Jungle Music Palms and Cycads Nursery

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

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FRIDAY, MAY 31, 2013

 

ENCEPHALARTOS SPECIES UNKNOWN
RARELY SEEN FALCATE LEAFLETS

Shown here today is an Encephalartos plant in a 15g pot. We just "discovered" this plant yesterday.  The caudex is six inches and it's holding one leaf.  This leaf is an estimated three feet long.  It had no label and was found among the thousands of cycads we have in inventory.  I am showing it because we really can't identify what it is. 

The definition of "falcate" is "Curved and tapering to a point; sickle-shaped".  In regards to cycads, this term is often used to describe leaflets than curve downward toward the ground.  If you look at the leaflets of this plant, this is exactly what they do.  There are very few cycads that do this.  Dioon tomasellii and Encephalartos inopinus are two examples of cycads with falcate leaflets.  This plant is certainly neither of these two.  One might suggest this plant is E. villosus.  It does have thin leaflets that are mildly armed. But, E. villosus leaflets are not falcate, but rather straight.  One might suggest E. aplantatus (see below) but once again this species is not known to have falcate leaflets.  I just looked through several photographic texts on Encephalartos and cannot find anything close to this.  My guess is that this will be a rather petite plant and not hold too many leaves.  Finally, one might ask if this could just be cultural or a hybrid.  This possibility always exists but I rather doubt it.  What parent Encephalartos species would give it the falcate shaped leaves?  And, we usually avoid hybrid plants and do not do hybridization ourselves.  This plant is for sale..  If you think you know what it is, email me please. 
(June 2, 2013: This plant sold the same day I posted it here and is no longer available)
Encephalartos sp. falcate 15g 6 inches Encephalartos sp. falcate 15g 6 inches
Encephalartos sp. falcate 15g 6 inches Encephalartos sp. falcate 15g 6 inches Encephalartos sp. falcate 15g 6 inches
Encephalartos sp. falcate 15g 6 inches Encephalartos sp. falcate 15g 6 inches  

 

ENCEPHALARTOS APLANATUS
COMPARE THIS NURSERY PLANT TO THE UNKNOWN SPECIES ABOVE

This is a rather rare Encephalartos from Swaziland in south Africa.  It is most closely related to E. villosus, but the leaflets of E. aplanatus are wider.  It has a subterranean caudex and is not known to form a vertical trunk. And, unlike villosus, it does not sucker.  Its natural habitat is distict and distant to THE habitat of villosus.  It holds between two and eight leaves which are about eight to a maximum ten feet long.

I am showing this plant so you can compare it to the unknown species above.  It would be the closest species that I can find to the mystery plant.  But, notice how the leaflets are not falcate and that the leaflets are more spiny on the lower margin.  This species prefers filtered light and can tolerate temperatues into the low 20's F. 
Encephalartos aplanatus Encephalartos aplanatus
Encephalartos aplanatus Encephalartos aplanatus Encephalartos aplanatus plantzafrica.com website
Encephalartos aplanatus plantzafrica.com website

 

(ENCEPHALARTOS NATALENSIS X WOODII) X ENCEPHALARTOS WOODII
THE RARE E. WOODII DOUBLE BACK-CROSS
 

Encephalartos woodii is one of the most rare cycads on the planet.  Only one original male plant is known to exist.  It is located in South Africa.  You can only obtain this plant by purchasing an extremely expensive offset from this parent plant or from an offset of the original plant that has now grown large and suckered on its own.  Because of this, pollen from E. woodii is used to pollinate female cones of other species.  E. natalensis is felt to be genetically the closest to E. woodii.  So, it is often chosen to be pollinated by pure pollen of E. woodii.  From this first cross you would get an F1 hybrid.  These are rare, but can be found.  The plant shown here is from seeds where an F1 hybrid female was again re-pollinated with E. woodii pollen.  This is considered a "backcross", where the pollen from one of the parents (not necessarily the same actual parent, but rather from the same species) is used to fertilize the female cone of one of the first, or F1 hybrids.  This gives an F2 hybrid.  The hybrid notation above has parenthesis around the seed producing female.  And, the second part of the name gives the pollen bearing species. 

This backcross is an attempt to produce offspring that are genetically closer to pure woodii.  Getting one of these plants is a very desirable thing and typically takes many years for the first crosses to mature, display their cones and be old enough to set seeds.  These are culled out to select the offspring that have the most prominent characteristics of pure woodii.  Third generation backcrosses are presently being done (by report) from such selected offspring.  Shown here is this rare F2 plant.  We only have this one.  It has a six inch caudex, is in a 15g pot and is throwing new leaves.  Hopefully people who have these will someday try to make F3 hybrids.  Sooner or later, perhaps we'll be back to more affordable seedlings of nearly the real thing!
(Note June 2, 2013: This plant sold the same day I posted it here and is no longer available)
(E. natalensis x woodii) x Woodii. 15gal. 6 inch w pup (E. natalensis x woodii) x Woodii. 15gal. 6 inch w pup
(E. natalensis x woodii) x Woodii. 15gal. 6 inch w pup (E. natalensis x woodii) x Woodii. 15gal. 6 inch w pup (E. natalensis x woodii) x Woodii. 15gal. 6 inch w pup
(E. natalensis x woodii) x Woodii. 15gal. 6 inch w pup (E. natalensis x woodii) x Woodii. 15gal. 6 inch w pup Encephalartos woodii
E. woodii, not a hybrid

 

RHAPIS MULTIFIDA
A SUPERIOR INTERIOR PALM

I have previously discussed this medium sized fan palm from China.  It is one of my favorites because it performs so well inside the home or office and also is quite easy to grow outside.  It gets to a height of about ten feet.  The stems are much more attractive than the common Lady Palm, Rhapis excelsa.  It also carries more leaflets per leaf than the Lady Palm and is overall a more attractive plant.  Side by side, the majority of our customers prefer the Rhapis multifida to the R. excelsa.

We import interior quality plants from Hawaii.  I have shown a 5g and 7g plant here.  If you look at the stems, you'll see that they are thin and not the typical shaggy appearance of the Lady Palm.  Do not confuse R. multifida with Rhapis humilus.  They are not the same despite what many nurserymen tell you.  True Rhapis humilus gets much taller with fatter canes.  R. multifida makes a better interorscape palm for most enthusiasts.  Cold hardiness is into the mid-twenties or lower, F.  Outdoors, this species prefers filtered light.   One must be careful not to give Rhapis too much fertilizer or leaf burn may occur.
 
rhapis multifida 5g rhapis multifida 5g
rhapis multifida 5g rhapis multifida 5g rhapis multifida 5g
rhapis multifida 5g rhapis multifida 7g rhapis multifida 7g

 

COPERNICIA BAILEYANA
THE BAILEY FAN PALM

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

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

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

We have limited numbers of these for sale.  This includes 5g plants as shown and a limited number of bands that are very nice.  If you would like to try one of these really special plants, let us know soon.
Copernicia baileyana 5g Copernicia baileyana 5g
Copernicia baileyana 5g Copernicia baileyana 5g
C. baileyana on right
Copernicia baileyana
Copernicia baileyana 5g
Juvenile plant in ground in Southern CA
Copernicia baileyana 5g
Close up of petioles younger plant
Copernicia baileyana 5g
Juvenile plants in habitat
Copernicia baileyana Copernicia baileyana 5g Copernicia baileyana  

 

BRENTWOOD TREE FERN
FORTY FEET TALL IN COASTAL SUN!
Only a Few More Available

If you appreciate tree ferns, I hope you read this post.  I am going to show you a variety of tree fern that is, without question, the best plant available to enthusiasts in Southern California.  It is known as the Brentwood Tree Fern.  Gardeners and even fern experts will tell you that this is Cyathea cooperi.  But, in my experience, it is not.  I say this for several reasons: Brentwoods take more sun, are faster growing, have more robust trunks and are more resistant to disease than coooperi.  Their crowns are bigger and they perform much better.  Unfortunately, many nurserymen grow C. cooperi and will tell you you're getting a "Brentwood", as if the latter is a common name for cooperi.  In my opinion, this is NOT true.  I have grown both.

I first heard of the Brentwood Tree Fern about thirty years ago.  At that time the information available was that this plant came from an estate in Brentwood, a city in Northern California.  It was touted as having great cold tolerance and being an excellent grower.  I got my first plants from Walter Anderson's Nursery in San Diego.  Back then, employees at this nursery were truly plant experts and would bring in some of their own personal plants to sell.  One employee had experience growing this tree fern from spores and occasionally would bring a few in to offer to the public.  I purchased and put in about eight one gallon plants.  Their growth rate from then was truly amazing.  Presently, all survived and some of them are over forty feet tall and still growing aggressively.  Trunks are thick and strong.  They take my full sun eight miles inland from the ocean.  Spores drop from my trees and, on occasion, I get volunteers spontaneously growing in my garden.  I dig these up and offer them for sale.  So, these are second generation plants from my trees.  Who knows for sure how many generations they are to California? 

People have speculated and admitted that Brentwoods are probably some type of coooperi hybrid.  This may be true.  But, when I grow regular Cyathea cooperi at the nursery, I am always disappointed.  They are not the "real thing".  Cooperi are slower growing but more importantly don't take full sun and are underperformers compared to the Brentwoods.  Many years ago there were only a few old enthusiasts that grew Brentwoods from spores.  I know of no one still living that does it.  Most nurserymen just sell cooperi and call them "Brentwoods".  Check on the Net, that's all you see.  People use the terms synonymously as if they were both the same.  But, now you know the they are not the same.  I have a handful of Brentwoods for sale from spores from my trees.  The mature trees shown here are from my garden.  Crowns are twenty plus feet across and trunks are about 12 inches in diameter.  The 7g and 15g plants shown here will be over eight feet tall in two years.    

Brentwood Tree Fern

Brentwood Tree Fern
Brentwood Tree Fern Brentwood Tree Fern Brentwood Tree Fern
Brentwood Tree Fern Brentwood Tree Fern Brentwood Tree Fern
Brentwood Tree Fern Brentwood Tree Fern
Brentwood to right, Howea f. to left, height 35 feet
Brentwood Tree Fern
Brentwood behind Caryota trunk, full sun

 

THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2013 

SYAGRUS PICROPHYLLA
MEDIUM SIZED SPECIES FROM BRAZIL
PERHAPS THE REAL "BABY QUEEN PALM"

Common names for palms are always a bit confusing as often they are created only for marketing purposes.  Such is the case of "The Baby Queen Palm", a named coined to market Chamaedorea plumosa.  Anyone can tell you that, in no way whatsoever, does this Chamaeodrea resemble a Queen Palm.  It is totally different.  Yet, the main distributor of this species felt that common folks would remember this common name and had no chance of remembering the species name.

Enter Syagrus picrophylla, a single trunk pinnate palm from Brazil.  It has many of the characteristics of Syagrus Romanzoffiana (Queen Palm) but only gets to about 25 feet, perhaps 30 feet maximum.  So, it's half the height of the common Queen.  And, the trunk is much thinner, averaging about six inches in diameter.  It is a full sun species along the coast and has a cold hardiness in the mid-twenties F.  The leaves are fluffy (plumose) like the Queen Palm and there is no formal crown shft.  But, as you can see in the photos below, an additional nice trait of this species are the very dark lower leaf bases almost giving the apparency of a black crown shaft.  When you examine this species you'd nominate it as a much better candidate for the "Baby Queen Palm".

Shown here are several pictures of an 8 to 9 foot 25 g plant at the nursery and a 15g plant.  We have limited numbers of these available.  I think it's a winner for good areas of Southern California.    

Syagrus picrophylla Syagrus picrophylla
Syagrus picrophylla Syagrus picrophylla Syagrus picrophylla
different plant, this one 15g size
Syagrus picrophylla Syagrus picrophylla Syagrus picrophylla

 

RHOPALOSTYLIS "ARKADA"
I CAN'T SAY MUCH ABOUT THIS PALM

About eight years ago I received a variety of seeds of various types of Rhopalostylis.  These included Chatham Island (oceana), Little Barrier Island, Cheesemanii, etc.  Included with these seeds were some that were labeled "Rhopalostylis arkada".  Now that these latter seeds have produced plants, I took some photos and figured I'd research more about what these plants are.  Low and behold, I can find nothing about them. I have long ago lost any descriptions that came with the seeds.  It is certainly not described as a species that I'm aware of and not mentioned as a variety.  So, what can I say other than observing what I see of these plants?

It is definitely not a typical Rhopalostylis sapida as the leaves are softer and more arched.  And, it doesn't exactly resemble the classic baueri.  My suspicion these plants came from a locality and that spot was called "arkada".  So, for what it's worth, here are two pictures of this plant.  I'd anticipate it would be a part day sun palm with cold tolerance into the mid, perhaps slower 20's F.  Of note, when seeds come in like this there is often something different about them such that the seedsman gave them a different name.  I apologize that I cannot say more.
Rhopalostylis "arkada" Rhopalostylis "arkada"

 

HEDYSCEPE CANTERBURYANA
MEDIUM SIZED PALM FROM LORD HOWE ISLAND
SILVER CROWN SHAFT AND TRUNK


I've certainly discussed this species before because it's on the top twenty list of the best palm trees for Southern California.  It comes from modest elevation up one of the two mountains on Lord Howe Island, above both species of Howea.  It peaks out at a height of twenty to perhaps twenty-five feet.  The trunk is thin and prominently ringed.  if no sun light directly hits the trunk, it will maintain a blue-silver color and is super attractive.  But, this species enjoys sun along the coast and is much faster growing if it gets some sun.  In sun, the trunk will turn tan color.  Shade will stall Hedyscepes.

Shown here is a nice 25g plant and next to it a small 5g plant.  In pots, this species is slow growing.  The 25g plant is eight to ten years old.  They are faster in the ground.  Mature trunk diameter is about six inches.  Fruits are large and prominent and are a deep red in color when mature.  Cold tolerance is about 25 degrees and sun is appreciated (at least half sun) along the coast.  We have limited numbers of this species for sale.  Of note, this species is being grown in some of the better growing regions in the SF Bay area.
Hedyscepe canterburyana Hedyscepe canterburyana
Hedyscepe canterburyana Hedyscepe canterburyana Hedyscepe canterburyana
This is a 5g plant
Hedyscepe canterburyana Hedyscepe canterburyana by DC
Over time, these seeds will turn bright red
Hedyscepe canterburyana
#ith no sun hitting the trunk, it stays silver colored

 

VEITCHIA ARECINA
A PALM THAT'S FROM VANUATU AND GOOD FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

There are about eight species of Veitchia in the world.  All are from the islands of the South Pacific and are single trunk.  All are pinnate and some get quite tall.  Many feel that species of Veitchia are a good alternative to the King Palm.  They tend to have dark hairs and coloration in the upper stem at the crown and in the proximal petioles.  (see photo of 5g plant).  On most species, cold tolerance is a little bit less than the King Palm, but many can be grown here.  I think they are, in general, potentially more attractive than Archontophoenis in a way and certainly get taller.

Veitchia arecina specifically is from Vanuatu.  Vanuatu is an island that is east of Australia and northeast of New Caledonia.  Remember, a lot of great palms for us come from New Caledonia.  Trunk height of Veitchia arecina can get well over fifty feet and its diameter is about a foot.  So, it's a thin but tall crown shafted palm.  It's base is swollen, the trunk is ringed and the crown shaft is silver green and long.  Along the coast here it wants full sun.  Inland areas may need protection.  Rate of growth is medium.  Shown here is a 15g and 5g plant, along with some garden specimens. We try to always have an assortment of Veitchia in stock. 
Veitchia arecina Veitchia arecina
Veitchia arecina Veitchia arecina Veitchia arecina
Veitchia arecina    

 

LIVISTONA NITIDA
AKA LIVISTONA
CARNARVON GORGE

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

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

 

SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2013

 

CYCAS CLIVICOLA
A CYCAD THAT LIVES ABOVE THE OCEAN ON CLIFFS IN THAILAND

When my son Jesse and I visited southern Thailand in 1998, we were luck enough to get to Phuket, a very southern city of recent tsunami fame and tragedy.  This city has gorgeous hotels right on the beach.  If you explore nearby ocean areas there are huge rocky islands jutting up out of the water.  These islands have near vertical limestone cliff faces that go straight up.  It's almost unimaginable how beautiful they are with the blue ocean below.  On these rocky cliff faces there is a species of cycad that grows from the cliff, curving outwards and then up.  It is Cycas clivicola.  The Latin derivation for the name means "loves cliffs". 

We were fortunate enough to collect some seeds of this species on that trip.  I figured ripe fruits would come tumbling down into the water.  But, if there was a rocky beach below above sea level, perhaps some would get hung up in the rocks.  And, that was exactly what we found on searching.  There were well preserved and protected seeds waiting for us to collect.  Most of these germinated.  Since that time a limited number of seeds occasionally become available commercially.

This is a medium sized cycad that can get up to 20 feet of trunk height with a full crown of green leaves.  We have found that it seems to survive in our area.  Shown here is a citrus pot plant.  As I don't have any habitat photos of this species (didn't have camera at the time), I am going to share with you some amazing photographs from PACSOA taken by Tan Chin Tong.  I thank him for these wonderful pictures.  Also shown is a photo of the islands around Phuket to give you an idea of the habitat.  Seeing them in the wild was quite an experience.  I have limited numbers of this species for sale.  I'd give them part day or full sun along the coast.  Cold tolerance is at least below a freeze.
cycas clivicola cycas clivicola
Phuket Islands by Phuket Travel Guide Website
by Phuket Travel  Guide Website
Cycas cliivicola by Tan Chin Tong PACSOA
 by Tan Chin Tong PACSOA
Cycas cliivicola by Tan Chin Tong PACSOA
by Tan Chin Tong PACSOA
Cycas cliivicola by Tan Chin Tong PACSOA
by Tan Chin Tong PACSOA
Cycas cliivicola by Tan Chin Tong PACSOA
by Tan Chin Tong PACSOA
limestone-cliffs by Trip Advisor Website
by Trip Advisor Website

 

CYPHOPHOENIX NUCELE
EXOTIC CROWN SHAFTED PALM FROM LIFOU ISLAND, NEW CALEDONIA
TEN DAY SPECIAL 15G SIZE

We only have a few of this rare and extoic palm from Lifou Isalnd.  This species is critically endangered with only about a hundred species in the wild.  It has a thin trunk and gets to a height of over forty feet in the wild.  The crown shaft can be white in color and the leaves are green.  Leaves tend to be upright and straight with no arching. 

REGULAR PRICE 15G SIZE $200
TEN DAY SPECIAL $175

You must mention this Blog Only price when ordering.
Cyphophoenix nucele Cyphophoenix nucele
   

 

DIOON CAPUTOI
SUPER RARE BLUE-GREEN MEXICAN CYCAD

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

 

ENCEPHALARTOS FRIDERIC-GUILIELMI
DROUGHT & FROST TOLERANT - THIN LEAFLET CYCAD

This is a medium sized cycad from the Eastern Cape region of the Republic of South Africa.  It is most notable as being a very thin leaflet cycad.  It is similar to Encephalartos cycadifolius but has wider leaflets and a larger trunk.  E.F.G.'s (as they are often called) can get trunks over ten feet tall.  Leaf length is three to five feet, Leaflets are under a centimeter wide and gray green in color.  I've seen plants where the leaves are almost blue. 

This species tolerates temperatures into the low twenties F. and wants full sun.  I have noticed that a crown of leaves might deteriorate prior to the flush of a new set of leaves.  So, if you see leaves starting to look bad, perhaps a new set is coming.  Shown here are several 15g plants.  Note how one has a very fury caudex.  When I see this I figure the plant is real happy and healthy.  EFG's are known to have a tan-brown wool in the crown and sometimes upper trunk area.  We have an assortment of this species for sale. 

Encephalartos friderici-guilielmi Encephalartos friderici-guilielmi
Encephalartos friderici-guilielmi Encephalartos friderici-guilielmi Encephalartos friderici-guilielmi
Encephalartos friderici-guilielmi Encephalartos friderici-guilielmi Encephalartos friderici-guilielmi
Encephalartos friderici-guilielmi
by Colin Wilson, PACSOA
Encephalartos friderici-guilielmi Encephalartos friderici-guilielmi

 

ENCEPHALARTOS MACKENZEI
AKA ENCEPHALARTOS SP. "SUDAN"
RARE SPECIES NEARLY UNKNOWN IN GARDENS AND CULTIVATION

About ten years ago, Leonard Newton from Kenyatta University in Kenya described a new Encephalartos species found in south-east Sudan.  As many of you are aware of the humanitarian strife and tragedy from that part of the world, you can imagine how describing a species from there would be difficult and how such a species would be entirely unknown by the rest of the world.  I would imagine that field work on this species was not easy.

Newton describes this as a freely suckering species with trunks up to ten feet in height but with surrounding offsetting trunks, many of which lay decumbent on the ground.  Leaves are five to six feet long with leaflets one to one and a half inches wide.  The color of the leaves is green.  The only other species from this region is Encephalartos septentrionalis.  In comparison, E. Mackenzei has larger trunks, a greater number of trunks, and broader leaflets to 35 mm wide.  A Ugandan species, Encephalartos macrostrobilus is usually single trunk and has more narrow leaflets.

Click here for a link to Newton's article:

As you might guess, this is an unbelievably rare cycad.  A few plants are around in this country.  Shown here are some.  I cannot show you any photos of mature plants as there are none in books that I know of and none on the Internet. However, if you click on the link above, in his article Newton does have some photos of this species.
 
Encephalartos mackenzei Sudan Encephalartos mackenzei Sudan
Encephalartos mackenzei Sudan Encephalartos mackenzie sudan

 

FRIDAY, MAY 24, 2013

 

ANTHURIUM WITH LARGE RED FLOWERS

As I have mentioned before, spring is the time when we get in lots of colorful companion plants.  Yesterday we got in some really nice sized Anthurium with large red blossoms.  Next week it'll probably be another color.  These plants will continue blossoming for a few months and like filtered light in the garden.  They make great patio plants.  These plants are about two feet tall, each holding about eight blossoms.  Cold tolerance is down to about a freeze.  They can be used inside the house if you give them the right condtions.
Anthurium red Anthurium red

 

ENCEPHALARTOS ARENARIUS
NEW LEAVES ON A NURSERY SPECIMEN

Every cycad enthusiast can appreciate the thrill that accompanies the throw of new leaves on a good sized cycad.  At a young stage, cycads throw one leaf at a time.  With a few years age you'll get two or four new leaves.  But, on a mature specimen, you can get anywhere from ten to thirty new leaves, all at once.  Shown here today is a new flush of leaves on a rather large Encephalartos arenarius.  These started to emerge about a month before these pictures.  This plant has a 14 inch thick caudex with some vertical height.  Remember, this species in the wild never gets trunks over three feet.  So, this is a mature (conining sized) plant.  I'd estimate it's thrown abut fifteen or more new leaves.  In the ground (planted) I would anticipate a throw of two dozen leaves, more or less.  When these leaves first emerged they were powdery blue-green.  They have been out for about three to four weeks but are not totally hard yet.  I've shown close ups of the leaflets so you can appreciate their unique shape, characteristic of this species.

Leaves of E. arenarius are green to blue in color and about three to four feet long.  Leaflets are spiny and lobed.  They tolerate full sun along the coast and filtered light far inland.  Cold hardiness is good, down to the low 20's F.  This is also a good growing species.  It is native to the Natal area of South Africa and is a must for ever collector.  We have an assortment of sizes available including large specimens as shown here.  The last photo is of a different mature E. arenarius at the nursery.
Encephalartos arenarius new throw of leaves Encephalartos arenarius new throw of leaves
Encephalartos arenarius new throw of leaves Encephalartos arenarius new throw of leaves Encephalartos arenarius new throw of leaves
Encephalartos arenarius new throw of leaves Encephalartos arenarius new throw of leaves Encephalartos arenarius
different nursery plant, E. arenarius

 

LIVISTONA DECIPIENS
THE RIBBON PALM
TEN DAY SPECIAL 15G SIZE


This single trunk fan palm is from Australia and has leaflets that hang down toward the ground; thus the common name.  It is rather thin trunked for its height of about forty feet.  It is remarkably cold hardy, tolerating temperatures into the upper teens F. and loves full, hot sun.  It is also a quick growing species.  We have a limited number of nice, chunky 15g on sale.

REGULAR PRICE 15G, $175
TEN DAY SPECIAL THIS SIZE $150


You must mention this special Blog Only price when ordering.
Livistona decipiens 15g Livistona decipiens

 

DIOON SPINULOSUM
TEN DAY SPECIAL CHUNKY 1G PLANTS

I germinated the seeds that gave my present batch of one gallon D. spinulosum about four, perhaps five years ago.  These plants now are very nice with about 2 inch thick caudexes.  The leaves are 18 inches or more.  This species is a great patio plant or can be planted easily into the ground in filtered light.  I've found it looks better if not in full sun.  It is native to Mexico and, in the wild, there are specimens with trunks over thirty feet tall!  Cold toleance is into the low 20's F.  The second photo is of an old nursery plant, showing the thin trunk.

REGULAR PRICE THESE 1G PLANTS $45
TEN DAY SPECIAL THIS SIZE $30!

You must mention this Blog Only Special when purchasing.  These plants are so easy to ship right to your door.
Dioon spinulosum Dioon spinulosum

 

PHILODENDRON SPECIES
A FEW RARELY SEEN SPECIES

I am not a Phlodendron expert, but will make a few comments about a great companion plant for you palm enthusiasts.  Philodendron are native to the Americas and Western Hemisphere.  Some can be found in Australia and Pacific Islands, but are felt to not be indigenous to these areas.  There are between 500 and 1000 species with many other non-described species in rainforests. 

Most Philodendrons can climb.  Such plants can start in the ground, find a nearby trunk, and climb up that trunk.  Or, they can begin their lives epiphytically up in a tree and climb along a limb of that tree.  Some are totally terrestrial, but this is rare.   In the fourth row below there are photos showing the running stem of two plants with roots coming out and these roots attach to a tree.  Philoendron cannifolia is more of a rosette type plant and doesn't seem to have the tendency to be a climber.  But, it could live epiphytically up in the canopy.

The plants shown here came from a botanical garden in California.  We trade with such gardens from time to time and that's how I get these rare species.  Most are unnamed species from the wild.  On the latter, we have assigned fictitious names here just so you can communicate with us if needed.  In the bottom row, you see a picture of Philodendron climbing a trunk (background to right).  Just like the boy in the last photo, they slowly inch their way up the trunk. 

Some of these are striking with different leaf forms.  You won't see these for sale in almost any nursery.  One would plant them near the base of a trunk and they'll do the rest.  Figure they want filtered light.  All can take a freeze but absolute cold hardiness is unknown.  We have all of these for sale, although in limited numbers.
Philodendron elegans
Philodendron elegans
Philodendron elegans
Philodendron elegans
Philodendron species simple leaf
Philodendron species simple leaf
Philodendron species simple leaf
Philodendron sp. simple leaf
Philodendron species batwind from Brazil
Philodendron sp. "batwing" Brazil
Philodendron species batwind from Brazil
Philodendron sp. "batwing" Brazil
Philodendron species staghorn fern
Philodendron sp. "staghorn fern"
Philodendron species staghorn fern
Philodendron sp. "staghorn fern"
Philodendron, climber
A climbing Philodendron sp.
Philodendron, climber
Another climbing Philodendron
Philodendron cannifolia
Philodendron cannifolia, a non-climbing species
Philodendron climbing
Climbing Philodendron to right, background
Boy Climbing Palm
Boy climbing Areca catechu in Bali, Indonesia
 

 

LIVISTONA BENTHAMII

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

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

 

LYTOCARYUM WEDDELIANUM
AKA SYAGRUS WEDDELIANUM

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

 

THURSDAY, MAY 23, 2013

 

WHAT CYCADS LOOK LIKE OVER TIME
DO THEY TAKE FOREVER TO GET BIG?

I've had customers come to the nursery and tell me that they stay away from cycads because they've heard cycads are so slow growing that they figure they could never grow one that would get large.  This is actually not true.  In general, cycads are not what I'd consider a fast growing plant.  But, they are not slow.  Remember that some species of cycads don't get much over a meter tall.  So, even after many years growth, they won't be that big.  This gives the apparency of slow growth.  But, they might be "going no where fast".  Other species genetically are predetermined to have large, tall cuadexes and perhaps large crowns of leaves.  Such a species might appear to grow much faster.  And, of course, culture plays a role.  Plants in the ground grow much faster than plants in pots.  And, areas that see more daytime heat and less winter cold show faster growth rates. 

What I'd like to do this morning is show some cycads at various stages of growth.  It might show you what you can expect if you grow cycads.  I'll start with seedlings and work my way up from there.  Some of the older plants below could well be thousands of years old.  I'll name each species as we go.


CONTINUED BELOW
 
NEW CYCAD SEEDLING IN BAND CONTAINER
Shown here are photos of a few cycad seedlings grown from seeds.  The majority of cycad seeds germinate to produce just one small leaflet.  It can take three to twelve months for roots to develop and the next leaf to appear.  Most growers put there new seedlings in a band container.  It is 3 x 3 x 9 inches in size.  We like these containers because twenty-five of them fit into one nice tray for carrying.  And, because they are deeper than a one gallon pot. Germination of such seedlings can take anywhere from one to six months or longer.  And, remember that cycad seeds often have to be stored for up to six months before germination is possible.  This means that, after collecting seeds from a cone, it can take seven to twelve months to get your first leaf.
Encephalartos horridus band
Encephalartos horridus
Ceratozamia robusta band
Ceratozamia robusta
Encephalartos aplanatus band
Encephalartos aplanatus
Encephalartos ituriensis bands
Encephalartos ituriensis
Cycas panzhihuaensis band
Cycas panhihuaensis
BAND SIZED CYCADS AFTER THREE TO FOUR YEARS
Here I am showing seedlings that have been left in their band container and grown for three to four years.  Most seedlings seem to put out one new leaf a year for the first few years.  If you are lucky, you'll get two or more.  But, it does take time at this stage to get a full set of leaves.  Cycads don't throw full sets of leaves until they get to about the five gallon size.  Cycads must first establish a good root system.  These roots are critical to good growth.  The plant continues with this over it's life.  We've found the longest you can keep a cycad in a band container is about five years.  If you don't move it to a bigger pot, it will stall in its growth. 

From these photos you can see that, when you buy a 'band size" from a grower, it is critical to ask what size is the plant.  Many growers only sell one leaf seedlings in this size.  We tend to give the biggest band we have available, which is much larger as you can see.  Three to four year old seedlings may have leaves up to eighteen inches long.  Caudex size may increase from a quarter of an inch to 1.5 to 2.0 inches.

Encephalartos whitelockii
Encephalartos whitelockii
Encephalartos natalensis band
Encephalartos natalensis
Stangeria eriopus
Stangeria eriopus
Dioon holmgrenii band
Dioon holmgrenii
Ceratozamia palma sol
Ceratozamia "palma sol" 
CYCADS IN CITRUS POT OR 5 GALLON CONTAINERS, AVERAGE AGE 4 TO 8 YEARS
At our nursery we tend to move good sized band containers into either citrus pots or five gallon pots.  We do this because the roots in a band are too tall to fit into a one or two gallon pot.  It would not be unusual to leave the plant in this container for three to four years.  Such a plant can develop a caudex of up to six inches.  This is a very popular size as customers feel they are getting a good sized plant that could be used in the garden. But, you can see that such a plant could be as many as seven years old.  It may have attained more size had it been quickly moved into a larger pot, but cycads do fine in the five gallons for a few years.

Of note, it's about the five gallon stage where you begin to see multiple leaves emerging from the caudex at one time.  As the plant gets bigger, the number of leaves in one throw gets greater.
Encephalartos natalensis 5g
Encephalartos natalensis 
Encephalartos ferox
Encephalartos ferox 
Dioon merolae 5g
Dioon merolae 
Ceratozamia pacifica
Ceratozamia pacifica 10 yrs. 
Stangeria eriopus
Stangeria eriopus 
CYCADS IN 15 GALLON POTS: 7 TO 12 YEARS 
Fifteen gallon pots are great for cycads.  These pots are about 15 inches wide and 16 inches deep.  Most species do quite well in them and can stay in this size for five to ten years, growing every year.  Another nice thing is that a plant in these pots can still be easily moved around.  Average weight of these plants, soil and all, is about seventy-five pounds,  Over time you can develop a cuadex size up to possibly twelve inches in this pot.   15g cycads are the most popular size selected for upscale landscape projects.  From these photos, you can see why.  They are ready for the garden and very nice appearing.
Encephalartos natalensis 15g
Encephalartos natalensis
Encephalartos villosus 15g
Encephalartos villosus 
Encephalartos trispinosus 15g
Encephalartos trispinosus 11 years 
Dioon merolae 15g
Dioon merolae 6 to 7  years 
Ceratozamia mexicana 15g
Ceratozamia mexicana  
CYCADS IN 25 GALLON POTS OR 24 INCH BOXES
TEN TO TWENTY YEARS
The next step up from a 15g is to either a 20/25 gallon pot or a 24 inch box.  To get a plant big enough for one of these containers usually takes at least ten years or longer.  Remember, growth rates do depend on one's weather and plants in hotter areas grow faster.  Also, lack of sun can slow down plant growth.  In terms of weight, 25 gallon pots typically weigh about 150 to 200 pounds.  24 inch boxes are 200 pounds plus.  You can get a very large caudex in these pots, perhaps up to eighteen inches over time.  People have left cycads in these containers for several decades.  But, remember, growth in the ground is always faster than in a container.  So, if it's destined for the garden, get it into the ground asap.   
Encephalartos natalensis 25g
Encephalartos natalensis 
Encephalartos arenarius 5g
Encephalartos arenarius blue color 
Encephalartos altensteinii box
Encephalartos altensteinii 24 in box 
Ceratozamia roubusta box
Ceratozamia roubusta 24 in box 
Macrozamia johnsoni box
Macrozamia johnsoni
CYCADS IN THE GARDEN, NOT QUITE CONING SIZE YET
ESTIMATED TEN YEARS OLD OR MORE
REMEMBER: FASTER IN THE GROUND!
You can put any sized cycad into the ground in the garden, although sometimes it's a struggle for a new seedling.  Five gallon or fifteen gallon plants are great to put into the ground.  Once in the ground, their growth rate is markedly accelerated compared to being in a pot.  So, plants shown above in boxes may reach this size years earlier in the ground.  Also, plants in the ground tend to look better and more robust than in a container.  Plants shown here are nice sized plants, but still juvenile and not quite coning size.  It's hard to accurately estimate age on these, but I'd suspect ten to twenty years is fair.
Encephalartos piet reiiefii
Encephalartos piet retief 
Encephalartos longifolius
Encephalartos longifolius 
Macrozamia communis
Macrozamia communis 
Ceratozamia mexicana
Ceratozamia mexicana 
Cycas thouarsii
Cycas thoaursii  
MATURE LARGE CONING SIZED CYCADS IN THE GROUND
TWENTY YEARS OR MORE
When a cycad gets into the ground and is happy with its location, growth rates are excellent.  You'll be amazed at how the caudex enlarges after each new throw of leaves.  Culture is important.  Depending on the species, proper light must be provided.  And, nutrition and water also play an important role.  Plants shown here are probably twenty or more years old.  These are coning sized but domestic plants.  All would be considered specimen plants.  Of note, most blue Encephalartos don't get over three feet of trunk. So, blue Encephalartos tend to be slower growing.   
Encephalartos altensteinii
Encephalartos altensteinii 
Encephalartos natalensis
Encephalartos natalensis 
Encephalartos princeps
Encephalartos princeps 
Macrozamia moorei
Macrozamia moorei
Cycas currannii by BGL
Cycas curranii by BGL 
CYCADS OF ENORMOUS SIZE  IN HABITAT
AGE UNCERTAIN: CENTURIES, MILLENNIUMS???
There are cycads in habitat where we really don't know the ages.  It is estimated that some are well over a thousand years old.  I'll show a few photos here of such plants.  This type of plants are real treasures of our planet.  Some species date back to the time of dinosaurs.  All conservation attempts should be implemented to protect these native relics.
Encephalartos transvenosus mudjaji forest
Encephalartos transvenosus Mudjaji Forest  
Dioon rzedowskii JO
Dioon rzedowskii habitat by JO 
Lepidozamia peroffskyana
Lepidozamia peroffskyana 
Dioon merolae JO
Dioon merolae habitat byJO 
Dioon spinulosum
Dioon spinulosum, habitat 

 

TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013

 

Today some QUICK LOOKS: Nursery plants and mature specimens.  A few comments about each.

CARYOTA GIGAS
Large, single trunk monocarpic palm with long leaves up to fourteen feet, thick trunk and mature height 35 feet.  Likes sun in most areas and will burn at 22 degrees F.  Fast growing, a type of Fishtail Palm..
Catyota gigas Caryota gigas
     
CHAMBEYRONIA MACROCARPA
Flame Thrower Palm: Single trunk, prominent crown shaft, size up to thirty feet, newly emergent purple to red leaf, some trunks variegated and called "watermelon".  Coastal sun, inland filtered light, cold tolerance to low 20's F
cHAMABEYRONIA MACROCARPA Chambeyronia macrocarpa
DYPSIS LUTESCENS
The Areca Palm.  Suckering, crown shafted, thin trunks with yellow in stems and leaves.  Mature height in Southern California typically under twenty feet, taller in the tropics.  Medium sized palm good for blocking view of neighbors.  Coastal sun ok, or filtered light.  Cold tolerance in the mid-twenties F.
Dypsis lutescens Dypsis lutescens
DYPSIS LEPTOCHEILOS
Teddy Bear Palm:  Single trunk, crown shaft covered with brown-red fuzzy material, trunk thin and prominently ringed, mature height about 25 feet.  Along the coast takes full sun, part sun inland.  Cold tolerance mid-twenties F.
Dypsis leptocheilos Dypsis leptocheilos
PARAJUBAEA TORALLYI
South American Coconut:  Single trunk, can get up to forty feet, full head of leaves and medium sized trunk.  Fast growing, likes sun, cold tolerance down to about 20 degrees F.  Temperatures in the teens usually burn or kill this species.
Parajubaea torallyi Parajubaea torallyi by Gaston Tores
photo by Gaston Torres, PACSOA
CHAMAEDOREA COSTARICANA
One of the more desirable types of Bamboo Palm.  Suckering species, thin trunks with prominent light rings, four foot leaves, forms clump, mature height to sixteen feet.  Can be thinned as needed.  Filtered light species, cold tolerance to low 20's F.
Chamaedorea costaricana Chamaedorea costaricana
CHAMAEDOREA ERNESTI-AUGUSTI
A semi-dwarf, shade loving small palm with simple leaves.  Typical height is under six feet although in time can get taller.  Doesn't like direct sun.  Looks nice in small colonies of plants.  Cold tolerance low to mid-twenties F.
chamaedorea ernesti-augusti Chamaedorea ernesti-augusti
ROYSTONEA REGIA
Royal Palm or Cuban Royal Palm:  Single trunk, tall, swollen at base, up to eighty feet, plumose leaves, fast growing, loves sun and heat.  Cold tolerance 25 degrees F.
Roystonea regia Roystonea regia
DYPSIS DECARYI
Triangle Palm: Medium sized, triangular shaped crown shaft, trunk about a foot thick, mature height maximum twenty five feet domestically, likes full hot sun, cold tolerance 23 to 24 degrees F.  Can tolerate drought to some extent.
Dypsis decaryi Dypsis decaryi
BUTIA YATAY
Medium sized pinnate palm that has blue leaves and gets to about thirty feet of height.  Has curved leaves, arching toward the ground.  Loves heat and sun and is cold tolerant to the mid-teens F.
Butia yatay Butia yatay gaston tores PACSOA
by Gaston Tores, PACSOA

 

 

MONDAY, MAY 20, 2013

 

BURRETIOKENTIA KOGHIENSIS
A GREAT NEW CALEDONIAN PALM

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

Shown here are a few 15g and a 5g plant we have for sale.  although, at the nursery, we argue about the attributes of all the Burretiokentia, I think this species might be one of the easiest to grow.  I'd give it the same culture as hapala and keep up on the water.  Cold tolerance is about the same and it might be a little more sun tolerant than hapala.  It's another great palm species to try.  We have a good assortment of sizes available.
Burretiokentia koghiensis Burretiokentia koghiensis
Burretiokentia koghiensis Burretiokentia koghiensis Burretiokentia koghiensis
Burretiokentia koghiensis
5g size
Burretiokentia koghiensis Burretiokentia koghiensis

 

CYCAS NEOCALIDONICA
TRUE SPECIES OR FORM OF C. SEEMANII?
SPINE FREE PETIOLES!


When my son and I visited New Caledonia about thirteen years ago, the first plant I saw and was impressed with was a Cycas species.  There were several very large plants at the airport in Noumea.  I asked my friend who lived there what they were and he said "Cycas neocalidonica". He seemed quite proud that his country had its "own cycad".  I knew this species because I had grown it at the nursery.  One of the most notable characteristics was the near total lack of any spines or prickles on the leaf stems.

About five to ten years later I read that this was no longer considered a species.  It was then felt to be merely a
Cycas seemanii or perhaps a form of seemanii.  Cycas seemanii also have a scarcity of spines on the petioles.

Regardless of this blow to the pride of those from New Caledonia (not a cycad just native to their own island), we nurserymen still often call it "neocalidonica" and love this species.  It is quite beautiful and the clean and shiny, spine-free petioles are very friendly. It is a medium to large species and, in the wild, can get trunks over fifteen feet tall.  It's crown of leaves are green and shiny. 

So, I am showing you here photos of this "species" with particular emphasis to the petioles and lack of spines.  Pictures are from several plants.  For those who want a "user friendly" cycad, this might be for you.  I like to grow them in filtered light or AM sun.  Cold tolerance is into the mid-twenties F. or perhaps somewhat lower.

We have multiple sizes for sale including some goregous 15g plants as shown.  These tall 15g plants have over a foot of vertical trunk and are about ten years old from seed.
  What a great addition to almost any garden!   I'd recommend part day sun along the coast. Cold tolerance is down to the mid to low 20's F.
Cycas newcaledonica Cycas newcaledonica
Cycas newcaledonica Cycas newcaledonica Cycas newcaledonica
Cycas newcaledonica Cycas newcaledonica Cycas newcaledonica

 

DYPSIS PEMBANA
DON'T FORGET: BOTH SUCKERING AND SINGLE TRUNK FORMS

A great recent addition to the list of Dypsis palms includes Dypsis pembana.  But, there are a few different things about this species.  It is NOT from Madagascar, but rather from an island off the coast of Africa named Pemba Island.  Another interesting thing is that are both the classic single trunk form and a suckering form.  The first rare photos I saw of this species thirty years ago showed it as a single trunk palm.  Later Paul Craft, in his book on palms, described it as a suckering species.  Well, it appears there are both forms.  Shown here is a suckering plant as well as a palm that appears to have a future as a single trunk plant.

This species can attain heights of up to forty feet.  You'll note that the trunks are fatter and obviously taller than similar species like Dypsis onilahensis and baronii.  Trunks are light colored and crown shafts tend to be green-silver.  Prominent rings appear on the trunks.  Leaves are six feet long and keeled.  Along the coast this species can take full sun but I'd recommend less sun inland.  Cold hardiness is probably in the mid-twenties F.  We have a limited number of assorted plants for sale.  The main point I wanted to make today is that there are single trunk and suckering plants available and in native habitats.
Dypsis pembana suckering form Dypsis pembana suckering form
Dypsis pembana suckering form Dypsis pembana Dypsis pembana suckering form Al Bredeson PACSOA
suckering form by Al Bredeson, PACSOA

 

CERATOZAMIA LATIFOLIA
NEWLY EMERGING RED LEAVES

This is a small to medium sized Mexican cycad that gets trunks up to about twelve inches, has wide leaflets and is known for bronze or red emergent new leaves.  The derivation of the name "latifolia" actually comes from the Latin term for "broad", referring to the leaves.  Leaves are about four to five feet long, slightly arching and leaflets are one to a little under two inches wide.  Natural habitat for this species is in wet mountainous regions where moisture is plentiful on limestone cliffs.

Shown here is a juvenile plant with three newly emerging light red leaves.  These leaves will remain this color for several weeks and then convert to green.  The seventh picture below shows leaves that are about 50% in there conversion to green.  I have also shown several larger plants so you get a feel for the normal mature green foliage.  This is a species that does best with filtered light.  It has remarkable cold hardiness with one Florida grower saying it was unscathed at 15 degrees F.  It certainly can tolerate temperatures into the low 20's F.  It is an attractive species, easy to grow and a fine addition to any garden.

 
Ceratozamia latifolia red emerging leaves Ceratozamia latifolia red emerging leaves
Ceratozamia latifolia red emerging leaves Ceratozamia latifolia red emerging leaves Ceratozamia latifolia red emerging leaves
Ceratozamia latifolia red emerging leaves Ceratozamia latifolia red emerging leaves Ceratozamia latifolia
Ceratozamia latifolia  Ceratozamia latifolia   Ceratozamia latifolia leaves 

 


ENCEPHALARTOS LAURENTIANUS
LONGEST LEAVES OF ANY CYCAD
JUVENILE PLANT WITH NEW LEAVES

When you hear about this monstrous cycad, you will at the same time hear that this species has the longest leaves of any cycad in existence.  Trunks can be extremely tall as well, up to over thirty feet (often reclined), but it's the leaves that give it stardom.  They can be up to twenty-one feet long.  They emerge straight up and seem to just keep growing, getting taller and taller.  From my growing experience, I am quite amazed how a moderate sized caudex can produce leaves of such length.  It's like "they are too long for the caudex size".  The plant shown here has about an six to eight inch caudex, but these leaves will probably end up to be eight feet long!  Leaflets of this species are very long, somewhat cupped, and are prominently barbed, especially at the ends.  Once you recognize the leaflets, which have a peculiar look to them, you'll always recognize this species even when young.

This is a Central African cycad, native to northern Angola and southern Zaire.  Twenty years ago a collector had to beg and plead to obtain this species.  Fortunately, a few seeds have become available on a few occasions and one can actually buy a plant.  It does best if not grown in full sun.  Give it plenty of space as the long leaves lay down over time.  Cold tolerance is probably the upper twenties F.  The 15g sized plant here demonstrates the prominently hairy newly emerging leaves.  Also shown are several larger plants, the last photo showing the enormous length of the leaves.  (note: since I took these photos, these new leaves have full emerged and hardened off).
 
Encephalartos laurentianus newly emerging leaves  Encephalartos laurentianus newly emerging leaves 
Encephalartos laurentianus newly emerging leaves  Encephalartos laurentianus newly emerging leaves  Encephalartos laurentianus newly emerging leaves 
   
by Peter Heibloom, PACSOA  

 

CYCAS LOEI
PROBABLY THE SAME SPECIES AS CYCAS PETRAEA
 

About ten years ago growers were able to obtain seeds from Thailand which, at that time, were called "CycaS loei".  They were from the Loei Mountains in northern Thailand.  I too grew some of these.  As time has gone by, it appears that this species is probably Cycas petraea.  I am showing you a citrus pot plant of "Cycas loei" here and an older Cycas petraea from the nursery.  They are probably one and the same species.  Loran Whitelock, in his book on cycads, doesn't recognize it as a species and major cycad dedicated websites do the same.  I have mentioned this to clear up any confusion that enthusiasts may have.  In any case, both get trunks of both get to about six feet with four foot leaves and regular leaflets.  This species is quite cold hardy into the low 20's F. and prefers part day sun.
Cycas loei
"Cycas loei" 
Cycas loei 
Cycas loei 
Cycas petraea 
 
     

ENCEPHALARTOS CAFFER
A SMALL SOUTH AFRICAN SUN CYCAD

This dwarf cycad, from the Republic of South Africa and specifically the Eastern Cape region, likes sun, has short leaves, and never gets a caudex over a maximum of eight inches in diameter and a similar height.  It is green or gray-green in color, holds about a dozen leaves or less, and has short leaflets.  In my experience, the majority of plants have a more or less flat leaf in cross section. But, there are occasional plants that are more plumose or "fluffy" in the way they display their leaflets.  This species is similar to E. ngoyanus, but lacks spines on the leaflets.  It may be one of the most southern most of the genus Encephalartos.  Shown here are an assortment of nursery plants and a seedling.  Note on the garden plants how small they are.  It does require sun, so don't put one in a small shaded area.  In desert areas, give part day sun.  Plants tolerate temperatures down into the low 20's.  With protection during the winter (mulching caudex, wrapping leaves), perhaps you can grow this in even colder areas.  Note, since I took thes epictures we've had a run on this species and have only a few plants left. 
Encephalartos caffer Encephalartos caffer
Encephalartos caffer Encephalartos caffer Encephalartos caffer
Encephalartos caffer Encephalartos caffer Encephalartos caffer

 

COPERNICIA BAILEYANA
THE BAILEY FAN PALM
TEN DAY SPECIAL 5G PLANTS

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

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

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

We have limited numbers of these for sale.  This includes 5g plants as shown and a limited number of bands that are very nice.  If you would like to try one of these really special plants, let us know soon.

REGULAR PRICE 5G $75
TEN DAY SPECIAL $50
Copernicia baileyana 5g Copernicia baileyana 5g
Copernicia baileyana 5g Copernicia baileyana 5g
C. baileyana on right
Copernicia baileyana
Copernicia baileyana 5g
Juvenile plant in ground in Southern CA
Copernicia baileyana 5g
Close up of petioles younger plant
Copernicia baileyana 5g
Juvenile plants in habitat
Copernicia baileyana Copernicia baileyana 5g Copernicia baileyana  

 

 

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013
Busy Saturday, a few more Specials on plants I just got in yesterday.

 

BRAHEA CLARA
JUST IN!  FIRST TIME IN CIT POT SIZE
TEN DAY SPECIAL!


If you go down to the post on May 14, three down in this thread, you'll see the description of this blue fan palm that may have more tolerance for hot, humid weather.  Everyone loves Brahea armata but it has troubles in super hot and humid areas like South Florida and parts of the Gulf.  We just got in a small number of citrus pot Brahea clara as shown here. We do have 15g for sale (not on sale) but now we have this more affordable size available.  These would be easy to ship.

REGULAR PRICE CITRUS POT $65
TEN DAY SPECIAL $45


You must mention this Blog Only price when purchasing.
Brahea clara cit pot Brahea cleara
Brahea clara Brahea clara by TS at RPS
photo by TS or RPS
 

 

SABAL URESANA
GOOD SIZED BLUE FAN PALM
TEN DAY SPECIAL CIT POT SIZE


We also just got in citrus pot sized Sabal ursesana, a hard to find blue fan palm from northwestern Mexico where I've even heard reports of some populations native just inside the U.S. border.  Most of the domestic plants I've seen are under twenty-five feet but it can get up to sixty feet with an eighteen inch thick trunk in the wild.  Leaf color is blue in full sun.  It's a good grower with cold tolerance into the upper teens F.

REGULAR PRICE CIT POT $65
TEN DAY SPECIAL $45


You must mention this Blog Only price when purchasing.
Sabal ursesana Sabal ursesana

 

BRAHEA ACULEATA
XEROPHYTIC THIN TRUNK MEXICAN FAN PALM SPECIES
TEN DAY SPECIAL TREE POT SIZE


Like Sabal uresana above, this rare species is also from nothwestern Mexico in the state of Sonora.  It typically gets to a height of about twenty feet but can reach thirty feet in habitat.  It is unique in that it's a green species with a definite shade of blue in the leaves and particularly in the leaf stems.  There is minimal armor on the petioles.  The trunk is quite thin at eight inches and over time becomes smooth and tan colored.  It is known for tolerating drought and may be one of the most xerophytic palm species around.  We just got in these tree pot sized plants which we're offering on special.  They are about 18 inches tall.

REGULAR PRICE TREE POT SIZE $50
TEN DAY SPECIAL THIS SIZE $35


So, you're paying for a band size and getting a much older and bigger plant.  You must mention this special Blog Only price when purchasing.
Brahea aculeata cit pot Brahea aculeata

 

COLORFUL CROTON PLANTS
JUST IN / SPRING COLOR!

As most of you know, we love to offer colorful companion plants to go along with the palms and cycads.  Most of these plants are imported and availability changes almost weekly.  We just got in some very nice Croton.  These are bush like plants from Asia that are utilized because of their bright colors including red, orange, yellow, green and sometimes almost black.  These 8 inch potted plants are instant color to add to your garden or patio.  Although not known for their cold tolerance, they'll go down to about a freeze.  Here in CA, most grow them in part day sun or filtered light.  In the tropics they take full sun.

There are various leaf shapes and colors.  The plants we have right now are big and full and reasonably affordable.  They are about two feet tall and can be easily shipped right to your door.
croton croton
croton croton croton
croton croton Croton by Sheri at PombanoBeachGardening website
Croton by Sheri at PombanoBeachGardening website

 

FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2013

 

CHAMAEDOREA PLUMOSA
FLUFFY LEAF, SUN TOLERANT
TEN DAY SPECIAL BAND SIZE


This species is a thin trunked palm that gets to a height of about fifteen feet and takes full coastal sun quite easily.  It is the perfect plant for a thin planter area, especially right next to a walkway.  This is because it quickly gets overhead and out of the way.  It looks best when planted as several plants in the same location as a small colony.  This gives a fuller look over a single plant in the ground.  This is a fast growing species. We can take bands as shown here and get them to decent fifteen gallon plants in 2 to 3 years.  Cold tolerance appears to be at least the low 20's F.

REGULAR PRICE BAND SIZE $30
TEN DAY SPECIAL THIS SIZE $25 OR THREE FOR $60


You must mention this Blog only special when purchasing.  Limited supplies.
chamaedorea plumosa band C. plumosa by TS at RPS
by TS at RPS

 

ZAMIA PAUCIJUGA
RARE DWARF MEXICAN ZAMIA (CYCAD)
TEN DAY SPECIAL OLD 5G PLANTS

I acquired a batch of 5g plants of this species from a private collector.  They are quite old, over ten years or more since germination.  By report, seeds were authenticated by experts.  This is a small species, rarely over 3 feet in height.  It tolerates coastal sun or filtered light.  There are essentially no pictures of this species on the Internet.  You've probably never seen coning sized plants like this for sale.  The plants on special are coning and a few are suckering.  Caudex size is about 4 inches, mature. This is an ideal plant for someone who wants a small cycad near a pathway or in the foreground of the garden.  It is also a very nice potted patio plant.  Exact cold tolerance is unknown, but it's definitely into the twenties F.

REGULAR PRICE THESE 5G PLANTS $250
TEN DAY SPECIAL THIS SIZE $150

You must mention this Blog only special when purchasing.  I've only get about five to ten left.  This is a great price on such a rare cycad. 
Zamia paucijuga Zamia paucijuga
Zamia paucijuga Zamia paucijuga  

 

BRAHEA EDULIS
SHORTER, COLD HARDY FAN PALM
TEN DAY SPECIAL 5G SIZE


This is  single trunk fan palm from Guadalupe Island, Mexico.  It has a rather stout trunk and gets about ten feet of trunk in thirty years.  It is cold hardy well into the teens F. and loves full, hot sun.  It can be grown in desert areas. It is also a good oceanfront palm and tolerates salt airs.  (see photo of plants right by Mission Bay).  It is fairly slow growing.  Also, for some reason, it is difficult to find.  We are offering nice 5g plants on sale.

REGULAR PRICE 5G PLANTS $65
TEN DAY SPECIAL THIS SIZE $50


Blog only price.  Mention this special when ordering to get this price.
Brahea edulis Brahea edulis

 

ARENGA ENGLERI
THE DWARF SUGAR PALM
TEN DAY SPECIAL 5 GALLON SIZE

This suckering pinnate palm species from Asia is desirable for several reasons.  It is a semi-dwarf species, rarely over eight to ten feet tall.  It is also a great species to "block the neighbor" from looking over the fence (privacy creating species).  It is super cold hardy for a pinnate palm, going down into the teens F.  Finally, the blossoms are very fragrant.  We just got in some nice 5g plants and are passing on the savings to you. I've included an older stock photo showing you a near-mature plant at the nursery.  Note the height.  It will thicken with more canes over time, but not get much taller.

REGULAR PRICE 5G $65
TEN DAY SPECIAL $50


You must mention this Blog only price when ordering.
Arenga engleri 5g Arenga engleri

 

SABAL CAUSIARUM
TALL PLANT WITH THICK WHITE TRUNK
TEN DAY SPECIAL 5G SIZE


This New World fan palm is one of my favorites because of the massively thick trunk which is white or very light tan in color.  Trunks look like freeway bridge pillars.  It takes full sun and is cold hardy well into the teens.  It's very hard to locate this species.  It can get up to nearly fifty feet in height.  We have nice 5g on sale for ten days.  We also have larger if you wish, but not on sale.

REGULAR PRICE 5G $75
TEN DAY SPECIAL $50

You must mention this Blog only price to get this special..

 
Sabal causiarum Sabal causiarum

 

SATAKENTIA LIUKIUENSIS
COCONUT APPEARING, CROWN SHAFTED PALM
TEN DAY SPECIAL BAND SIZE


This exotic palm from Ryukyu Islands (Japan) is about as tropical as you can imagine for a palm that can be grown here in Southern California.  It's not an easy species to grow because it won't really take a freeze.  But, if you are in a freeze-free area, you might want to try it.  It's hard to find in nurseries.  It is King Palm is height but ten times prettier if grown well.  On Sale are healthy two year old plants in band containers. 

REGULAR PRICE BAND SIZE $35
TEN DAY SPECIAL $25


You must mention this Blog only price when purchasing.
Satakentia liukiuensis Satakentia liukiuensis

 

BUTIA CAPITATA BLUE
TEN DAY SPECIAL 5G SIZE

This desirable clone of Butia capitata is as blue as a Brahea armata.  It loves full sun, is super cold hardy down to about 15 degrees and is a good growing plant.   I'm offering the 5g size on special for ten days.  Below is an older 25g so you can see what your plant would look like in a few years.  Easy to mail order.  I have previously described these plants in length in old threads in this Blog.  .

REGULAR PRICE 5G $65
TEN DAY SPECIAL $50


You must mention this Blog only special when purchasing.
Butia capitata blue
5g size
Butia capitata blue
Butia capitata blue
25 gallon size
   
 

CYCAS DIANNANENSIS
AKA CYCAS PARVULUS

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

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

 

LIVISTONA SARIBUS
FULL CIRCULAR LEAVES, BLUE SEEDS & PROMINENT SPINES
TEN DAYS SPECIAL 5G SIZE


I've always been fascinated by this fan palm from Asia.  It's normal distribution extends from China down to Indonesia and the Philippines.  It can reach very tall heights up to 80 feet with a trunk about one foot in diameter.  But, the most salient things I remember about it are:

1.  Full 360 degree pattern to the leaf segments (last photo)
2.  Prominent barbs or spines that are green to black, sometimes curved like a surgeon's sewing needle and very large. (see below)
3.  Blue seeds (see below)

It is actually slow growing in our area and takes many decades to get a large tree over head. Cold hardiness is in the low 20's F.  It can take coastal sun or filtered light.

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


You must mention this Blog only special when ordering.
Livistona saribus Livistona saribus by John Volk PSST
by John Volk, PSST
Livistona saribus Livistona saribus Livistona saribus
Livistona saribus Livistona saribus Livistona saribus

 

THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2013

 

COLORFUL COMPANION PLANTS
AVAILABILITY CHANGES WEEKLY!

Whether for usage inside the home or outside as an additional to your garden plantings, everyone loves color.  And, so do we!  So, we try to continually offer different and colorful companion plants that make the garden fun.  Shown here is an assortment of what we have presently.  A lot of these things are cold hardy here and survive our winters outdoors.  Drop by and see what we have or give us a call for these easy to mail order plants. 
Anthurium pink
Lots of colorful Anthurium
Anthurium assorted
Anthurium black mask
Alocasias, an assortment of species
Croton
Colorful Crotons
croton
Anthurium red
Red flowering Anthurium
anthurium red Orchids
An assortment of colorful Phaleonopsis orchids
orchid orchid purple ti
Primitive purple flower Ti plant
ti
Colorful red, pink and black Ti
afterglow
"afterglow"
nerogelia
Colorful Nerogelia bromeliads

 

CERATOZAMIA KUESTERIANA
RED EMERGENT, NOW GREEN LEAVES

About a month ago I showed you the red-brown emergent leaves on a Ceratozamia kuesteriana (last photo here).  This Mexican cycad emerges this color.  It lasts for a few weeks and then the leaves turn green.  This can be seen with an assortment of Ceratozamia species.  As you can see from these photos taken 2 days ago, now the leaves are a bright green color, shiny and lush.  This is how this plant will look until next year when it does it all over again.

This plant is making a few baby offsets as shown.  It'll take full sun along the coast but wants filtered light inland.  It is cold hardy easily into the low twenties F., perhaps colder.  We have an assortment of sizes for sale including boxed specimens as shown below. 
Ceratozamia kuesteriana Ceratozamia kuesteriana
Ceratozamia kuesteriana Ceratozamia kuesteriana Ceratozamia kuesteriana
same plant, one month ago
Ceratozamia kuesteriana Ceratozamia kuesteriana
specimen in garden area
 

 

ENCEPHALARTOS UNKNOWN SPECIES
SHORT, WIDE, CROWDED LEAFLETS

When you grow a lot of species of palms and cycads, sometimes you find a plant and you are just not quite sure what it is.  We've certainly seen this many times with all the Dypsis we've gotten out of Madagascar.  Also, as we've imported literally many thousands of cycads from Africa, sometimes there's one you just can't identify.  The plant I'm showing you presently is such a plant.  It is an Encephalartos for sure.

It's in a 15g pot with about a six inch caduex.  The remarkable thing is how short the leaflets are and yet they are quite wide and plump.  There is also a bit of frosty coat to the leaflets as shown.  The leaflets have a few marginal spines and the leaves have few if any prickles at their bases.  The caudex is brown and furry.  I will predict that this will be a gorgeous mature plant in the garden.  Note how some of the leaflets almost stack. There is always the possibility of hybridization. 

I would think this will be a full sun plant along the coast with pretty good cold hardiness.  And, I sort of think it's mature size will not be that great and the leaves will be compact.  This is my guess.  It'll sell quickly so let me know if you like it because I only have this one plant.
Encephalartos specie short wide leaflets Encephalartos specie short wide leaflets
Encephalartos specie short wide leaflets Encephalartos specie short wide leaflets Encephalartos specie short wide leaflets

 

CHAMAEDOREA BRACHYPODA
SUCKERING, SHORT, SIMPLE LEAF SHADE PALM

This is an attractive, clumping palm that comes from Honduras, Central America.  The genus of Chamaedorea  are only from the New World.  Stems of this species get to a height of about six feet and are extremely thin, usually under one half of an inch.  Leaves are simple, apically bifid and at the top of the narrow trunks.  As shown in the photos, you can see how thin the trunks are at the ground.  Leaf size can get to 18 inches.  Leaves, especially in deep shade, are dark green and prominently veined.  This gives them a bit of a "wrinkled" appearance. 

The two plants shown here are each about fifteen years old and mature, fruiting size.  Chamaedorea brachypoda likes shady conditions, temperatures above 25 degrees F., and care with fertilizer.  Salty water will result in prominent leaf tip-burn.  The last two photos show this species in domestic plantings.  A similar species, Chamaedorea stoliniera, can be distinguished by its stolins and by smaller, firmer leaves.  Chamaedorea brachypoda leaves are very thin to the touch. 
Chamaedorea brachypoda Chamaedorea brachypoda
Chamaedorea brachypoda Chamaedorea brachypoda Chamaedorea brachypoda
Chamaedorea brachypoda Chamaedorea brachypoda Chamaedorea brachypoda
Chamaedorea brachypoda Chamaedorea brachypoda Chamaedorea brachypoda

 

WASHINGTONIA FILIFERA
CALIFORNIA FAN PALM
MORE COLD HARDY THAN THE MEXICAN FAN PALM

I am again discussing this species because the Mexican Fan Palm is so popular in cold areas yet is far from the best choice for colder weather.  The latter defoliates in weather that gets into the lower 20's F.  In contrast, W. filifera goes well into the teens.  Washintonia filifera (the California Fan Palm) is a single trunked fan palm from Baja, Mexico with extension of its distribution into Southern California.  We in California like to call it the "California Fan Palm" so we can claim at least one species native to our state.  It has a very thick trunk.  It resembles the Mexican Fan Palm (W. robusta), but has larger leaves, a more open crown, a much thicker trunk that seems to shed leaves more quickly and has more cold hardiness.  It will tolerate temperatures into the mid-teens F.  One of the reasons for enthusiasm about this species is its cold hardiness.  In domestic gardens, seeds are often hybridized with robusta.  Seeds from wild locations tend to be pure. 

This species is hard to locate.  We have some nice one gallon plants and a few 5g  as well.  Both of these can easily be shipped.  Also shown are a few mature specimens.  The last photo is interesting.  It has a mature W. robusta to the left and what appears to be filifera to the right.  I cannot guarantee that the plant to the right isn't a hybrid.  In any case, note the more open crown and thicker trunk with the filifera.  As the more common Mexican Fan Palm often suffers from cold damage in marginal areas, many feel eager to try the W. filifera in their area.  Obviously, it wants full sun.  Growth rate is a slower than the robusta, but still fairly fast growing.

I'd like to make one last comment on the demands of some "collectors".  They'll call me and say that a plant has to be "the real and pure filifera" with no chance of hybridization with robusta.  For most nurseries growing palms this is essentially impossible to guarantee unless a grower has gone into habitat and collected seeds where there are no robustas within miles of the seed source.  So, it's a tough and near impossible thing to guarantee if a nursery buys in its seeds.    
Washingtonia filifera 1g Washintonia filifera 1g
Washingtonia filifera Washintonia filifer Washingtonia filifera and robusta
left, W. robusta; right, W. filifera

 

BUTIA ERIOSPATHA
GREEN AND TROPICAL BUTIA SPECIES
 

This species from Brazil is a good sized palm, similar
to B. capitata, but with less silver to the leaves.  It is known
for having a brown wooly material on the flower spathe.
Cold hardiness is well into the teens F.  Shown here are 5g and 15g plants.  Also pictured is a mature specimen showing the leaves curving downward toward the ground.  I don't think this species is quite as hardy as the more common Pindo Palm, but it should go into the upper teens F.  It wants full sun.  We've found it to be a good growing species. We have a limited selection of this species for sale.  Most enthusiasts think this species is more tropical and lush appearing than Butia capitata..   
Butia eriospatha Butia eriospatha
Butia eriospatha    

 

CYRTOSTACHYS RENDA
RED SEALING WAX PALM, LIPSTICK PALM
AN EXOTIC PALM THAT MOST OF YOU CAN'T GROW OUTDOORS

About once or twice a week, I get a call from someone who wants to grow this exotic species in their yard.  For this reason, I'm writing about it this morning.  I've gotten calls from such places as Las Vegas, Dallas and Madison, Wisconsin.  Don't laugh; people just love this species.  In the continental U.S., there is hardly any location where the Lipstick Palm can survive over the long run outdoors.  The problem is the winter's cold.  This species rapidly succumbs at temperatures under 47 degrees F.  I mean, overnight!  Back in my more reckless years, I'd try these again and again.  But, one nights failure of the heaters and all of the Red Sealing Wax were gone.  Nowadays I don't heat the greenhouses and don't even have a chance with this species.

This species is native to southern Thailand, Malaysia, and some Indonesian islands. It is a clumping palm and can get to sixty feet.  It's hallmark is the red crown shaft.  Thus the common names.  It wants sun in the tropics but can be grown in filtered light.  Here in Southern California it wants a greenhouse.  Or, if you are super industrious, you can try it inside the house but it'll be a challenge. 

In South Florida there are some being grown outdoors, but winter cold fronts put them at risk of death.  In HI, they seem to thrive where winter lows are hardly ever below 55 degrees near the water.  Remember, below 47 degrees F. and this species is gone.  I can get one for a real enthusiast, but they are always quite expensive.  Two photos below show interior environmentally controlled culture of this species in Southern CA.
Cyrtostachys renda Cyrtostachys renda
Cyrtostachys renda Cyrtostachys renda Cyrtostachys renda
Cyrtostachys renda Cyrtostachys renda Cyrtostachys renda

 

TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2013

 

ASTROCARYUM MEXICANUM
SPINY & COLD HARDY SMALL PALM
FIRST TIME AVAILABLE IN ABOUT 10 YEARS!


It's been almost a decade since I've been able to offer this species for sale.  It is almost impossible to get seeds of the true "mexicanum".  Unfortunately, there's a plant in Hawaii that is mislabeled as "mexicanum" and has been sold world-wide by palm growers there and in my opinion is not the real thing at all.  It has absolutely no cold hardiness.  True A. mexicanum is cold hardy, perhaps into the upper twenties F.  The San Diego Zoo has had one alive outdoors for decades.  Shown here are new seedlings from a seeds from a major botanical garden.  I trust their taxonomist as to the validity of the seeds I got.

This species is native to the Gulf side of Mexico and extends down into Central America.  The trunk is spiny and about three inches thick.  Because of slow rate of growth, most plants I've seen are under ten feet.  But, reports are this species can reach twenty feet.  It's leaves are semi-simple in shape as shown.  I.e., they appear to be solid leaves but aren't really.  Leaf color is green above and silver-green below as shown.  It is a filtered light or perhaps AM sun plant.  I don't think you should try it in full sun.

I only have about ten of these seedlings, so let me know asap if interested.  They will sell out quickly.
Astrocaryum mexicanum Astrocaryum mexicanum
Astrocaryum mexicanum Astrocaryum mexicanum Astrocaryum mexicanum
Astrocaryum mexicanum Astrocaryum mexicanum Astrocaryum mexicanum

 

BRAHEA CLARA
BLUE FAN PALM FROM MEXICO
SEEMS TO HAVE MORE TOLERANCE OF HUMIDITY THAN B. ARMATA


Folks in the SE part of the U.S. are always looking for blue palms.  In fact, so are enthusiasts out here in CA.  This species is very similar to Brahea armata.  But there are a few differences.  First, it seems to tolerate higher humidity better, therefore making it preferable to armata for folks in areas like FL, the Gulf States and the Carolinas.  Secondly, it is faster growing than armata.  Finally, it is a bit different looking.  The petioles tend to be longer and the leaves more divided (in my opinion).  Be aware that some question whether it's a true separate "species" or a variety of armata.

Shown here is a 15g plant.  Note the nice blue color.  Cold tolerance is about 15 degrees F.  It loves full hot sun.  I only have 15g plants available.
Brahea clara Brahea clara
Brahea clara Brahea clara Brahea clara by TS at RPS
photo by TS or RPS

 

BECCARIOPHOENIX SP. "NO WINDOWS"
TEN DAY SPECIAL 5G PLANTS

Although Beccariophoenix has been plagued by a two decades history of confusion on species names, it  ends up that this "no windows" plant is the true B. madigascarensis.  It is strikingly different from the windows variety which, to my knowledge, has no name as of yet.  It is also more cold hardy, a more reliable grower, but has a slow rate of growth.  The 5g plant shown here on special is about six years old!  Cold tolerance is into the mid twenties.  It is a sun plant along the coast but would like protection far inland.

REGULAR PRICE 5G PLANT $75
TEN DAY SPECIAL $50


You must mention this Blog Only special to get this price when purchasing.
Beccariophoenix species "no windows" Beccariophoenix species "no windows"
juvenile plant, full sun in eastern San Diego area

 

CHAMAEDOREA ERNESTI-AUGUSTI
TWO VERY OLD AND TALL SPECIMENS

All Chamaedorea are from the New World.  Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii comes from Southern Mexico and northern Central America.  It gets trunks about six to eight feet tall with solid, complete, apically bifid leaves atop the trunks.  Trunks are about 3/4 of an inch in diameter and have prominent white rings. Leaf width is about 18 inches and leaf sizes may decrease as the plant ages and gets taller.  This is a single trunk species and easy to grow.  Cold tolerance is in the mid-twenties F. and this species is a shade loving palm.  It does not tolerate full sun in any localities.

The two plants shown here are about twenty years old.  One has three trunks, the other one trunk.  I am showing them for two reasons: First, to shown how a very old specimen looks.  But, more importantly, to remind you that any single trunk palm, especially a thin trunked variety, may look better with a small colony together.  If I had one of these in my garden, I would plant several younger plants at the base.  See the 5g plant shown below.  It would be perfect to add to the base of these larger plants.  I've come to feel that other single trunk Chamaedorea species like plumosa, glaucifolia, oblongata, etc. will look better with three or more in the same pot.  We've tried to start doing this more and more with new plants that we grow.  Otherwise, one can end up with "leaves on a stick".  So, if you are considering such a plant, consider getting a "multiple" or several to plant together.
Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii
Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii
Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii

 

ENCEPHALARTOS TEGULANEUS
A LARGE KENYAN CYCAD

This is a large Central African cycad with an erect trunk up to thirty feet that is native to Mt. Lolokwe in the center of Kenya.  It is a fairly high elevation plant, up to 2000 feet natively.  As shown in the photos, leaves are four to six feet long and go upwards at about a 60 degree angle.  Color is a gray-green, definitely not a lime color.  The leaves are basically flat in cross section.  Leaflets are thin and crowded and have spines pointing toward the center of the plant. 

Like most cycads, this species likes good draining soil.  I'd recommend less than full sun.  Perhaps, along the coast, part day sun.  Inland areas would require bright filtered light. At our nursery, this species tolerated 25 degrees F. with no problem.  I suspect the coldest it will take is a few degrees below this.  Although this species is getting near impossible to find, we do have an assortment of sizes available including a large, near coning boxed plant. However, we have no seedlings or smaller plants because seeds on this species have not been available for about ten years.
Encephalartos tegulaneus Encephalartos tegulaneus
Encephalartos tegulaneus Encephalartos tegulaneus Encephalartos tegulaneus
Encephalartos tegulaneus Encephalartos tegulaneus Encephalartos tegulaneus
Encephalartos tegulaneus Encephalartos tegulaneus Encephalartos tegulaneus

 

JUBAEA CHILENSIS
CHILEAN WINE PALM

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

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

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

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

LINK TO JUBAEA ARTICLE  

Jubaea chilensis 5g
Jubaea, 5g size


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

Caryotas are a Fishtail Palm.  Caryota gigas is a rather recent arrival to the nursery trade.  It is from northern Thailand and has gone by a whole assortment of common names as mentioned above. It is known for its very beautiful appearance and for the thickness of the trunk.  It is a giant of a species with a very sizeable trunk that needs room to grow  It tolerates full sun in most areas but may burn in the desert full sun. It's growth rate is fast.  Cold tolerance is about 22 degrees. Trunk diameter is 2 to 3 feet and typical overall height is 35 to perhaps 40 feet.  It's very interesting that habitat height is taller than we're seeing in domestic
gardens.  The last photo shows a man standing next to a
mature tree.  This tree is much taller than I've seen
anywhere in California.   

Shown is a good sized 15g plant, perfect for the garden.
Also shown are several photos of a boxed plant, a 5g plant and a close up of the leaves. Note that the leaves are very large, sometimes up to 15 feet in length and very wide.  It is interesting to compare this gigas to the Caryota urens. 
The latter is quicker growing vertically, has a thinner trunk and shorter leaves.  C. gigas has an enormous trunk, longer and broader leaves, produces more shade, and doesn't get
as tall.  Make sure you plant either of these two species a good distance from the house.  If you are a palm enthusiast, you're going to try at least one Caryota, and this is a very nice species to try. 
Caryota gigas Caryota gigas
Caryota gigas box Caryota gigas 5g Caryot gigas leaf
Caryota gigas Carytoa gigas Caryota gigas
Caryota gigas Caryota gigas   Caryota gigas
In habitat, donated photo, see man at bottom 

 

SUNDAY, MAY 12, 2013

 

NEW ARTICLE AT WEBSITE
PALM TREE SEEDS AND FRUITS

Because of the positive feedback I got a few weeks ago when I wrote at this Blog about palm seeds, I decided to compose an article on the subject and show lots of photos.  My main points were when to recognize when palm seeds are ripe, not to pick immature green seeds, and to appreciate the differences among different types of seeds.  I tried to explain how you can tell if seeds are good for germination.  Lots of photos.  I hope you like it.  It just went up today.  Feedback welcomed. 

Click on the photo banner to the right to read article.
palm seed banner
click on photo above to be linked to article
Pinanga casea
Pinanga casea flower with immature seeds
pelagodoza seed
The bizarre Pelagodoxa henryana seed

 

ENCEPHALARTOS ITURIENSIS
SUPER RARE CENTRAL AFRICAN CYCAD
SEEDLING PLANTS NOW AVAILABLE

This is an extremely large cycad that is native to the Ituri Forest in Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo).  Very few people have seen or photographed this species in the wild.  There are no native habitat pictures of this species that I know of on the Internet.  However, there are a matched pair of this species in the U.S. with the female coning.  I was fortunate enough to get seeds from this domestic plant.

This cycad is known for it's very long leaves that emerge and stay pretty much upright.  Leaves are ten feet long and stems can get up to twenty feet.  Leaflets are green, leathery, about ten inches long and an inch wide.  This is a full sun plant but may need part sun in inland areas. Cold tolerance is not exactly known but it will tolerate a freeze.

Now available are some seedlings as shown here and perhaps a few older plants.  If you like exotic and rare cycads, you can do better than this species.   
Encephalartos ituriensis Encephalartos ituriensis
Encephalartos ituriensis Encephalartos ituriensis  

 

ARCHONTOPHOENIX SPECIES "TERACARPA"
PROBABLY THE BEST KING PALM EVER
THICK TRUNK, NO BROWN TIPPING IN SUN
TEN DAY SPECIAL ONE GALLON

I've presented this palm "species" to you before.  The nursery plants I'm showing come from the mother plant in my own personal garden.  The name "teracarpa" is a name we give it because the body of the plant is so big!  The trunk is easily twice the thickness of a regular King Palm.  The leaves are longer.  It is faster growing and much taller than the regular A. cunninghamiana or other types of Kings.

Initially we thought it may be a maxima.  But, we think not presently.  It produces very large red fruits, but not as large as purpurea.  The crown shaft is light blue.  The most amazing thing is the total lack of brown tipping on the leaflets as shown here.  This plant is in full sun and towers over all the other regular King Palms.  Is it the best King Palm around?  Absolutely yes!

REGULAR PRICE 1G $40
TEN DAY SPECIAL $30


You must mention this special Blog Only price when you purchase. The mature photos are from my specimen "teracarpa" in San Diego.



Archontophoenix teracarpa Archontophoenix teracarpa
Archontophoenix teracarpa Archontophoenix teracarpa Archontophoenix teracarpa
Archontophoenix teracarpa Archontophoenix teracarpa Archontophoenix teracarpa

 

DYPSIS SAINTELUCEI
WHITE CROWN SHAFT, PURPLE NEW SPEAR

This critically endangered pinnate palm is from southeastern Madagascar near its coast and is usually single trunk but is known to occasionally sucker.  Most prominent of its characteristics is the white crown shaft.  The crown shaft is slightly larger than the trunk but not bulging.  It is covered by frosty snow white wax.  The photos here of the 15g plant show this white color along with the purple colored speckling that you'll also see on juvenile plants.  Also demonstrated here is the deep purple new spear, quite a contrast to the adjacent white wax.  Trunk height on this species is thirty feet, leaves are keeled with thin leaflets and trunk diameter is six inches.  Leaf color is green to gray-green.  There are prominent rings on the trunk.

We've found Dypsis saintelucei to be a fast grower.  Feedback from customers is that it does tolerate a freeze or below and along the coast wants full sun.  Shown here is a 15g plant and some mature plants.  
NOTE: We are so low on these we might sell out any day now.
Dypsis saintelucei Dypsis saintelucei
Dypsis saintelucei Dypsis saintelucei Dypsis saintelucei
Dypsis saintelucei PACSOA by Jeff White
from PACSOA by Jeff White
Dypsis saintelucei Dypsis saintelucei

 

DYPSIS PEMBANA
MEDIUM SIZED, SINGLE OR MULTI-TRUNKED, SILVER GREEN TRUNKS

This attractive medium sized Dypsis comes from the Island of Pemba off the coast of Madagascar.  It is sometimes single trunk, other times suckering.  This variability in the number of trunks is seen with quite a few Dypsis.  It gets to a height of thirty to forty feet, has silver or silver-green trunks with prominent rings, with six foot long leaves on short petioles.  The leaves are keeled in cross-section.  Growth is rapid.  In our area of Southern California, part day sun seems to work well.  Inland areas show put in strong filtered light.  Cold tolerance is into the mid-twenties F.  Shown here is a very tall, trunking 15g plant.  Also shown is a mature clump of the clustering form taken by Al Bredeson, a long time friend of mine and past President of the Palm Society of Southern California

A way I recognize this species when juvenile is by the upper stem, where you see a definite speckled tan color below the newly emerging spear.  The fourth photo shows this color which is quite reliable.  The closest and often confusing similar species, similar in appearance, would be Dypsis lanceolata, but this species has more of a silver color in this same area.    
Dypsis pembana single trunk Dypsis pembana single trunk
Dypsis pembana single trunk Dypsis pembana single trunk Dypsis pembana single trunk
Dypsis pembana PACSOA Al Bredeson
by Al Bredeson, PACSOA
Dypsis pembana PACSOA Al Bredeson
by Al Bredeson, PACSOA
Dypsis pembana

 

DYPSIS PSAMMOPHILA
JUVENILE RED STEMS, LATER BLACK TRUNKS WITH WHITE CROWN SHAFTS

This is a small to medium sized, suckering palm from Eastern Madagascar.  It gets to a height of about 12 to 15 feet and the leaves are keeled.  When young, juvenile leaf stems and the base of the trunk have a prominent red color.  Later the trunks turn black or near black in color.  At the top of these dark stems are powder white crown shafts.  Shown here is a 5g plant demonstrating this prominent red color.  Other photos show the white crown shafts and dark trunks.  This is a filtered light species with cold tolerance into the upper twenties F. range.
Dypsis psammonphila Dypsis psammonphila
Dypsis psammonphila Dypsis psammonphila Dypsis psammophila by Arrowsmith at Palmpedia
by Phil Arrowsmith, PalmPedia
Dypsis psammophila Dypsis psammophila  

 

FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2010

 

SYAGRUS ROMANSOFFZIANA X SCHIZOPHYLLA
THE COCONUT QUEEN
INTERESTING NEW HYBRID


Several decades ago I met a nurseryman in Oceanside who mainly grew Kentia Palms.  He moved to Thailand and began working with hybrids.  His name was Jack Ingwerson.  In Thailand he developed a hybrid between the common Queen Palm and the rather rare species Syagrus schizophylla.  The interesting thing is that you may predict this offspring would not be beautiful.  Syagrus schiophylla won't win any beauty contests.  But, low and behold, the progeny are quite beautiful and a great palm.  People love them. 

We can provide 30 inch boxed specimens of this hybrid.  Many think they look like a Coconut.  Thus they were given the name "Coconut Queen".  It's a full sun palm and cold tolerance is into the teens F.  I may also be able to provide some 5g plants as well.  "Move over, Mule Palm".  You've got some competition!
cOCONUT qUEEN PALM Coconut Queen
Coconut Queen
photo by Jack Ingwerson
Coconut Queen
photo by Jack Ingwerson
 

 

ROYSTONEA REGIA
ROYAL PALMS
LARGE SPECIMENS AVAILABLE


Talking about large boxed palms, the Royal Palm seems to be more popular this year than ever.  Everyone seems to want one.  This is not surprising as people have found they do quite well in Southern California.  They love sun and heat.  They have a long, beautiful green crown shaft and that famous bulge at the base of the trunk.  Cold tolerance is about 25 degrees F., which will burn them.  Usually they recover from this cold insult.  Their growth rate is fast.  They love heat and water.  I even know of specimens in desert areas like Phoenix, Arizona that are doing great.

We can supply 30 inch and 36 inch boxed specimens as shown here.  We also have 5g, 15g and some 20g plants for sale.  Or, if you are a seedling guy, we have those as well.  I can provide this species to anyone who wants one.  The last photo shows Royal Palms on Morena Blvd. in San Diego.  These were burned by the winter of 2007 and saw 22 degrees.  But, they came back and look at them now!
Royal Pam Royal Palms
Royal Palm Royal Palm Royal Palm
Royal Palms    

 

ROYSTONEA REGIA
ROYAL PALM
TEN DAY SPECIAL 5G PLANTS

We are offering a 10 day special on the 5g size.  These can be shipped right to your door.  See above description of the species.  These 5g plants are about five feet tall.

REGULAR PRICE 5G $65
TEN DAY SPECIAL $50


You must mention this Blog Only special at time of purchase to get this price.
Royal Palm Royal Palm in WHittier CA
Forty foot tall Royal Palm in Whittier, CA,
next to our truck

 

DIOON EDULE
THE MOST COLD HARDY OF ANY CYCAD!
TEN DAY SPECIAL BIG 5G PLANTS!


Dioon edule is a Mexican cycad and known for several things.  It never gets too big.  A two foot trunk is very old and huge for this species.  It also is the only cycad that will tolerate full desert sun. All other species will burn in desert sun.  Finally, it is by far the best cycad for cold.  It takes temperatures into the mid to upper teens F.  We are offering some great 5g plants on our special ten day sale.

REGULAR PRICE 5G THIS SPECIES $175
TEN DAY SPECIAL $125


You must mention this special when purchasing to get this price.
dioon edule dioon edule

 

THE GENUS OF RAPHIA
PECULIAR PALMS WITH HUGE LEAVES
This is a very interesting yet bewildering genus of large plants with distribution from Africa, Madagascar and with one species in the Americas.  They are massive plants with one species having the longest leaves of any palm in the world.  Raphia regalis from Africa reportedly has leaves up to eighty feet long!  Most live in habitats of lower elevation, often swampy or wet.  With this said, surprisingly a few species seem to grow in Southern California.  Some species are single trunk, others suckering.  All have long upright leaves.  Leaflet edges are spiny, see photo.  I am going to make specific comments on three species here.  Heights below will probably not be reached in the average domestic garden in more temperate areas.

1.  Raphia farinifera:  Usually single trunk, sometimes suckers, from Central Africa, likes lots of water, takes sun in coastal areas, gets leaves to seventy feet with a long petiole.  Can take temperatures down to about a freeze.
2.  Raphia australis: Not from Australia, rather from Central Africa.  Lowland species.  Surprisingly, perhaps easier to grow than farinifera.  Sixty foot leaves, sometimes suckers, has interesting orange color to rachis and petiole. (see photos).  Similar growing traits.
3.  Raphia hookeri:  One of my favorites, I've never had for sale, from central western Africa, shorter leaves, usually single trunk.  Most interesting is the trunk which has Tillandsia or Spanish Moss type of fibers on its trunk.  Close up photos show this.  Once I got a hundred of the huge seeds of this species but couldn't get even one to germinate.  No growing data available.  Never been for sale.

Availability of Raphia is essentially zero.  We, on occasion, do have a few for sale. Shown are our 15g plants.
Raphia farinifera
Raphia farinifera
Raphia farinifera
Raphia farinifera
Raphia farinifera Raphia farinifera
Raphia farinifera
Raphia farinifera
Raphia farinifera
Raphia farinifera
Raphia farinifera
Raphia australis
Raphia australis
Raphia australis
Raphia australis
Raphia hookeri
Raphia hookeri
Raphia hookeri
Raphia hookeri
Raphia hookeri
Raphia hookeri

 

ZAMIA FURFURACEA
THE CARDBOARD CYCAD

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

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

 

 

DYPSIS SAINTELUCEI
WHITE CROWN SHAFT, PURPLE NEW SPEAR
NEARLY SOLD OUT!

This critically endangered pinnate palm is from southeastern Madagascar near its coast and is usually single trunk but is known to occasionally sucker.  Most prominent of its characteristics is the white crown shaft.  The crown shaft is slightly larger than the trunk but not bulging.  It is covered by frosty snow white wax.  The photos here of the 15g plant show this white color along with the purple colored speckling that you'll also see on juvenile plants.  Also demonstrated here is the deep purple new spear, quite a contrast to the adjacent white wax.  Trunk height on this species is thirty feet, leaves are keeled with thin leaflets and trunk diameter is six inches.  Leaf color is green to gray-green.  There are prominent rings on the trunk.

We've found Dypsis saintelucei to be a fast grower.  Feedback from customers is that it does tolerate a freeze or below and along the coast wants full sun.  Shown here is a 15g plant and some mature plants.  
Dypsis saintelucei Dypsis saintelucei
Dypsis saintelucei Dypsis saintelucei Dypsis saintelucei
Dypsis saintelucei PACSOA by Jeff White
from PACSOA by Jeff White
Dypsis saintelucei Dypsis saintelucei

 

THURSDAY, MAY 9, 2013

 

ENCEPHALARTOS ALTENSTEINII
LARGE 15G PLANT WITH UNUSUAL CURLED LEAFLETS

Both plant enthusiasts and growers love it when they find something that is different, a plant that is not "the norm".  Yesterday, while looking at inventory, we noticed a very peculiar Encephalartos altensteini with different leaflets.  The leaflets are cupped and a bit twisted or twirled as shown here.  It's not as pronounced as seen with the 'Curley Leaf" form of Encephalartos ferox, but it is very apparent. 
This plant is about twelve years old and a massive 15g plant.  Its caudex is about eleven inches.  It has been outdoor grown and is a very attractive cycad.  It is for sale and can be shipped right to your door.

This species likes coastal sun and is cold hardy to about 22 degrees F.


Encephalartos altensteinii unusual leaflet Encephalartos altensteinii unusual leaflet
Encephalartos altensteinii unusual leaflet Encephalartos altensteinii unusual leaflet Encephalartos altensteinii unusual leaflet
Encephalartos altensteinii unusual leaflet    

 

HOWEA BELMOREANA
TEN DAY SPECIAL 1 GALLON SIZE

This single trunk pinnate palm is from Lord Howe Island and natively lives at a higher elevation than the Kentia Palm, Howea forsteriana.  Therefore, it has a bit more cold hardiness.  Along the coast it tolerates full sun but wants sun protection far inland.  Cold hardiness is about 24 degrees F.  We are offering good sized one gallon plants for ten days on this special.

REGULAR PRICE LARGE 1 GALLON PLANTS $45
TEN DAY SPECIA THIS SIZE $30


You must mention this Blog only special when purchasing to get this price.

Howea belmoreana Howea belmoreana

 

ENCEPHALARTOS TEGULANEUS
A LARGE KENYAN CYCAD

This is a large Central African cycad with an erect trunk up to thirty feet that is native to Mt. Lolokwe in the center of Kenya.  It is a fairly high elevation plant, up to 2000 feet natively.  As shown in the photos, leaves are four to six feet long and go upwards at about a 60 degree angle.  Color is a gray-green, definitely not a lime color.  The leaves are basically flat in cross section.  Leaflets are thin and crowded and have spines pointing toward the center of the plant. 

Like most cycads, this species likes good draining soil.  I'd recommend less than full sun.  Perhaps, along the coast, part day sun.  Inland areas would require bright filtered light. At our nursery, this species tolerated 25 degrees F. with no problem.  I suspect the coldest it will take is a few degrees below this.  Although this species is getting near impossible to find, we do have an assortment of sizes available including a large, near coning boxed plant. However, we have no seedlings or smaller plants because seeds on this species have not been available for about ten years.
Encephalartos tegulaneus Encephalartos tegulaneus
Encephalartos tegulaneus Encephalartos tegulaneus Encephalartos tegulaneus
Encephalartos tegulaneus Encephalartos tegulaneus Encephalartos tegulaneus
Encephalartos tegulaneus Encephalartos tegulaneus Encephalartos tegulaneus

 

JUBAEA CHILENSIS
CHILEAN WINE PALM

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

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

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

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

LINK TO JUBAEA ARTICLE  

Jubaea chilensis 5g
Jubaea, 5g size


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

Caryotas are a Fishtail Palm.  Caryota gigas is a rather recent arrival to the nursery trade.  It is from northern Thailand and has gone by a whole assortment of common names as mentioned above.  It is known for its very beautiful appearance and for the thickness of the trunk.  It is a giant of a species with a very sizeable trunk that needs room to grow  It tolerates full sun in most areas but may burn in the desert full sun. It's growth rate is fast.  Cold tolerance is about 22 degrees.  Trunk diameter is 2 to 3 feet and typical overall height is 35 to perhaps 40 feet.  It's very interesting that habitat height is taller than we're seeing in domestic gardens.  The last photo shows a man standing next to a mature tree.  This tree is much taller than I've seen anywhere in California.   

Shown is a good sized 15g plant, perfect for the garden.  Also shown are several photos of a boxed plant, a 5g plant and a close up of the leaves.  Note that the leaves are very large, sometimes up to 15 feet in length and very wide.  It is interesting to compare this gigas to the Caryota urens.
 

The latter is quicker growing vertically, has a thinner trunk and shorter leaves.  C. gigas has an enormous trunk, longer and broader leaves, produces more shade, and doesn't get as tall.  Make sure you plant either of these two species a good distance from the house.  If you are a palm enthusiast, you're going to try at least one Caryota, and this is a very nice species to try. 
Caryota gigas Caryota gigas
Caryota gigas box Caryota gigas 5g Caryot gigas leaf
Caryota gigas Carytoa gigas Caryota gigas
Caryota gigas Caryota gigas   Caryota gigas
In habitat, donated photo, see man at bottom 

 

CARYOTA GIGAS
TEN DAY SPECIAL 5G SIZE

Please see description above.  For ten days we are offering good sized 5g plants on sale.

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


You must mention this Blog only special when purchasing.

Caryota gigas 5g  

 

TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013

 

JUBAEA X BUTIA
SUPER COLD HARDY, VERY FAST GROWING, JUBAEA-LIKE FAT TRUNK
A FEW OF THESE GREAT PLANTS LEFT

For years I've been selling a variety of hybrid palms.  Once in a while a really great one comes along.  Jubaea x Butia is such a hybrid.  The photographs I'm showing of nursery plants here are F1 hybrids.  In other words, Butia pollen was used to pollinate a Jubaea female blossom.  These offspring have proven to be an amazingly fast and easy to grow plant.  They tolerate full hot sun and are cold hardy to abut 15 degrees, even better than regular Jubaea.  And, they are about three times faster growing.  So, you get a plant with an equivalent thick trunk to the Jubaea in much less time; and it is more cold hardy!  And, it takes humidity better.

But, there are differences between this hybrid and a pure Jubaea.  Pure Jubaea end up having a very smooth tan colored trunk.  These hybrids retain their leaf bases as shown on the large plants below.  And, having grown them at the nursery we've come up with a few more
interesting characteristics:
1.  You are more likely to see the
"folded leaf ends" as seen in the pictures below.  It's not diagnostic, but quite often seen.
2.  The
ends of the leaflets are often split or bifed (double pronged).  Look at the fourth photo
3. 
Barbs at the ends of the leaflets is also seen.  Once again, this is not diagnostic and can be seen in pure Jubaea and even Butia.  But, it is more common with the hybrid.

In general, these are green leafed plants.  Some hints of blue show on some plants.  The reverse hybrid, Butia X Jubaea (which we also have) are much more blue in color and have more curved leaves as expected.

We're down to just a few of these oversized 15g plants.  They can be shipped, soil and all, right to your door.  We have customers growing them in cold parts of Texas, the Carolinas, northern Florida and throughout the Gulf States.  These are not inexpensive plants but are a chance of a lifetime to get a great palm for a cold area.  Why pay lots of money for a little seedling while these are available now?

If interested, just call me and I'll ship the same day.  We ship plants in their containers to all states.
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 Jubaea x Butia Jubaea x Butia
48 inch box.  This plant is available
Jubaea x Butia
In a garden, 1-2 years after being planted
Jubaea x Butia Jubaea x Butia
Jubaea x Butia David Minks, past president PSSC
With David Minks, past president PSSC
Jubaea x Butia Jubaea x Butia c/o PalmPedia
photo c/o PalmPedia

 

JUBAEA CHILENSIS
TEN DAY SPECIAL 5G PLANTS

This palm, known as the Chilean Wine Palm, is very slow growing but worth the wait.  It gets the thickest trunk of any palm and can reach heights of nearly fifty feet.  it is cold hardy to about 16 degrees and tolerates hot sun.  Trunk diameters can be as much as four feet. 

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


You must mention this Blog only special when purchasing.  Limited supplies.
Jubaea 5g Jubaea chilensis

 

RHAPIS MULTIFIDA
LIKE RHAPIS HUMILUS BUT SMALLER
ONE OF THE BEST INTERIOR PALMS EVER!


In my opinion Rhapis multifida is one of the best interior house palms that you can grow.  They are ideal because they have very tidy and cute stems, they peak out at about eight to ten feet height, and they lots of thin, dark green leaflets.  Compared to the common Lady Palm, Rhapis excelsa, there is not contest.  Rhapis multifida has three times the number of leaflets, has much more attractive stems and is just plain prettier.  And, they are not very fastidious and are quite easy to grow. 

I have available 5g and 7g plants.  Shown here are the 7g size which are about seven feet tall in their containers.  They are full and lush.  These are Hawaii imported plants.  They are interior quality and in perfect shape with no blemishes. 

These can be grown outdoors in the garden in filtered light.  They are cold hardy down to about 20 degrees F.  But, I sell mostly to people who want beautiful palms inside their home.  You don't want to give them too much fertilizer and they love distilled water.  They can be shipped right to your door.
Rhapis multifida Rhapis multifida
Rhapis multifida Rhapis multifida Rhapis multifida

 

DYPSIS DECIPIENS "SUPER SILVER"
GETS WHITE CROWN SHAFT
TEN DAY SPECIAL TREE POT SIZE


In the not too distant past, I offered this special and so many people jumped on it that I thought I'd do it again.  This is the highly sought after form of Dypsis decipiens that gets the white crown shaft.  It also has red colored emerging leaf stems.  It is a sun-loving species but has to be broken into sun slowly.  It is cold hardy to 18 degrees F.  It is hard to find in nurseries.

REGULAR PRICE TREE POT SIZE $45
TEN DAY SPECIAL $35


You must mention this special Blog Only special when ordering.
Dypsis decipiens Dypsis decipiens

 

DYPSIS PEMBANA
MEDIUM SIZED, SINGLE OR MULTI-TRUNKED, SILVER GREEN TRUNKS

This attractive medium sized Dypsis comes from the Island of Pemba off the coast of Madagascar.  It is sometimes single trunk, other times suckering.  This variability in the number of trunks is seen with quite a few Dypsis.  It gets to a height of thirty to forty feet, has silver or silver-green trunks with prominent rings, with six foot long leaves on short petioles.  The leaves are keeled in cross-section.  Growth is rapid.  In our area of Southern California, part day sun seems to work well.  Inland areas show put in strong filtered light.  Cold tolerance is into the mid-twenties F.  Shown here is a very tall, trunking 15g plant.  Also shown is a mature clump of the clustering form taken by Al Bredeson, a long time friend of mine and past President of the Palm Society of Southern California

A way I recognize this species when juvenile is by the upper stem, where you see a definite speckled tan color below the newly emerging spear.  The fourth photo shows this color which is quite reliable.  The closest and often confusing similar species, similar in appearance, would be Dypsis lanceolata, but this species has more of a silver color in this same area.    
Dypsis pembana single trunk Dypsis pembana single trunk
Dypsis pembana single trunk Dypsis pembana single trunk Dypsis pembana single trunk
Dypsis pembana PACSOA Al Bredeson
by Al Bredeson, PACSOA
Dypsis pembana PACSOA Al Bredeson
by Al Bredeson, PACSOA
Dypsis pembana

 

DYPSIS PSAMMOPHILA
JUVENILE RED STEMS, LATER BLACK TRUNKS WITH WHITE CROWN SHAFTS

This is a small to medium sized, suckering palm from Eastern Madagascar.  It gets to a height of about 12 to 15 feet and the leaves are keeled.  When young, juvenile leaf stems and the base of the trunk have a prominent red color.  Later the trunks turn black or near black in color.  At the top of these dark stems are powder white crown shafts.  Shown here is a 5g plant demonstrating this prominent red color.  Other photos show the white crown shafts and dark trunks.  This is a filtered light species with cold tolerance into the upper twenties F. range.
Dypsis psammonphila Dypsis psammonphila
Dypsis psammonphila Dypsis psammonphila Dypsis psammophila by Arrowsmith at Palmpedia
by Phil Arrowsmith, PalmPedia
Dypsis psammophila Dypsis psammophila  

 

MONDAY, MAY 6, 2013

 

Every morning that I do this Blog, I pick a subject.  This morning I thought I'd compose a presentation on palm seeds and fruits and make some
points about the subject.  As there are so many photos below, it's taken me three hours to create this morning's thread.  So, this is all I'll
be discussing this today.  Tomorrow, I'll get back to the usual format.

PALM FRUIT AND SEEDS
ASSORTED SPECIES AND PHOTOS
MATURE AND IMMATURE

I am going to show you here photographs of palm fruit and seeds of a lot of species.  I am doing this because it's near impossible to see fruit of a lot of species all in the same place.  There's a few main points I want to make.

1.  Like edible fruit that you get from the market, palm trees make fruit as well.  The actual seed is inside the fruit.  Sometimes this layer of fruit is very thin, other times quite thick. 
2.  Some palm species produce edible fruit, but most don't.  Some are poisonous.  Never eat palm fruit unless you are absolutely sure it is safe.
3.  The palm seed is within the fruit.  It is usually tan or brown in color.  It is firm, hard, and of assorted sizes and shapes.
4.  Growers often use the words 'fruit" and "seeds" interchangeably.  But, strictly speaking, the fruit is what hangs from the tree.  When cleaned you have 'seeds"
5.  Mature fruit is never green in color.  If you harvest green fruit, the chances are it may not germinate.
6.  If you have to pull hard to get the seeds off the tree, it's probably immature fruit.  Mature seeds fall to the ground with a gentle tug or on their own.
7.  Research has shown that the fruit around the seed has growth retardants in it and must be removed for proper germination.  In nature, this is often done by animals or insects. 
8.  It is not uncommon to see some mature (or near-mature) and green fruit on the same flower.  If collecting seeds, pick out the ones with color, not the green ones.
9.  Mature palm seeds are almost always black, orange, red or occasionally yellow in color.  They are never green.  Some species' seeds will go through a transition from yellow or red to black as a final color.
10.  Some palm species like Caryota, Arenga and others have seeds with toxic crystals in the fruit so cleaning them without gloves can cause burning or pain in the hands.  Others cause intense pruritis (itching), so be cautious.
11.  Mature and viable palm seeds almost never float in water.  Only the 'sinkers" are good.  Also, they don't collapse when pinched. 

I think all these photos here illustrate the points above.  I hope you enjoy this tour of palm seeds and fruit
Carpentaria acuminata
Carpentaria acuminata
Livistona saribus blue seeds
Livistona saribus blue seeds
Chambeyronia macrocarpa seeds
Chambeyronia macrocarpa seeds just maturing
Chambeyronia macrocarpa
Chambeyronia macrocarpa
Wallichia disticha
Wallichia disticha
Dypsis affinis seeds
Dypsis affinis immature seeds
Chamaedorea tepejilote immature seeds
Chamaedorea tepejilote immature seeds
Jubaea chilensis cleane seeds
Jubaea chilensis cleaned seeds
Jubaea chilensis blue seeds
Blue Jubaea chilensis seeds
Howea forsteriana seeds all stages
Howea forsteriana various stages
Archontophoenix purpurea seeds
Archontophoenix purpurea cleaned seeds
Areca ipot immature seeds
Areca ipot, immature seeds
Archontophoenix purpurea seeds
Archontophoenix purpurea, one red seed
Orbignia martiana
Orbignya (Attalea) martiana
Actinokentia divaricata
Actinokentia divaricata, immature
Areca alicae
Areca alicae
Pritchardia macdanielsii seeds immature
Pritchardia macdanielsii immature seeds
Arenga porphyrocarpa seeds
Arenga porphyrocarpa
Brahea edulis immature seeds
Brahea edulis immature seeds
Burretiokentia viellardii
Burretiokentia viellardii
Pritchardia gaudichaudi immature seeds
Pritchardia gaudichaudi immature seeds
Wodyetia bifurcata immature seeds
Wodyetia bifurcata, immature seeds
Latania loddigesii immature seeds
Latania loddigesii immature seeds
Assorted Latania seeds
Assorted Latania seeds
Lodoicea maldivica immature fruit
Lodoicea maldivica immature fruit
many years from maturity
Pritchardia macrocarpa immature seeds
Pritchardia macrocapra immature fruit
Trithrinax acanthicoma immature fruit
Trithrinax acanthicoma immature fruit
Borassus seed on ground
Huge Borassus seeds on ground
Archontophoenix purpurea
Archontophoenix purpurea, some mature
Chamaedorea benzei immature green seeds
Chamaedorea benzei immature green seeds
Chamaedorea microspadix mature fruit
Chamaedorea microspadix mature fruit

close up previous picture
Sabal minor mature seeds
Sabal minor, mature fruit
Jubaea chilensis fruit
Jubaea chilensis fruit, compare to cleaned seeds above
Phoenix dactylifera maturing seeds
Phoenix dactylifera, the True Date Palm
maturing fruit
Arenga engleri immature fruit
Arenga engleri, immature fruit
Allagoptera arenariu peculia flower stalk
Allagoptera arenaria, bizzare flower with immature fruit

Queen Palm, mature fruit on left side
Queen Palm, mature fruit left, immature right
Phoenix dactylifera fruit
Phoenix dactylifera, the True Date Palm, with
near mature fruit
Licuala grandis fruit
Licuala grandis with both red mature fruit and
immature light yellow fruit.
Brahea sarrukhanii
Brahea sarrukhanii fruit, not quite yet mature
Phoenix rupicola, near mature fruit
Phoenix rupicola fruit, not quite mature
Salaca edulis fruit going to market
Salacca edulis fruit, edible, on way to the market
Queen Palm fruit
Queen Palm fruit, mature seeds become yellow
Caryota urens fruit
Carytoa urens fruit, do not clean without gloves
Licuala grandis mature fruit
Licuala grandis mature red fruit
Polyandrococos caudescens immature fruit
Polyandrococos caudescens immature fruit cluster

 

SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2013

 

BUTIA YATAY
BLUE BUTIA, SUPER COLD HARDY
LARGE 15G PLANTS NOW AVAILABLE 

We were very lucky to obtain some gorgeous 15g Butia yatay that really show their blue color.  This species, native to Southern Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, is the tallest Butia and has the longest leaves and biggest crown.  A well grown Butia capitata gets to about an average of 20 feet height.  Butia yatay reaches close to 40 feet by report.  Cold tolerance is into the mid-teens F. and is felt to be equal to B. capitata.  Leaf color is similar, many times blue in color. 

As this is a species not commonly found or grown, there are very few pictures available of mature plants.  Shown here are the gorgeous 15g plants we just got in.  We also have very nice 5g available.  Please note the blue color and leaf shape.  Shown are two photos of domestic plants, one by T.S. of RPS.  If you like this species, get one now as I suspect they'll be gone quickly.  We can ship these right to your door.

By the way, this species is being successfully grown in the United Kingdom
Butia yatay Butia yatay
Butia yatay Butia yatay   

5g size 
Butia yatay TS at RPS
photo by TS at RPS 
 


TRITHRINAX ACANTHICOMA
AKA TRITHRINAX BRASILIENSIS
VERY COLD HARDY SOUTH AMERICAN PALM
GNARLY TRUNK: SOME LOVE IT, SOME DON'T 

Personal preferences with palm trees is quite an interesting thing.  When you mention a palm with spines, some people get very nervous and start talking about the safety of their children.  Others just say "cool!".  Some customers come in with a request for only soft leafed feather palms and occasionally someone requests "fan palms only".  Rarely someone arrives just looking for "spiny palms".  People are all different in their tastes and likes.  Well, here's a species that really tests palm enthusiasts.

Not only would it be considered a needle palm.  The needles on the trunk are long, prominent and arranged in a totally random pattern.  It's like a trunk with a "bad hair day".  I've tried to shown this with the photos.  But, the spines are only only the trunk.  The leaves have no spines.  This is a single trunk palm with about a foot diameter trunk with fibrous material and three to four inch needles going in all haphazard directions.  The leaf crown is reminiscent of a Trachycarpus in a way.  In Southern California mature trees are usually about twenty feet tall.  But, in habitat in in habitat Trithrinax "basiliensis" (Brazil) is known to reach heights of fifty feet and can occasionally sucker.  Cold hardiness on this species is well into the teens F.  It is a full sun species.

Shown here first is a very old 15g followed by a twelve year old 25g.  We also have bands and 5g for sale.  The photo of Rusty shows what happens if you grab the trunk too hard.
Trithrinax acanthicoma  Trithrinax acanthicoma 
Trithrinax acanthicoma  Trithrinax acanthicoma  Trithrinax acanthicoma 
Trithrinax acanthicoma  Trithrinax acanthicoma Trithrinax acanthicoma
Trithrinax acanthicoma with Rusty
Rusty got too close
Trithrinax acanthicoma Trithrinax acanthicoma
Trithrinax acanthicoma Trithrinax acanthicoma Trithrinax acanthicoma


 

PHOENIX DACTYLIFERA
THE TRUE DATE PALM
TEN DAY SPECIAL 5G SIZE


We have a limited number of 5g plants that we are putting on a 10 days special.  This species is usually seen as a single trunk plant but actually has a tendency to sucker.  Most growers cut off the suckers.  It is native to the Middle East and females produce the popular Date fruit.  Heights can get tall, up to fifty feet.  Trunks are knobby as shown.  Like all Date Palms, it does have spines.  It is a full sun palm with a cold tolerance of about 16 to 17 degrees.  the plants we have are a blue variety of this species.  BTW, they love hot sun!

REGULAR PRICE 5G $65
TEN DAY SPECIAL THIS SIZE $50


You must mention this Blog Only special when purchasing. 
Phoenix dactylifera Phoenix dactylifera
5G SIZE ON SPECIAL ON THE LEFT
Phoenix dactylifera Phoenix dactylifera  

 

LICUALA RADULA
AKA LICUALA DASYANTHA
EXOTIC MOTTLED-LEAF FAN PALM
ONE OF THE RAREST FAN PALMS IN THE WORLD

About twenty years ago when word first came out that there was a mottled leaf, understory Licuala that had some degree of cold hardiness, there was quite the buzz.  We all knew of a similar miniature species, Licuala mapu, but this latter species basically had no chance of survival outdoors in Southern California.  At that time, the only chance of getting a Licuala radula was to obtain an actual little seedling that somehow made its way out of North Viet Nam and found its way to your locality.  You could probably count on your fingers the number of plants that were available in the US at that time.  Fortunately, the natural habitat of this species spreads up into China.  From that area and in recent years, a limited amount of seeds have been produced / obtained and to a very limited extent this species is now available.  In the wild, there has been tremendous pressure on this species from a conservation point of view because it is so beautiful.

It is an understory palm that gets to a height of about three feet with multiple stems.  Leaves are about eighteen inches wide.  It's individual segments create a circular appearing leaf.  But, the most striking characteristic are the mottled leaves with tones of dark green, lime green and sometimes yellow.  Individual segments are under two inches wide and these segments are the widest at their ends.  Note that, unlike other Licuala, this species is dioecious and you must have both sexes to set viable seed.  Shown here are two year old seedlings.  Very limited numbers are available.  It is a filtered light plant and cold hardiness is probably into the mid-thirties, perhaps a bit colder.  

One last comment: the name has recently been changed from "radula" to "dasyantha", although I prefer the old name.  Our availability of these gorgeous plants will probably be quite short-lived.  . .    
Licuala radula (dasyantha) Licuala radula (dasyantha)
Licuala radula (dasyantha) Licuala radula (dasyantha) Licuala radula (dasyantha)
Licuala radula (dasyantha) Licuala radula (dasyantha) Licuala radula (dasyantha)
photo by T.S. at RPS

 

BASSELINIA VELUTINA
ONE OF THE MOST RARE OF THE NEW CALEDONIAN PALMS
SMALL PLANTS AVAILABLE

This unbelievably rare palm species is native to New Caledonia where it natively grows at an elevation of up to over 5000 feet.  The name "velutina" refers to the velvet tomentum on the crown shaft.  It is a medium to large species with a single trunk that can reach heights of thirty feet.  The crown shaft bulges larger than the trunk and is covered with gray hairs.  The leaves are eight feet long, arching and keeled in cross section.  Because of rarity, little is known about its culture, although it is said to be able to withstand a freeze.  We have only several small band sized plants.  
Basselinia velutina Basselinia velutina
Basselinia velutina Basselinia velutina Basselinia velutina by Daniel & Irène Létocart (le 01/01/1970
photo from Endemia.NC by Daniel & Irène Létocart

 

ACTINOKENTIA DIVARICATA WATERMELON FORM

We have previously talked about this thin trunked, slow growing species from New Caledonia and how it has cold hardiness well into the mid- to lower-twenties F.  In habitat, there is reportedly one small cluster of plants that have a "watermelon" crown shaft and lower crown.  You may  be familiar with the "watermelon" form of Chambeyronia.  Seeds recently became available and now you can purchase one of this variety of Actinokentia divaricata, watermelon form.  It is a filtered light plant and gets perhaps to a height of fifteen or twenty feet in a few decades.  It is being grown in colder areas such as the San Francisco Bay area and some gulf areas.  I wish to thank Tobias Spanner for his pictures showing the crown shaft "watermelon" appearance. 
Actinokentia divaricata watermelon Actinokentia divaricata watermelon
Actinokentia divariata
non-watermelon form
Actinokentia divaracata watermelon by TS at RPS
watermelon form by TS at RPS
Actinokentia divaracata watermelon by TS at RPS
watermelon form by TS at RPS

 

FRIDAY, MAY 3, 2013

 

GREAT PALM TREES FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Below are pictures of about thirty five palm species that all do well in Southern California.  In this group, I left off the most common species that, it seems, everyone knows about.  So, there are no Queen Palms and Mexican Fan Palms below.  But, this group includes species that may be a bit unusual and more interesting.  This is not a complete list.  For instance, within any given genus, there may be dozens other species that do well here.  If I showed every species that you can grow, it would be too overwhelming.  So, I've kept it simple and show representative pictures.  I think, for a starting point, this will suffice.  .

I have chosen to show mature plants in gardens.  I tried to use mostly pictures from gardens in Southern California to show examples.  Some are from elsewhere.  This provides a quick view of species that you may want to try.  Some are for sun, others for shade.  Some are more difficult to grow than others.  I'm not commenting on each species presently.  But, throughout my Blog, there are comments on almost all of these.  If you don't live here in Southern California, realize that many of these species may live in your area as well.   

I hope you enjoy this.  We, of course, have all of these palms for sale at the nursery.

 

      

Archontophoenix
Archontophoenix cunninghamiana

Bismarckia nobilis
Bismarckia nobiis
Brahea armata Palm Tree in California
Brahea armata

Caryota gigas
Caryota gigas
 
Chambeyronia macrocarpa
Chambeyronia macrocarpa 
Chamaedorea costaricana
Chamaedorea costaricana
Coccothrinax
Coccothrinax species 
Copernicia species
Copernicia baileyana
Cryosophila
Cryosophila species 
Cyphophoenix species
Cyphophoenix species' 
Dypsis decaryi
Dypsis decaryi
Dypsis decipiens
Dypsis decipiens (habitat)
 
Dypsis leptocheilos
Dypsis leptocheilos
Dypsis onilahensis
Dypsis onilahensis 
Euterpe edulis
Euterpe edulis 
Hedyscepe canterburyana
Hedyscepe canterburyana
Howea forsteriana Palm Tree in California
Howea forsteriana 
Howea belmoreana
Howea belmoreana
Jubaea chilensis
Jubaea chilensis
 
Kentiopsis oliviformis
Kentiopsis oliviformis 
Livistona decipiens
Livistona decipiens
Parajubaea torallyi
Parajubaea torallyi 
phoenix rupicola
Phoenix rupicola
Pinanga coronata
Pinanga coronata 
Pritchardia martii
Pritchardia species 
Pritchardia species
Pritchardia species 
Ravenea glauca
Ravenea glauca 
Ravenea species giant
Ravenea species 
Rhapis humilus
Rhapis humilus 
Rhopalostylis sapida
Rhopalostylis sapida 
Roystonea borinquena
Roystonea borinquena 
Sabal causiarum
Sabal causiarum 
Syagrus pseudococos
Syagrus pseudococos 
Veitchia arecina
Veitchia arecina 
Wodyetia bifurcata
Wodyetia bifurcata 


On all the genera above there may be many more species within the same genus that also grow well for us here.  I apologize if I haven't
included your favorite species in this group, but this is meant to be a brief introduction and I wanted to keep it simple.  I have utilized these
species in a brief article summarizing Palms for Southern California elsewhere at this website.

 

THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013

 

BRAHEA BRANDEGEEI
A FEW 15G PLANTS JUST AVAILABLE

This tall, thin trunked species of Brahea is native to Baja and northwestern Mexico where in grows on hillsides and in canyons.  It has a trunk over thirty feet tall with a thin one foot diameter.  It is exotic and fast growing for a Brahea and has very long petioles.  Leaves are green, three feet wide and circular in shape as shown.  It has an open, airy appearance.  It is a sun loving species that thrives in our area here.  Cold tolerance is into the upper teens F.

Most people think that all Braheas are slow growing and have thick trunks.  This is not the case with Brahea brandegeei.  It is rather quick growing, has a thin trunk for its height, and can tolerate coastal sun or part day sun.  The last four photos are of a wonderful stand of this species in Balboa Park in San Diego. The 15g plant shown is representative of the ones we got in and there's only a few of them available.
Brahea brandegeei Brahea brandegeei
Brahea brandegeei Brahea brandegeei Brahea brandegeei
Brahea brandegeei Brahea brandegeei  

 

LIVISTONA DECIPIENS
THE RIBBON PALM
AN ASSORTMENT OF SIZES AVAILABLE


Livistona is a genus of palms from the Old World that are all fan palms with a very wide distribution and 34 species as of this date.  Most species are large palms of good size.  Livistona decipiens is from eastern Queensland in Australia.  It is an amazing palm because it is quick growing, has a medium sized trunk, has very divided leaves that hang downwards and is very cold hardy.  There are reports of it tolerating at least 18 degrees F. It loves hot sun.

Trunk heights can reach forty feet with a diameter of about a foot.  Crowns hold up to forty leaves.  Petioles are long and prominently armed as shown.  This species is quite similar to Liistona australis, but the latter reaches a taller height and, in my experience, has less drooping the the ends of the leaflets.

Shown here are an assortment of nursery plants, right up to large trunked out box specimens.  For people visiting our area, there is a great stand of this species at Mission Bay in San Diego.  We can easily ship this species right to your door if you are a mail order customer.  It's a cool species and easy to grow.
Livistona decipiens
15g size
Livistona decipiens
Livistona decipiens Livistona decipiens
24 inch box size
Livistona decipiens
Livistona decipiens Livistona decipiens
leaves have narrow segments that are dependent at ends
Livistona decipiens
prominent spines of petioles
Livistona decipiens
note the droopy ends to the leaflets, hanging
like ribbons downward
Livistona decipiens Livistona decipiens
nice collection this species at Mission Bay, San Diego
Livistona decipiens
nursery plant in a large box
Livistona decipiens Livistona decipiens
very bushy plants in Hawaii that have never been
pruned and have this peculiar thick look to them 

 

SABAL XTEXENSIS
SUPER COLD HARDY NATIVE HYBRID SABAL

This is a distinct Sabal that is native to the Brazoria County, Texas and is often called the "Brazoria Palm" by Texans.  It is felt to be a native cross between Sabal minor and Sabal mexicana.  Its leaves are blue green, it gets to about twenty feet in height, has a very thick trunk up to two feet in diameter, and is extremely cold hardy.  There are reports that it may tolerate temperatures below ten degrees F.  Shown her is a 5g plant.  Note the leaf color and the markings on the petiole.  The last picture is the only mature one I found and was taken by an unknown photographer.  This is not a common palm and I don't have one in my garden.  But, when I talk to cold hardy palm enthusiasts, they get quite excited about this palm   
Sabal xtensis Sabal xtexensis
Sabal Xtexensis Sabal Xtexensis Sabal xtexensis unkinown photographer
unknown photographer

 

HEDYCHIUM GARDNERIANUM
THE KAHILI GINGER

I have always had a fondness for Hedychium gingers.  Not only are they reasonably cold hardy, but they don't get too big and have the most gorgeous upright blossoms.  The last photo to the right was taken about six weeks ago when I told you about this species.  Now look at the same plant in blossom!  These blossoms last for weeks and are very nicely fragrant.  This is a filtered light species.  You can see that it hardly ever gets over six feet.  A hard freeze may knock back the foliage, but they recover nicely.  BTW, some people call this the Kahili Ginger, others call it Hawaiian Ginger.  There are different types of Hedychium, but they all have upright blossoms.  Contrast this with the dependent Shell Ginger group.  We only have a few Kahilis left. 
Hedychium gardnerianum Hedychium gardnerianum
Hedychium gardnerianum Hedychium gardnerianum Hedychium gardnerianum

 

BRAHEA NITIDA
RARE FAN PALM FROM MEXICO
TEN DAY SPECIAL TREE POT SIZE



It is difficult to locate this single trunk, fan palm from Mexico.  One of the things I remember most about this species are the flat, glossy green leaves.  If grown in less than full sun, the color is very dark and the leaves have almost a tropical, flat "Licuala-look".  This species is cold hardy into the upper teens.  In most areas you can grow it in sun or filtered light.  I've even grown one if shade with just a little dappled light.  They potentially can get up to 25 to 30 feet in many decades.  They like good draining soil. I'd say rate of growth is slow.

We recently got in this tree pot size (4x4x14 inch pot) and they are available for sale.  I have made them a "ten day special" for people who want to try something different.  This pot is a great size to ship because it goes in a small box at an affordable rate.  I'd say it's like a small 5g size.  The habitat photo below was taken by a friend of mine, Justen Dobbs.

REGULAR PRICE TREE POT SIZE $45
TEN DAY SPECIAL $35


You must mention this Blog Only special when ordering.
Brahea nitida Brahea nitida
Brahea nitida
four plants together in a larger pot
Brahea nitida Brahea nitida
Brahea nitida Brahea nitida by Justen Dobbs
Habitat photo by Justen Dobbs
Brahea nitida

 

CHAMAEDOREA MICROSPADIX
COLD HARDY BAMBOO PALM

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

 

CARYOTA URENS
FISHTAIL PALM, TALL, FAIRLY COLD HARDY

Caryota are a genus, and all are a type of Fishtail Palm.  This species is single trunk.  It is monocarpic.  This means that, after about two decades, the plant flowers and dies.  Caryota urens makes a very tall tree and is extremely fast growing.  In Southern California it is the fastest of any palm in terms of vertical growth.  It is considered the ultimate species for forming canopy.  Its trunk matures to a height of fifty feet or more and is about 18 inches thick.  It will get taller and has a thinner trunk than the presently popular species, Caryota gigas

Shown here to the right is an exceptional 25g Caryota urens.  (we'll discuss C. gigas soon).  It is about 18 feet tall.  This species likes full sun and is cold hardy to 20 degrees F, or perhaps a bit lower. We also have nice 15g plants as shown below.  The second photo to the right shows two palms, mature, in an Encinitas garden.  Below is a series of Caryota urens planted at the Catamaran Hotel in San Diego.  These plants were fairly short lived because they were field grown and then dug.  Digging triggers the life cycle of Caryotas and threw these palms into blossom.  Unfortunately, the landscape people were unaware of this at the time they purchased and dug these trees.   The last photo is of a mature tree in Balboa Park, San Diego.

For those wishing to establish a canopy, this is one of the best species you can plant.  They are fast, have large leaves and throw good shade below.  The cold hardiness of Caryota urens is into the upper teens F.  I've found it to be the most reliable and cold hardy of all Caryota species.
Caryota urens 25g Caryota urens
Caryota urens Caryota urens 15g Caryota urens Balboa park


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