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Help with ID please

Discussion in 'PALM TREES - WHERE TROPICAL STARTS' started by Lucy, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. Lucy

    Lucy Member

    Messages:
    7
    Hi folks,

    As palm lovers I'm sure you're going to think I'm crazy, an perhaps a bit irresponsible, but I need help identifying this - erm, thing! I bought it in the Amsterdam flower market at the weekend. This was the small size, they had others ranging up to about 40cm long and about 20cm in diameter.

    I know nothing about palms, but the guy I bought it off said it would be fine indoors. Unfortunately because I don't speak Dutch and he didn't speak much English I couldn't really find out much more about it.

    I'm really hoping someone here can identify it for me and tell me how best to care for it. I might be able to recognise a leaf shape from the grown one he had in the shop, but other than that this is all I have.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Lucy
     

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  2. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    It looks Like it was a cycad of some kind. Maybe in the genus cycas. As for caring for it, it appears to have been preserved. The pink stuff on the roots looks like a protectant. Pot it up in a 1-3 gallon container and water it in. Give it as much light as you can. . If it dosen't come alive in the next few weeks then try a "parlor" palm (Chamaedorea sp.). These are easy to grow and will tolerate the poor light conditions in Amsterdam.
     
  3. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,846
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Lucy,

    As palm lovers, we understand craziness, and irresponsibilty. :)

    Justin is right. It is a cycad. Cycads are not officially palms, but almost all palm lovers appreciate cycads as well. In fact, I am almost certain yours is a Cycas revolta, or commonly named (would you believe) a Sago Palm.

    Do as suggested. Well draining soil is a must. Let dry slightly between waterings. But it may take a lot longer than you would like for it to sprout out, so don't give up on it. It probably won't, but could take up to a year to do so.

    But when it does. It will grow very fast, and then stop until it is time for the next "flush" of leaves to come out. Google Cycas Revoluta or Sago Palm and you will have more info than you need. But you can view some photos to see what you will have.
     
  4. Lucy

    Lucy Member

    Messages:
    7
    Thanks guys,

    I Googled Cycas revolta and found some good info - I think this is almost certainly the one.


    I'm actually in the UK - I bought on a weekend away. Does it need light even before it get's it's leaves? Or is it okay on my desk until it starts to sprout?
     
  5. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    I would think the light will pull it out of dormancy. If you can set it in a window sill and give it at least a couple of hours of light that should speed along it's flush of new leaves. The pink stuff on the roots will start doing it's job when you've potted the plant and watered it in. Also if you're getting bit by the palm bug you might check out the Palmcentre.co.uk. I believe Martin Gibbons is invloved with that and the folks who lurk there will steer you right with the English plant culture as it pertains to tropicals etc.. But, by all means please feel free to post with the palmpedia folks as often as you wish. I am always impressed with what British gardeners are growing outdoors in southwest Engalnd. There are climate zones there that have the same annual lows as my zone 9b in Florida. Amazing!
     
  6. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,846
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Yes Lucy, Justin (the Nerd) is right on target.

    A few unique things about cycads to consider. They only "grow" a small percentage of the time. They are very slow growing plants, except when they send up (flush) their leaves (usually once a year), then it is very fast. But when they do this, keep a few things in mind. These new leaves are very very tender to the touch and to bugs. They also will react to directional light. That is, if near a window, they will move in that direction, and once in that orientation will not change. So if you rotate the plant during this flush the leaves will have a "twisted" look that will not correct.

    So when you see it starting to sprout out, it would be best to place it in an area that has uniform light all around, and do not move it until they are fully extended. After the leaves are out and hardened, they are very tough. And one more thing, You can move it from the sun to the shade, but moving it from the shade to the sun will burn the leaves. But this cycad can take full all day sun, just not right away if accustomed to a shadier place.
     
  7. Lucy

    Lucy Member

    Messages:
    7
    Ah - of course! Thank you. :)

    Thanks for the tip, I'll bear it in mind. However, you guys have been so helpful it would seem rude to run away somewhere else now. :D I've not exactly got the bug, it was just an impulse purchase really. Daft thing is I work on a marine fishkeeping forum here in the UK and spend most of my time telling people NOT to buy things they haven't researched properly! :eek:

    Actually I'm a bit further north, in Derbyshire. It get's fairly cold up here in the winter (certainly a degree or two cooler than the south west). However, I'm guessing my palm can live outdoors most of the year, and just come indoors in the winter. Does that sound okay to you guys?

    Thank you for the tips - I'll try and make sure it's outside when it starts to sprout, weather permitting. Not knowing where it came from I'm not sure what season it thinks it is (poor thing) so I guess I'll just have to hope it was somewhere in the Northern hemisphere and that it does it's growing stint in our summer.

    So given that it has no leaves yet, should I put it outdoors now? So that it doesn't have to acclimatise when they sprout. Or would full sun burn the new leaves when they emerge?

    Thanks again for all your help - you might get me addicted to this yet! :D
     
  8. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,846
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Watch out. Getting addicted to palms can be dangerous, especially in England.

    Your little guy could make it outdoors most of the year in full sun. But I would suggest outdoors in half/half sun until it gets a little bigger. They are really very tough plants when they are not sprouting their new tender growth.

    Here is a story I heard from an old timer. This is how he got involved in palms.

    He was in the Philippines at the end of WW II when they were shipping back all the war machinery. On the beach were vast stands of this "Sago Palm" Mind you it takes many decades for these to get trunks, and may only grow a foot a decade of trunk. These were very old with 8-10 foot trunks.

    They cut them off at ground level and used the "logs" to wedge under the treads and tracks of tanks and other vehicles in the holds of ships to keep them from shifting on the boat ride back to the USA.

    After the month of travel in salty, oil, and diesel filled bilge water, he decided to plant them to see what would happen. And they grew.

    BTW - I was also involved with tropical salt water reef tanks for a long time. Finally I realized I was just a tropical person at heart and moved here to Hawaii. :)
     
  9. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Lucy, being a palm addict it is in my nature to facilitate. So it is only right for me to let you know that if you are in the lower elevations of Derbyshire and away from the influence of the Pennines, you should be in zone 8a. Worst case zone 7b. That's good news. With the help from some local exotic plant nuts you can perhaps grow a few cold hardy palm species there. If Lea gardens is near by, they may have some insight as well. Even the Cycas might hang in through most of your area's cold. As Dean mentioned let it mature protected in pot culture for some time before attempting that.
    I follow forums with people writing in from Maryland Viginia and Pennsylvania. These hardy souls; with some effort, get a handfull of palms through their zone 6b-7b winters. So if you ever take the notion to try some palms out in your area, there's always someone around here to lend some sage advice. In fact there's a guy named Marcel that's a member here that is growing in Switzerland. I'll bet he can lend appropriate insight as well.
     
  10. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,846
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Come on Justin,

    The good pushers and facilitators always lead with "the first one's free." :)
     
  11. Lucy

    Lucy Member

    Messages:
    7
    Thanks, I've got plenty of half shady areas in the garden, so maybe I'll put it out there for now, then bring it in as soon as it get's cooler.

    Damn but that sounds like a good option! :D Not quite sure how I can arrange it mind. :rolleyes:

    I can't believe you looked all that up for me! Thanks, so much.

    Do you know any other details about this place? Only there is a place called Lea about 5 minutes drive from here. It's only a tiny village, so not sure if that's the one you meant.

    You guys make me laugh! :D What with a big new tank build going on at the moment I can't afford any more addictive hobbies, so this little fella is going to have to be my one fix I'm afraid.

    Thanks,

    Lucy.
     
  12. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    "Do you know any other details about this place? Only there is a place called Lea about 5 minutes drive from here. It's only a tiny village, so not sure if that's the one you meant."

    I checked their web page and It seems the gardens are tucked in an old quarry. This affords them some shelter to grow a ton of Rhododendrons and Azeleas. They grow Kalmias in their collection as well. It looks very colorful. I think the village is Lea Matlock. The web site can be found at leagarden.co.uk
     
  13. Lucy

    Lucy Member

    Messages:
    7
    Well, what do you know! I live in Matlock :D

    So, that's about 5 minutes drive from here. I'll have to check it out some day.

    Thanks Justin. :)
     
  14. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Well, it is a small world then. And you're welcome. Maybe next spring you can buy yourself a Trachycarpus to keep your Cycas company. Keep us posted.
     
  15. Lucy

    Lucy Member

    Messages:
    7
    Erm yeah - If i find out what a trachy-whatsits is I'll be sure to pick one up :D
     
  16. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    I'll keep silent on the Trachy-whatsits and hope you will be curious enough to seek it out. You will be pleased with yourself if you can have one succeed in your yard. And if you'll take a minute, you can go to the encyclopedia and see what all of these whosie-whatsits palms look like. Have fun.
     
  17. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,846
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    I'll fill in the blank as a clue. Trachycarpus.

    One of the most cold hardy palms around. There are several species. You can check the Encycolpedia.

    Don't forget to check Marcel's contributions here from Switzerland. There are Trachy references there.

    Use the search box in the Wiki and put in Switzerland.
     
  18. Lucy

    Lucy Member

    Messages:
    7
    :D Okay, I had a look in the encyclopedia. I think I remember some like that from when we used to live in the middle east. Not sure if they were truly native, or more of a garden ornamental.

    I'll do a little more reading a bit later on - first thing Monday morning is not my most awake time ....:rolleyes:

    Seriously though guys, :) much though I appreciate all your generous help, I really don't have time or money for another serious hobby at the moment. Palms, like so many other things are going to have to wait until after this monster fish tank project is done. And that's going to take me at least a year!
     

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