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I think my mystery palm is a Licuala

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I posted this palm before. I repotted it, and took another photo. This is a mystery palm. I have come to believe that it is a Licuala, mainly because I have/had a bunch of them, and bev=cause it looks like one. It has vicious spines like many of them do as well. Does anyone recognize my wayward child?

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These are its spines

IMG_2622.JPG

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I have a big Licuala spinosa in the ground. This potted palm has always been away from that location and was never planted in the ground. But it does resemble it very much

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The spikes remind me of Livistona saribus :blink::rage:<--because it's the only emoticon with teeth

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The shape, spacing, and size of the thorns doesn't look like Licuala.

Tim

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Hmm...

Very interesting.

I believe you may have a species of Pholidocarpus in your collection. If it was grown from seed or purchased as a seedling or small plant within the last ten years or more, chances are it is either Pholidocarpus kingianus or Pholidocarpus majadum, which are very similar and may be lumped together in the future.

These two species have popped into cultivation on and off in that period of time and your plant resembles a Pholidocarpus with the grouped segments and those incredible spines. The newest and largest leaf also has a slight costa extension which is a feature with Pholidocarpus. Another key feature of this genus, is the appearance of yellow-colored, parallel stripes that develop on the lower petioles and leaf bases. Your plant looks like it is too small to develop this trait yet, but if it does, that would be a great sign.

Have you been protecting this plant from severe cold? Pholidocarpus have been known for being cold sensitive. Other than this, specimens have not been the hardest palm to grow, they are just extremely rare. The seed are difficult to get and the viability is very short.

You are a great grower, but do take care of it as there are not many around, a lot fewer since the 2010 cold, and I can't predict when seed or plants may become available.

Ryan

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WOW Ryan thanks! I will be on the lookout for the striping. Yes, I do protect it from cold, it is in the greenhouse and I keep it always at least 50 in winter. The name of the palm does not sound familiar to me....but most of my palms were purchased from Floribunda and a place that used to be in Miami, I can't remember the name, but it was run by a family from India I believe....all are at least 10 years old. It was neglected for a few years, I had a lot of family issues to deal with and had to let my greenhouse hobby suffer somewhat, which is why you see some cut off fronds, but I am taking good care of all my plants again now and it seems to be doing well. I have not grown any palms from seed ever except some bamboo palms (the Chamaedorea) so if this is a Pholidocarpus it was purchased as a seedling or small plant. It is also possible that it was sent to me by mistake....one of my palms from Hawaii was supposed to be one thing and was actually another, so there could have been another mistake made.

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Oh my gosh I just looked up P. kingianus and that does look like my palm! WOW it gets HUGE. It must be very slow growing, yes? I hope so or I will never be able to keep it long term

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3 hours ago, metalfan said:

Oh my gosh I just looked up P. kingianus and that does look like my palm! WOW it gets HUGE. It must be very slow growing, yes? I hope so or I will never be able to keep it long term

The majority of the plants I have seen in cultivation have been container grown and have been slow growing. Not the slowest but not moderate either. I see no reason why specimens cannot be kept containerized for a long time. I know of a few larger ones in pots that look perfect. I have seen attempts to grow Pholidocarpus in the ground with mixed results. They do not like wet, mucky soils and juvenile plants seem to have no tolerance of any direct sun, even just partial sun. The genus is related to both Livistona, Licuala and maybe one other genus and seems to grow like a mix between the two former ones. Specimens in their native habitats have been known to grow extremely tall, like skyscraper tall.

Ryan

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Well, I will be long dead before then. Whoever has this place after me could cut a hole in th greenhouse roof I guess!

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Livistona saribus. Pholidocarpus spines are arranged differently and I see no yellow lines on the petiole. Done.

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