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Rhopalostylis sapida

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palmtreesforpleasure

Pogobob took me to see this amazing palm, it is its the real colour!!

The colour is very strong in this palm. You can see some of it on the inside of the sheaf of an old leaf.

Pictures do not do it justice , the actual colour is more vibrant.

Has any one seen any other unusual colours on this species crownshaft?

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hope you enjoy this shared experience

regards

colin

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post-197-088150200 1284183480_thumb.jpg

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richnorm

I have never seen or heard of any other Nikau remotely like this one and I have discussed this plant with other members of PACSONZ. They sometimes start out yellow after a new leaf drops but that's it. The trunk looks unusual too but maybe that is the way it has been manicured. I know it is real, and many here have seen that plant, but I still struggle to suppress my bullshit sensors! It's almost as if purple dye has been watered into the root zone.

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palmtreesforpleasure

Hello Richnorm

I know how you feel, it does not seem possible, that is why a picture was taken of the old leaf. Normally you see lots of colour when a new leaf comes off a palm, after a few days it fades but not on this one, this IS its colour.

seeing is believing, had to travel a long way to see it for myself, it is real. just a rare mutation is all i can think of. Are there any other mutation out there, maybe other colours, anything is possible it seems

regards

colin

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Jim in Los Altos

What a strikingly beautiful Rhopy! They're beautiful palms when they have green crown shafts but this one is wild. The inside of the sheath shows some interesting coloring as well. Do Rhopalostylis always drop an old leaf while it's still so green?

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Ntheastpalms

What a beautiful palm! Any ripe seeds Colin??

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Gary

I picking the palm maybe a result from crossing sapida and baueri as the open crown and white flowers and purple crownshaft are all features that canbe seen on baueri.Has anyone seedling pictures of ones germinated from this palm.Where do this palm come from as a youngplant or seed.There are a handful of what maybe baueri sapida cross in the Auckland area of nz but of coarse there is no proof they are crosses but are non typical of either species

Gary

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richnorm

I picking the palm maybe a result from crossing sapida and baueri as the open crown and white flowers and purple crownshaft are all features that canbe seen on baueri.Has anyone seedling pictures of ones germinated from this palm.Where do this palm come from as a youngplant or seed.There are a handful of what maybe baueri sapida cross in the Auckland area of nz but of coarse there is no proof they are crosses but are non typical of either species

Gary

Good point Gary, and there is probably nobody else on the planet with as much experience at observing the different forms as you! On the close-ups those seeds do look rather large and globose for typical sapida. A seedling shot would clear it up as you say. Mind you, I think it was suggested that the seed came from Little Barrier which would, if true, rule out a hybrid. I guess there must be genes for purple in both species as both can have purple flowers.

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Gary

I cannt see how it couldbe Little Barrier as where would the seeds have come from??Attached are some pic of little barrier nikau with history as recorded proof of origin.Unfortunely is in a extremely run down backyard and pic are hard toget and does not do palm justice.In life the palm is much larger than it looks in pic.The pic with old leaf has jandal for scale [300mm long jandal]so you can judge trunk dianeter.Pic 35 is normal kermadec crownshaft showing some of the purple/brown colour but as dark and overcast day it doesnt do justice to colour.

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palmtreesforpleasure

Hello Gary

it appears the mystery continues,

The one in California has whitish rachis. You pictures show the start of some colour. It would be nice to be able to have it DNA tested to compare with the other forms

regards

colin

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Matt in SD

I have a couple seedlings off this palm that are just opening the first leaf now. Will try to get photos, but may take a week. I got very poort germination from the seeds off this palm (others here got them too, not sure how they did). I have only two germinated from ~40 seeds or so and those took 7-8 months to sprout. But hey, I only need one.

Colin, thanks for posting, I'm glad to see confirmation of just how spectacular this palm is. I'll be sure to take good care of my seedlings.

Matt

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Jonathan

I picking the palm maybe a result from crossing sapida and baueri as the open crown and white flowers and purple crownshaft are all features that canbe seen on baueri.Has anyone seedling pictures of ones germinated from this palm.Where do this palm come from as a youngplant or seed.There are a handful of what maybe baueri sapida cross in the Auckland area of nz but of coarse there is no proof they are crosses but are non typical of either species

Gary

Good point Gary, and there is probably nobody else on the planet with as much experience at observing the different forms as you! On the close-ups those seeds do look rather large and globose for typical sapida. A seedling shot would clear it up as you say. Mind you, I think it was suggested that the seed came from Little Barrier which would, if true, rule out a hybrid. I guess there must be genes for purple in both species as both can have purple flowers.

Here you go then....

On the left R. sapida 'Chatham Islands', in the centre R. Purple Crownshaft (seed from the tree in question), on the right R. baueri 'Kermadec Islands'. All roughly the same age. The purple c/s seeds are globose and large (12-15mm diameter)and as you can see the leaflets are very broad and recurved - totally different from most other sapida's I've grown, although I found the Chathams seedlings to be very variable, and nothing like baueri. Germination was very poor. I suspect, as Colin suggested, that this palm is a genetic mutant rather than a known variety...but hopefully you Kiwis may be able to figure it out for us.

post-1935-049374000 1284332817_thumb.jpg

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Sorry about poor quality of photos.

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Jonathan

A couple more pics:

post-1935-080325600 1284333556_thumb.jpg

...and with flash:

post-1935-021765500 1284333609_thumb.jpg

Cheers,

Jonathan

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Gary

if you are referring to petiole colour to help id the palm then palm in question is closest to baueri var cheesemannii which is in general oatmeal to tan brown colour.Attached are pic from my back yard taken this morning.Hard toget pic as more jungle like at my place.Palms are just starting to trunk or have several rings.number 53 and 54 is what i believe to be a hybrid and has flour color white petiole and very wide leaflets.55 is a kermadec 56 and 57 is pitt island sapida which is also more creamy white colour.52 is Little Barrier also the flour white colour on fresher petiole[to side is pitt island leaf

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Jonathan

The seedlings are just nothing at all like baueri - they have the deep shiny green of sapida, rather than the the washed out greeny brown colour of baueri, but the seeds are totally unlike any sapida I've ever seen.

I'm not sure if its obvious from my photo's but the seedling leaflets are also highly pleated, if that helps with identification in any way.

Cheers,

Jonathan

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Gary

If i was shown that seedling for id I would say baueri as it is nothing like little barrier seedling.It maybe baueri var baueri which i believe is different to cheesemannii.As for chatham/pitt island well they are sapida anyway but do look similiar to baueri as seedlings.I have 100s of seedlings and seed of all these and you need more than 1 seedling to base more than a guess on

Seed shape on all forms of rhopalostylis is variable on the same bunch and is only a general observation what u read on description.

A couple more pics:

post-1935-080325600 1284333556_thumb.jpg

...and with flash:

post-1935-021765500 1284333609_thumb.jpg

Cheers,

Jonathan

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Jonathan

I'm not basing a guess on anything really - I genuinely have no idea at all.

However your comments above conflict with my experience a bit....which makes me wonder what I really have!

Here is what I've found: R. baueri 'cheesemanii' (which is no longer a valid name) seedlings from three different batches I've grown are uniformly greeny brown and fairly upright. The leaflets appear slightly diamond shaped. I bought these seeds from RPS, so I would assume the provinence is correct.

The seedlings that I have of Chathams sapida are all glossy green, generally narrow and generally upright, although variable (some slightly recurved) but look totally different to the 'cheesmanii' seedlings. My Chathams seeds came from the US so I've got no way of proving they are the real deal, other than anecdotal, which I have no reason to doubt, or that they are not hybrids, which I have wondered about. They grow faster than the few North Island sapida varieties I have.

I'd be very interested to see some seedlings of certified Chathams and Little Barrier Island and both baueri types to compare mine too. Do you have any pics lying around?

I agree that you cant base a guess on one seedling, I've got a couple of other sprouts now and I think we have more seeds on the way, so we'll see how they turn out.

Cheers,

Jonathan

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Gary

I'm not basing a guess on anything really - I genuinely have no idea at all.

However your comments above conflict with my experience a bit....which makes me wonder what I really have!

Here is what I've found: R. baueri 'cheesemanii' (which is no longer a valid name) seedlings from three different batches I've grown are uniformly greeny brown and fairly upright. The leaflets appear slightly diamond shaped. I bought these seeds from RPS, so I would assume the provinence is correct.

The seedlings that I have of Chathams sapida are all glossy green, generally narrow and generally upright, although variable (some slightly recurved) but look totally different to the 'cheesmanii' seedlings. My Chathams seeds came from the US so I've got no way of proving they are the real deal, other than anecdotal, which I have no reason to doubt, or that they are not hybrids, which I have wondered about. They grow faster than the few North Island sapida varieties I have.

I'd be very interested to see some seedlings of certified Chathams and Little Barrier Island and both baueri types to compare mine too. Do you have any pics lying around?

I agree that you cant base a guess on one seedling, I've got a couple of other sprouts now and I think we have more seeds on the way, so we'll see how they turn out.

Cheers,

Jonathan

I have seedlings of all and will post latter-any seed from Tobias came from me in the last 15yrs.

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Jonathan

That would be great Garry - thanks.

I was just re-reading the original thread on this plant Here where Pogobob describes how the seed came to be in California....it seems a reasonable enough explanation to me, and I really cant see why anyone would even bother to make it all up. If I was cruising past that island it would be very tempting to stop in for a look!

Cheers,

Jonathan

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Bennz

That would be great Garry - thanks.

I was just re-reading the original thread on this plant Here where Pogobob describes how the seed came to be in California....it seems a reasonable enough explanation to me, and I really cant see why anyone would even bother to make it all up. If I was cruising past that island it would be very tempting to stop in for a look!

Cheers,

Jonathan

Sounds like a reasonable explanation, except that the geography is "confused" (ok, I mean wrong).

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Jonathan

That would be great Garry - thanks.

I was just re-reading the original thread on this plant Here where Pogobob describes how the seed came to be in California....it seems a reasonable enough explanation to me, and I really cant see why anyone would even bother to make it all up. If I was cruising past that island it would be very tempting to stop in for a look!

Cheers,

Jonathan

Sounds like a reasonable explanation, except that the geography is "confused" (ok, I mean wrong).

Aha, you made it back from Wellington!

Can you explain why its wrong...isnt Hauturu the native name for the island?

Isn't it therefore reasonable to think that if you'd climbed up a mountain that you didnt know the name of that you would refer to it as Mt. Hauturu? I cant see what all the fuss is about in that regard - am I missing something obvious?

Or are you just being enigmatic :lol:

Seriously though - the seeds had to come from somewhere, why would anyone make up such a specific story? Who would they be trying to impress? It just seems more logical that the story in this case is true, because it would be pointless to lie about it! You've seen the seeds yourself and commented that they were pretty different to normal Nikau....please explain.

Cheers,

Jonathan

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Jonathan

In fact there seems to be several tracks going straight up Mt. Hauturu from the landing site in the SW of the island!

Little Barrier Island

I dont get it.

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palmtreesforpleasure

Regardless of where it came from, it is a nice palm. the only solution is a DNA analyses. Who is volunteering

regards

colin

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Matt in SD

Not worth posting any pics of mine since Jonathans are a bit further along anyways. I did find several more sprouts when I went to look at mine though. So these are germinating pretyt well now after about a full year I think. I sure hope the purple color carries on!

Matt

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Gary

I picking the palm maybe a result from crossing sapida and baueri as the open crown and white flowers and purple crownshaft are all features that canbe seen on baueri.Has anyone seedling pictures of ones germinated from this palm.Where do this palm come from as a youngplant or seed.There are a handful of what maybe baueri sapida cross in the Auckland area of nz but of coarse there is no proof they are crosses but are non typical of either species

Gary

Good point Gary, and there is probably nobody else on the planet with as much experience at observing the different forms as you! On the close-ups those seeds do look rather large and globose for typical sapida. A seedling shot would clear it up as you say. Mind you, I think it was suggested that the seed came from Little Barrier which would, if true, rule out a hybrid. I guess there must be genes for purple in both species as both can have purple flowers.

Here you go then....

On the left R. sapida 'Chatham Islands', in the centre R. Purple Crownshaft (seed from the tree in question), on the right R. baueri 'Kermadec Islands'. All roughly the same age. The purple c/s seeds are globose and large (12-15mm diameter)and as you can see the leaflets are very broad and recurved - totally different from most other sapida's I've grown, although I found the Chathams seedlings to be very variable, and nothing like baueri. Germination was very poor. I suspect, as Colin suggested, that this palm is a genetic mutant rather than a known variety...but hopefully you Kiwis may be able to figure it out for us.

post-1935-049374000 1284332817_thumb.jpg

post-1935-086509100 1284333130_thumb.jpg

Sorry about poor quality of photos.

My seedlings are amongst this lot and left to fend for themself

pic 17 and 16 are little barrier which just look like an oversized sapida with much longer leaflets

9,10,11 pitt island seedlings

14,15 baueri var cheesemannii

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Gary

Regardless of where it came from, it is a nice palm. the only solution is a DNA analyses. Who is volunteering

regards

colin

You are right it is a nice palm but what name do you call it?DNA has already been done on forms here at auckland uni and i gather it proved very little

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Jonathan

Thanks for the photos Gary, it clears up a few things for me.

Your Pitt Island seedlings look very similar to my 'Chathams', so I'll assume mine are what they are meant to be.

My cheesemanii seelings are browner than yours, but otherwise similar - may just be a cultural difference.

My (nominal) LBI seedling looks pretty similar to the ones in the right hand pot in photo 16. I'll be interested to see if it develops the elongated look that your older ones have, I guess that will give us a better idea about its provinence.

Very helpful, thanks.

Its interesting that DNA has provided very little information about different forms - it really gives credence to the theory that Rhopalostylis is just one big, very variable species.

Cheers,

Jonathan

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Jonathan

Does anyone out there have a photo of a known seedling Norfolk Island baueri?

Thanks.

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Gary

Thanks for the photos Gary, it clears up a few things for me.

Your Pitt Island seedlings look very similar to my 'Chathams', so I'll assume mine are what they are meant to be.

My cheesemanii seelings are browner than yours, but otherwise similar - may just be a cultural difference.

My (nominal) LBI seedling looks pretty similar to the ones in the right hand pot in photo 16. I'll be interested to see if it develops the elongated look that your older ones have, I guess that will give us a better idea about its provinence.

Very helpful, thanks.

Its interesting that DNA has provided very little information about different forms - it really gives credence to the theory that Rhopalostylis is just one big, very variable species.

Cheers,

Jonathan

All seeds from RPS are Pitt Island as are pretty much all seed available from the chatham group of islands.Chatham island is the main island of the group and has very few palms left there-Pitt is just another island in the group

LBI-Forgot to mention that right hand side pot is cheesemannii in pic 16

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Gary

Does anyone out there have a photo of a known seedling Norfolk Island baueri?

Thanks.

I have also asked for this before with no response as i have heard norfolk doesnt have coloured leaf forms like cheesemannii.I do have a palm of norfolk which was from a seed collection of a friend in nz in early 90s but still small and i planted inground in last couple of years.

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Jonathan

All seeds from RPS are Pitt Island as are pretty much all seed available from the chatham group of islands.Chatham island is the main island of the group and has very few palms left there-Pitt is just another island in the group

LBI-Forgot to mention that right hand side pot is cheesemannii in pic 16

Ah, that changes things a bit then!

If the right hand pot in 16 is cheesemanii, then I'm confused again, because they looked most similar to my possible LBI.

Those look nothing like my cheesemanii seedlings...I'm guessing that means the left hand pot is LBI, which looks totally disimilar to mine again.

Back to square one.

Might just have to agree with Colin - its a nice palm, whatever it is.

Cheers,

Jonathan

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Gary

All seeds from RPS are Pitt Island as are pretty much all seed available from the chatham group of islands.Chatham island is the main island of the group and has very few palms left there-Pitt is just another island in the group

LBI-Forgot to mention that right hand side pot is cheesemannii in pic 16

Ah, that changes things a bit then!

If the right hand pot in 16 is cheesemanii, then I'm confused again, because they looked most similar to my possible LBI.

Those look nothing like my cheesemanii seedlings...I'm guessing that means the left hand pot is LBI, which looks totally disimilar to mine again.

Back to square one.

Might just have to agree with Colin - its a nice palm, whatever it is.

Cheers,

Jonathan

If you look at archives at rarepalmseeds you will see pic of what one expects a little barrier nikau to be like and nothing in common with purple form.none of pic there are anything to do with me.

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Gary

That would be great Garry - thanks.

I was just re-reading the original thread on this plant Here where Pogobob describes how the seed came to be in California....it seems a reasonable enough explanation to me, and I really cant see why anyone would even bother to make it all up. If I was cruising past that island it would be very tempting to stop in for a look!

Cheers,

Jonathan

Sounds like a reasonable explanation, except that the geography is "confused" (ok, I mean wrong).

Ben looking at Tobys archives I see you supplied pic of what i consider the sapida baueri cross-are you growing this form as well.How long ago was pic taken

Gary

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Tassie_Troy1971

Saw it in person last week and whatever reason for it being purple i don't know but it sure is beautiful !

post-1252-066736600 1284412223_thumb.jpg

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Gary

Saw it in person last week and whatever reason for it being purple i don't know but it sure is beautiful !

post-1252-066736600 1284412223_thumb.jpg

yes it is a very nice palm but it is not sapida from little barrier and am pretty sure it is a baueri var cheesemannii with a better than average colour on crownshaft.Even seedling pics i have seen here tell me they are baueri and not sapida looking at all

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Jonathan

All seeds from RPS are Pitt Island as are pretty much all seed available from the chatham group of islands.Chatham island is the main island of the group and has very few palms left there-Pitt is just another island in the group

LBI-Forgot to mention that right hand side pot is cheesemannii in pic 16

Ah, that changes things a bit then!

If the right hand pot in 16 is cheesemanii, then I'm confused again, because they looked most similar to my possible LBI.

Those look nothing like my cheesemanii seedlings...I'm guessing that means the left hand pot is LBI, which looks totally disimilar to mine again.

Back to square one.

Might just have to agree with Colin - its a nice palm, whatever it is.

Cheers,

Jonathan

If you look at archives at rarepalmseeds you will see pic of what one expects a little barrier nikau to be like and nothing in common with purple form.none of pic there are anything to do with me.

Gary,

after looking at every picture of baueri (both types), the LBI photos on Toby's site, photos of the Chathams palms and the description of Norfolk baueri in Dowe - I've come to the following conclussion....it can only be Kermadec baueri or a hybrid.

Norfolk baueri has green petioles (Dowe) as does LBI, this palm clearly has grey or at least not green petioles. The seed shape is more consistant with baueri of some form, and the seelings look like some of your Kermadec seedlings (right hand pot photo 16). The thing that has me completely stuffed is that the seedlings look nothing at all like my Kermadec seedlings, which are from Toby and therefore as you said certified and have appeared consistant over three batches.

I still believe that it would be feasible for Bobs friend to go ashore at LBI and collect some seeds, but I'm now wondering if he may have gone elsewhere as well and collected other seed, then got them confused in transit - an easy mistake to make. I'd be keen to know a bit more history about this guy's trip, whether he sailed to the Kermadec Islands as well - or even inadvertently collected hybrid seed from a park in Auckland as well. Who knows.

Love a good mystery - but my heads done in now.

Cheers,

Jonathan

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Jonathan

Saw it in person last week and whatever reason for it being purple i don't know but it sure is beautiful !

post-1252-066736600 1284412223_thumb.jpg

yes it is a very nice palm but it is not sapida from little barrier and am pretty sure it is a baueri var cheesemannii with a better than average colour on crownshaft.Even seedling pics i have seen here tell me they are baueri and not sapida looking at all

Agreed - see above....started typing that before I saw your post, got distracted!

Seedlings dont match my baueri's....bugger.

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pogobob

I don't believe it to be Bauri, Cheesmani, or Sapida. Maybe a remnant isolate, much the same as we see in New Caledonia and Madagascar where there are many species found in small populations on the verge of extinction.

  • Upvote 1

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Jonathan

I don't believe it to be Bauri, Cheesmani, or Sapida. Maybe a remnant isolate, much the same as we see in New Caledonia and Madagascar where there are many species found in small populations on the verge of extinction.

That would be great - an even better reason to grow them.

Maybe the low germination viability is why they are on the way out.

I'm going to enrol in the Botany course at university and get to the bottom of this - see you in ten years!

Cheers,

Jonathan

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