Category Palm Of The Month

Mar 2013 – Ravenala Madagascariensis

Ravenala Madagascariensis

Ravenala Madagascariensis
(Traveller’s Palm, 旅人蕉)

Ravenala Madagascariensis, commonly known as Trvaller’s Tree or Traveller’s Palm, is a species of plant from Madagascar. The enormous paddle-shaped leaves are borne on long petioles, in a distinctive fan shape aligned in a single plane.

In tropical and subtropicall regions, the plant is widely cultivated for its distinctive habit and foliage. As the plant grows older, it progressively loses the lowest or oldest leaves and reveals a sturdy grey trunk.

The plant requires a sunny spot. It responds well to fertiliser, especially if it is high in nitrogen during the growing season. This produces better growth and foliage. The plant grows to an average height of 7 meters and requires moderate water.

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Feb 2013 – Johannesteijmannia Altifrons

Johannesteijmannia Altifrons

Johannesteijmannia Altifrons
(Diamond Joey, Joey Palm, Sakai Palm)

This palm has a creeping, subterranean trunk and a cluster of up to thirty leaves which form an impressive erect tussock. Each leaf, to 6 meter tall, has a slender, thorny petiole to 2.5 meter long and a large, dark green, diamond-shaped blade which is prominently ribbed and with coarsely toothed margins.

The white flowers have a sour smell and the corkey fruit, about 4 cm across, are brown when ripe. This palm is well known in the area where it grows because the large fronds provide an excellent shelter in a sudden downpour. They are also ideal for thatching huts. Cultivated on a limited scale but becoming more widely grown.

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Jan 2013 – Latania Verschaffeltii

Latania Verschaffeltii

Latania Verschaffeltii
(Yellow Latan Palm)

A robust fan palm native to the Mascarene Island of Rodriguez. Its petioles and leaf-bases are also covered with a dense, white wool at least on mature trees but the leaves are green rather than glaucous. In young plants the leaf veins and petioles are an attractive bright orange colour with this colouration even extending to the leaf lamina of some plants. The leaves also have a short, blunt hastula which is quite different from that of the other species.

A monotypic genus of palm endemic to Lord Howe Island where it grows in stunted moss forests at about 750 meter altitude. The species is a solitary, small to medium-sized, unarmed feather-leaved palm with a bulging, incomplete crownshaft...

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Dec 2012 – Livistona Chinensis

Livistona Chinensis

Livistona Chinensis
(Chinese Fan Palm, 蒲葵)

This fan palm has prominently drooping tips which adorn the broad, glossy leaves of all but very young plants. The leaves often have a fresh, green lustre and this together with the weeping segment tips, provides a decorative combination.

The fruit are an attractive bluish colour and hang in dense clusters. The Chinese Fan Palm is hardy and is a popular subject for cultivation in tropical and temperate regions. It makes an excellent tub plant and when young is very useful indoors, even tolerating dark positions.

It tends to be slow growing in temperate regions where plants rarely reach 4 meter tall. The plants are tolerant of poor soil but respond to application of fertilizer...

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Nov 2012 – Cycas Revoluta

Cycas Revoluta

Cycas Revoluta
(Japanese Cycad, Sago Cycad)

Propagation of Cycas Revoluta is either by seed or by removal of basal offsets. It is one of the most widely cultivated cycads, grown outdoors in warm temperate and subtropical regions, or under glass in colder areas. It grows best in sandy, well-drained soil, preferably with some organic matter.

It needs good drainage or it will rot. It is fairly drought-tolerant and grows well in full sun or outdoor shade, but needs bright light when grown indoors. The leaves can bleach somewhat if moved from indoors to full sun outdoors.

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Oct 2012 – Phoenix Reclinata

Phoenix Reclinata

Phoenix Reclinata
(African Wild Date, Phoenix Palm)

This handsome palm forms a large clump consisting of many slender trunks curving away from each other and crowned with bright green, attractively curved pinnate fronds. Numerous basal suckers form a green rosette around the bottom of the trunks.

The palm is native to tropical or temperate regions and seems quite tolerant of cold and frosts. Excellent for park planting, it looks particularly attractive when sited near water.

Young plants respond markedly to regular watering, mulches and side dressings with fertilizer rich in nitrogen. A sunny position is most suitable. The brown fruit are edible but rather astringent.

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Sep 2012 – Normanbya Normanbyi

Normanbya Normabyi

Normanbya Normabyi
(Black Palm)

The distinctive species can be recognised by the slender, light grey trunk, pale grey crownshaft and an attractive crown of arching fronds with leaflets irregularly arranged to give a whored appearance.

The leaflets of young plants are broader than in mature plants and the distinctive, silvery-white undersurace is very noticeable. Clusters of whitish flowers are followed by dull pink to purplish fruit each 3-3.5 cm long.

This species is native to wet, coastal rainforests of northeastern Queenland, Australia. It is an excellent palm for group planting and is relatively fast growing in the tropics. Young plants need a sheltered position for te first 3 to 5 years...

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Aug 2012 – Copernicia Alba

Copernicia Alba

Copernicia Alba
(Caranday Palm)

A palm which is widely distributed in South America where it forms extensive colonies in savanna. Countries where it grows include Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina. The total population of wild palms has been estimated at one billion plants.

An attractive palm with a slender trunk to about 25 metter tall and a rounded crown of stiff leaves. These have an orbicular blade and the surfaces are desnely covered in wax.

The species can be recognised by the smaller bracts on the inflorescence being tubular.

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Jul 2012 – Coccothrinax Argentia

Coccothrinax Argentea

Coccothrinax Argentea

It is endemic to the island of Hispaniola(both Haiti and Santo Domingo) where it grows in colonies in open situations, often in dry, rocky areas. Plants have a sparse, open crown and the leaves are deeply divided into rigid segments which are dull green above and silvery beneath.

The leaflets have transverse veinlets. The trunks may reach 10 meter tall and have a covering of leaf-sheath fibres which appear as if woven. White flowers are followed by brownish to black seeds about 9 mm across.

If somewhat sparse, palm which has proved to be quite adaptable and will grow in temperate as well as tropical regions. Plants need well-drained soil in a sunny position.

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Jun 2012 – Caryota No

Caryota No

Caryota No
(Giant Fishtail Palm, Sarawak Fishtail Palm)

This is one of the biggest of all the fishtail palms and is a true majestic giant in all respects. Plants may grow to more than 25 meter tall with a trunk 50 cm or more across and have a crown of obliquely arching to horizontal fronds which have stiff pinnae and pendulous leaflets.

The crowded leaf-bases usually hide the trunk. Individual fronds may grow to 4 meter long and be nearly 3 meter wide. The grey trunk is stout and bulging in a manner reminiscent of Roystonea Regia. Inflorescences which may measure over 2.5 meter long, carry cream flowers or large, black fruit, each of which contain two seeds.

This species, native of Borneo would be an excellent palm for the tropical lowlands...

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