Your chance to air your news and views
Just a Matter of Time: These
Ceroxylon ventricosum in Ecuador have but a temporary stay of execution.
Farmers imagine that they are 'saving' the palms by leaving them
standing when they clear the forest for pasture. But the trees are
unable to reproduce themselves, and any seedlings that do sprout
are quickly be eaten by grazing animals. Huge areas of the country
are being 'cleared' in this way, and some rare species are clinging
to life in a few pockets of vegetation.
Greetings From Tennessee
My name is William Taylor and Im a palmaholic. Im a
member of the South Eastern Palm and Exotic Plant Society and Ive
been receiving Chamaerops for about 2 years. Since Im
not from Europe Ive been reluctant to write, but here goes...
I live in a small town called Athens in Tennessee in the south-eastern
part of the United States. Athens is near the city of Chattanooga.
My winters here are not as warm as I would like (doesnt everybody
feel the same way?), and average -18 to -12 deg. C. We are classified
I started collecting and growing palms outdoors in 1995 with two
small Trachycarpus fortunei. That first winter we had a low of -19
deg. C. I protected my two palms with cardboard boxes. Since then
I now six genera of palms: Butia, Rhapidophyllum, Sabal, Serenoa,
Trachycarpus and Washingtonia, totalling about 100 plants in the
ground. By far the largest number are Sabal minor. I dont
see why they are not native here, they are so hardy. Their native
habitat is only 128kms/80 miles to the south-west. The next in quantity
is Trachycarpus and then Rhapidophyllum.
Since Ive been growing palms the temperature has not fallen
below that -19 deg. C. I protect the Trachys if it goes below
-11 deg. C. or so, until I can get them well established and acclimated
to my winters. The worst part about the south is that we can get
extended warm weather in winter then out of nowhere comes a severe
freeze, like winter '97/98. February was very mild, the coldest
was -2 deg. C. In March the cold came, down to -10 deg. C. All the
damage to the Trachys was done in the March freeze.
I enjoy growing Washingtonia. They grow so fast and are very easy
to protect. This year I am trying a Butia capitata in the ground.
Ive had the palm for several years and its about 150cm
tall. There are several other Butias in the State, growing successfully,
though they do require winter protection here in Zone 7. Sabal palmetto
is another palm I feel sure will do well with some protection. I
have two about 150-180cms, total height. One has been in the ground
one winter, the other for two winters and both have done surprisingly
well. In Knoxville Tennessee, a fellow called Fred Breeden has a
Palmetto that has been in the ground since 1981. It has been through
some mighty cold winters with a frame-and-tarpaulin covering during
the coldest nights and heat has only been used once or twice. It
has a height of nearly 4 metres and 120cms of trunk. Well that will
do for now, lets see how El Nino treats us. If anyone would
like to get in touch my address is below.
William Taylor, 214 Oak Street, Athens, TN, 37303, USA.
Holá From Cantabria
A few lines about palms which can be seen here on the north coast
of Spain. Only a few kinds of palms are grown among them we have
Phoenix canariensis, which grows taller than in the proper Canary
Islands and there are hundreds of them all along the north coast
and quite further inland, Phoenix dactylifera, of which Ive
only spotted one, about 4-5 metres high and with no seeds, while
most of the other species of palm do have seeds and in great quantities,
Phoenix reclinata, Washingtonia filifera, not in great numbers,
but easily seen everywhere, Washingtonia robusta, the same, Butia
capitata, just a few of them, some with big bunches of fruit.
Trachycarpus fortunei can be seen in large numbers, Chamaerops humilis,
not many, and once in a while some Chamaedorea elegans, some Howea
forsteriana (one 3-4 metres high in a private garden in a nearby
city, really beautiful), and a very few Jubaea chilensis but considered
the best in Spain according to Mr. J. A. del Canizo. Two are about
15-18 metres high, and more than one metre in diameter, and about
one hundred years old (really splendid!), and with lots of seeds
every year, which Ive been told, people used to eat and tasted
Oscar Laiseca, Cantabria, Spain
The Lost World Of The Cordyline
Last summer brought a better than usual flowering to an avenue of
Cordylines (C. australis) lining my driveway here in Co. Kilkenny,
Ireland. Later, when clusters of fruit developed, I learned for
the first time that they were edible: a small group of starlings
fed eagerly on them.
This started a train of thought. For many millions of years New
Zealand, home of the Cordylines, was unique among large, temperate
land masses in having no mammalian fauna whatever (apart from a
couple of species of bat). In their absence, ecological niches they
might have occupied were taken up by birds and most dramatically
by the recently extinct family of Moas. The tallest of these at
around 13 feet/4m in height is now thought to have lingered on until
about the year 1850.
A creature with this stature would have had no difficulty in accessing
sprays of Cordyline berries nor for that matter the fruit of other
medium sized species such as the Nikau palm, and the pods of Sophora
tetraptera, the beautiful Kowhai, whose blossom is New Zealands
national flower, if it found these edible.
The stories that have been passed down indicate that Moas were abundant
when man first appeared in New Zealand during the past 2000 years
and indeed this is confirmed by bones which survive, many bearing
signs of having been cooked by early human inhabitants. Maori accounts
of Moa hunts indicate a creature capable of a desperate defence
with the capacity to inflict lethal kicks. Given the absence of
indigenous predators one might conclude that this aggressive ability
was directed, before mans arrival, at their own species in
establishing sexual dominance or defending territory and food.
It seems reasonable to conclude that the evolution of the Cordylines,
the Phormiums and probably many other New Zealand plant species
was linked inseparably with that of the huge birds, now alas, no
more. Today, cut adrift from the age-old frame work in which they
developed, let us look with a deeper insight at our own humble Cordylines
and see the ghostly shadows of giant birds, battling perhaps for
control of the areas where they were most abundant, or quietly stripping
the ripened fruit from their crowns.
Eddie McLoughlin, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland.
I am a new member of the Society and I'm experimenting with growing
palms here in the temperate climate of West Cork. Ours is a new
garden, only 9 years old, so our palms are not very mature. We have,
of course, Trachycarpus fortunei and Butia capitata which are both
doing well, Chamaerops humilis which I had to move which set it
back a great deal but it is now coming on again. In spring we planted
out Phoenix canariensis, Phoenix reclinata, Sabal palmetto and Washingtonia
robusta and we are now waiting to see how they survive our mild
but wet winter. The Mexican Blue palm, Brahea armata, has been acquired
but I think we will wait and plant it in the spring.
Our garden is on the shore of Dunmanus Bay so we get a lot of salt-laden
wind especially during the winter so we tend to plant tender plants
in the spring to avoid the winter wind damage.
We would be happy to welcome any members of the Society to the garden
should they be visiting Ireland.
Phemie Rose, Kilravock Garden, Durrus, Co. Cork.
Our new parish, Deviock, was inaugurated last year and I plan to
make it the 'palm parish' of south east Cornwall.
In our villages (Seaton and Downderry) we have a human population
of about 700. Palm-wise, our original population of 1 Trachycarpus
has now expanded to about 18. I have not pushed Trachy's as besides
being common elsewhere, they suffer badly from wind/salt damage
on the coast here.
The original population has now been joined by 21 Chamaerops humilis,
14 Jubaea chilensis, 12 Phoenix canariensis, 2 Butia capitata, 2
Sabal palmetto, 1 S. minor. I'm afraid the 2 Washingtonia filifera
died last winter.
I enclose a brochure for Blue Haven Hotel here on Looe Hill, in
case anyone should want to stay down this way. The owners are very
friendly and are keen gardeners. They have recently planted several
species of palms and other 'exotics' in the hotel garden. Their
phone number is (+44) 01503 250310.
Duncan Champion, Seaton, Devon UK.
09-07-20 - 23:14GMT
|| What's New?
|| New palm book
| Date: 24-05-2004
of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft.
|| New: Issue 48
| Date: 24-05-2004
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,
have been added to the members area. More than 250 articles are now online!
|| 42 as free pdf-file
| Date: 05-08-2002
Download! Chamaerops No. 42 can be downloaded for free to intruduce the new layout and size to
|| Issues 17 to 20
| Date: 23-07-2002
| Chamaerops mags 17,
have been added to the members area. Now 218 articles online!
|| Book List
| Date: 28-05-2001
a look at our brand new Book List edited by Carolyn Strudwick
|| New Book
| Date: 25-01-2001
by Mario Stähler
This german book tells you all about how to cultivate your palms in Central Europe. more...