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Ptychosperma waitianum

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This is my favorite Ptychosperma and one of my favorite palms period. It's name sake is Lucita H. Wait, past executive secretary of the International Palm Society and manager of its seed bank. Between her and Theodore "Teddy" Buehler - they were the work horses of the Society in its infancy.

I have two of these palms. One in too much sun but is starting to do better as the surrounding plants are starting to give it some shade. It has been very slow. My larger palm has its largest stem around 7 ft. The second largest stem is around 5 ft. Both are flowering but no seed. The 7 ft stem has flowered for three years.

Does this require a native pollinator? I gotta admit that neither palm has ever looked exceptional. I don't think that it appreciates our calcarous soil. Both are heavily mulched and watered. Just never looks as good as it could. Does not appreciate or cold fronts either.

Anybody ever gotten theirs to seed in Florida? :unsure:

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This is my favorite Ptychosperma and one of my favorite palms period. It's name sake is Lucita H. Wait, past executive secretary of the International Palm Society and manager of its seed bank. Between her and Theodore "Teddy" Buehler - they were the work horses of the Society in its infancy.

I have two of these palms. One in too much sun but is starting to do better as the surrounding plants are starting to give it some shade. It has been very slow. My larger palm has its largest stem around 7 ft. The second largest stem is around 5 ft. Both are flowering but no seed. The 7 ft stem has flowered for three years.

Does this require a native pollinator? I gotta admit that neither palm has ever looked exceptional. I don't think that it appreciates our calcarous soil. Both are heavily mulched and watered. Just never looks as good as it could. Does not appreciate or cold fronts either.

Anybody ever gotten theirs to seed in Florida? :unsure:

Bueller?

Bueller?

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This is one of my favorite palms as well and is high on my list to acquire.I have seen some spectacular ones in Hawaii.

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Well, not in Florida but is impressive

post-3609-074790900 1333827093_thumb.jpg

From the Andersen garden in Hawaii

gmp

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This is also one of my favorites. Great color and small enough to get to good size in a pot. Though I'm a bit farther north than Florida, just east of Washington, D.C., mine (potted) threw a flower spike last fall. It stalled when I brought my palms in for the winter. Not sure if it will resume growth when I move them back out in a few weeks.

Flower spike:

P.waitianum.20111016-01.jpg

Trunk bases;

P.waitianum.20111016-03.jpg

Full palm:

P.waitianum.20101016-01.jpg

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Ron,

A great question, and that I can answer for you. Yes, they will seed here in south Florida as I have seen mature fruit on them at Fairchild Gardens over the years.

I have a large specimen growing in my garden that is now approx. 9' tall and 6' across. Flowers almost constantly year round, and yet I have never had one seed produced! Life is never perfect my friend.....

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This is my favorite Ptychosperma and one of my favorite palms period. It's name sake is Lucita H. Wait, past executive secretary of the International Palm Society and manager of its seed bank. Between her and Theodore "Teddy" Buehler - they were the work horses of the Society in its infancy.

I have two of these palms. One in too much sun but is starting to do better as the surrounding plants are starting to give it some shade. It has been very slow. My larger palm has its largest stem around 7 ft. The second largest stem is around 5 ft. Both are flowering but no seed. The 7 ft stem has flowered for three years.

Does this require a native pollinator? I gotta admit that neither palm has ever looked exceptional. I don't think that it appreciates our calcarous soil. Both are heavily mulched and watered. Just never looks as good as it could. Does not appreciate or cold fronts either.

Anybody ever gotten theirs to seed in Florida? :unsure:

Any chance on seeing a pic of your plants???

I have to confess that this has always been a wish list palm for me, but it is almost always so dry here that it might be a chore to kep it happy...but come to think of it, i have two small A. vestiaria that are still kicking, and they are water needy too....hmmmmmmmm. :hmm:

Rusty

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I thought P. waitianum was the single trunked one and the similar looking multi-trunked one was P. burretianum.

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I thought P. waitianum was the single trunked one and the similar looking multi-trunked one was P. burretianum.

agree...Waitys are single..Hybrids do occur.

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I thought P. waitianum was the single trunked one and the similar looking multi-trunked one was P. burretianum.

agree...Waitys are single..Hybrids do occur.

I inquired here a while back on just this subject. The general consensus was both produce suckers.

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In Essig's original description of P. waitianum he states:

A very small palm with solitary stem

1.2-2.0 cm. in diam., to 5 m. high, internodes

farinose and brown-Iepidotepunctate

when young.

The consensus in that other post seems to me to have been that there's been a lot of hybridisation and we don't really know what we've got. Essig's description bears that out.

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I've always suspected Ptychosperma sp. 'Watu boho' as the single stemmed form. Don Ellison in Cultivated Palms of the World recognizes Ptychosperma waitianum as either single stemmed or clustering species. Are you guys thinking of the hybrid Ptychosperma nicolai, not the clustering Ptychosperma waitianum? :unsure:

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Oh dear, here's where an international palm action group is needed. A group with reasonable creds, a group with fortitude, knowledge and a love of palm leaves and palm music .

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Essig described the species from plants directly grown from seed collected in habitat. Ellison would have written about cultivated plants that had probably already been hybridised.

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Essig described the species from plants directly grown from seed collected in habitat. Ellison would have written about cultivated plants that had probably already been hybridised.

Well - can't blame a guy for throwing something against a wall and seeing if it sticks. Ellison is an Aussie, thought he would know. LOL :lol:

I really hate posting palms of mine that are looking like crap. Look at Tom's in Maryland and mine looks like crap? :( But since Rusty asked, here they are.

post-1729-017707800 1334072615_thumb.jpg

This is my small Ptychosperma waitianum. It is a single stem. Only beacuse the suckers got burnt off from too much sun a couple of years ago.

post-1729-086525800 1334072867_thumb.jpg

This is my large clustering Ptychosperma waitianum. The older fronds get brown areas on the leaflets. The entire frond then turns brown rather rapidly. This palm is regularly feed and watered. It is also heavily mulched and not lacking in organic material in the soil. I suspect it just does not appreciate calcareous soil. :huh:

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One of our own board members, Scott Zona maybe could chime in, as I think he did a revision on Ptychosperma a short while back. Any new information would be greatly appreciated. Scott......?

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Ron,

Great thread I happen to miss.

I have three groups of this species...all in dappled/deep shade. They are fairly slow growers, and all of mine are clustering. However, these three look identical to my Pty. burretianum, which all but three trunks were lost due to the wicked 09-10 winter.

I love this palm. My late palm mentor, Paul Drummond always spoke about the genetic makeup of hybrid palms and how some may have what he equated to a 'virus' causing the palm to never look the best. Wonder if this could be true. :unsure:

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Not in Florida, but our clumping Waitianum ( so many variations in Waitianums) continually flowers and fruits.

post-5709-093107500 1334303994_thumb.jpg

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