E. woodii & E. Latifrons -- new acquisitions of San Diego Zoo

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I heard about this acquisition of the San Diego Zoo last year, and couldn't wait to go see them in person!

I understand that they got the plants in 2016 but took some time to prepare the site.  They've supposedly been in the ground now since late summer 2016 and are clearly in the re-establishment process.

The latifrons I recognize as Dick Johnson's plant of many decades.  It's finally out of the dense shade it was in for a long time and now in full blazing San Diego sun -- which is still pretty gentle to me, being from Arizona.  A bit sun scorched, so it's going to be ugly for a while, since latifrons is so very slow to flush.

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Here's a bit more crown detail to give the lobing and perhaps potential beauty!

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Also some pup detail.  Seems these leafed out since transplanting into open ground and may reveal a bit more of the spination and coloration to come on the main stem.

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Now the woodii had spent more time in its post-excavation box and had better established itself.  The newest flush is a bit stunted due to being in now bright sun, but the confirmation of the leaves is terrific and in short order this is going to be a stunner!

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They wisely left the many pups on which, in time, will create a stunning natural effect like the Ngoye plant from which it derives.

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There's other nice things in this generous space, too.

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Encephalartos arenarius, a blue form.

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Edited by GeneAZ
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E. frederici-guilelmi used to be in another part of the zoo.20171126_143613.thumb.jpeg.f5cf895d70c3e

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E. munchii offset from the really large female plant near the entrance.

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Edited by GeneAZ
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So I'm really thrilled that these important cycads have come to live in this outstanding botanic garden where all the cycads seem to thrive so spectacularly!  I just hope the caretakers don't get impatient with that latifrons and try to force it to produce another new flush of leaves by over-fertilizing.  20 years ago, there was a fairly nice 6-inch caudex of latifrons at this zoo, and someone threw a handful of time-released fertilizer against the trunk and into the crown and the plant burned badly and died!  Broke my heart.

(Carribean flamingos, supposedly the pinkest of them all.)

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9 hours ago, GeneAZ said:

So I'm really thrilled that these important cycads have come to live in this outstanding botanic garden where all the cycads seem to thrive so spectacularly!

Thanks for sharing this.  It makes me want to go down and visit the zoo again, something I haven't done for a long time.  Love seeing that E latifrons with all that trunk, and the woodii is spectacular as well.  You mentioned the latifrons was in a shaded spot in Dick Johnson's garden, which prompted my curiosity as to what city the garden was in... I obviously don't know who Dick Johnson is (was).  The zoo is well located in San Diego for mild low temps, yet far enough inland that it also gets plenty of heat compared to coastal areas with equivalent mild lows (my perspective coming from coastal zone of San Diego).  While I'm growing neither of these two prized cycads, I do have hybrids of both and appreciate seeing the "real thing" in mature size.

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I couldn’t agree more. Glad to see that they went to a great forever home. I remember seeing (on-line) photographs of when they were dug and put into boxes for transplanting. I would hope that they do their research as far as how to care for them, especially cycads of this rarity and value. It would be a tragedy to see any one of them die. I am sure the latifrons will pull through it just might take a while. Time to plan a trip to the zoo with the kiddos. Thanks for sharing the photos and update. 

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2 hours ago, Tracy said:

Thanks for sharing this.  It makes me want to go down and visit the zoo again, something I haven't done for a long time.  Love seeing that E latifrons with all that trunk, and the woodii is spectacular as well.  You mentioned the latifrons was in a shaded spot in Dick Johnson's garden, which prompted my curiosity as to what city the garden was in... I obviously don't know who Dick Johnson is (was).  The zoo is well located in San Diego for mild low temps, yet far enough inland that it also gets plenty of heat compared to coastal areas with equivalent mild lows (my perspective coming from coastal zone of San Diego).  While I'm growing neither of these two prized cycads, I do have hybrids of both and appreciate seeing the "real thing" in mature size.

Dick Johnson's place was in West Covina in the L.A. area.

The woodii supposedly originates from Lotusland as a pup removed in 2009.  Although I really doubt that much clear trunk height could be achieved in 8 years, so that claimed pup removal date is likely off by 10 years, in my opinion.  

 

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Indeed......some great cycads.

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5 hours ago, GeneAZ said:

The woodii supposedly originates from Lotusland as a pup removed in 2009.  Although I really doubt that much clear trunk height could be achieved in 8 years, so that claimed pup removal date is likely off by 10 years, in my opinion.  

I about wet my shorts thinking that a woodii pup could get that big in less than a decade, but then I looked at the scar on the trunk (your photos below) and realized the pup had formed trunk even before it was removed.  Even so, I would believe your estimate of another decade on top of that to gain the size above the scar.  That said, I don't have any Encephalartos which have truly formed a trunk yet.  I'm close with a couple, but it isn't fair for me to guess how much they would gain per flush once they gain trunking height.  Regarding West Covina, having spent some time with a customer there, it definitely gets hotter and colder than down at the SD Zoo.

17 hours ago, GeneAZ said:

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I have heard differently on the source of this woodii.

As for the age, it is my understanding that it is over 30years old.

 

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That woodii is a lot older than 10 years from a pup. I dont know that you could get a cycas taitungensis that size in 10 years from a big pup in SoCal.  That latifrons is easily 100 years old if not double or triple that age. Thats a massive pre cites specimen. 

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On 12/7/2017, 2:44:22, Palm Tree Jim said:

I have heard differently on the source of this woodii.

As for the age, it is my understanding that it is over 30years old.

 

When it comes to cycads Jim knows.  Should be Cycad Jim or Bromeliad Jim.

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14 minutes ago, Hammer said:

When it comes to cycads Jim knows.  Should be Cycad Jim or Bromeliad Jim.

Let’s not get carried away.......

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On 12/8/2017, 7:07:09, Palm Tree Jim said:

Let’s not get carried away.......

:)

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On 12/8/2017, 7:07:09, Palm Tree Jim said:

Let’s not get carried away.......

one day Jim will post his trunking Hirsutus :bemused:

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great pic's Gene!

thanks for sharing. some of my palms made it to the African Rocks project :)

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1 hour ago, Josh-O said:

one day Jim will post his trunking Hirsutus :bemused:

Funny.......:floor:

 

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1 hour ago, Josh-O said:

great pic's Gene!

thanks for sharing. some of my palms made it to the African Rocks project :)

That's cool Josh.....which palms?

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4 hours ago, Josh-O said:

one day Jim will post his trunking Hirsutus :bemused:

They do only get better with age and size!

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Yikes!

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17 hours ago, GeneAZ said:

They do only get better with age and size!

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Wow.....incredible!

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Great plants, can't wait to check out that area on my next trip down there with the family.  Kids - "what is Daddy doing", Wife (rolling her eyes) - "staring at plants again"...

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Here are a couple links I found online which show pictures of the relocation process. I believe Mark (Way to Go Palms) was the guy tasked with the relocation. FYI- he is also a great source for cycads 

 

http://www.waytogopalms.com/latifrons.htm

 

http://www.waytogopalms.com/woodii.htm

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Mark has sold a lot of cycads to the zoo, most of which were huge, ancient plants.  I remember lehmanii that had over 3' of trunk that was headed to the zoo. 

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