Posted 25 October 2011 - 07:23 AM
The November meeting of the Palm Beach Palm and Cycad Society will be held at Mounts Botanical Garden, 559 N Military Trail, West Palm Beach Fl. Wednesday November 2, 7:30 pm.
Paul Craft will present the program for the November 2nd meeting is entitled “The Wonderful World of Palms”. Paul is well0known to palm enthusiasts in south Florida and beyond. Paul Craft trained as a chemist and was a director 1996 to 2010, president from 2004 to 2008 vice president 2000 to 2004 of the international Palm Society. A resident of Palm Beach County, he was the founding president of the Palm Beach Palm and Cycad Society and also a palm nurseryman. Paul is currently a Horticultural Consultant at Craft Horticultural Consulting.
Paul has over 35 years of knowledge working with plants in diverse ways. Paul’s experience includes having owned both a retail and wholesale nursery. That nursery experience includes setting up and running both container and field nurseries as well as growing plants from cuttings and seed to maturity. Plants grown include common landscape plants used in South Florida landscaping to working with over 1500 species of palms, 100 species of cycads, and many other plant families including, aroids, bromeliads, begonias, gingers, heliconias, succulents, tropical trees, and Florida natives.
Paul became a landscape contractor early on, which led to landscape design. Paul began work on small homeowner landscapes, which led to work on commercial landscapes and finally formulating landscape codes for developments. More recently, Paul has designed botanical gardens for both individuals and public institutions using extremely diverse plant palettes. He prefers developing a more natural landscape design, but has worked on formal designs as well.
Creating and maintaining databases for plant collections, botanical gardens, and nursery inventory control are also among his experience.
Paul’s horticultural experience includes diagnosing problems with plant nutrition, diseases, pests and environment. Sun, water, temperature, and salt tolerances are among the environmental considerations for proper plant placement. Having traveled to many places throughout the world to gain a better understanding of how plant species grow in habitat has been very beneficial in my understanding the conditions plants need to grow well.
Author "All About Palms", Meredith Books, 2008
Co-writer with Robert Lee Riffle of the award-winning "An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms", 2003 offers a definitive account of palms that may be grown in the garden and landscape. Because palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity--even to tropical gardeners-- Paul Craft and Robert Lee Riffle have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family. Approximately 890 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. No gardener or landscaper who reads this book should ever again lose a palm solely because of lack of horticultural information.
Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. The volume even contains photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia. Interesting snippets of history, ethno botany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants. As well as all of the tropical and subtropical palms, the encyclopedia includes many species that can withstand freezing; thus it is applicable for areas where average low temperatures do not drop below 5ºF (-15ºC).
Many features of the book add to its usefulness for the amateur or professional grower. Extensive landscape lists group together palms with special characteristics, such as drought tolerance, salt tolerance, and slow growth, to name a few. A unique appendix with notes on germinating seed of selected palms will prove invaluable to gardeners and nursery professionals who wish to grow palms from seed. In all, An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms offers a wealth of information to horticulturists at every level of experience. If you bring one of Paul’s books to the meeting he will be happy to autograph for you.
Palm Beach Palm and Cycad Society Member (IPS Affiliate)
North Palm Beach