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Palms and Cycads: Caryota urens I think

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flyboyFL

flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

March 2, 2012
3:04 PM

Post #9027398

Now I am not particularly a "palm guy."

I know the difference between a palm and a tree -- that is about it.

Several years ago our landscaper presented us with a "palm" to fill a spot in our vegetative screen. He called it a "fishtail," that was good enough for me. It flourished in this bare corner of our property. Not really tended, shorn of a dead frond every now and then.

I just looked at this phenomenon in the fading sun -- and it appeared as if someone's blanket had gotten caught in its upper region. Nice and tweedy-looking. My binoculars were not handy, so I photographed it with my iPhone and brought it inside to enlarge it.

WOW. The photo immediately sent me to Google -- and I Googled.

Who would ever believe it. I discovered that what I had was actually a Caryota urens -- and that this "thing" was actually a blossom!

Will someone please tell me more.

Be well

(o_O)

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tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

March 3, 2012
1:12 AM

Post #9027876

These palms die after flowering. Because it's a single trunk species you'll have to go from a seed to get a new plant. Unless you buy another one.

flyboyFL

flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

March 3, 2012
9:38 AM

Post #9028263

tropic~

So -- how are things in noonamah? And thank you for the comeback.

It (or they) is/are a clump.

That seems to mean that only the stem with the blossoms will be saying sayonara.

"Starting from seeds !!!!" Let me give you a clue as to how old I am. My nom-de-plume is derived from the fact that I flew combat in B-17G's in WWII.

(For the uninitiated -- that was World War Two -- not eleven.) So, do the math.

Seeds are OK for tomatoes and such -- no longer for trees (or palms).

Here are a couple more photos.

Be well

(o_O)

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DaleTheGardener
Tampa, FL
(Zone 10a)

March 3, 2012
2:28 PM

Post #9028545

Flyboy,

Your palm is most likely Caryota mitis. C. mitis and Caryota obtusa ( http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/57766/ ) are the only two that are widely grown in this part of Florida. Miami area has many others.

Look here> http://www.plantfindervts.com/Green_Goods_Hall.cfm?Letter=C

C mitis will begin to decline after it flowers. Especially the trunks that produce seed.

If you remove the 'flower' you can prolong that stem's life, but, it will produce another (smaller flower) within a few months. Eventually the flowering stems will perish and the plant/clump will slowly get smaller over the next few years as each stem attempts to reproduce.

Best thing you can do is keep the flowers off and prepare for the worst. You will have a few years.

I never cared much for C. mitis, I pefer the single trunk species. I am always having to thin the clumps to keep them looking 'neat'.

I think this one is known as Alexander Palm. Very hardy>

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
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flyboyFL

flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

March 3, 2012
3:02 PM

Post #9028570

Dale:

You had me worried until I Googled "caryota mitis" and got this:

mature plants first begin flowering at the top of the stem. Subsequent flowering proceeds lower and lower down the stem. After the last flowering, the stem dies and should be removed. The clump will survive, however, and continue to produce more stems.

I thank you for identifying my palm -- but, no offense, I am hoping that what I Googled is right.

Thanks, again.

Be well

(o_O)
DaleTheGardener
Tampa, FL
(Zone 10a)

March 3, 2012
4:37 PM

Post #9028709

I have to disagree with the 'clump will survive' part. The ones I work on are getting smaller, that is, the remaining stems are not growing as fast as they did before flowering and all the stems start to flower from the center outward.

I have one clump that I kept with 1 main trunk and 2 smaller side stems. The main stem flowered and died last summer. The side stems grew about 6 inches and started flowering. That clump has not produced any new side growth and the clump is rotting from center outward.

But, like I said it takes years for a healthy mult-stem clump to 'expire'.

On the plus side if you leave a the fruit to ripen the seeds sprout easily.

Bismarkia>

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
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flyboyFL

flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

March 3, 2012
6:56 PM

Post #9028873

Dale:

I will just have to keep my fingers crossed.

This is what "palmbob" wrote about the "caryota mitis": A few Caryotas are suckering, so the entire plant does not die, just the stem that flowered.

I will be watching -- and reporting.

Be well

(o_O)
tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

March 3, 2012
7:56 PM

Post #9028948

Flyboy, definitely if it's multi trunking it's most probably Caryota mitis. They grow like weeds here. In fact they are listed as an environmental weed, but that still allows them to be garden grown. I have seedlings coming up all over my place and not from mine. Once mine get up a bit I cut the trunks out well before flowering. So the seeds are being brought in by birds and flying foxes. I find they look far better as a low (3 to 4 metre) clump. People who just leave them end up with a tall ragged and half dead looking clump. But they still keep sending up new trunks. If they die off there it could be that the climate is marginal for them and the cold finishes them off.

World War Eleven? For a moment there you had me thinking I might have over slept a little and missed a few events LOL. There were a few US airmen based at Noonamah during the war, but the airfield was called Strauss. There were many airfields set up using the highway as runways with a few buildings off the side. Obama was here just a couple of months back to lay a wreath at the memorial for those who died here during the Japanese air raids, which included a lot of US servicemen.

Noonamah is okay, we're in the middle of the wet season now. Although this year it looks as though someone took the "wet" out of wet season. For February this year I had 129 millimetres of rain, February last year it was 781 millimetres. Very noticeable difference.

flyboyFL

flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

March 4, 2012
9:12 AM

Post #9029460

tropic~

How come you sent him back to us? I am a Republican.

Now I am faced with a big problem -- about the palm. Do I leave it be and enjoy the blossoms -- or do I take that trunk out while it is in bloom? It is loaded, all around it. They are beautiful.

We are still, luckily, in inches, feet and yards and miles. The metric system started to take hold here, but there was a revolution. I still remember 2.54 from college days, so I can convert. Last evening, in a rest room (as if anyone goes into one to "rest"), I was reminded by the legend on a urinal, that 3.8 (actually 3.785 -- I seem to remember) liters equals one gallon. It brags about the water-saving capacity of each flush. I do not think it will ever take hold -- the metric system, that is. We do, however, use feet and hundredths of a foot for land measurements. But, they convert square feet to acres, which is still a bummer -- one needs to remember 43,560 for that conversion. (That is 4,047 square meters.)

The labels on foodstuffs are a joke. The label may state one pound -- but then it states that the weight is 454 grams. I guarantee that it does not contain exactly 454 grams -- but it may contain one pound. Not 1.000 pounds. Significant figures, you know.

So, that takes us back to, "What do I do with the flowering trunk?"

Be well

(o_O)

flyboyFL

flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

March 4, 2012
9:13 AM

Post #9029464

Dale:

What say you?

Be well

(o_O)
DaleTheGardener
Tampa, FL
(Zone 10a)

March 4, 2012
11:12 AM

Post #9029596

I always wait until the trunk looks bad to remove it.

I usually remove the flowering stems as soon as is practical.

flyboyFL

flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

March 4, 2012
11:18 AM

Post #9029603

Dale:

Thanks

(o_O)
tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

March 7, 2012
11:36 PM

Post #9034188

[quote="flyboyFL"]tropic~

How come you sent him back to us? I am a Republican.
[/quote]
Thank you for being so kind as to offer leaving him with us. However, we must decline your great generosity as we already have more than enough politicians ourselves. We wouldn't want to appear to be too greedy at your expense. ;O)

flyboyFL

flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

March 8, 2012
9:39 AM

Post #9034648

Tropic:

Good thinking

Be well

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