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A Short Guide to Collecting Tree Fern Spore
Virtually all tree ferns produce spore, but not all
ferns produce spore. Tree ferns are fairly easily raised from spore.
It is imperative, however, that the spores are fresh, so I would
like to offer some insight into collecting tree fern spore. First
you have to know when to collect the spore. You will require a magnifying
glass to study the spore, which is generally found on the underside
of the fronds. Totally green spores are generally not ready. If
the sporangia (the miniature sacks or capsules that contain the
spore) are brown in color and some of the sporangia appear fuzzy
under the magnifying glass, this is the time to remove it.
Pick the frond, or that part where the sporangia are, and place
the frond on a clean, white piece of paper and store in a warm,
dry place for a day or two. After this you will notice light brown
dust called chaff, and a very fine dust, which is the spore. If
you gently tilt the paper from side to side you will notice that
the lighter chaff will approach the edge of the paper first. Remove
this chaff and you will be left with the spore.. In the case of
most Cyathea, the spore is dark brown, and in the case of Dicksonia,
a pale yellow color. Carefully place this in an envelope and seal
from the outside. Do not place the spore directly onto plastic,
as the static will cause the spore to adhere to it and make removal
difficult; as such, if you only have a small quantity of spore,
it may very well be lost completely. Store in a cool dry place.
While on holiday in France recently I saw some hearts
of palms in tins displayed on a supermarket shelf among the tins
of beans and peas. Always willing to try anything new, I bought
a tin to share with my group of young people. There was no clue
as to the species of palm, except that it came from South America,
but the verdict of the youngsters and myself after tasking some
was that a mass extinction of the species through eating was not
likely. The palm hearts looked like some tough and yellowing slices
of leek and they tasted similarly to those that might be years past
their sell-by date.
As this story of our palm eating spread around, I was told of a
Cornish farmer whose family regularly eats the hearts of Cordyline
australis as a vegetable. After having offered some to a local restaurant,
whose customers found it to be delicious, this farmer is considering
growing them as a food crop. From the windows of our house, I can
see dozens of Cordylines and I am tempted to see what they are like
to eat. I am concerned that we may like them too much, however,
and that all we may see is dozens of bare trunks. Is this why the
Australians sometimes call them "Cabbage Palms"?
Yours Sincerely, Rev. Geoffrey Squire
Their edible bud is indeed why Cordyline australis
are called "Cabbage Palms". In many countries in South
America, palms are now farmed for the production of palm hearts.
Depending on the species and the canning process, the quality of
palm hearts can vary considerably. The best palm heart in South
America is said to be produced by Euterpe and Prestoea ssp. but
Bactris gasipaes is frequently seen in farms as well as it is extremely
fast growing. T.S.
On 6-6-2001 Lee
Geoffrey wrote this: In various parts of the
Westcountry, Phormium, Osteospermum, Arum Lilies, Agapanthus, Mesembryantheum,
Carpobrotus edulis, and a few Cordyline australis are growing completely
wild, as escapees from cultivation, and there is at least one place
where Opuntia (Prickly Pear) cactus are growing on cliffs. Are these
things connected with the seemingly unusual behavior of some species
in cultivation, or are they quite normal? Some put it down to global
warming, but I am rather skeptical. It was only 13 years ago, in
February 1987, that the Southwest experienced its lowest temperatures
since records began. Severe frost caused damage to or even killed
outright things that had been growing for 100 years or more. I would
enjoy hearing what others think.
Living in mild West Cornwall,i agree with what he is saying and
I just put it down to the mild climate.
many exotics like Cordylines never stop growing down here,hence
they become larger much stronder plants,flowering every year and
even self seeding.
I am yet to see where opuntia is growing wild.I see a type of mesem
growing with the Hottentot Fig around the Lizard area nearby and
is a wonderful delight.
27-09-21 - 13:41GMT
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of Cultivated Palms
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