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I write with reference to the Phormium article by Bob Edwards (Chamaerops 17), and replied to by Charlie Wright (Chamaerops 19). There is a booklet printed about the Phormium cultivars. It is: 'Checklist of Phormium Cultivars' by Peter B. Heenan (1991), Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture, P.O. Box 12, Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand.

The price in December 1992 was 10 New Zealand dollars, including postage. Trevor Key, Chesterfield.

Sounds interesting! Probably a good idea to write first to confirm availability and the current price. MG.

Phoenix Offer

With reference to my article in this issue (The Other European) I would like to announce that seeds of the two species mentioned (Phoenix theophrastii and Phoenix 'Gölköy') are available from me, together with a habitat photograph of each species, at £7 ($10) for 5 seeds of each.

The money raised from these sales will contribute to create a small palmarum (palmetum?) that will be the first in Turkey. Please write to: Dr. R. Esener, Posta Kutusu 29, 55001 Samsun, Turkey.

A good cause if ever there was one. MG.

Sefton Park

I write reference your appeal for information about Sefton Park. It lies on the outskirts of Liverpool. One of the glories of the park was the Palm House. For many years this provided a heated environment for growing a range of plants including palms. Unfortunately in recent years the Palm House has fallen into disrepair. No heating has been provided since 1986 and since 1992 there has been no glass in the roof.

However, despite the lack of protection, a number of mature palms have survived the winters, thus adding to the knowledge on their hardiness. In response to your request for information the Liverpool Parks Authority has provided the following details:

The Palms which have survived in the Palm House from the original plantings are Chamaerops humilis (2), Trachycarpus fortunei (2), Phoenix canariensis (2), Sabal palmetto, Livistona chinensis (4) and Rhapis humilis (just survived). These palms have survived since 1986 with no heat, and for the last three years with no roof over them, although there is some protection from the sides.

The (Liverpool) winters have been mild however with the lowest temperature 25F (4C) for the last three years, and 23F(-5C) since 1988. Also there have been no prolonged spells of severe cold and only one fall of snow of any significance, and that only lasted one day. No special measures are taken to protect the palms although in the event of a severe spell of weather some protection would be given if this were feasible.

Other plants surviving in the Palm House include Musa paradisiaca var. Sapientum, Cordyline australis along with many cultivars, C. indivisa, Yucca aloifolia and other Yuccas, Agave americana, normal and variegated. This source of data on palm hardiness is likely to dry up soon; the Liverpool Parks Authority intend to restore Sefton Park Palm House in the near future. Roger Dixon, Farnborough, Hants.

Don't sound so unhappy about it Roger! MG.

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