, coning sized plant with upright leaves with long, pointed thin leaflets.  If it were a mexicana, I'd expect the leaves to be more dependent with somewhat wider leaflets.
Ceratozamia species  
CERATOZAMIA "PALMA SOL"
This is a species of Cz with large, stiff, upright leaves outside of Vera Cruz, Mexico.  This palnt shows these thick wide leaqflets.  It comes specifically from the "Palm Sol" region.  This plant has no species name.
Ceratozamia palma sol Ceratozamia palma sol
CERATOZAMIA SPECIES
This is an interesting species with small, eliptical shaped leaflets and a red petiole/rachis.  This plant has a 3 inch caudex and the leaf in under 2 feet long. 
Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species
CERATOZAMIA SPECIES
WIDE LEAFLET
This plant has about a two inch caudex, is in a one gallon pot, is eight years old and carrying one leaf.  The leaf is about 12 to 14 inches tall and has these wide, stubby leaflets as shown.  I  do not know what species this is.  The closest thing would be a Cz hildae, but it isn't this.
Ceratozamia species Ceratozamia species

I could probably go on the rest of the day showing you such plants that are without a specific Ceratozamia species name.  I think this gives you
a glimpse of what I' talking about.  We have such plants in all sizes for sale.  If Ceratozamia are interesting to you, just email me and I can show
you an assortment of plants that we have available.  Most prefer filtered light and are cold hardy into the low 20's F.

 

THURSDAY, JANUARY 10, 2013

 

LIVISTONA SARIBUS
HUGE BARBS, FULL LEAVES, BLUE SEEDS
When I was early in my career as a palm guy, I was awestruck by this species.  I couldn't believe how dangerous and vicious the spines were.  But, for some reason, it became a magnet for my interest and attention.  Spines can be as long as three inches, are often black in color, and at maturity can be curved like a doctor's sewing needle.  They are ferocious!  And, the leaves form a full circle; 360 degrees of leaflets. Imagine holding a cut leaf with these huge barbs and this five to six foot fan of a leaf!

Native distribution of this species is wide, from China down through the Malaysian peninsula, and into the Islands of the Philippines and Indonesia.  Trunk height can reach 90 feet in the wild, although domestically plants are usually forty to fifty feet maximum.  Old leaf bases fall off to give a gray colored trunk.  Petioles are long and, as mentioned, heavily armed for battle.  Interestingly enough, seeds at maturity are a beautiful blue as shown below.  This is a sun loving species.  Cold hardiness is into the low 20's, perhaps lower.  Shown here are several recently acquired 5g plants and a boxed plant, some mature specimens, and a final picture from the South Texas Palm Society showing the amazing barbs on the petioles. Once you learn the characteristics of this species, you'll not have trouble spotting one in a garden. 
Livistona saribus Livistona saribus
Livistona saribus Livistona saribus Livistona saribus
Livistona saribus Livistona saribus Livistona saribus
Livistona saribus Livistona saribus Livistona saribus
Livistona saribus Livistona saribus Livistona saribus by John Volk PSST
by John Volk, Palm Society South Texas

 

BRAHEA DULCIS
ROCK PALM, SOMBRERO PALM
This species is a bit confusing to collectors because sometimes its leaf color is green, other times blue, it is usually single trunk but sometimes suckers.  In other words, taxonomists have lumped different appearing plants in the wild into one species.  It is native to mountainous areas of eastern Mexico and extends down into Central America.  It grows at elevations of up to a mile and therefore has some cold hardiness but it is not the most cold hardy species of this genus.  Trunk height is usually under twenty feet, trunk diameter is under one foot, and crown size is about ten by ten feet.  Leaves are usually green although blue specimens do exist.  These leaves are flat with long petioles, and the fruit is reportedly edible. 

Differences between this species and Brahea armata are that the B. dulcis has larger and more flat leaves, is typically green in color, can grow in partial sun or filtered light and tolerates humidity much better than the armata.  To my eye, these two species are totally different appearing.  Nice specimens of Brahea dulcis are found in humid parts of Florida.

Shown here are some 5 gallon plants and various mature specimens.  Of note, in the "old days" collectors learned "species names" such as "Brahea bella", "B. berlanderii", and "B. salvadorensis" but all these names were thrown out as one lumping type of taxonomist decided they were all just variable expressions of Brahea dulcis.  I miss the days  when we had names to refer to the differences between plants.  But, rest assured that some taxonomist in the future will do more field work and finally conclude that there are indeed differences worthy of dividing them back into multiple species.  BTW, cold tolerance is about 20 degrees F.   
Brahea dulcis Brahea dulcis
Brahea dulcis Brahea dulcis Brahea dulcis
Brahea dulcis by Angelos Porcelli PACSOA
Brahea dulcis by Angelos Porcelli PACSOA
Brahea dulcis Fairchild Tropical Gardens
Fairchild Tropical Gardens
Brahea dulcis
Brahea dulcis by Angelos Porcelli PACSOA Brahea dulcis by TS at RPS
Brahea dulcis by TS at RPS
Brahea dulcis by Angelos Porcelli PACSOA
Brahea dulcis by Angelos Porcelli PACSOA

 

BRAHEA ARMATA
MEXICAN BLUE FAN PALM
TEN DAY SPECIAL PRICE ON 5G PLANTS

For ten days were are offering a nice price on this super blue single trunk species of Brahea from Mexico.  It likes hot and dry sun.  The more intense your sun is, the more blue are the leaves.  It is slow growing and super cold hardy, down to about 15 degrees F.  Although a difficult species for far south Florida, people in colder areas of northern Florida and for sure areas of central Texas have had luck with this species in full sun.

REGULAR PRICE $65, SPECIAL PRICE $45 OR THREE FOR $119
Brahea armata Brahea armata
Brahea armata Brahea armata  
     

 

DIOON MEROLAE "GOLDEN FORM"
Sometime about fifteen years ago, cycad enthusiasts began to see a different form of Dioon merolae become available.  By report, the new emerging leaves were a different color, sort of a golden green.  This color was reportedly due to tomentum on the newly emerging leaves.  We had never seen such a thing, so there was a lot of enthusiasm about this new form of merolae.  The seeds were also larger in size and were from the region of Oaxaca, Mexco, whereas regular merolae seeds were from Chiapas.  I've grown several hundred of this form and have yet to see a good example of golden new leaves.  But, I thought I'd mention it here because you will hear about it.  Shown are several juvenile plants.

But, I would comment that my decades of experience with both palms and cycads has taught me that one always sees variation within a species in habitat.  If you collect and grow a species from a habitat location and then travel one hundred miles and collect seeds of the same species from that location, you will see differences between the two plants.  Seed collectors have informed me that just moving over one mountain range may demonstrate notable differences.  We've definitely seen this with Dypsis from Madagascar.  The same applies to cycads as well.  There are at least six forms of Encephalartos natalensis.  As our "Golden merolae" get larger, Over time, I think we'll know if they are going to end up different.  I apologize but I don't have a photo of a mature Golden merolae plant.   
Dioon merolae golden form Dioon merolae golden form
Dioon merolae golden form Dioon merolae golden form  

 

CHAMAEDOREA GLAUCIFOLIA
A TALL, THIN TRUNKED AND FAST GROWING SHADE PALM
I thought I'd mention a tall, single trunk Chamaedorea that's been grown by enthusiasts for decades.  It is very similar to Chamaedorea plumosa, but doesn't take quite as much sun as the plumosa.   

Chamaedorea glaucifolia is native to Mexico and is very fast growing.  It would not be unusual for a one gallon plant to be overhead in two years.  It gets its name from the glaucous material that the plant exudes on it's crown shaft, trunk and leaves.  This gives it a blue green color.  The second photo to the right shows this waxy material.  I intentionally rubbed my finger over it to show how it wipes off, showing the green crown shaft below.  The leaves are multi-ranked and plumose. The leaflets are very thin.  Trunk size is about one to one and a half inches thick.  I've found this species peaks out at about fifteen feet height.  It is prolific in seed formation and loves to hybridize with other nearby Chamaedorea species. 

I might comment that this is a species I would recommend planting with three or five plants close together.  It looks much better as a small colony.  And, you avoid the appearance of "leaves on a stick" when you do this.  It's cold tolerance is into the mid-twenties.  I'd recommend trying this species because it is so different from most shade-loving palms.  We have available 5g and 15g plants as shown here.  Ideal sun is part day, eastern or western exposure along the coast or strong filtered light anywhere, especially far inland.. 
Chamaedorea glaucifolia Chamaedorea glaucifolia
Chamaedorea glaucifolia Chamaedorea glaucifolia Chamaedorea glaucifolia
Chamaedorea glaucifolia Chamaedorea glaucifolia Chamaedorea glaucifolia

 

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9, 2013

 

BUTIA CAPITATA X SYAGRUS ROMANZOFFIANA
THE COLD TOLERANT MULE PALM
SEVERAL LARGE 25G AVAILABLE
Some of you might not be familiar with this desirable hybrid  cross of the Pindo Palm with the Queen Palm.  You hardly ever see them around because it takes a person, on a ladder, to tediously hand pollinate the Butia flowers with pollen from the Queen.  This is a lot of work.  It results in an offspring that doesn't look like either parent.  It is a good growing hybrid that gets to a height of perhaps 25 feet, has green leaves, a thinner trunk than the Butia mother, and tropical appearing foliage.  Some say that it even resembles a Coconut.  The surprising thing is is that it survives approximately 16 degrees F.  This is not quite as good as the Butia capitata cold tolerance, but this hybrid will be alive long after the common Queen Palm dies from cold.  Because of rarity and difficulty in producing seeds, this hybrid is never a cheap plant.

The photo here shows the nice, chunky 25g we just got in.  They are about ten inches thick at the base and about ten feet tall.  They have been sun grown and have seen temperatures into the teens F.  We also have 5g for sale.  The latter are an easy mail order item.   Note on the first mature plant photo below how the crown looks nothing like either parent.  Plain and simple, this is a great plant for folks in cold areas.  I highly recommend this hybrid.
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
donated photo
Butia X Syagrus Mule Palm
donated photo
Butia X Syagrus Mule Palm

 

JUBAEA CHILENSIS
THE CHILEAN WINE PALM
NICE 25 GALLON PLANTS
Jubaea chilensis, from Chile in South America, is known as the palm with the thickest trunk of any palm in the world.  They are also known to be very slow growing, majestic in appearance, and to put the commonly used Canary Island Palm to shame as a stand-alone specimen.  There is nothing quite so impressive as installing a mature specimen into someone's garden.  But, such specimens are extremely expensive and beyond the financial capabilities of most homeowners.  And, mature trees only becomes available every several years.  So, most must start smaller and wait for their plant to get large.  Compared to the Canary Palm, Jubaeas have a thicker trunk that is smooth, the leaves don't have those wicked spines, and mature plants are much more appealing and addictive to most enthusiasts.  Remember, trunk diameters can get to about three to four feet.  There's something so satisfying about standing next to one of these with its massive trunk.  You just want to touch it and give a loving slap. 

This species is hard to find in nurseries because it is so slow growing.  Nurserymen prefer fast growing plants like the King Palm and Queen Palm.  Shown here is a nice 25 gallon plant that is one of several we just got in.  Believe it or not, it took the grower who grew these plants more than ten years to get this size!  You'll note an interesting thing: the trunk gets fat before the plant gets tall.  In a large pot, you can literally get a plant 18 inches thick at the base yet the leaves are not much overhead.  Shown below are also several mature plants.  We not only have these nice 25 gallon plants, but also have 15g, 5g and 1 gallon for sale.  These latter sizes are easy to mail order.  This is a full sun species and cold hardy to about fifteen degrees.  It's been grown in Northern California, the San Joaquin Valley, colder parts of Texas and yes, even in desert areas of Arizona.  Plant one now so, as you age, there's something good about the years flying by.

 
Jubaea chilensis Jubaea chilensis
Jubaea chilensis Jubaea chilensis Jubaea chilensis
Jubaea chilensis Jubaea chilensis
from the yard of a long time customer
Jubaea chilensis
Mission Bay Park, San Diego

 

LIVISTONA MARIAE
TALL AUSTRALIA FAN WITH A THIN TRUNK
We just got in several of this palms species that you seldom see for sale.  So, I thought I'd show you a few photos and talk about this species from northern and western Australia.  It gets to a height of about ninety feet and has a trunk only one foot in diameter.  Trunks retain leaf bases for a while, but eventually drop off leaving a ringed, gray colored trunk.  Leaves are about six feet wide with very long petioles that have a red-brown color.  Interestingly enough, young plant of this species typically have red to red brown leaves.  This color fades with age and maturity to green or gray green with some glaucous wax underneath. 

Livistona mariae is closely related to Livistona rigida, a shorter Australian species.  L. mariae wants full sun, room to grow and is cold tolerant to the low 20's F., perhaps a bit lower.  Shown here is an example of the nice sized 15g we just got in.  I tried to show some close ups of the petiole to show the red tint.  We also have smaller sizes for sale.  BTW, if you are married and your wife is named "Marie", you probably ought to get one of these.
Livistona mariae Livistona mariae
Livistona mariae Livistona mariae Livistona mariae
Livistona mariae Livistona mariae Livistona mariae

 

BUTIA CAPITATA BLUE 5 GALLON SIZE
TEN DAY SPECIAL DISCOUNT
This blue variety of Butia capitata has proved to be quite popular and we've had a lot of mail orders requesting these.  So, in keeping with my recent desire to offer some special deals, I'm discounting this size.  I also have 15g and 25g for sale, but it's these mail order 5 gallon plants that are on special.  They ship quite nicely.  Remember, to maintain this nice blue color, you need to plant them in full, hot sun.  Along the coast the blue gets muddy over time with the fog and humidity.

REGULAR PRICE $65, SPECIAL DISCOUNT PRICE $45 OR THREE FOR $124.99

I'm running out of these, so don't dally.
Butia capitata blue 5g Butia capitata blue 5g
Butia capitata blue 5g    

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

TUESDAY, JANUARY 8, 2013

 

ENCEPHALARTOS MUNCHII
RARE, SMALL-MEDIUM SIZED CYCAD FROM MOZAMBIQUE
This has always been a species of cycad that I have particularly liked because of the interesting soapy green to blue color of the leaves.  It is native to central Mozambique where a single famly of plants grows on Zembe Mountain.  The trunk of this species gets to about a meter height with a crown width of approximately six feet with leaf length of approximately four feet.  Young leaves are often blue and plant leaf color varies from green to blue.  It can be distinguished from a similar species, Encephalartos manikensis, by the fact that the leaflets are more toothed, leaves are more keeled, and leaves are more erect.  It is a sun loving area in most areas but can take part day sun.  Although not as cold tolerant as South African species, it does take temperatures into the mid to low 20's F.  Shown here are multiple nursery plants and some more mature garden specimens.
Encephalartos munchii Encephalartos munchii
Encephalartos munchii Encephalartos munchii Encephalartos munchii
Encephalartos munchii Encephalartos munchii Encephalartos munchii
Encephalartos munchii munchii habitat
donated photo, habitat in Mozambique
Encephalartos munchii
 

ENCEPHALARTOS "BANDULA"
A SPECIES OR VARIETY FROM MOZAMBIQUE
North of South African in Mozambique and adjacent countries, you will find multiple cycads of green or blue-green color that are often referred to as the "Mankinensis Complex".  This group includes not only Encephalartos manikensis, but other plants which have either become their own species or are still just part of the "family".  This includes such species as E. chimanimaniensis, munchii, concinnus and multiple others.  There is yet a lot of field work to be done on these species to determine which will eventually obtain species status.  Until then, they just remain as part of the "complex".   

Such is the case with Encephalartos "bandula".  When I started in cycads about 30 years ago, collectors talked like it was a species for sure.  But, when taxonomists looked more closely, they said "wait a minute, we're not sure".  This plant gets a caudex of about one to two meters with leaves four to five feet long.  Leaflets are spiney and cones are reportedly green.  Leaf color is green with hints of blue.  Shown here is a citrus pot plant and various garden specimens.  It is a sun appreciative species with cold tolerance about like E. munchii, into the mid to low 20's F. 
Encephalartos bandula Encephalartos bandula
Encephalartos bandula Encephalartos bandula Encephalartos bandula
Encephalartos bandula Encephalartos bandula  

 

BISMARCKIA NOBILIS
TEN DAY SPECIAL, NEW BATCH OF 15G PLANTS
Many of you are familiar with this single trunk, blue fan palm from Madagascar.  It is fairly cold hardy, taking temperatures into the low 20's F.  Leaf color is brilliantly blue and this species demands sun.  Mature height in cultivation is unknown, but should be forty feet or more.  Shown here is a special batch of 15g plants which we got in.  They are about four feet tall.  They have seen quite a bit of cold weather into the mid-twenties F.  This has given them that :"purple" color to the leaves.  over time leaves will be the classic blue.
 
REGULAR PRICE, $175, SPECIAL PRICE $80

You must mention this Blog to obtain this special price.  We can ship these plants anywhere within the U.S.  Limited supplies available.
Bismarckia 15g special Bismarckia 15g special
Bismarckia 15g special Bismarckia photo by TB
photo by T.B.
Bismarckia

 

 

HOWEA FORSTERIANA
COMMENTS ON VARIOUS SIZES AVAILABLE AND SELECTING THE BEST SIZE FOR YOU
Customers are often confused by pot sizes and their capabilities of planting.  So, I thought I'd comment about various sizes of the popular species, Howea forsteriana, and ease or difficulties in transporting and actually planting the various sizes you could buy.  The planting expenses incurred can really escalate the cost of a project.  Very large plants are expensive to transport and place in the ground.  I have chosen the Kentia Palm because it is very slow growing.  With a fast growing species like Caryota or Archontophoenix, it is difficult to justify putting in a massive plant.  A well grown and cared for 15g plant will be the size of a 36 inch box in several years.  So, getting "super big" with such species is money wasted.  But, with a very slow growing palm like the kentia palm, Howea forsteriana, it might be money well spent because the consumer may have to wait a decade or more to get good size on the plants he puts in the ground.

I'll start with the 5g size and move up from there.  I'll show pictures of nursery stock.  This first batch of photos to the right and below shows you Kentias planted in various locations in Southern CA.

Howea forsteriana Howea forsteriana
Howea forsteriana Howea forsteriana Howea forsteriana
5 gallon sized plant
This is a great beginning size for many people.  The plants typically weight about 35 pounds and can be easily carried and planted.  Our 5g plants, either singles or multiples, are usually five to eight feet tall.  One would need to dig a hole that is about 16 inches wide and 14 inches deep with typically amending of soil if needed.  Almost anyone can transport this size in an average car and easily plant it themselves.  It takes us about four to five years to produce plants as shown here in the 5g size.
Howea forsteriana Howea forsteriana
Howea forsteriana Howea forsteriana  
15 gallon sized plant
This is probably the most popular size chosen by customers doing landscape.  Our 15g plants are typically 8 to 10 feet tall and pretty chunky.  Remember, a sun grown plant will be more compact and fat at the base compared to shade grown plants.  The caliper at the base is a good way to judge not only the health of the plant, but also its age.  In a shady greenhouse, one can stretch out leaves to ten feet and say "look how tall they are".  But, this is meaningless as the plant will shrink after putting it into the ground.  So, look at basilar caliper.  The base shown here is excellent caliper.

15g plant typically weight about 80 pounds.  With the leaves tied up, they may be over ten feet long during transport.  So, an SUV or pickup may be needed for transport.  Planting holes should be about 20 inches wide and at least 18 inches deep.  A strong individual can plant a 15g by himself, or he might need assistance from one other person.  Our 15g plants are typically seven to eight years old or more. 
Howea forsteriana Howea forsteriana
Howea forsteriana    
24 inch boxed Howea forsteriana
When you get a boxed plant, you will need assistance in transporting and planting.  Weight of this size is typically 250 pounds or more.  A pickup or perhaps a large SUV is need for transport.  You'll need assistance with offloading this size plant.  It requires a hole 30 inches wide, all sides and at least 26  to 28 inches deep.  This gives room for soil amendments underneath and at the rootball's edges.  Two to three men are needed to plant such a box.  For most homeowners, this is the largest box size you want to get unless you have a contractor with heavy equipment doing the lifting and planting.

Our 24 inch Kentia Palms are typically ten to fourteen feet tall.  Singles tend to grow faster than multiples.  The main difference between this size and a 15g is the caliper of the trunks, trunk formation and overall size of the crown.  Age of these plants is about ten years.  Sometimes we'll utilize a 25g pot instead of a 24 inch box and can get comparable sized plants in these plastic containers. 

Howea forsteriana Howea forsteriana
Howea forsteriana Howea forsteriana Howea forsteriana
30 inch box size Howea forsteriana
This size is next to impossible to load into a pickup without a lift gate.  These plants can weight 500 to 600 pounds.  Most landscapers use a tractor or Bobcat to transport these at the job site.  If you are planting this by yourself, don't even consider this size plant unless you have good health insurance.  Many contractors who don't use heavy equipment stay away from this size because of employee injuries. 

Plants shown here are of exceptional caliper and about 14 feet tall.  Delivery is available for this sized plant.  But, you have to get them from the street side to your planting location.  Age on these plants is typically twelve years or more.
Howea forsteriana Howea forsteriana
Howea forsteriana Howea forsteriana Howea forsteriana
36 inch box (or larger) or dug Kentia Palms
Plants like these shown here are typically field grown for ten to twenty years and then dug and either put into large boxes or wrapped with burlap and transported.  These plants weigh more than a ton and a crane is typicallly required for reaching out with the plant and setting it in the planting hole.   A flatbed large truck in needed to move them to a job site.  You can see that, with these requirements, it might cost well over a thousand dollars just to bring such a plant to your job site and put it in the ground.  When you buy large trees like this, you are typically charged by the footage of trunk height, counting all trunks on multiples.  Most growers consider the height to be from the ground to where the new leaf emerges.  But, be careful with these measurements.  Some consider "height" to be up to the point where the most recent leaf curves.  You can see that this tacks on additional profit to the grower. 

Plants like these shown are for people who "just can't wait".  They want instant garden.  Many palm enthusiast would argue, however, that a smaller plant in the ground, over time, will be a healthier plant than a tall, craned in specimen.  I don't myself do this crane work but work with associates who can get you Kentia Palms with twenty feet of trunk or more. 
Howea forsteriana Howea forsteriana dug
Howea forsteriana
SUMMARY:  There is a whole assortment of sizes available to enthusiasts who want to purchase and add Kentia Palms to their garden.  5g and 15g plants are quite easy to plant and the typical enthusiast or gardener can do it.  Larger plants weigh more and often require professionals to put in the ground.  Large trunked out specimen may require a crane and tend to be much more expensive, not only for the plant but for putting them into the planting area.  We usually remind people that time is on their side.  Be patient and remember that a moderately sized Howea will get to be quite large over time.  And, it is fun to watch them grow.     

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

SUNDAY, JANUARY 6, 2013

 

VOANIOALA GIRARDII
THE FOREST COCONUT FROM MADAGASCAR
CRITICALLY ENDANGERED SPECIES
This species is probably among the top ten species of sought-after, nearly extinct, hard-to-find, and collectible species of palms in the world. It is native to the Masoala Peninsula in Madagascar at an elevation of approximately 1000 feet.  It is estimated there are less than ten trees left in the wild and it is critically endangered.  This is the result of habitat destruction by locals clearing land for farming.  Seeds are massive.  When available, about ten to fifteen years ago, seeds cost $20 each and a grower felt lucky to get one at that price.  You can see that the seeds are quite massive in photo #4 below.  They sort of resemble a small coconut.

This is a very large tree when mature, up to sixty feet.  But, it has proven to be extremely slow growing.  I know of no plants in Southern California that are over four feet tall.  This species likes sun and seems to tolerate a freeze.  I'd estimate there are only a handfull of these plants still available for sale in the U.S.  Thus, they are extremely expensive.  Shown here are several plants from the nursery.  If you seek this species, contact me immediately as I might be able to offer one to you.  I anticipate in a few months there will be not one plant for sale anywhere.  Our hope is that domestic plants will produce seeds, but this may take fifty years. 

There are only a few photographs available on the Net of this species at a mature size.  One picture below is compliments of my friend, John Dransfield, of Kew Gardens.  He personally told me this species got its name because of the huge seed and that mature specimens resemble the Coconut Palm.  .    
voanioala gerardii voanioala gerardii
voanioala gerardii voanioala gerardii Voanioala gerardii by John Dransfield, Arkive Website
by John Dransfield, Arkive Website
Voanioala gerardii at IUCN Website
photo at IUCN Website, endangered species
   

 

DIOON SPINULOSUM
TEN DAY SPECIAL ON 1 GALLON PLANTS
This is a medium sized cycad that prefers filtered light in most areas and can get up to twenty feet of height in a few hundred years.  It is a New World species and has leaves about four to five feet long with very fine spines on the leaflets.  Shown here is a one gallon plant which we have on special.  These plants have a two inch caudex and are quite nice.  They tolerated temperatures into the mid to low 20's F.  and can be grown as a houseplant.

BLOG SPECIAL, REGULAR $45, NOW $30
OR, THREE FOR $79


These are easy to ship, weather permitting.  We can hold purchases and ship when it's warmer.  Larger plants are shown here so you know what these juveniles will look like over time. You must mention this Blog special when ordering to get these prices.
Dioon spinulosum 1
Dioon spinulosum 1g
Dioon spinulosum Dioon spinulosum 1g  
     

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

TRACHYCARPUS TAKIL
THE KUMAON PALM
MOST COLD HARDY OF THE WINDMILLS?

This species comes from a very high mountainous area of northern India.  It grows at elevations above 7000 feet and sees bitterly cold winters.  Because of its native habitat, it has been touted and hoped by many to be the most cold hardy of the species of this genus.  It certainly can tolerate temperatures below 15 degrees F., but its lowest tolerance is still being determined.  In appearance, it is similar toTrachycarpus fortunei.   On mature trees and compared to the common Windmill Palm, however, it is taller with a thicker trunk, has a bigger crown of leaves with more actual leaves in the crown and larger individual leaves.  The leaves are also more stiff than the fortunei.  The trunk tends to lose its fibers more readily, giving it a cleaner appearing trunk.  A field note for distinguishing this species is that the hastula (a flap of tissue at the junction of the leaf stem with the palmate leaf) is twisted and askew.

Trachycarpus fortunei are not this way.  Growers also comment on how the trunk of containerized plants is a bit more tidy on the takil with prominent hairs near the point of emerging new leaves.

Shown here are some nice 15g plants of T,. takil that we recently got in.  Cold hardiness ten degrees F.  Full sun most areas.

 

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

 

SATURDAY, JANUARY 5, 2013

 

PHILODENDRON "RED CONGO"
TEN DAY SPECIAL FOR READERS OF THIS BLOG!
For many years we've been growing this red colored Philodendron species that likes filtered light and is a great companion plant.  It may climb a little, but is more of a rosette type of plant and doesn't run.  It has nice red color on the stems and leaves.  It tolerates temperatures into the upper twenties F. 

6 inch plants, regular $20,  $15 each or three for $34.99
8 inch plants, regular $35, $25 each or three for $59.99


We can get three plants easily into a box for shipping.  To get this special, just mention this blog posting.  Limited supplies available.
Philodendron red congo Philodendron red congo
6 inch pot
Philodendron red congo
6 inch pot
Philodendron red congo
8 inch pot
Philodendron red congo
8 inch pot
Philodendron red congo
8 inch pot
Philodendron red congo Philodendron red congo
older plant

 

HELICONIA SCHIEDIANA
TEN DAY SPECIAL ON ALL SIZES!

All of our Heliconia are grown from rhizomes from existing and flowering plants in Southern California.  This results in large, very strong growing plants as shown here.  Heliconia schiediana can take sun or part sun, gets to a height of sever to eight feet, and flowers freely in the summer.  It is very cold hardy.  Even if a hard freeze knocks down the leaves, plants usually come back vigorously in the spring.  Flowers are red/yellow or orange/yellow.  We have two varieties available.  Sizes include 5g, 15g and maybe a few 7g plants.

We also have several other species available.

ALL HELICONIA 20% OFF FOR TEN DAYS, applies to any species of Heliconia we have!

This special applies to any other Heliconia that we have in stock.  I think there are some latispatha, ligulata, and possibly a few others.  Just mention this blog posting when purchasing to get the discount.  Limited numbers available.

Heliconia schiediana Heliconia schiediana
Heliconia schiediana Heliconia schiediana Heliconia schiediana
Heliconia schiediana TS at RPS
photo by TS at RPS
   

 

ENCEPHALARTOS HORRIDUS
TEN DAY SPECIAL ON BAND SIZE!
This is the most popular cycad that I sell.  It is a blue species from South Africa and cold tolerant to the low 20's F.  It prefers full sun except in desert locations.  Shown here are 2 year old seedlings in band containers as well as a mature plant.  These seedlings have about three leaves. 

BAND SIZE, REGULAR $55, $44 EACH OR TWO FOR $79.

This special is for readers of this blog.  Just mention the special at time of purchase.  Sale good while supplies last.
Encephalartos horridus band Encephalartos horridus
Encephalartos horridus Encephalartos horridus  

 

SABAL MINOR
BAND SIZE PLANT
TEN DAY SPECIAL!

This dwarf palm native to the southern states of the U.S. is sought after because of its small size and extreme cold hardiness.  It can take temperatures into the mid-teens F. and rarely gets over six feet tall.  It is a full sun species.  Shown here is our band size (this special) of this species.

BAND SIZE REGULAR $30, SALE PRICE FOR 10 DAYS $15

OR, 4 PLANTS THIS SIZE FOR $49!

OR, ONE FREE WITH ANY OTHER PURCHASE at regular prices!

Just mention this blog special to get this great deal.  This and all sales above apply to mail orders or nursery visits.
Sabal minor Sabal minor
Sabal minor    

 

PHILODENDRON, PRINCE OF ORANGE
TEN DAY SPECIAL!
This extremely colorful Philodendron is one of the few companion plants that has an orange color.  It is a shade loving species and has a little bit of cold hardiness. But, it should not be exposed to frost or a freeze.  It likes filtered light.  These plants are full and gorgeous, in 8 inch containers. .

REGULAR PRICE $35, SPECIAL $24.99

OR THREE FOR $69!


Just mention this blog special to get this price.  These can be mail ordered, weather permitting.  We'll be out of these beauties soon.
Philodendron prince of orange Philodendron prince of orange
Philodendron prince of orange    

 

FRIDAY, JANUARY 4, 2013

 

KENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS
A GREAT CROWN SHAFTED PALM FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

I've discussed this great New Caledonian species before because it is such a good species for those of us in Southern California.  It comes from high elevation in its native habitat, is a good growing palm and can tolerate full sun easily along the coastal strip.  Its cold hardiness is down to about 23 degrees, better than the King Palm or Kentia Palm.  It has an average trunk diameter of eight to ten inches and a mature height of usually about thirty feet.  It can also be grown in part day sun or strong filtered light. 

Shown here is a nice 25g plant along with other sizes.  You'll notice that the leaf color in the sun is blue-green in a way.  It is certainly not a lime green color.  Also, some new leaves may emerge with a hint of red color.  Growth rate is good.  We have a reasonable assortment of all sizes although our larger plants are selling out quickly.
kENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS kENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS
kENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS kENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS kENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS
kENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS kENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS kENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS
kENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS kENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS kENTIOPSIS OLIVIFORMIS
Kentiopsis oliviformis Kentiopsis oliviformis by Kyle Wicomb PACSOA
by Kyle Wicomb PACSOA
Kentiopsis oliviformis

 

BONZAI ROCK FICUS
A PECULIAR, "ONE OF A KIND" PLANT
Shown here is a peculiar, thirty year old plant that I got from a collector.  It is a Ficus species.  I cannot give you the exact species because I am not sure.  I bought it in as a "Rock Ficus", but "without the rock".  Some collectors like to bonzai Ficus on top of small rocks and let the roots grow over the rock.  The fellow I got it from said his mother grew this plant for thirty years and he was willing to sell it.  The roots form four odd looking "legs".  It's quite a novelty piece.  Obviously, I only have one of these.  But, for those of you who like "Plant Art", this might be for you.  This plant is about 18 inches tall and in a 10 inch pot. The interesting thing about this plant is not only its small size after so many years, but the strange roots that look different from every angle.  As long as you don't plant it into a big pot or put it in the ground, I suspect it'll look like this in another decade.  It will need full sun in most areas and I can ship it easily if you like it.
Bonzai rock Ficus Bonzai rock Ficus
Bonzai rock Ficus Bonzai rock Ficus Bonzai rock Ficus
Bonzai rock Ficus Bonzai rock Ficus Bonzai rock Ficus

 

ARCHONTOPHOENIX PURPUREA
THE PURPLE CROWN SHAFT KING PALM WITH COMMENTS ABOUT THE COLOR
This species of King Palm is from the Mount Lewis region in Queensland, Australia.  It comes from high elevation.  Because of the latter fact, it was hoped that this desirable palm would be the most cold hardy of the King Palm group.  Remember, there are about six types of King Palms.   Well, this did not prove to be the case and it is, in fact, not as cold hardy as several other species.  But, it does sport a sometimes nice, purple like color to the crown shaft.  You must be aware that this is quite variable.  Sometimes it's a cool purple color, other times it's sort of a boring color of purple.  But, it is not the same as the normal Archontophoenix cunninghamiana.

Shown here is a nursery grown Archontophoenix purpurea that is beginning to show the purple color.  Seedlings and small plants never show the color.  I advise customers to not expect color until the palm has a few feet of trunk.  And, I cannot predict with confidence which individual plant will show the most color.  It's sort of a gamble. On the Net if a photo looks unreal, the color has probably been altered. 

Hallmarks of Archontophoenix purpurea that you might look for on nursery plants include:
1.  Single trunk, crown shafted, showing hints of color in the crown shaft (pictures 3 and 4)
2.  Underside of the leaves prominently silver
3.  Noticeable yellow color to leaf stem and spear (fifth picture below)
4.  Ramenta (dark hairs laying longitudinally along the under side of the leaflets) on the back side of the leaflets (last photo, hard to see because these hairs are quite small).  Only this species and the common King Palm have ramenta.  This is a way to distinguish this species from other Archontophoenix with silver on the back of the leaves.

I could go on and on about this species, but this is enough for today.  It takes full sun along the coast and is cold tolerant to perhaps 26 to 27 degrees F., whereas the regular King Palm goes down to 25 degrees. 
Archontophoenix purpurea Archontophoenix purpurea
Archontophoenix purpurea Archontophoenix purpurea Archontopheonix purpurea
Archontopheonix purpurea Archontopheonix purpurea Ramenta

 

SABAL MINOR
A SOMETIMES TRUNKLESS FAN PALM
I would like to revisit this species and make a few simple points.  Above I say "sometimes" a trunkless palm.  This is because it has been  found that, on occasion, this species can form trunks up to ten feet. But, in my experience they have little to no trunk over 90% of the time.  Rather, they seem to "crawl" on either the ground or in a pot.  If you look at the fourth picture below, you'll see the large foot next to the trunk and that this plant has moved to the edge of the pot.  It is crawling sideways, not making vertical trunk.

This species has small, deeply dived leaves.  The leaflets are rather narrow.  The dead ringer to identifying this species is seeing a small fan palm with vertical blossoms, often with small black seeds, this is not over your head.  Typical heights are four to six feet when mature.  The sixth picture shows a newly emerging flower spike.  No other Sabal species forms a flower on such a small plant.   

Cold hardiness is excellent.  I 've received reports of this species tolerating temperatures near ten degrees F.  Flowering can occur within a few years of planting a five gallon plant.  They prefer sun but can tolerate partial sun.  We have an assortment of sizes available from 15g down to seedlings.  If you want a small plant that you can see over and doesn't obstruct a view, this might be the perfect species for you.  Also, for those in super cold areas, this might be the perfect plant to try.  It would be simple to cold protect it on those coldest winter nights.
Sabal minor Sabal minor
Sabal minor Sabal minor Sabal minor
Sabal minor Sabal minor Sabal minor
Sabal minor Sabal minor Sabal minor

 

PHILODENDRON SPECIES
ASSORTMENT OF DIFFERENT SPECIES
We have an excellent relationship with many botanical gardens and conservatories in the country.  One really fun thing that we do is trade plant material.  With this, I always try to obtain interesting Philodendron.  Here I am showing you a few of the different leaf forms.  I have dozen of different types of these.  Most are climbers and will go up the trunks of other trees.  These plants are really fun to grow and are a great companion plant.  Almost all want filtered light and have cold hardiness into the freeze area.
Philodendron species Philodendron species
Philodendron species Philodendron species Philodendron species
Philodendron species Philodendron species Philodendron species

 

 

BONUS FAMILY PICTURES. THURSDAY, JANUARY 3, 2013

 

DAUGHTER AND A FEW GRANDCHILDREN
I don't know if Blog etiquette allows for showing family photos from the holidays.  But, I'm going to do it anyway.  I have three grandkids that visited me at the nursery last Saturday.  My grandson, Morgan, has been by a few times and wants a summer job this year.  Cady, my granddaughter, doesn't know what to make of it all.  The cycads are "sharp".  My daughter, Virginia, tries to keep them all happy, including the 18 month old that was sleeping.  I thought I'd share their visit.  The last photo, sort of a "ninja" picture, made Morgan the most proud.  Maybe he could guard the plants??
MORGAN AND CYCAD Morgan hiding
Cady and Cycad Cady sitting Cady and others
Virginia and Morgan Virginia and palms Morgan the Ninja

 

THURSDAY, JANUARY 3, 2013

 

HEDYSCEPE CANTERBURYANA
CROWN SHAFTED PALM FROM LORD HOWE ISLAND
Most people are familiar with Howea forsteriana, the Kentia Palm, from Lord Howe Island.  However, many are unaware that there are three other species native to this island in the Pacific Ocean off New Zealand.  These include Howea belmoreana, Hedyscepe canterburyana and Lepidorrhachis mooreana.  In their native habitat there, near sea level you find the Howea forsteriana.  Further up in elevation there are the belmoreana.  At 1000 to 2500 feet you'll see Hedyscepe.  And, at the top of the island's mountains, you find a few Lepidorrhachis. 

Hedyscepe is a montypic genus.  This means that there is only one species in this genus.  It is a crown shafted palm of medium size.  Most would include it in their top twenty most beautiful palms in the world.  Height is typically about twenty to twenty-five feet mature, trunk diameter eight inches, perhaps thicker.  The crown shaft is about two feet long.  If in filtered light, the crown shaft is silver blue and the trunk is the same with prominent rings.  The crown is somewhat umbrella shaped with curved leaves pointing downward.  Seeds are large and brilliantly red.

Shown here is a 25g plant, about ten years old in a container.  This species is not known for it's speed of growth.  Also shown are mature plants with some shots from my garden to shown trunk and crown color.  Note that the last photo demonstrates a mature tree in San Clemente, CA where it is thriving in full sun.  Along the coast, this species is good in full sun or strong filtered light.  Cold hardiness is about 24 degrees.  We try to always have this species available in one size or another.     
Hedyscepe canterburyana Hedyscepe canterburyana
Hedyscepe canterburyana Hedyscepe canterburyana Hedyscepe canterburyana
Hedyscepe canterburyana Hedyscepe canterburyana Hedyscepe canterburyana

 

GREAT NEW PALM REFERENCE BOOK
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CULTIVATED PALMS
For those of you who may be seeking out a good palm book that is easy to read and very educational, I highly recommend this publication. 

In 2003, Paul Craft and Robert Lee Riffle published their first edition of this book.  It was felt by most at that time to be the best palm publication around.  But, as time went by, more palm species were discovered and Paul Craft wanted to improve on his first book.  Robert Lee Riffle unfortunately passed away, but Paul teamed up with noted botanist and author, Scott Zona, formerly of Fairchild Tropical Gardens and a few months ago published the second edition of this fine book.  It deals with about 900 species of palms and has about 1000 photographs.  It is particularly good for those of you trying to make sense of the many Dypsis species.

I have been a friend of all three authors mentioned above, but have had a long term comradery with Paul Craft and his wife Patty.  Thirty-five years ago, Paul and I were the only growers in the United States that had nurseries specializing in palms.  So, we became close friends and have communicated over these many years.  I can tell you that his work on this book is superb.

And, he's offering a special price to you of $49.95 (normally $59.95 retail price) for a signed copy by the authors!  And, shipping within the U.S. is included with this price.  It's a real bargain for such a fine book.  If interested, just click here to order this great palm book.  You'll not be disappointed.

Of note, I am just promoting this book because of its merits and have no fiscal relationship with this publication.       

Encyclopedia of Cultivate Palms Paul and Patty Craft

 

LICUALA SPINOSA
A SUCKERING TROPICAL FAN PALM FOR FILTERED LIGHT
This is a medium sized, suckering fan palm from an assortment of localities in Asia including Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.  It can get to a height of fifteen to twenty feet in habitat and can carry many stems.  Stems are armed with fine spines and leaves are divided into about fifteen segments, each wedge shaped when mature.  Leaves are typically two to three feet wide.  This is a filtered light species in most areas and is cold hardy to about a freeze. It is one of the more cold tolerant species of Licuala.  Shown here is a five gallon plant and some mature specimens.  
Licuala spinosa Licuala spinosa
Licuala spinosa

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2, 2013

ZAMIA FAIRCHILDEANA
COSTA RICAN ZAMIA NAMED AFTER DAVID FAIRCHILD
This exotic New World cycad was named after the well known U.S. botanist and plant explorer, David Fairchild, who died in 1954 and had the famous botanical garden in Miami named after him: Fairchild Tropical Gardens.  There is hardly a serious cycad enthusiast around who doesn't know of this beautiful garden in Coral Gables, FL. 

I was first introduced to this gorgeous Zamia when I traveled in the Corcovado Reserve, Osa Peninsula, in south-western Costa Rica, just north of Panama.  There I saw mature specimens towering at ten feet, well over my head, with trunks that snaked up into the canopy.  Trunk diameters were about four to six inches, just small enough to grab onto while hiking.  One plant had been hacked through the mid trunk by a machete.  It hinged down to the ground, hanging onto the mother trunk by a thread of tissue.  It had  re-rooted, and put on another ten feet of trunk with a crown of leaves like nothing had happened at all.  This demonstrates how remarkably tough cycads are.

Loran Whitelock in his book on cycads reports that trunk size are "one meter or more".  I have personally seen plants with over four meters of trunk and the photo below by Michal Calonje demonstrates this as well.  Leaves are four to six feet, leaflets are paired and up to twelve inches long.  Typically one would see this species natively in filtered light, under the canopy.  In domestic applications, the same would apply.  In South Florida, this is an easy species to grow.  It is possible to grow it in the best localities in Southern California where no freeze is seen.  Shown here is a juvenile plant in a citrus pot.  Several mature trees are shown as well.


Zamia fairchildeana Zamia fairchildeana
Zamia fairchildeana Zamia fairchildeana Zamia fairchildeana
Zamia fairchildeana Zamia fairchildeana Zamia fairchildeana Michael Calonje Montgomery/PACSOA
by Michael Calonje, Montgonery Botanical Garden,
care of PACSOA

 

ENCEPHALARTOS LONGIFOLIUS BLUE
SORT OF LOOKS LIKE E. LEHMANNII
One could mistake the blue Encephalartos here for  E. lehmannii.  The leaflets are narrow, come to a  point, and have a strong blue color.  But, all of the plants shown here are the blue form of Encephalartos longifolius.  Below I discussed what I called the "Basic Blue" species (yesterday's post).  One might also add this one to the group, but there are some important differences.  The "Basic Blues" below are smaller mature plants, slower growing, have shorter leaves and a smaller mature caudex, and tend to have the gold collar described below.  Encephalartos longifolius is a more rapid grower, has longer leaves, is sometimes green in form, other times blue, has a trunk that can get to 10 to 15 feet, and rarely has pronounced gold collars.  And, cone appearance on this species is also different (taxonomist's way of distinguishing the species). 

The main way I distinguish juvenile E. longifolius from E. lehmannii is by looking at the leaflets.  E longifolius leaflets are wider in the mid to proximal leaflet and then taper more in their distal half, down to a point.  Lehmannii leaflets are thinner and the width is more consistent along the length of the leaflet.  Sometimes it's a bit tough to tell them apart, but if you compare the leaflets here with the lehmannii below, you'll pick up on it.   


Encephalartos longifolius is native to high elevations in the the region of the Eastern Cape in South Africa.  The dark, olive green form may in fact be more rare than the blue form.  Leaves on nice specimens curve prominently at their ends.  Stems can get quite thick.  I've had plants where the leaves were over six to seven feet long.  Sometimes leaflets will stack upon themselves.  There are also leaflet forms that form a blunt tip or have a peculiar margin offset at their ends.  Cold tolerance is down to the low 20's F., and this species likes full sun along the coast.

Encephalartos longifolius blue Encephalartos longifolius blue
Encephalartos longifolius blue Encephalartos longifolius blue Encephalartos longifolius blue
Encephalartos longifolius blue Encephalartos longifolius blue Encephalartos longifolius blue

 

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

 

ACTINOKENTIA DIVARICATA
THE MINIATURE FLAME THROWER PALM
This thin trunked, medium sized palm comes from New Caledonia where it lives in habitat below overhead tree canopy.  It is very slow growing.  It has a trunk diameter, at maturity, of about three inches.  It has a cream colored crown shaft and a sparse crown of five to six leaves.  It is often seen "leaning" for light among competing plants.  For a nursery, producing a nice 5g plant takes about five years.  For this reason, few nurseries grow this species.  Planted in the garden, growth rate picks up a bit but is still slow.  Newly emerging leaves are often red in color.  If you are in a drier climate, this species would definitely take filtered light.  Since the trunk is small and the canopy is medium sized at most, it is a good species to "sneak into that small, filtered light area".  Cold tolerance is into the low twenties, F.  I've known this species to grow in the San Francisco Bay area.  We have a very limited supply of Actinokentia.  Of note, this is a monotypic genus with only one species in the genus.  Shown here are 5g plants, pictures from habitat and a few domestic photos. Note the long slender crown shaft and how plants don't carry very many leaves. We've been selling this species for over 20 years and typically have one or two for sale.  But, supplies may run out.  We do have some seedlings that come from parents with variegated trunks.
Actinokentia divaricata Actinokentia divaricata
Actinokentia divaricata Actinokentia divaricata Actinokentia divaricata
Actinokentia divaricata Actinokentia divaricata Actinokentia divaricata
Actinokentia divaricata Actinokentia divaricata Actinokentia divaricata

 

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

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

 

TUESDAY, JANUARY 1, 2013

 

ASSORTED BLUE ENCEPHALARTOS
THE "BASIC BLUES"
There is no question that the most popular cycads in the world are blue cycads.  And, of these, the most sought after plants are blue Encephalartos.  Of this group, the four most sought after species that collectors and enthusiast try to obtain are:
1.  Encephalartos horridus
2.  Encephalartos trispinosus
3.  Encephalartos lehmannii
4.  Encephalartos princeps

These four species all have comparable blue color in sun.  All are small to medium sized plants.  All are slow growing.  But, there are some differences between them.  To help you understand these, here are some important points:
1.  E. horridus and trsispinosus are much spinier than the other two, with prominent spines on the margins of the leaflets.
2.  E. horridus has a "flip" on one or more of the leaflet spines, making its leaflets more "three dimensional" and less flat than E. trispinosus.
3.  E. trispinosus has a variable number of spines from no spines to as many as four.  But, the classic 'tri" in the species name refers to three spines at the margins edge and tip.  The tip spine does count as a spine.  But, note that this is quite variable with trispinosus and there are even green forms of this species.  .
4.  E. lehmanii and princeps are basically without spines on the leaflets, or a minimal number of them.  Their apical tip could be considered a "spine", but the leaf margins typically are smooth and without barbs. Either species can have keeled leaves. 
5.  E. lehmannii leaflets are typically all in one plane and these leaflets are aligned in the same plane as the rachis, and tend to point toward the sky or 90 degrees from the angle of the leaf.
6.  E. princeps is subtlety different than lehmannii and has a rotation of some or at least the terminal portion of the leaflets where they are rotated to face into the crown, not toward the sky.  Look carefully and you will see this.
7.  All four species tend to have a yellow, orange or gold colored collar at the base of the petiole, adjacent to the caudex.  Look at the caudex close ups here and you'll see this.
8.  In the seedling stage, sometimes it is difficult to distinguish these species from leaves and leaflets.

This is a quick tour looking at some easily shippable plants of various sizes.  All are for sale.  We try to ship plants in their container, soil and all.  This prevents shipping losses and the almost invariable one year set back on the plants that you see when you bare root the cycads.  We can do this because we are a certified nursery and are able to legally ship to all states and U.S. territories.

Please be aware that there are lots of variations in all four of these basic blue Encephalartos.  If you line up twenty E. horridus from various seed sources, they'll most likely look like twenty similar but different plants.
Encephalartos horridus
Encephalartos horridu, note multi-planed barbs


Encephalartos horridus
Encephalartos horridus
Encephalartos trispinosus
Encephalartos trispinosus


Encephalartos trispinosus
Encephalartos trispinosus

E. lehmannii
Encephalartos lehmanii
E. lehmannii
Encephalartos lehmanii
Encephalartos lehmannii
Encephalartos princeps
E. princeps
Encephalartos princeps
E. princeps
Encephalartos princeps
Encephalartos princeps
Encephalartos princeps
E. princeps, note the gold "collars"
Encephalartos trispinosus
Encephalartos trispinosus
Encephalartos horridus
E.horridus


MORE GOLD OR ORANGE COLLARS ON BLUE ENCEPHALARTOS
To make sure that you get a good look at those "collars" mentioned above, I want to show some more photos as examples.  Although not specific to the basic blues, they are typically seen on the four species mentioned above.  Other species may show collars.  But, when you are looking at a blue Encephalartos and it has a collar, you should first start eliminating one of these species.  The color of the collars varies from orange to gold and may fade to tan over time.  It can even persist for a while after a leaf is cut (photo #3).  These collars can be raised or flat to the touch. They can extend into the caudex scale at the base of the leaf stems such that you see a triangular area of color that merges into the colored collar (5th photo).  They are most prominent on the more recent leaves and disappear over time. 
Encephalartos trispinosus E. trispinosus E. horridus flush
E. horridus    

 

ROYSTONEA PRINCEPS
THE SMALLER ROYAL PALM FROM JAMAICA
About four years ago I was lucky enough to make contact with a fellow that loves palms and often goes to Jamaica.  He told me he visited Roystonea princeps in habitat and asked if I wanted seeds.  That was a "no-brainer" for me and I replied "of course".  This relationship has let to a good supply of this desirable tall crown shafted Royal Palm.  Compared to Roystonea regia (discussed below), this is a shorter palm, maximum height to sixty feet (not one hundred like regia).  Also, the trunk is more narrow with a small amount of basilar bulging.  Finally, the leaflets are multi-ranked giving a plumose appearance with some leaflets hanging down in a dependent fashion.  The crown shaft is emerald green.  Growth rate is similar to other Royals and cold tolerance is in the mid-twenties F.  Shown here are 2g, 5g and a 15g plant.  Presently we have the two smaller sizes from this wild collected seeds.  The two habitat photos were taken by RL.  Note the rather narrow trunk for a Royal Palm and the fluffy leaves.
ROYSTONEA PRINCEPS 5G Roystonea princeps
Roystonea princeps Roystonea princeps Roystonea princeps by RL
Roystonea princeps by RL Roystonea princeps  

 

ROYSTONEA REGIA
THE CUBAN ROYAL PALM
The ever so popular Cuban Royal Palm is a species that, thirty years ago, was felt not possible to grow in Southern California.  Well, the last three decades have certainly proved that wrong.   There are literally hundreds of plants being grown successfully from Santa Barbara to San Diego.  In fact, I know of specimens (with some difficulty) being grown in the Bay Area of San Francisco and in Phoenix, Arizona.  Of all these pictures shown here, all were taken in the Southern California area except for the last row and the moonlight photo. 

This is a tall palm, growing to heights of nearly one hundred feet.  In Southern California anticipate a maximum trunk of fifty feet.  They don't grow as fast or as tall here as in more tropical areas.  This species has a long crown shaft and a swollen base that can exceed two feet in diameter.  The crown is spherical with some leaves hanging below the median mark of the crown.  Note, Roystonea oleracea (South American Royal Palm) leaves are typically not below the half way point of the crown.  It is a sun loving species.  Growth rate is fast.  They respond to heat and adequate water.  Cold tolerance is in the mid-twenties, no too different than a normal King Palm.  Our availability changes over time.  I am showing here an assortment of larger plants.  We also have smaller sizes including 5g and 15g.  Because this species is so sought-after, I am trying to show a lot of photos here.  We can even arrange specimens with three to five feet of woody trunk if you are so inclined.

By the way, I've written about Roystonea borinquena previously.  Check it out if you are interested.  Some feel it is the most cold hardy of all the Royals.
Roystonea regia Roystonea regia
Roystonea regia Roystonea regia Roystonea regia
Roystonea regia Roystonea regia Roystonea regia
Roystonea regia Roystonea regia Roystonea regia
Roystonea regia Roystonea regia Roystonea regia
Roystonea regia Roystonea regia Roystonea regia
Roystonea regia Roystonea regia Roystonea regia
  Roystonea regia  

 

ENCEPHALARTOS VILLOSUS
AN UPRIGHT CYCAD WITH GOLD CONES
 

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

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

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


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

 


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

 

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