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Rhopalostylis Sapida in Habitat, New Zealand

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cbmnz
3 hours ago, richnorm said:

This one is from the tiny dry and remote Mokohinau Islands and has just flowered for the first time. I had a feeling it would have white flowers and sure enough it has!    We just endured a 100 year drought and these did OK with no irrigation in quite a dry spot.  

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Banana leaf in background, this is a cultivated garden out there?

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cbmnz
10 hours ago, PalmCode said:

That's great to hear, I never knew they would grow down there. Just assumed it would be a bit too cold for them in the winter.

 

That's a shame... They're easy as if fresh. Late march / April is when the seeds fall. Then It can only take a week or two for them to come up when put in soil!

See page 12   https://www.nzffa.org.nz/system/assets/1706/kauri.pdf

I had heard there were some in Invercargil but they may have been killed now.  My one planted 2003 has grown like a rocket and has been producing cones every year since 2012 or so.  That is a 2m fence just behind it.

image.png.1e6cc051572dac5920afad271ad04019.png

 

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cbmnz

Same two trees above, back in May '04

image.png.a9eaea197521e7d52281d406be41cd3b.png

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richnorm
1 hour ago, cbmnz said:

Banana leaf in background, this is a cultivated garden out there?

No, seed brought back and I scored a few seedlings!

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richnorm
2 hours ago, sipalms said:

Beautiful... Didn't even know those islands existed.

Uninhabited. 

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Darold Petty

The Chatham Island form has white flower buds also.

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Fusca
On 8/23/2020 at 9:24 AM, UK_Palms said:

There's some big Norfolk Pine specimens on Tresco over here as well at 50N. I think Tresco is a 10b zone most years though (lowest last winter was +3.8C). I'm not sure if there's any 'big' specimens on the UK mainland. Maybe around Cornwall, Devon and London? Or perhaps the south coast of Ireland? I'm sure there's a few dotted about in mild, protected areas, besides Tresco.

Apparently they get killed off in northern Florida though which is 8b - 9a. I think you need to go a bit below Daytona Beach before you can start growing them over there, in which case it will be 10a zones where you can start growing them. You'll need someone from the States to verify that though...

That sounds about right - just below Daytona Beach.  There are some nice specimens in 9b coastal Texas (Corpus Christi) down to the Rio Grande Valley at the southernmost tip.  I recently planted a Norfolk Island Pine in 10a near Harlingen, TX and hope to try a Rhopalostylis baueri there as well!  I don't think it would survive here in San Antonio and is likely a challenge there as well.

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cbmnz
9 hours ago, richnorm said:

No, seed brought back and I scored a few seedlings!

Sorry, that was obvious in hindsight. Mistook it for a habitat photo at first.

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Gary
15 hours ago, cbmnz said:

Banana leaf in background, this is a cultivated garden out there?

good to see it flowers at that stage as my biggest one is same size

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Gary
8 hours ago, Darold Petty said:

The Chatham Island form has white flower buds also.

not all chatham do

palms 5021.JPG

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sipalms
25 minutes ago, Gary said:

not all chatham do

palms 5021.JPG

Can someone definitively outline how to identify a Chatham?! I would have thought the above is much more mainland looking to me.

I'm confused.

From my observations, here's how I would pick a Chatham form:

  • The frond 'spines' are more white-ish in colour, compared to lime green on mainland and other varieties
  • Leaflets start much further up the frond, whereas mainland varieties the leaflets start right at the start of the frond
  • Fronds are a deeper darker green on Chatham compared to lime green, or even yellowy-green in the case of Auckland/Northland forms.
  • Chatham form has slightly more droopy leaflets compared to stiff on the others
  • Chatham is generally more 'graceful' than the erect form of mainland varieties when exposed/outside of canopy.
  • Chatham is larger in overall size... but hard to determine size in photos.

What do others say? Has anyone done a proper study on this?!

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Gary

chathams at the end of the day is just another sapida and still has sapida traits.There are some studies done but would need to dig out again to re read.I have many forms of sapida here and live among habitat growing palms

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Gary

here is shots of a paddock of them at Landsendt in west auckland

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JasonD
On 3/6/2018 at 8:40 PM, sipalms said:

They are a pretty special palm given their tropical appearance in a not-so-tropical latitude, and the fact they don't tolerate tropical heat yet are rather cold sensitive.

Once you're under the canopy surrounded by thousands of them, along with ponga (tree ferns) you could just as easily be in tropical Southeast Asia or Central American rainforest.

Will be interesting to compare the Chatham Island and Banks Peninsula varieties side-by-side in my garden this year - I'm going to leave one of each exposed to the elements and watch as they react to temps which could reach as low as -5 or 23F.

What are some of the other species in that forest? There's an intriguing shrub in the cave shot foreground with a sparse canopy of round, light-green leaves.

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JasonD
On 8/23/2020 at 3:33 PM, PalmCode said:

That's great to hear, I never knew they would grow down there. Just assumed it would be a bit too cold for them in the winter.

 

That's a shame... They're easy as if fresh. Late march / April is when the seeds fall. Then It can only take a week or two for them to come up when put in soil!

Kauri do very well here in San Francisco, growing very quickly and looking quite symmetrical and dense even in shade, but there's no commercial source for them. I hope we can get viable seed from the cultivated trees this fall. 
Queensland kauri are more available in the California trade and old trees are scattered from here south through Southern California to San Diego.

The northernmost locale on the USA's West Coast where I'm aware of Araucaria heterophylla's growing is Brookings, Oregon, just north of the 42nd parallel of latitude, and the mildest place on the Oregon Coast. I have a friend who grows nikau there.

Thanks for the remarkable photos and information about nikau in habitat! What a great thread.

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Tyrone
21 hours ago, sipalms said:

Can someone definitively outline how to identify a Chatham?! I would have thought the above is much more mainland looking to me.

I'm confused.

From my observations, here's how I would pick a Chatham form:

  • The frond 'spines' are more white-ish in colour, compared to lime green on mainland and other varieties
  • Leaflets start much further up the frond, whereas mainland varieties the leaflets start right at the start of the frond
  • Fronds are a deeper darker green on Chatham compared to lime green, or even yellowy-green in the case of Auckland/Northland forms.
  • Chatham form has slightly more droopy leaflets compared to stiff on the others
  • Chatham is generally more 'graceful' than the erect form of mainland varieties when exposed/outside of canopy.
  • Chatham is larger in overall size... but hard to determine size in photos.

What do others say? Has anyone done a proper study on this?!

That’s basically what I’ve found. The Chathams are also faster growing from seed than the mainland variety by a long margin.

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sipalms
1 hour ago, JasonD said:

What are some of the other species in that forest? There's an intriguing shrub in the cave shot foreground with a sparse canopy of round, light-green leaves.

Do you mean the below?

plant.JPG.2c8df90f54eeff8b8943f9e957dfa984.JPG

plant1.JPG.c1bbedadd074a050cb0f50690ce69cb9.JPG

After doing some research it appears to be native Kawakawa, a medicinal plant;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_excelsum

https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/garden/101452787/kawakawa-herbal-healing-from-the-bush

kawakawa.JPG.79bb6cecc20a6db7ac9ab05f5dbe919e.JPG

https://organicmechanic.co.nz/blogs/theomblog/ten-native-trees-you-should-know

Edited by sipalms
Updated after ID'ing
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richnorm
5 hours ago, JasonD said:

Kauri do very well here in San Francisco, growing very quickly and looking quite symmetrical and dense even in shade, but there's no commercial source for them. I hope we can get viable seed from the cultivated trees this fall. 
Queensland kauri are more available in the California trade and old trees are scattered from here south through Southern California to San Diego.

The northernmost locale on the USA's West Coast where I'm aware of Araucaria heterophylla's growing is Brookings, Oregon, just north of the 42nd parallel of latitude, and the mildest place on the Oregon Coast. I have a friend who grows nikau there.

Thanks for the remarkable photos and information about nikau in habitat! What a great thread.

Young kauri ("rickers") have that dense symmetrical form but they morph into a huge spreading crown supported on a massive columnar trunk.  The rule of thumb is a century as a ricker but they seem to grow much faster in favourable conditions.  

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Gary
7 hours ago, Tyrone said:

That’s basically what I’ve found. The Chathams are also faster growing from seed than the mainland variety by a long margin.

chatham seedlings look closer to baueri than sapida and appear to grow faster when young but they mature ie flower at same age as other sapida types 15 yrs on.Most sapida pics you see are habitat shots whereas most chathams are garden shots where they are better cared for than the natural bush.

Edited by Gary

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richnorm
1 hour ago, Gary said:

chatham seedlings look closer to baueri than sapida and appear to grow faster when young but they mature ie flower at same age as other sapida types 15 yrs on.Most sapida pics you see are habitat shots whereas most chathams are garden shots where they are better cared for than the natural bush.

Apart from flower colour what are the botanical differences between baueri and sapida?   Given the variation in sapida seems like they could be lumped. Some mainland sapida have white flowers too.

 

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Gary

even in appearance they are different.Seedlings are very different.For the science of it I would have to drag out the soc nikau issue mag but you probably have that as well.Kermadec have open crown ,long crownshaft,bigger seed bunches,often purple crownshaft when fresh,wider softer leaflet ,

SANY0759.JPG

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Gary

this one is said to be true Norfolk form-this one never had any colour to crownshaft

SANY2492.JPG

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Gary

heres what you can get when both sapida and baueri live together

SANY2610.JPG

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sipalms
41 minutes ago, Gary said:

this one is said to be true Norfolk form-this one never had any colour to crownshaft

SANY2492.JPG

That's beautiful. Borderline archontophoenix looking.

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PalmCode
10 hours ago, JasonD said:

Kauri do very well here in San Francisco, growing very quickly and looking quite symmetrical and dense even in shade, but there's no commercial source for them. I hope we can get viable seed from the cultivated trees this fall. 
Queensland kauri are more available in the California trade and old trees are scattered from here south through Southern California to San Diego.

The northernmost locale on the USA's West Coast where I'm aware of Araucaria heterophylla's growing is Brookings, Oregon, just north of the 42nd parallel of latitude, and the mildest place on the Oregon Coast. I have a friend who grows nikau there.

Thanks for the remarkable photos and information about nikau in habitat! What a great thread.

Right on, If those Kauri are healthy look for any cones on the tree. Then maybe 1 out of 10 winged seeds in the cones from young trees will be viable from my experience.

 

1 hour ago, richnorm said:

Apart from flower colour what are the botanical differences between baueri and sapida?   Given the variation in sapida seems like they could be lumped. Some mainland sapida have white flowers too.

 

Here's a pic of my young pitt island  nikau with a kermadec behind it..Notable difference at this stage...  Any one know if there's any variation between chatham and pitt nikau?  My chatham around the same age seems a darker green and fatter overall than my pitt island...Guess its all random when  it comes  to nikau.

70.jpg

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Gary

note that Chathams is a group of islands of which Pitt is one of them and Chatham is the main island.I think there is variation as you expect but never heard of any guarantee difference.As seen in this pic some have fat crownshaft while other are more skinny looking 

palms 5434.JPG

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richnorm
2 hours ago, Gary said:

this one is said to be true Norfolk form-this one never had any colour to crownshaft

SANY2492.JPG

I have verified provenance Norfolk seedlings if you want some Gary.

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Gary
6 minutes ago, richnorm said:

I have verified provenance Norfolk seedlings if you want some Gary.

is there proof they are the real thing.If so yes I would like some.John Lok visited there in 1995 and brought back seed and there are a few of that batch around

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richnorm
9 hours ago, Gary said:

is there proof they are the real thing.If so yes I would like some.John Lok visited there in 1995 and brought back seed and there are a few of that batch around

Off a plant grown from directly imported seed.  A very knowledgeable retired grower gave them to me.

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Tyrone
16 hours ago, Gary said:

chatham seedlings look closer to baueri than sapida and appear to grow faster when young 

Yes, I totally agree with this. In my experience that is true. By about year 4 though, there is a noticeable difference between a bauerii and Chatham sapida. It’s when the leaves start to go true adult style.

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Gary

here is chatham with the deep green wide leathery leaflets compared to soft,wide,not so deep green of kermadec

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sipalms
On 8/21/2020 at 11:10 PM, cbmnz said:

Have had one or two simillar experiences, not specifically when exploring for Nikau though.  Take it no natural ones in the Tweedies Gully area at Gore Bay?

Below is an extremely sophisticated drawing B) of my latest Nikau location knowledge, for the East Coast South Island, around 43-42S. I think I'm turning into a Nikau nutcase, but finding that large stand of natural Nikau at Kaikoura last week, has really gotten me interested. I never thought these would exist on the Canterbury coastline (to hot, cold, dry) but now I can see it is possible further south than realised, particularly due to the onshore moist airflow and higher rainfall than further inland, and the fact that foothills up against the coast would prevent extremes of heat and cold and wind from natural coastal bush.

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Green represents areas where natural populations of Nikau are confirmed, either with existent stands, or old one-off Nikau clearly remnant of original populations.

Yellow represents areas where Nikau have been spotted around native bush (e.g. at Oaro) but it is unclear whether these are planted or actual pockets, a.k.a further bush-whacking required to find out! 

Purple represents areas where NIkau could occur, due to existing bush pockets matching Nikau habitat, but actual confirmation is required. Refer to photo below of Conway Flat looking north, showing pockets along the coastline of original bush, where the climate would be suitable to support NIkau.

Maroon Is where I believe any natural Nikau pockets may be non-existent, although with that said, I have seen Nikau palms planted on Farms in the area around old farmhouses - perhaps suggesting these may have existed before large scale grazing?!

This picture is from Conway Flat (Te Matai Farms) looking north towards the Kaikoura ranges. You can see pockets in the river mouths, of original bush. This coastline is virtually inaccessible due to lack of public roads, but could be explored on foot or motorbike.

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cbmnz

Great post. There is alot about the natural world that just has not been studied, as there is so much to study a finite group of people can't study everything. If you find a natural strand of R. Sapida in the purple zone it may be something that has not been formally recorded before and the botanical societies will be grateful for the little bit of extra knowledge.

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Gary

I am sure Brent Hubbard of ex oceanic palms ltd could help you with oddball habitats as he done lots of work on the subject

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sipalms

Finally - a trip to the southernmost palm habitat in the world! (well, almost... Pitt Island is almost the same latitude, just a fraction further south but about a million times less accessible!).

Had the opportunity recently to hike to the stand of Banks Peninsula Rhopalostylis Sapida in Akaroa, south of Christchurch. 

Mind so many pics - but trying to depict the type of environment these are in - uncannily placed between what would be considered in many ways a mediterranean setting, yet windswept and oceanic, but incredibly tropical all the same.

This stand is located in a very remote gully, several hours hike from the nearest settlement, on the outer heads of Akaroa harbour at 43.87°S.

We picked what we thought would be a mild spring day but turned out to be a very warm 28 degrees in baking sun with very little wind.

First pic, shows Akaroa Harbour from Hilltop, looking southeast. The harbour is an extinct volcano, the triangular island in the middle is the 'plug' of lava from when the volcano finished erupting. The road saddles the top of the crater rim. Akaroa is an original French settlement, in the early 1800s France planted the tricolour here and was just weeks away from colonising the South Island before the Brits staked their claim... short of all out war, they gifted the land to the French settlers many of whose descendants still live here today.

NikauBP.thumb.jpg.862d2a967759792d1e183f89c5cfd92e.jpg

 

Then after passing through Akaroa town, the Indigenous Maori settlement of Onuku is reached...

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After parking at Onuku, the hike starts, initially passing through farmland.

Looking northwest back down the harbour/volcano...

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These hills remind me a lot of the area around the San Francisco/Marin County area - around the Golden Gate - similar terrain and vegetation, and complete with sea fog lurking off the coast!Looking south, out the Akaroa heads. Many moons ago, the volcano supposedly collapsed and the sea flowed in.


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Much of the canopy in the bush is Kanuka, a native tea tree that was starting to flower giving off a beautiful small, especially in the heat of the day.

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Also a lot of the native Cordyline Australis poking up through the canopy.

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Some of these areas had a very Mediterranean barrenness - sun baked, sheltered and void of moisture. It was surprisingly green still, by mid summer these hills are extremely barren.

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A beautiful giant old Cordyline Australis - a relative of the Joshua Tree of California.

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sipalms

After hiking for a couple of hours, the track suddenly reaches very rugged rocky terrain and suddenly, we noticed the first Nikau poking its windswept crown out of the canopy...

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The track then descends steeply into the gully, and suddenly an abundance of Nikau.

These here were some of the tallest Nikau I have ever seen in habitat. True skydusters! One of them has '1907' and someones initials carved into the trunk - but these trees would be hundreds of years old.

NikauBP_14.thumb.jpg.7da3d2918e6d0bc5bba2dee1c6374744.jpg

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Their form was very interesting - very mainland looking. I definitely didn't notice anything suggesting the same species as the Chatham/Pitt variety so am now convinced they're all out on their own on the Chatham Islands, separate to mainland New Zealand. 

These just were quintessential Nikau - the perfect representation. Robust, without being giant fat monstrosities, but not spindly and tatty like the Northland varieties.

In many ways, they almost like Baueri-esque...

NikauBP_17.thumb.jpg.1b61d1bf34e8badf4e4eec188fe5c584.jpg

 

This one very much looked like Baueri with the curled fronds and deep green.

NikauBP_18.thumb.jpg.648fe3d085e80fcbe06d73cc0d534e7e.jpg

 

As usual, the understory palms look extremely lush.

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Once under canopy, in the gully - the humidity skyrocketed. While it was around 20-24 degrees in there, the dew point felt extremely high and in deep shade you could see your breath... hard to believe. Even the air was heavy and steamy.

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sipalms

As usual in habitat, a thick carpet of seedlings on the forest floor.

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Classic Kiwi orange triangles so you don't get lost... not much good in jungle this thick though! We did lose the track a few times. Fortunately not hard to find a vantage point in this terrain.

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This curly one somehow was clinging onto the edge of a creek bed, corkscrewing its way towards the sky...

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sipalms

Finally the track ends on a steep cliff edge by the sea and you get a beautiful view back up the gully.

NikauBP_30.thumb.jpg.1027d79b2d8cc417953c7c70bf8a0b17.jpg

As you can see, the humidity very high. Many of the more exposed palms had a very windbeaten look from the prevailing southerly winds. I guess after all, the next stop after here is Antarctica pretty much - hard to believe looking at this view.

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The native flax bush / harakeke was in full bloom making the colour contrast pretty awesome.

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Edited by sipalms
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sipalms

Then back out of the gully.

Sorry for so many pics. But hard to give a sense of how awesome it was in this tiny gully full of palms. 

None of these photos are edited in any way - the colour is a true reflection of the light under the canopy.

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A nice fat trunked one - looked a bit like a Ravenea.

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And one last look back into the gully before heading back out into the baking sun of the cliff top.

NikauBP_49.thumb.jpg.8d850e03c2ba3a85d03235f73f2d45a0.jpg

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