Martin Gibbons, c/o The Palm Centre

This is the first time I have found myself writing the editorial for the Spring issue in October! I’m not going to offer a lot of excuses for its late arrival, other than to say that, unfortunately, Chamaerops has to take second place to the running of the nursery. This year has been our busiest ever, and the magazine has had to take a back seat. I will try to get the following issues out in double quick time and may even be up to date before the end of the year.

One way members can assist greatly is by seeing that articles need the minimum of work doing to them after receipt. Ideally they should be on disc, or emailed through. Otherwise they should be typed, so save the bother of laboriously typing them out. Please try to provide good photographs to illustrate your piece, and don’t forget your name and address, especially if you want your photos to be returned. If these points are borne in mind, then the assembling of our journal is much easier, and consequently faster. If you’re in any doubt about writing an article, please do give me a ring, I’d be very happy to talk you through it...

Now then, that competition! On the cover of the last issue was a photograph of two mystery hardy palms growing in the wild. We had quite a few replies to the contest, lots of people got one right but not the other. Quite a few readers got both wrong. More than one person thought they were Trachycarpus fortunei and Chamaerops humilis. Not so! The competition was won by Mario Staehler of Oberstein, Germany, who guessed correctly that they were Sabal minor and Rhapidophyllum hystrix. The photograph incidentally was taken in Florida, as you may have guessed. Well done Mario, we’ll see about your prize straight away. And thank you to everyone else who took part.

The Biennial Meeting of the International Palm Society this year took place in Bangkok, Thailand, necessitating a trip to that wonderful country by your editor. It was very well attended, and although I didn’t get to participate in all the events and activities, it was well worth the visit. One of the highlights of the week was a stay at Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens, near Pattaya. It is a tropical paradise where, instead of ‘one of these and one of those’, palms are planted out in groups of 20 or 30 or even more. It’s quite mind blowing to wander round this huge estate and see all these palms planted out and thriving in such mass plantings. The man responsible is Mr. Kampon Tansacha, and he has achieved something of a miracle with his wonderful tropical garden. If you’re ever in Thailand, don’t miss!

While we were in the area, it only required a quick flight to take us up to Kalimpong in India’s West Bengal, for a walk down ‘Memory Lane’. Kalimpong, as you will know through my frequent writings, is home to so many wonderful temperate palms, principally I guess, Trachycarpus latisectus. However, those with a liking for the bizarre will be interested to know of another wonderful palm recently found there. Called Plectocomia himalayana, it is a member of that great family of rattans (‘canes’), whose cousins are used in the manufacture of cane furniture. You may know that these amazing palms climb high up into the tree tops with the aid of modified leaf or leaf sheath extensions which are armed with backward facing hooks. Our Plectocomia is no exception, and grows up to some 80 feet (25m) into the tree tops. The difference is that while most rattans are tropical, this one grows at high altitude (over 2000m) and gets frosted every winter! That makes it a most exciting contender for the temperate garden, just imagine, a hardy climbing palm, snaking up into your sycamore tree! Plants will be available soon.

While in Kalimpong, it was a great pleasure to stay once again with our friend there, Ganesh Mani Pradhan, and his family. If you like you can make a ‘virtual’ visit there by checking out his website at www.palms.org/ads/gmps.com, and if you fancy an unusual palmy holiday, you’ll be most welcome there.

Talking of the Internet and since more and more members are joining it every week, we now have a new website and different addresses. Visit us at www.palmsociety.org and send emails as follows. For letters, articles and general info. please use mail@palmsociety.org; for membership information use mail@palmsociety.org; our German members should use mail@palmsociety.org; and finally our webmaster and designer can be reached at webmaster@palmsociety.org. For those not on the net, the above will appear as so much gibberish and can safely be ignored. M.G.


  02-02-23 - 12:33GMT
 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...