Martin Gibbons, c/o The Palm Centre
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If Winter Come, Can Spring Be Far Behind?
I wonder who said that? Shakespeare probably. But I keep reciting
it to myself during these dark days of winter in an effort to cheer
myself up. My last editorial seems to have been rather portentous
when I reminded myself and others that 'we still had a lot more
weather to get through' before the end of winter. From what I understand
from friends here and around the continent, it has been the most
severe winter for many years and reports of losses are anticipated.
How did you and your plants get on? Do write to Chamaerops and let
I feel rather guilty in admitting that I missed all
the bad weather by taking a trip to South America over Christmas
with the aim of checking out the cold hardy palms there. As we were
flying on Air Portugal we had the opportunity of a short stopover
in Lisbon and in just 24 hours there we visited most of the places
mentioned by Steve Swinscoe in his article in the Winter 93/94 edition
of Chamaerops. It was great fun. Lisbon certainly has a benign climate
and the variety of cold hardy and cool tolerant palms to be seen
there bears this out. Among many, those worth a special mention
are the Howeas and the Rhopalostylis, growing to perfection in the
mild and moist climate. The are many gardens to visit, but apart
from them, it is in any event a beautiful and old European city
and well worth a look.
Then it was off to Venezuela where we spent a wonderful
week, palm hunting at high altitude, and learning so much about,
especially, Ceroxylons, which grow in the mountains there and at
other locations in South America. I must pause here to mention a
recently published book which we found incredibly useful in naming
the palms that we found there. Written by Henderson, Galeano and
Bernal and called "Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas",
it covers every South American palm (both north and south) and provides
a means of identifying them all by the use of descriptions, keys
and colour photographs. The authors have made some dramatic changes
in the naming of many species and have carried out a fair amount
of 'lumping' (joining together 2 or more species under one name).
For instance, Trithrinax acanthacoma and T. brasiliensis are now
synonymous as the latter name, the number of Braheas have been significantly
reduced, as have the number of Ceroxylons. Brahea berlanderi and
B. bella have vanished; Ceroxylon andicola, C. klopstockia, C. hexandrum,
C. utile, and others have also been sunk into synonymy. And at last,
the genera Scheelea, Attalea, Parascheelea and Orbignya have all
now 'become' Attalea, making life a lot easier in the process. Anyway,
it's a very good and useful book, thoroughly recommended.
From Caracas we then flew to Quito, high altitude
capital city of Ecuador. The very first thing you notice on leaving
the airport is about 30 full size Parajubaea cocoides all in heavy
fruit right outside, and then it gets better! We spent a couple
of weeks zigzagging across the Andes mountains that run the length
of the country, and found many of the palms we were looking for.
Among the most exciting were several species of Ceroxylon, and also
some Geonomas that grow at 3150m, the highest altitude for any palm.
It is hoped that they will eventually find their way into cultivation.
They would be perfect for the sheltered cool, moist European garden.
All in all we had a great time and Ecuador is certainly one of the
most palmy places on earth, and well worth a visit by any enthusiast
of cold- and cool-tolerant palms. A great trip.
Finally, I am looking for a volunteer! We badly want
an index to 'Chamaerops'. It needs some keen and kind person to
sit down, ideally with a PC, and go through every issue of our journal
and create an index. If the idea appeals to you please give me a
call and we can discuss in greater detail exactly what is required.
The final result will be published in an up-coming issue, with full
credits. It will be a lot of work, but I hope enjoyable too. MG.
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17-09-21 - 06:12GMT
|| 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...