Martin Gibbons, c/o The Palm Centre

Months Of Many Meetings

This issue, spookily enough, reports on not one, not two, not three but FOUR E.P.S. meetings that have taken place this year. We have the second and concluding part of the trip to India which took place in April, then the Cornwall extravaganza organized by Richard Darlow and written up by attendee Roy Clarke. In terms of membership, Germany takes second place only to the UK. They're a keen lot the Germans. They write articles. They write letters. They send photographs. And they have meetings.

Over 70 members from all over Germany, Austria and a few other countries attended this year's EPS meeting at the Palmengarten in Frankfurt on June 28th, which was again perfectly organized by Gunter Franck with the help of the Palmengarten staff. Following tours of the garden and its palms and other exotics, members could purchase and trade some small plants that were brought along. Events in the afternoon included a slide show on palms in Switzerland's Ticino by Rainer Gesell-Schulte, a discussion on cold-hardiness and the effects and experiences left by this year's unusually hard winter.Finally a slide show on the old and the new members of the genus Trachycarpus was given by Tobias Spanner.

In September we had the official Summer Meeting of the E.P.S. attended by some 80 members from all over Europe, and beyond, based at Almunecar in the south of Spain. It was another wonderful get-together, and a great opportunity to see some of the fabulous palms that can be grown on our continent. We should take this opportunity to thank Thomas Font Perez of the Association Español des Amigos de Palmeras for his help in organizing this popular event. Also due for praise is Cristina Cano of Viajes Ilalcon, the travel agency who handled the accommodation and transport. Without their help, the event would never have got off the ground. You can read all about it later in this magazine.

I am especially pleased this issue to publish a comprehensive 10 year study of Chamaerops humilis on Spain's Costa Blanca carried out by Dr Neil Butler, whom many of us met, with his wife, at our summer meeting. Fascinating and extremely well-researched, it is a pleasure to publish. The cost of providing the additional colour photographs was met by a kind benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous. A second article by Californian Don Tollefson is also a most valuable contribution to our knowledge of palm growing, and we are indeed grateful to Don for his regular contributions. We are due for another insightful episode in the next issue of 'Chamaerops'.

So Long, Sikkimensis

Perhaps one of the most exciting recent discoveries for temperate area palm enthusiasts has been Trachycarpus 'sikkimensis'. Seeds have been sold all over the world and in a few years' time it will surely overtake even the much-loved T. fortunei in terms of popularity. It is more attractive, faster growing, has a bare trunk, and the stiff leathery leaves will possibly be more resistant to wind, the curse of the Chusan palm.

The reason I mention it now is that this new palm was recently formally and scientifically described, in the Edinburgh Journal of Botany. It's now been published, and it's an official, separate species. However, not only can we now drop those inverted commas, we also must drop the name 'sikkimensis'. In the description, it was given its new and permanent name and is now officially Trachycarpus latisectus, the specific name referring to the broad leaflets which make this wonderful palm instantly recognizable.
So, lest like 'Chamaerops excelsa' people still insist on sticking to the old name, it is incumbent on all us palm enthusiasts to make a positive effort NOT to use the old name, but to adopt the new one, as of now.

Late Request

It cannot have escaped the attention of all readers how late this issue is, and generally how late Chamaerops is becoming. While some of the lateness is due to my lack of time, and being so busy at the new nursery, much of the blame lies simply with the lack of articles to publish. It seems to be a perpetual problem with societies such as ours that 95% of the work is done by 5% of the members, the rest just sit back and wait.

This is particularly true with articles. If I have to chase people to write papers and letters, it takes time, and slows down the entire production. Everyone must take some responsibility.

To try to correct this lateness and to bring production up to date, I want to try and publish two full issues in the next three months, at which point we should be back on track.

To do this I need your help. Almost everyone who has an interest in palms has a story to tell. It doesn't have to be 'scientific' or concern an adventure in a far-off land. Indeed, 'amateur' articles seem to be just as popular as those by so-called experts. So please, if you haven't already done so, help me to help you and our Society. Make a contribution of your time and effort, and write a piece for 'Chamaerops'. Don't leave it to someone else. Thanks! M.G.


  03-02-23 - 08:13GMT
 What's New?
 New palm book
 Date: 24-05-2004

An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft.
 New: Issue 48
 Date: 24-05-2004
Chamaerops 48
has been published in the Members Area.
 Archive complete!
 Date: 03-12-2002
All Chamaerops issues can now be found in the archive: More than 350 articles are on-line!
 Issues 13 to 16
 Date: 28-08-2002
Chamaerops mags 13, 14, 15 and 16 have been added to the members area. More than 250 articles are now online!
 42 as free pdf-file
 Date: 05-08-2002
Free Download! Chamaerops No. 42 can be downloaded for free to intruduce the new layout and size to our visitors
 Issues 17 to 20
 Date: 23-07-2002
Chamaerops mags 17, 18, 19 and 20 have been added to the members area. Now 218 articles online!
 Book List
 Date: 28-05-2001
Take a look at our brand new Book List edited by Carolyn Strudwick
 New Book
 Date: 25-01-2001
'Palmen in Mitteleuropa'
by Mario Stähler
This german book tells you all about how to cultivate your palms in Central Europe. more...