Actinokentia divaricata

Discussion in 'GENERAL DISCUSSIONS OF PALMS AND CYCADS' started by Moose, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    This is a diminutive palm that needs a intimate shady area in a Florida landscape. This is a very slow growing species, the palm pictured was planted 2006 from a one gallon container. A rainforest palm from New Caledonia, it can not take Florida's harsh sun and needs cooling shade protection from our oppressive Summer heat. It reportedly takes 30 F with little damage if no frost forms.

    New leaves flush from pink to deep crimson hues as the spear leaf opens. This typically only occurs 2-3 times a year for me. It is a nice happening in my garden as the new leaves hold this color 3-4 weeks, slowing greening up. Heavy mulching is recommended to add organic materials to Florida soils. Its rainforest natural habitat makes this palm not very drought tolerant, but needs good drainage.

    This palm would also be a great candidate for container culture on a shaded patio. :cool:
     

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  2. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Here are a few more shots I took a couple of hours ago. :)
     

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  3. Jeff Searle

    Jeff Searle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,754
    Location:
    South Florida, USA
    Ron,

    Great to see you put one in the ground. The red new leaf is just as pretty as it's cousin,Chambeyronia macrocarpa. The next time you come by, remind me to show you the one growing at the nursery. I'll check, I'm thinking it's been in the ground somewhere around 10 years now, and is between 4-5' tall. It's a double actually, the trunk split into two growing heads several years ago. Many of these will do this, I learned. And you'll also see how much sun it receives daily. lol...
     
  4. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Here are a couple of more shots from this morning ...


    Jeff - there is a more mature but not yet truncking Chambeyronia macrocarpa just 7 feet away from this palm on the opposite side of the stepping stone path. It does have really intense crimson color when a new leaf unfolds. The coloring however does not remain as long as the Actinokentia divaricata, 4-5 days usually.
     

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  5. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    The canopy is sparse at best. I've never been able to keep more than 4-5 leaves on the plant at once.
     
  6. Mandrew968

    Mandrew968 Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Cutler Bay zone 10b
    Jeff, that is so interesting about the splitting--does it branch, or split to form two trunks? I have heard this palm doesn't like our soil, but it sounds like some are growing well, so maybe I should try one of these?..
     
  7. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
  8. Mandrew968

    Mandrew968 Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Cutler Bay zone 10b
    Beautiful palm! Thanks, Dean; I'm gonna get 3 now :)
     
  9. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Andrew - I strongly suggest you put them in a shady aspect. At first I was only getting one leaf a year. Now about two. Be prepared to drop about $100 for three one gallon plants if you can find them. Three gallon plants are approximately around triple the price. Your paying for the growers time. If you elect to procure bare rooted seedlings, you will see how really slow these palms are. :eek:
     
  10. Jeff Searle

    Jeff Searle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,754
    Location:
    South Florida, USA
    Ron,

    Your absolutely right that this species is very,very slow. And not so cheap when you look to buy one. As I say, "your paying for time". But Ron, this palm will take alot of direct sun once it's established. Mine was probably planted under something to give it shade many years ago, but now it's pretty much in full sun.

    Andrew, I think you should consider getting one. You can't go wrong w/ another species from New Caledonia. Without going out to look, it probably has several inches of trunk and then branched into two heads. Next time you come by, ask me to show it to you.
     
  11. Mandrew968

    Mandrew968 Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Cutler Bay zone 10b
    That sounds awesome! I am not going to put mine in the sun, though; I have a nice shady and cool spot that will get plenty of moisture, humidity and is very heavily amended already. Since you guys have it in the ground, I will go ahead and try my luck--seedlings though. I have time on my side, hopefully...
     
  12. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Here's some pics showing the growth rate here in Hawaii. This was planted in 2003 from a 1 gal. They have a very prehistoric looking crownshaft and trunk.
    Actino_di_ov.jpg
    This pic was taken in May of 2007

    ActKen.jpg
    Today

    IMGP0754.jpg
    Today
     
  13. Mandrew968

    Mandrew968 Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Cutler Bay zone 10b
    I got one this weekend for the change in my pocket! It's small and only one, but at least i'm in the club, now :)
     
  14. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    No picture? :(
     
  15. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Here is its cousin refered to in post #4, actually it does have a small trunk :rolleyes:

    Spear leaf started opening a couple of days ago.
     

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  16. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Leaf is opening further ...
     

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  17. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    The 2nd photo in full sun and still the red leaf stands out in the photo. Taken from my roof.
     

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  18. Jeff Searle

    Jeff Searle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,754
    Location:
    South Florida, USA
    Ron,

    That red is pretty damn intense! Your palm is starting to get some nice size to it. And sometimes as they get bigger, the trunk splits into two growing points and you'll have a double head.
     
  19. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Wow - Oct 7th and it still has not opened a spear leaf since I posted these photos. Talk about a slow palm ... :(
     
  20. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Still waiting ... :(
     

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