Category Palm Of The Month

Jul 2011 – Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens

Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens

Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens
(Butterfly Palm, Golden Cane Palm, Yellow Cane Palm)

The first common name of this palm arises from the clumps of slender, golden stems and leaf stalks that each plant produces. The stems grow up to 10 meter tall and each is topped with a crown of curved, yellowish-green pinnate fronds.

New canes are produced from the base of the clump as the older canes mature. This spineless and very decorative palm is native to Madagascar where it grows in large thickets along streams, in littoral forests and in sand dunes.

The golden colouration is especially pronounced in starved specimens or tose grown in a very hot, sunny position. Golden Cane Palm is very popular in the tropics and subtropics but can even be grown in temperate regions...

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Jun 2011 – Cocos Nucifera

Cocos Nucifera 'Yellow'

Cocos Nucifera ‘Yellow’
(Coco Palm, Coconut, Kelapa Kuning)

Although most familiar in its natural habitat lining tropical, sandy beaches, the Coconut will also grow in warm inland areas and on near-coastal tropical tablelands up to about 1000 meter altitude.

The secret of its success seems to be  warm to hot, humid climate and access to underground water. Coconuts are widely planted in coastal districts from the tropics to warm-temperate region but they rarely fruit in the subtropics or further south.

There are numerous varieties of Coconuts suited to different climatic zones, bearing nuts of different sizes and being tall or dwarf-growing. Coconut Palms make an excellent street tree (although the plants tend to lean) and are widely planted in gardens of the tropics.

Their ability to withs...

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May 2011 – Cyrtostachys renda

Cyrtostachys Lakka

Cyrtostachys Lakka
(Lipstick Palm, Pinang Rajah)

The Brilliant, glossy, scarlet leaf-bases and petioles which characterise this tropical species make it one of the most colourful and ornamental of all palms.

With this colour contrasting with its dark green, erect leaflets and added to the neat, clumping habit, it is perhaps surprising that the species is not more widely grown than it is at present. There is some suggestion that it may not be an easy plant to establish and it is certainly very tropical in its requirements.

Plants will grown in shade or full sun and require plenty of water at all times. The slender stems grow to about 6 meter tall. Also excellent in large containers.

The palm is native to Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo and grows in near coastal swamps...

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Apr 2011 – Roystonea Regia

Roystonea Regia

Roystonea Regia
(Cuban Royal Palm, 大王椰子)

This majestic palm is the national tree of Cuba where it is still abundant, growing on fertile soils to about 1000 meters altitude.

The bulging, concrete-white trunks are a useful guide to its identity. The bulge is usually present in the middle but may occur anywhere along its length. Its plumose leaves carried in a graceful, rounded crown and the oblong fruit, which are flattened or compressed on one side are also distinctive.

In its native country the trunks are cut for timber, the leaf-bases are used as a water-proof covering for bales of tobacco and the fruits (called ‘palmiche’) are used to feed pigs. Cuban Royal Palm is a familiar sight as it is very commonly planted throughout the tropics and to a lesser extent, the subtropics...

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Mar 2011 – Wodyetia Bifurcata

Wodyetia Bifurcata

Wodyetia Bifurcata
(Foxtail Palm, 狐尾椰子)

A delightful palm which has exploded in popularity and is now widely planted in many countries.

Plants have proved to be fast growing and adaptable. Best growth is achieved in drier tropical regions but success has also been gained in the subtropics. Plants demand good drainage but seedlings will take hot sun from an early age.

Ornamental features include a slender, closely ringed, columnar to slightly bottle shaped trunk, graceful, arching, densely plumose fronds, a slender crownshaft and colourful clusters of large, orange-red fruit. The species occurs naturally in the Melville Range, near Bathurst Bay on Cape York Peninsula, north-eastern Queensland. It grows in loose, granitic, sandy soils among huge granite boulders...

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Feb 2011 – Archontophoenix Alexandrae

Alexandra Palm

Alexandra Palm
(King Palm, Pinang Raja)

A popular, fast-growing palm which is widely grown in tropical and subtropical countries, Plants usually have a swollen base to the trunk, a light green crown-shaft, leaflets which are dark green above, silvery grey beneath and oriented in a vertical plane towards the leaf apex. Flowers are creamy white and are followed by clusters of bright red fruit, each about 1.4 cm x 1 cm.

The species is endemic to Queensland where it is distributed between Gladstone and the Melville Range near Bathurst Bay on Cape York Peninsula. It commonly grows in lowland swamp forest but is also found up to 600 meters altitude in the ranges. An excellent, handsome garden palm which looks especially decorative when in fruits...

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Jan 2011 – Livistona Rotundifolia

Livistona Rotundifolia

Livistona Rotundifolia
(Footstool Palm, Serdan, Serdang Palm Daun Bulat)

Those plants grown in a deeply shady situation will retain the juvenile leaves much longer than grown in the open. The Footstool Palm is native to Malaysia and Indonesia where it grows in large impressive colonies. In its native state the cabbage is collected and eaten and the dark violet fruit is eaten by children. It is an ideal palm for tropical climates and needs protection from direct sun when small. Rich soils promote strong, vigorous growth. In districts with a cold winter the plants struggle and are very slow growing.

A very striking variety is native to the Philippine island of Luzon. This is known as var. luzonensis and has a slender trunk with prominent white rings...

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