R. sapida: A question for you Kiwi's

Discussion in 'PALM TREES - WHERE TROPICAL STARTS' started by Alicehunter2000, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. Alicehunter2000

    Alicehunter2000 Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    9a
    Where is the southernmost population of this species and do you think this population exhibits any more cold tolorance than populations further north? Has anyone ever collected seed from these individuals? I guess the same question could be asked regarding altitude and distance from the coast. Pictures would be cool also.
     
  2. Bennz

    Bennz New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Waimarama NZ, z10
    The southernmost population is on the Chatham Island group, Mangere Island I think is the southernmost with nikau. If you browse through online real estate listings for Chatham Island you often find these palms in pictures. ON the mainland the population at Akaroa near Christchurch is the southernmost on the East Coast, while on the West Coast the populations end around Greymouth (I think). Occaisonally I hear stories about populations further south, but never confirmed.

    These palms are not likely to be the most cold tolerant Rhopalostylis at all, as the southernmost areas are either totally or nearly frost-free coastal sites. The Chatham provenance should certainly be the best bet for very cool summer near frost-free climates (coolest parts of San Francisco etc), and is also a very attractive form.

    If frost tolerance is wanted I suspect some of the more inland and higher altitude sites on the North Island would be better. Some of these populations would see -5C most years. There is a population easily seen form the road in the Waioeka Gorge which are in a spot cold enough that sometimes the frost stays on the ground all day in winter. Nice formed palms as well. There are likely better candidates than this elsewhere.

    The one thing that will not be found is a population that experiences both cold and heat. NZs climate is mild by international standards, and most of the nikau populations in habitat (usually rainforest remnant) would see extreme extreme annual temperatures inside the range from about 35-90F. They do handle temperatures outside this range in cutivation of course.
     
  3. Alicehunter2000

    Alicehunter2000 Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    9a
    Bennz, thanks for the reply. The discussion board doesn't have as much activity as I'm used to. I figured when PT was having all their troubles I would come over here and get used to things.

    Noted....what you said about the inland, North Island species having possibly more cold tolerance than more southerly coastal areas. The same thing occurs here in the U.S.. Even though I'm further north in Florida, my temps are more moderated than someone further south but inland. Have you ever thought about finding a stand of R. sapida that was at the extreme of their range and collecting seed? I ask, because there might be a potentially large market for such seeds as there is a large swath of the U.S. that would fall into the 9a corridor. Maybe what might even be more helpful is to find a group of trees that have a tolerance for more extreme swings in temperature. R. sapida is a gorgeous crownshafted palm that shows that it can handle some cold....that combination is in very short supply in the Palmy world.
     
  4. Bennz

    Bennz New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Waimarama NZ, z10
    I recall reading something written by a Florida grower once. They had nikau in their yard. The palms sulked and refused to grow all summer long as it was just too hot. With the first decent cold snap of the season the palms kicked into full growth in perfect time to get killed by a small frost that didn't worry anything else. Nikau are not naturally suited to a continental climate without some serious climate moderating influence. Heat tolerance is just as much of an issue as cold tolerance.
     

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