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Al in Kona

Polyalthia longifolia 'pendula' or "Asoka" "Ashoka"

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Al in Kona

I have two plants of Polyalthia longifolia 'pendula' (not to be confused with Saraca indica) growing in the garden and I've been disappointed in how they have performed for me. Two of its more common names would be 'Asoka' or 'Ashoka'. I've seen them growing well in Malaysia and Thailand even in areas that do experience a definite dry season and I understand that where they originate from in India they experience a rather long dry season. Questions come to mind . . . Could it be that my soil is a bit too porous and dries out too quickly (not enough clay particles) for them to grow and look their best? Even on the wet Hilo side of the island they do not thrive and grow super slow with occasional branch die-back (cinder soil would usually be the case there too). Here is some info (a comment) I found on Google:

On Sep 22, 2002, iceman from Townsville/Queensland

Australia wrote:

strong growth rate in the tropics of northern Australia, will grow successfully in medium to heavy clay soils. It is being used as a streetscape tree in townsville, QLD, also attracts bower birds that steal the shiny golden seeds to line its bower.experiance shows it has a single taproot that goes straight down till it hits water, and almost no surface feeder roots.It has been successfully grown as a hedge tree with spacings of 1 metre. (end of quote)

Or possibly they may prefer very low hot elevations? Wish I knew the answer as I really like the looks of this attractive plant. The below pic shows how one of mine looks now after I had cut it way back and new growth shows quite nicely. Wonder how long it will stay looking this good. Usually I will get die-back happening on some branches later on.

Are any of you growing this tall narrow attractive plant? Any comments appreciated.

post-90-1258496620_thumb.jpg

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MattyB

We saw some at Jeff's place in Florida Al. It's hot and wet there. Jeff has a rich black mucky soil.

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leomx

no idea of growing req.

is this Polyalthia also??? this one likes it hot an dry.

rbol1.jpg

rbol2.jpg

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Al in Kona

Leomx - yeah it looks like it is Polyalthia longifolia but perhaps not the 'pendula' form. Nice looking 'de todos modos'. What kind of soil is it growing in? Heavy clay type or what?

How are your Braheas growing? How many do you have?

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Kailua_Krish

We have these in my grandfather's yard in Hyderabad. It has a significant wet/dry season and very heavy soil (reddish clay). They seem to do really well there. It is very hot and I think the elevation is not extremely high but fairly so as it is on the Deccan. Hope this can help some!

-Krishna

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fiji jim

They grow well here.

Don't mind the dry season as it is short and during cooler months.

Nice specimens are in clay soil and don't mind some salty winds or poor drainage.

Jim

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ariscott

My trees were planted almost 2 years ago. They were not quite 1m tall when planted and now, they are 3-4m. So, they are not slow...

Regards, Ari :)

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peachy

I tripped and fell on mine, but for 6 months it did well on my heavy black clay.

Peachy

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Jerry@TreeZoo

We are growing both the pendula and the straight species in the Deerfield Beach Arboretum. We only have on of the longifolia so I cannot say for sure but it seems way slower than the pendula. Our big pendula was knocked flat in Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and was about 8' tall. We stood it back up and now I'm guessing about 25' tall. The local trees have just gotten big enough to fruit in the last few years so seedlings are very reasonable compared to just 5 years ago. We have a planting of the pendula as a hedge where we have about 16 of them in a row on about 3' centers. All are growing fine and I would say the more sun and water the better. Our soil is sandy topsoil and we get definate dry spells.

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Peter

Has anyone tried them in California? How about Eric at Leu?

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ariscott

I planted mine in full sun and irrigated... if that helps. I am not sure what our soil is, not sand but not clay since it is well drained... :blink:

Regards, Ari :)

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bahia

I saw this growing in both Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia which really has no discernable dry season, and doing equally well in Saudi Arabia along the Persian Gulf Coast, which really has not discernable wet season, but they did get irrigation. My impression of this tree is that it prefers it hot in any case, and I doubt it would be a good candidate for California, but who knows, there may be some adventurous gardener in Palm Springs or San Diego who is trying to grow this. They look really cool when doing well, a perfect narrow growing yet pendulous foliage tree for median strips where you don't want any side branching growth that would get whacked by passing trucks. Soils in the Eastern Provences of Saudi Arabia where I saw it growing were virtually pure sand over bedrock, but with a very high water table that was also sometimes brackish water. In Malaysia, the soil was usually sticky red clay.

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Kim

The vertical form of these trees is remakable. You can pick out a few in this photo -- is this the pendula form? This is Tanzania and I can't say much about the soil except that it has a reddish color. There is a definite wet season and dry season. Being near the equator, it's never cold at lower elevations.

DSC_0357_1.jpg

The soil is exposed in this photo:

DSC_0885.jpg

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Eric in Orlando

We have one here at Leu Gardens. It was planted July 2004 and is now about 20ft tall. It gets broken shade most of the day. (That is a Caryota obtusa behind it)

img_3064.jpg

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Manolitus

Al,

Here in Miami, there are a few of them around, not too far from my house in Coconut Grove. I have three seedlings in my backyard where they get decent irrigation and broken sun; they are doing and growing well.

I first noticed these monumental trees in purely tropical areas, but then I discovered them here ! As most people know, our soil is awful. Actually we have no soil, we're on rock, basically. So it seems that they are pretty adaptable from the accounts we're hearing.

I still don't understand which is the "pendula" form and which is the normal form.

I MUCH prefer the drooping leaves. It looks very very cool.

Manny

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Peter

Promising that Eric has them at Leu :D

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paulgila

Picture567.jpg

heres one in florida. the only one ive seen in CA is in the conservatory at the huntington.

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paulgila

maybe the one that leomx posted a pic of would grow in socal?

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ariscott
Promising that Eric has them at Leu :D

go on... Peter, give it a go.. I like them... and they don't need a lot of room...

Regards, Ari :)

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