Exotic Plants in Gothenburg, Sweden
Two dedicated palm enthusiasts summarise the palm
scene in Gothenburg, proving where there's a will there's a way...
Anders Drakenius, Engelbreksgatan 48, 3rd Floor, S-41139, Gothenburg,
Chamaerops No.29 Winter 1997
Against all odds: Trachycarpus fortunei enjoing
the winter in Gothenburg.
How it all began.....
Kjell Persson and Anders Drakenius are perhaps the
most dedicated growers of exotic plants in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Kjell became interested in exotic plants back in 1979
when he visited Scotland, and Logan Botanical garden. He saw real
palm trees and many other unusual plants growing out of doors in
the cool climate of Logan. After that trip he started collecting
many exotic and cold hardy plants and seeds and tried some out of
doors when they were big enough. In spring 1992 he ordered his first
plants from Angus White and planted them at Landala Homes where
he works as a gardener.
Anders became interested in palms when he lived in southern California
for some years until 1993. Now he runs a business selling plants
to cities and large hotels all over Sweden.
Plants that have been tried in Gothenburg during
the last ten years: Yuccas Y. x Floribunda, Y. gloriosa, Y.
gloriosa variegata, Y. recurvifolia, Y. glauca, Y. Vitorio Emanuel
It, Y. flaccida and Y. filamentosa, plus some others, most of them
grow excellently here and some of them are now impressive sights
with their short trunks and massive crowns of leaves.
Opuntias: O. humifusa, O. fragilis, O. compressa,
O. phaecantha plus some others, all are doing fantastic!
Palms: Cocos nucifera and Licuala grandis,
they grow extremely well and they are considered a weed here as
they germinate and grow through the asphalt on sidewalks. Some people
hate us for introducing these horrible plants, (just kidding)! Trachycarpus
fortunei, growing well here with some protection even though some
small plants survived the very harsh winters of 95/96 and 96/97
unprotected, fantastic! Now there are at least 10 plants of varying
sizes growing in different locations over the city. Most of them
have some winter protection which is recommended as the plants look
healthier in the spring. Rhapidophyllum hystrix, no problems we
think as it is very rarely below -18 deg.C here. It even grows in
Hindas, 35 km inland,150 metres above sea level. Sabal minor also
grows in Hindas and survived the last cold winter even though most
of the leaves turned brown.
Other plants tried:
- Araucaria araucaria, grows slowly but steadily
- Arbutus unedo, flowering and growing well
- Camellia japonica, flowering and growing
- Canna indica, grows very well and survives
the winters well mulched
- Cistus laurifolius, beautiful!
- Cupressus arizonica, growing very well, also
- Eucalyptus cosifera was planted 1987 survived
many years but died during the cold winter of 1996. We will try
hardier varieties this spring
- Ficus carica, we will try hardier varieties
this spring as they seem to have some problems with the winters
now and then -Kniphofia spp, growing like a weed
- Laurus nobilis, just survives our winters,
not a pretty sight
- Musa basjoo, excellent and fast growing during
the growing season, we protect the roots
- Phormium tenax, grew well until 1996 when
it froze to the ground, now it has recovered.
- Phyllostachys nigra, are doing OK
- Pseudosasa japonica, excellent!!
Our climate: The climate in Gothenburg is relatively
mild with mild to warm summers, the winters are cool to cold. The
growing season is 200 days and average minimum temperature each
year is -13 deg.C. The lowest temperature recorded during the last
fifty years is -22 deg.C. The frost free season is approximately
170 days and the average annual temperature is +8 deg.C. Yearly
rainfall is about 700 mm, most of the rain falls in late summer
and early fall. Yearly hours of sunshine is approximately 2,090.
Winter temperature usually ranges between -5 to +5 deg.C and summer
daytime temperatures range usually between +20 to +25 deg.C.
New species to test: The following species
will be tried in the near future: Trachycarpus takil, Sabal minor,
Nolina spp, Eucalyptus debeuzevillei, 4 Yucca varieties, bamboo
varieties and many more.
Palm greetings from Anders and Kjell to all the members
of E P S!
02-02-23 - 11:02GMT
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