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Mandrew968

So many Carpoxylon, so few grown to their potential...

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Mandrew968

I will start by saying I'm not the biggest fan of this palm. In my palm snobby opinion, Carpoxylon is going the way of the foxtail; very rare and highly desired in its introduction to cultivation, only to turn into a now common palm hardly grown to its potential. Don't get me wrong--the story of Carpoxylon is a great one--once thought extinct, and now assured of it's survival due to some amazing photos in habitat and in Hawaii. Having said all that, I am encountering these palms more and more in the common landscape. Judging by some of the pictures you see on the internet, you might think that's a good thing. However, when the requirements of this palm are not met, the result is very off putting...

The fact is that most people who have gardens don't water enough to give this palm a chance. The common homeowner, has NO SHOT. Even the casual palm collector and some palm centric botanical gardens have fallen short, from what I often see... It's a sad story, but the solution is very simple--Ken Johnson told me once of a story of the most monster Carpoxylon the world had ever known! The gravitas of this monotypic plant was rivaling of any Rockstar--or so the legend went. The Secret? It was planted at the waterline of a pond. We talked more about this palm as he grows many of them and is an authority, in my eye. "Andrew, I'm telling you, this thing was as large as a Royal!" Yet, it didn't sink in fully.

Later down the road, I came across a garden with many palms--lots of them rare and great examples in their own right. But the highlight of the collection was a monster Carpoxylon macrospermum. I walked the man's garden a few more times but was inevitably pulled back to the imposing size and form of this 'entry level' collector palm. So what made this palm so special in a sea of extraordinary palms? It was basically planted within a water feature, providing an unlimited water source. Voila! This was the key and it didn't hit me with Ken's words or my dying Carpoxylon(from dehydration), but with a true example of this palm meeting it's potential.

After this revelation, I knew if my father was to keep growing his palm, he was going to have to make that area WET. I also gave up on mine, knowing where it was, it would never meet it's potential... Well, it's been over a year since my catharsis. I was making my rounds at my Father's yesterday and was very happy at how his palm is turning out; it's not the tallest around--heck, it's not even mature yet! but size matters and his is really starting to matter. My conclusion to this post is the secret to growing this palm to its potential: Water, water and WATER. Fertilizer is an afterthought; this palm needs constant water, or don't even attempt it!

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Daryl

Yeah, one of the true water hogs of the palm world...along with Pigafetta, Neoveitchia and Lemurophoenix...none of these large palms tolerate extended dry conditions. For best results they need to be constantly irrigated. I have lost so many Carpoxylons in pots over the years due to not enough water.

They plant them all over Vanuatu these days, and most look pretty miserable as they receive little attention.

Daryl

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doranakandawatta

Andrew,

Many thanks for these comments and informations.

Rarely we can learn about the natural requirements of palm species and only if one see the palms in habitat, one can choose the good situation.
It's what I learned when in Vallée de Mai, Seychelles, seeing Verschaffeltia in habitat; I'll never plant Verschaffeltia splendida the same way now.

We have 5 or 6 Carpoxylon seedlings in Doranakanda … and a stream…. I see now where they'll move :)

But the stream banks will be crowded!

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Alicehunter2000

That's a beauty!

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Danilopez89

I love how those palm trees look. I want to try one soon.

Those are some great observations Andrew. Makes a world of a difference knowing key details for each palms habitat growing conditions.

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Tropicgardener

They certainly are not common here in Queensland and still command reasonably high prices............ In my previous garden I had a variegated one that was just starting to form a trunk. 2 days prior to selling the home the neighbours Bloodwood tree dropped a limb during a storm and smashed my poor Carpoxylon...... I now have a very young one in a pot that will eventually get planted out. Fortunately I have plenty of wet areas and plenty of irrigation water for the dry season.

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Ken Johnson

I have seen two that were planted near water and under HIGH canopy (40'+!) that were amazing. They had green "wood" on most of their trunk and the fronds were HUGE. The diameter of the trunk was also impressive. To look UP and see such a thing is not just for palm lovers, anyone would oh and ah at them.. It is certainly one of the most beautiful things on earth!

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Palms4Steve

I just removed mine. It was in the ground for a few years and was doing very poorly. Now I at least know why. It was in a fairly dry spot. I do not really have a suitable spot after reading this.

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Mike Evans

Andy, I think you are a little too critical of these palms. I have had some in containers during our brutal 2010 winter where they saw 27 degrees F. They did fine and proved worthy to put in the garden. I think if you keep in 1/2 day sun or filtered light they look great and no need for excessive moisture. I grow 3 gal size in 1/2 day+ mid day sun and looking good. There are plenty of palms that like plenty of water, so there no need to isolate this species. These are an A+ palm in my book. Here is a pic of the ones that were in 7 gal containers in 2010.

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Dypsisdean

As has been alluded to, I think equally important to the success with this palm is that I found they hated full sun as a young palm. And my full sun is very forgiving full sun. And the more sun, the more critical it was that they received constant moisture.

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Tyrone

My Carpoxylon in my Perth garden is doing well though still small compared to everyone else. These are a beautiful and still extremely rare palm over here. I just wish they'd grow at my new place. Plenty of water here, just too cold.

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Josh-O

Tyrone, how cold do you get?

Mandrew, great looking well grown specimen! :greenthumb:

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PalmnutVN

They've got a gorgeous one in Singapore Botanical Gardens..... It's growing at the top of a slope too.

Ohh if only.......

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Ken Johnson

They've got a gorgeous one in Singapore Botanical Gardens..... It's growing at the top of a slope too.

Ohh if only.......

attachicon.gifCarpoxylon macrospermum.jpg

That is a royal palm?

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Kennybenjamin

They've got a gorgeous one in Singapore Botanical Gardens..... It's growing at the top of a slope too.

Ohh if only.......

attachicon.gifCarpoxylon macrospermum.jpg

That is a royal palm?

Agreed!

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Mandrew968

Andy, I think you are a little too critical of these palms. I have had some in containers during our brutal 2010 winter where they saw 27 degrees F. They did fine and proved worthy to put in the garden. I think if you keep in 1/2 day sun or filtered light they look great and no need for excessive moisture. I grow 3 gal size in 1/2 day+ mid day sun and looking good. There are plenty of palms that like plenty of water, so there no need to isolate this species. These are an A+ palm in my book. Here is a pic of the ones that were in 7 gal containers in 2010.

Mike, I am critical, but not too much in my eye. I am glad you like your palms but Like I said, if they are not grown to perfection(Ken later describes a perfect one being transcendent), they will simply not be grown by me. If I were to show someone not into palms, the pictures you posted--they would just be palms...

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Zeeth

If I were to show someone not into palms, the pictures you posted--they would just be palms...

So would everything else we all grow...

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Jeff Searle

I agree Ken, that's a Royal for sure.

As far as Carpoxylons, They do like water and don't like full sun as a small plant. But I will say, the best ones I've seen are planted in black dirt with a lower pH it seems. I have no issues with them planted up my way.

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Mandrew968

If I were to show someone not into palms, the pictures you posted--they would just be palms...

So would everything else we all grow...

Keith, I must object--some palms are transcendental.

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Mandrew968

They've got a gorgeous one in Singapore Botanical Gardens..... It's growing at the top of a slope too.

Ohh if only.......

attachicon.gifCarpoxylon macrospermum.jpg

Royale with cheese...

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Mike Evans

If I were to show someone not into palms, the pictures you posted--they would just be palms...

When I have novice palm people stop by to buy palms I give them a tour of the garden. There is a lot to see. When I show them the Carpoxylon, they typically say "I like that", then buy some. People may not know the names, but they know what is appealing to their eye. I see this time and time again, not just for the Carpoxylon, everyone is different.

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Mandrew968

When I have novice palm people stop by to buy palms I give them a tour of the garden. There is a lot to see. When I show them the Carpoxylon, they typically say "I like that", then buy some. People may not know the names, but they know what is appealing to their eye. I see this time and time again, not just for the Carpoxylon, everyone is different.

Everyone is different--can't argue with that! Also people's tastes are different--what's 'ugly for one person may not be for the next... Carpoxylon is indeed a unique palm, but we are getting off topic--refer back to the thread title...

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doranakandawatta

They've got a gorgeous one in Singapore Botanical Gardens..... It's growing at the top of a slope too.

Ohh if only.......

attachicon.gifCarpoxylon macrospermum.jpg

That is a royal palm?

Agreed!

agreed : http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/36039-roystonea-oleracea-in-sbg-and-in-doranakanda-garden/?hl=singapore

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PalmatierMeg

Thanks for the info, Andrew. I will make sure mine gets supplemental water. It gets less shade now all my queens are gone. This species is almost unheard of on this coast. I don't think it will become "common" like foxtails anytime soon.

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Zeeth

Thanks for the info, Andrew. I will make sure mine gets supplemental water. It gets less shade now all my queens are gone. This species is almost unheard of on this coast. I don't think it will become "common" like foxtails anytime soon.

I've noticed that the west coast has way less rare palms than the east coast. I think the rarest thing I've ever seen somewhere that's not a botanical garden was a Copernicia macroglossa.

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Gbarce

Does anyone have a picture of a poorly grown Carpoxylon?

I have a few in the ground planted at about the same time but are not the same size-- not really trunking yet-- so I want to be able to compare to see if they are doing well or poorly.

I might have to give more water to some.

I have a similar problem with my Metroxylons-- but with them it's more obvious that the ones in the dry spots are under-watered and about one fifth the size of the one beside the pond.

Edited by Gbarce

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Pedro 65

Good thread you started Andrew :greenthumb:

The below Carpoxylons ( Al's, Bills, old pic P Sullivan, Nong nooch) incl your fathers are "the look" ( very swollen base with strong recurved leaves) all growers would "desire" to achieve no doubt ? I certainly "want" that look and apart from water and food the "other" must is "full sun". :)

Ours is still "very small" and has suffered plenty of burning but the last 2 leaves are more recurved and standing up to the "full sun" now.

Pete

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LilikoiLee

Ours is growing well in Hawaii but unlike the admonition to give them plenty of water our three are definitely growing in sun and get minimal watering about once a week. These are on the hot dry side of Hawaii Island so not sure why they are so robust. While we don't get much rain, we do have reasonable humidity and that may offset the lack of water. Been in the ground since 2011 from five gallon pots.

Lee

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Kennybenjamin

You can never have to many pics of nice carpoxylon, one of my faves for sure and certainly not a common palm around these parts.

Here is some pics of the one in our nursery, well established but not watered often at all and hasn't been for many years.... Old leaf just fell off this morning

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Kennybenjamin

And some nice ones growing on the side of the road at Port Villa Vanuatu....

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PalmnutVN

They've got a gorgeous one in Singapore Botanical Gardens..... It's growing at the top of a slope too.

Ohh if only.......

attachicon.gifCarpoxylon macrospermum.jpg

That is a royal palm?

Agreed!

agreed : http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/36039-roystonea-oleracea-in-sbg-and-in-doranakanda-garden/?hl=singapore

Whoops...... B*gger...... Yes, the fronds are completely different....

That's what you get for posting pics after one too many beers.... Well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it....... :winkie:

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MattyB

I have a question for you Carpoxylon experts. At what point do the leaf bases fall off cleanly. Mine is young and has built up about 4" of trunk, but it's all old leaf bases just stacked on top of each other, no real smooth trunk yet.

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Pedro 65

I have a question for you Carpoxylon experts. At what point do the leaf bases fall off cleanly. Mine is young and has built up about 4" of trunk, but it's all old leaf bases just stacked on top of each other, no real smooth trunk yet.

Im certainly "no expert" Matty but no doubt when it gets its 1st ring on its trunk just like Satakentia, the Fella's with the Big 1s can say if Im correct or not :)

Pete

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Kennybenjamin

Pete's assumption sounds about right. Id say the base would be about 8 inches wide before you are likely to get clean leaf / sheath removal. From 4 to 8 inches would take about 5 years in our sub tropical climate

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realarch

Great photos everyone and Andrew, your dad's is quite a specimen.

I agree, if given the right conditions, these are spectacular palms. Lucky here, all the necessary

requirements.

One thing I've learned is to never remove the leaf sheath before it falls off on it's own. Have a friend who

had a nice Carpoxylon and was removing the sheath prematurely because it looked untidy. One day he leaned

against it to weed and the entire crownshaft just detached from the base and fell over. Smelly, mushy mess, and we

guessed fungus gained entry from the wound when tearing off the sheath. ( which is probably true for any palm)

Anyway, from that experience I just leave them alone.

These two are 5 1/2 years old from 5 gal. pots. (20 liter) Stretched from the greenhouse and planted in full Hilo sun.

There is a shovel in there for scale.

Tim

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Carlo Morici

Hello all, I join the thread.

This is the group we grow at the palmetum, pictured some months ago. They were sown in 2005, planted in the ground in 2008.

They have been watered since then every 2 or 3 days, but did not care much about water and even took some occasional drought. I am a bit surprised to learn that it is so dependant on water in other areas!

Carlo

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kevin m

this is one of my favorite palms i think every garden should have one. they are just to cool not to have one .they do like water but i have also seen them in gardens where they do not get a lot of water but anyone who knows plants knows it takes water and food to grow a happy plant ,and just because they are getting more popular dose not mean you should not put one in your gargen whats next dont grow a copernicia bailey beacuse everyone is getting them or a corypha its about what you think is cool for your garden the hell with other peoples thoughts if everyone acted the same this world would so boring

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Jeff Searle

Once established, these palms do not need a constant feed of water. If they get it, would they maybe grow a little faster and look a little chunkier? Probably so. But mine in the field get their ONLY watering when it rains. Nothing else. But these are being grown in a black, rich soil with a mid range pH.

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Phil Stager

Here's three pics of the Carpoxylon at Kopsick Arboretum in St. Pete. Planted a few years ago in a wet location, they've been slow but steady despite the aggressive trim job a year ago by parks crew.

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foxtail

Receive a seedling today. They do fine in clay soil?

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