More Palms in Tenerife
A follow-up to Michael Carters recent article
on palms in the Canary Islands. Tenerife probably has one of the
best climates for nearly any kind of palm. Lots to discover on your
Jose M. Zerolo, La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary
Islands, Spain, Ea8ck@inicia.es
Chamaerops No.41, Winter Edition 2001
on this article:
Click here to read them or to add your own.
1. Roystonea regia
2. Hyophorbe verschaffelti
3. Roystonea regia
First of all, THANKS. It was a surprise to find
an article dedicated to the palms of Tenerife, and as a consequence,
I started to read it avidly. I have to congratulate Mr. Carter for
his descriptions of the palms of our island, our microclimates,
and the resulting diversity of the flora that can be found at different
places not very far from each other. Mr. Carter visited the two
places I find most exciting: the Loro Parque (Parrot Park), with
its numerous palms; and the Jardin de Aclimatación de La
Orotava (Botanic Gardens of Pto. Cruz), with its diversity.
Of course, it is perfectly normal to miss some places
and palms, and therefore I would like to call attention to a few.
There are, for instance, Howea belmoreana within all the Forsterianas
at the Parrot Park, as well as Hyophorbe verschaffeltii (Pictures
1 and 2).
On my last vacation, my wife and I revisited the
Jardin de Aclimatación after a twelve-year absence. We returned
several times so as not to miss the wide variety of palms. On seeing
that gardens cannot always be prime examples of order and cleanliness,
my wife now appreciates more our garden at home, with its Hyophorbe
vershaffeltii, Wodyetias, Roystonea, Dypsis, Veitchia, hundreds
of seedlings, and so on. In fact, after nine months of palm
brain wash, my wife now enjoys it as much as I do, and has
even begun to correct me in naming or identifying some palms.
Also of interest to palm enthusiasts visiting us
down here on the West African coast, would be the capital city,
Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Here, an actual 'palm boom' has taken place,
as evidenced by the planting of lots of palms on the avenues, such
as the Rambla. The palms range from Veitchia joannis to Syagrus
romanzoffiana with everything in between, as happens on many squares,
and which always surprises me every time I have to drive through
the city. Also, do not forget to visit the Parque Viera y Clavijo
with its Roystoneas and the two adult Hyophorbe verschaffeltii on
the Floristerìa Linda Flor, just crossing the Rambla. Perhaps
best of all, midway between Pto. De la Cruz and Santa Cruz, there
is a city named La Laguna. It may be known to some already, since
it is the location of our University, or perhaps because of its
historic background, as seen in the many old and beautiful buildings,
small traditional houses, and all that typical stuff. Do not miss
its palm collection, started hundreds of years ago, and if you like
Phoenix canariensis, have a walk through the Camino Largo (Pict.
3). Beyond the avenue itself are some very interesting private gardens,
hosting many Archontophoenix, Sabal, Dypsi, Howea and others. In
La Laguna, you may also find some of our oldest Washingtonia, just
at the Plaza de la Catedral. It may be interesting to know that
here in La Laguna, where I live, we may enjoy on many occasions
very cold and windy weather, (which, according to the Palm version
Murphy's Law, typically occurs every time I buy or plant a new or
tender palm in my garden).
If you are already bored with this island (hi!),
have a try with La Gomera. I would recommend a stay at Hotel Tecina,
which has a very nice collection of palms. We find this to be an
outstanding place to spend three or four days. On the trip to this
place, please stop at the capital San Sebastian, which receives
you with young Roystoneas in the harbor avenue and many other species
in its parks. It is a small place, but very crowded by palms. On
your way to the Hotel, you may also feast your eyes on all the Phoenix,
which probably originated due to former agricultural reasons. The
third place I recommend, Valle Gran Rey, is also a real must for
the Phoenix lover. (Pict. 4)
My Introduction to the Palms of Tenerife
When I moved to my new home in La Laguna about one
and a half year ago, I did not yet have a garden, and, at that time,
the only knowledge I had about palms meant that a palm was a palm,
without distinctions. Later I learned that the 'palm' I could see
in the front neighbor's garden was Kentia (a difficult name for
me at that time). However, I still did not understand how that Kentia
was different from those two Kentias on my mother-in-law's garden.
I started with the help of Palms of the World [Editors note:
for information that is more accurate, readers might refer to the
more recent Palms Throughout the World by David Jones]. Here I found
out that this strange Kentia was a Howea Belmoreana. My neighbor
was in love with it, and yet even he did not know its name!
Months passed by and this palm seemed not to grow,
nor did it seem as happy as the ones I had just brought to my garden.
Things worsened and the leaves started to get yellow and brown and
fall off, and the bud also died and fell off with an awful smell.
I think it developed bud root, though his specialist told him that
this was 'taladro' (some kind of hungry larvae). The poor, dead
Belmoreana was removed and substituted by a small but nice looking
Hyophorbe Vershaffeltii (at that time I had two of them already
in my garden). It was not a complete Belmoreana divorce, as my neighbor
remained sad about loosing the only palm he liked, and tried to
find another. He searched extensively, but the responses were always
either: No, we do not have Belmoreana or, What?
Are you kidding?
A few days ago, on my way to a production facility
of a friend's nursery to see some Bismarkias (which my wife prohibited
me to buy...), I caught sight of some very nice, big and sound Belmoreanas.
They were close to the very narrow road and in the vicinity of another
big production facility of another nursery. Needless to say that
on my way back I stopped there and took a look, and what a look!
I never saw as many as H. Belmoreanas so well grown and cared after.
I went into this place and asked after the Belmoreana plants, but
was told that none were available. Bad luck. On my way out, I saw
something strange. Do Belmoreanas palms have branches? The answer,
I think, is no, and so I took the camera out and took a picture.
I learned that this nursery's business is mainly
seed trade, and that they only recently began producing Belmoreana
plants. After buying an Adonidia Merilli and two Raphis Excelsa's
from them, and after aiding them in the identification of some other
palms, and after insisting several times, and after many more afters,
I finally may get some Belmoreanas for my neighbor, as well as one
On 2-6-2001 Jose
M. Zerolo wrote:
Picture number 2 is not the H. verschaffeltii:
I do not know the error origin, but the reult
is that Pic. 2 is a Howea Belmoreana within a H. forsteriana wood
pictured at the Loro Parque, Puerto de la Cruz. Just in case....
02-02-23 - 12:12GMT
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