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Palms and Exotics of Christchurch, New Zealand

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sipalms

Took a look around the Christchurch Botanic Gardens' every increasing collection this morning, a beautiful early autumn morning around 57 (15C) degrees before a sunny 86 (30C) day..

Probably more suited to the Cold Hardy forum... but includes a number of 9b palms. Pretty good for 43 degrees south (similar to southern Ontario Canada).

Having trouble resizing pics but will start with a few. and add more as we go.

Nice stand of Nikau (both mainland and chatham island)

CBG0319.jpg.ecb949e5700ef383f6553bffea62687f.jpg

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Washies and big butia 

1500797281_PTTemplate(15).jpg.6310fd8655a9471a5d8e6421df4332af.jpg

 

 

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sipalms

Variety of butia capitata, sabal, livistonia? parajubaea toryalli and cocoides

1280713198_PTTemplate(3).jpg.7cd01236ac22c38747252e3273ef87e2.jpg

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915248028_PTTemplate(11).jpg.31f7ba996b79a4905709141647d14dd3.jpg1938519932_PTTemplate(1).jpg.6b2061fe547ebb7f4fa75f1b411cd8fe.jpg

1595966769_PTTemplate(12).jpg.b645ac93e03710e068d24e9986041cf0.jpg

920014654_PTTemplate(18).jpg.0cb261c821e5c53b4e7b740f2a9d78eb.jpg

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sipalms

Dypsis decipiens? Looks like it's had a few transplant issues but is putting out nice big spear/s.187409402_PTTemplate(13).jpg.12d3a0121598edab2b0674653495a460.jpg

 

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Rickybobby

Still hard for me to believe exact same latitude south has this climate. Great pics 

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sipalms

This parajubaea is huge and very fast growing.

730196354_PTTemplate(19).jpg.cd8e27a817b54f9571059758ee1d71bd.jpg

Some other random shots.

1830586501_PTTemplate(16).jpg.d06eca61cfc4d4b5b6e5868ad0a29462.jpg1820616462_PTTemplate(2).jpg.c8f13d1158e6a0ce4821531a1e2ffc93.jpg

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sipalms

2020274608_PTTemplate(6).jpg.7faffe77076a50d35a9d26a2a6eb70bc.jpg

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kinzyjr

A really nice place!

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Palm Tree Jim

Beautiful garden.

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Flow

That is probably my dream Climate. Not tropical but mild enough to grow such a nice variety of palms.

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cbmnz

Very cool. I had a good look around those gardens in November 2015 and thought that Nikau stand must have gone in since, otherwise how did I not see it. 

Found this article.

https://ccc.govt.nz/news-and-events/newsline/show/1080

So they have got through a least two full winters already, their prospects look good then. 

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cbmnz
14 minutes ago, Flow said:

That is probably my dream Climate. Not tropical but mild enough to grow such a nice variety of palms.

There are at least 5 or 6 palms that will grow anywhere in the country except the high mountain areas.

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sipalms
11 hours ago, cbmnz said:

Very cool. I had a good look around those gardens in November 2015 and thought that Nikau stand must have gone in since, otherwise how did I not see it. 

Found this article.

https://ccc.govt.nz/news-and-events/newsline/show/1080

So they have got through a least two full winters already, their prospects look good then. 

Yeah I would say the nikaus have been in the ground for more like 4-5 years. 

The most obvious absence is a queen palm. Definitely would be a success there and a nice addition. Even an Alexandrae may even be a possibility with a bit of TLC.

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richnorm
On 3/13/2019 at 1:32 PM, sipalms said:

Variety of butia capitata, sabal, livistonia? parajubaea toryalli and cocoides

 

 

 

1595966769_PTTemplate(12).jpg.b645ac93e03710e068d24e9986041cf0.jpg

 

I think maybe Arenga micrantha.  Are there any Hedyscepes down there?  Nice pics, thanks. cheers Richard

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Matt in OC

I’d never heard of Christchurch until this thread. Thinking of you all on this awful day. 

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richnorm
3 hours ago, Matt in OC said:

I’d never heard of Christchurch until this thread. Thinking of you all on this awful day. 

The main target Mosque overlooks these gardens. Unbelievable that such a thing could happen here. 

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redant

Beautiful garden

 

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Hillizard
On 3/12/2019 at 5:50 PM, sipalms said:

This parajubaea is huge and very fast growing.

730196354_PTTemplate(19).jpg.cd8e27a817b54f9571059758ee1d71bd.jpg

Some other random shots.

1830586501_PTTemplate(16).jpg.d06eca61cfc4d4b5b6e5868ad0a29462.jpg1820616462_PTTemplate(2).jpg.c8f13d1158e6a0ce4821531a1e2ffc93.jpg

Beautiful pictures!! That has to be one of the healthiest Parajubaea species I've ever seen photographed. :D

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SHEP

Thanks so much for this posting, its been almost twenty years since we have been there.  Check out the Botanical Garden in Dunedin.  Also, make a side trip just to see Akaroa across the bay from Christchurch.  It is a beautiful place, and, I think it is about 70 K away by car.  Cecile

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cbmnz
On 3/15/2019 at 9:15 AM, sipalms said:

Yeah I would say the nikaus have been in the ground for more like 4-5 years. 

The most obvious absence is a queen palm. Definitely would be a success there and a nice addition. Even an Alexandrae may even be a possibility with a bit of TLC.

Yes, Queens are slightly more hardy than most Nikau so would surely go ok. Up here they have a sprinker system at the main gardens to protect the topical garden which has many Alexandrae amongst more tender stuff,   but would hardly have used it the last three winters.   Still in shock about what happened so close to there last week, don't know what to add that has not been said already. Has been an all consuming event in a country with a population only a little greater than one large US city  metro area. 

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TexasColdHardyPalms

That is the best looking parajubaea I've ever seen. 

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Mike in Nelson

If those Nikau do well then definitely A cunninghamania and Queens would do well too. 

Edited by Mike in Nelson

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sipalms
11 hours ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

That is the best looking parajubaea I've ever seen. 

Curious to know why you think that? I haven't seen many parajubeas at all so don't really know what constitutes a good looker!

When this one was first planted I thought it would make an ideal palm for my home garden. Little did I know just how massive these things get very fast....

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UK_Palms

It amazes me how they can grow Parajubaea and all those other exotics in Christchurch, given their average low temperature in July is 0.5C (33F) with 80-90 days of ground frost per year. My average low temperature in January (mid-winter) is actually warmer at 2.5C (37F) and I only have 50 days of ground frost, yet I can't grow Parajubaea here, or half of the stuff they do. 

In fact their average lows are colder than me across every one of the 12 months. Heck they even average a low of 53F (11.5C) in their warmest month, which is January. Which makes it all the more surprising that they can grow all that stuff. Like fair play to them and I envy their climate, to a degree. I'm just slightly puzzled at how Parajubaea can grow there, whereas it will die after two winters in my climate. I'm marginally drier than Christchurch as well. 

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sipalms
33 minutes ago, UK_Palms said:

It amazes me how they can grow Parajubaea and all those other exotics in Christchurch, given their average low temperature in July is 0.5C (33F) with 80-90 days of ground frost per year. My average low temperature in January (mid-winter) is actually warmer at 2.5C (37F) and I only have 50 days of ground frost, yet I can't grow Parajubaea here, or half of the stuff they do. 

In fact their average lows are colder than me across every one of the 12 months. Heck they even average a low of 53F (11.5C) in their warmest month, which is January. Which makes it all the more surprising that they can grow all that stuff. Like fair play to them and I envy their climate, to a degree. I'm just slightly puzzled at how Parajubaea can grow there, whereas it will die after two winters in my climate. I'm marginally drier than Christchurch as well. 

Christchurch has a very very unique climate due to geographical position. Because there is no continental landmass to the east, south and North, and Australia a few 1000kms to the west, we are exposed to all various weather, all the time. We have the Southern Alps starting 100km west which provide shelter from the predominant westerly flow, and creates a fohn effect making hot extremes of weather much more common than other locations around NZ.

It's not at all unusual to have a 19-23C maximum from time to time in mid winter Winter, even though the average max is 12, and it's not unusual to have a 13 degree high in mid summer after a powerful cold southerly weather system, when the average max is 23-24.

Same with lows - over the next couple of days here, it's not expected to get below 20 degrees at night. Yet the average low for March is around 10 degrees. In mid December, we could have a low of just 3 or 4 degrees after a southerly system. This makes our averages seem a poor. One time I removed all 'outliers' out of several years of daily max / mins as a bit of an experiment - just removed the one or two or three really cold summer days, and the average was drastically different, marked increase in average min/max temps. I know this is completely unscientific but it proves a point that a few unseasonable days and drastically skew what a climate seems like on paper.

In a Christchurch vs UK climate comparison the other factors to consider include solar heating, we're around 8 degrees closer to the equator than England's south coast (more like Bilbao in Spain) - Palms probably photosynthesize better regardless of external temp? Another one is daytime heating hours. There's a lot to consider.... 

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sipalms
2 minutes ago, sipalms said:

Christchurch has a very very unique climate due to geographical position. Because there is no continental landmass to the east, south and North, and Australia a few 1000kms to the west, we are exposed to all various weather, all the time. We have the Southern Alps starting 100km west which provide shelter from the predominant westerly flow, and creates a fohn effect making hot extremes of weather much more common than other locations around NZ.

It's not at all unusual to have a 19-23C maximum from time to time in mid winter Winter, even though the average max is 12, and it's not unusual to have a 13 degree high in mid summer after a powerful cold southerly weather system, when the average max is 23-24.

Same with lows - over the next couple of days here, it's not expected to get below 20 degrees at night. Yet the average low for March is around 10 degrees. In mid December, we could have a low of just 3 or 4 degrees after a southerly system. This makes our averages seem a poor. One time I removed all 'outliers' out of several years of daily max / mins as a bit of an experiment - just removed the one or two or three really cold summer days, and the average was drastically different, marked increase in average min/max temps. I know this is completely unscientific but it proves a point that a few unseasonable days and drastically skew what a climate seems like on paper.

In a Christchurch vs UK climate comparison the other factors to consider include solar heating, we're around 8 degrees closer to the equator than England's south coast (more like Bilbao in Spain) - Palms probably photosynthesize better regardless of external temp? Another one is daytime heating hours. There's a lot to consider.... 

The 10 day forecast - is showing average max 22 degrees and average min 12.4 - these are averages for mid summer and we are now in late March....

 Capture.JPG.b4c6b51cf4734e826dc33c130f19c9a2.JPG

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Dave-Vero

I visited a few years ago.  The Sabal palmetto was unhappy--probably never warm enough.  The garden had problems with soil liquefaction in the earthquakes, which damaged tree roots.  I heard about Christchurch's problems with heat and dry weather.  The planting program seemed ambitious.  But things are obviously coming along nicely.  

The city in general and the Garden in particular does put on an impressive alt/England display.  

The Christchurch climate is definitely not like the coastal Cornwall climate, which I got a peek at two years ago. 

BTW, I think I recall the Christchurch garden gift shop was selling lovely made-in-USA garden flamingos, which I looked for after coming home and never found.

Somewhat off-topic,  Portland, Oregon occasionally had summer winds from inland, which coming down from the Cascades, created a fohn/Santa Ana effect, so there'd be one or two 98-99 (36-37) degree days most summers.  

 

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UK_Palms

and my average high in was 85F (29.5C

5 hours ago, sipalms said:

Christchurch has a very very unique climate due to geographical position. Because there is no continental landmass to the east, south and North, and Australia a few 1000kms to the west, we are exposed to all various weather, all the time. We have the Southern Alps starting 100km west which provide shelter from the predominant westerly flow, and creates a fohn effect making hot extremes of weather much more common than other locations around NZ.

It's not at all unusual to have a 19-23C maximum from time to time in mid winter Winter, even though the average max is 12, and it's not unusual to have a 13 degree high in mid summer after a powerful cold southerly weather system, when the average max is 23-24.

Same with lows - over the next couple of days here, it's not expected to get below 20 degrees at night. Yet the average low for March is around 10 degrees. In mid December, we could have a low of just 3 or 4 degrees after a southerly system. This makes our averages seem a poor. One time I removed all 'outliers' out of several years of daily max / mins as a bit of an experiment - just removed the one or two or three really cold summer days, and the average was drastically different, marked increase in average min/max temps. I know this is completely unscientific but it proves a point that a few unseasonable days and drastically skew what a climate seems like on paper.

In a Christchurch vs UK climate comparison the other factors to consider include solar heating, we're around 8 degrees closer to the equator than England's south coast (more like Bilbao in Spain) - Palms probably photosynthesize better regardless of external temp? Another one is daytime heating hours. There's a lot to consider.... 

 

Yeah, solar heating definitely plays a part due to Christchurch being at 43S. So the sunlight intensity will be much stronger than say at 51N in my location. This is especially apparent in winter as your daytime highs are a few degrees higher in winter.

The other big factor is that I am not on the coast, and actually 30 miles inland. So while my average temps are warmer across the board than Christchurch, except for daytime highs in winter (due to solar heating), I am however more susceptible to extreme winter lows, due to being away from the coast. My record low stands at -13C, compared to Christchurch's -7C. So that is a massive difference and the biggest factor when it comes to what you can grow, in my opinion. Although this winter just gone, my lowest was only -5C. No damage at all on the Phoenix and Washingtonia. But next winter I could easily see -10C if a polar vortex reaches us from the nearby European mainland. Whereas NZ doesn't have a large continental landmass nearby. 

30 miles south of me, on the West Sussex coast, their all-time record low is only around -8C with average winter lows generally around 5C. There are Parajubaea present on the south coast and in central London, just not inland outside of London or the south coast. Although the south coast doesn't get anywhere near as hot as me during the summer months. 

I had an average high temperature of 27C in June 2018, and 29C in July 2018, with 4 consecutive days that reached 36-37C and we also experienced a period of 10 weeks, from mid May - early August, where we did not get a single drop of rain. Combined with the mild winter we just had, I have no doubt in my mind that I could have had a Parajubaea thriving here, but it's really not worth the risk, or the investment, because when that one cold winter does hit, with lows down to -10C, they will be toast.

That's the problem with my climate. You'll get the exotics through back to back mild winters and have them thriving after the hot, sunny summers... but you'll be lured into a false sense of security, only to get caught out by a polar vortex that we get once every 3-4 years. Again, Christchurch doesn't really have that problem. Even if your average lows are generally lower than mine here. You still aren't looking at a one off -10C once every 3-4 years... 

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sipalms

Noticed this palm garden on a hillside suburb in Christchurch and the owner kindly let me take some photos. This is immediately following winter so things are a bit tattier than usual but shows what can be grown around here this far away from the equator. She said the 4 bangalows are around 15 years old from small pots / seedlings. Also had bouganvillea climbing around the side of the house which gives it quite a SoCal look in summer. She is planting a lot more so I'll aim to give a summer update in the future.

This view reminds me a lot of phoenix AZ or parts of LA. Just a pity that the mountains aren't more clear. 

20190924_130838.thumb.jpg.9e11b7b9f85184bed0cc4c772ec39654.jpg

Dragon tree and some aloes

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Beautiful healthy Archontophoenix 

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The pictures don't show size very well but these were two storeys high.

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20190924_131002.thumb.jpg.8d473a3de3eb08c9fa12e17928864c66.jpg20190924_131443.thumb.jpg.023814d4792eee12d55eff80a1f202d7.jpg

Quite a few Nikaus lurking around in the shadows.

20190924_130936.thumb.jpg.308e0e417b67fc9e89d3db3e2eb341c9.jpg

Help me ID this???

20190924_131525.thumb.jpg.55208684f12220668be63af9ae07db4f.jpg20190924_131805.thumb.jpg.641ce9cbcd0769eb5a5463871c78c381.jpg

Nice Butia across the street.

20190924_130544.thumb.jpg.d8c6d752ad970504223845583273183f.jpg

 

20190924_130759.jpg

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sipalms

Here is the climate data from Wikipedia. These readings are taken from the airport. You could effectively remove all of the temperatures below -6C for the Botanic Gardens, and all of the records below zero for the pictures just uploaded (hill suburbs get very little if any frost). 

Looking at more recent data from CliFlo, the daily summer maximums shown in this chart in are around 2 degrees lower than reality. The last three summers the daily average high in Dec/Jan has been more like 24.5C (which is still a cool summer by most standards).

872646773_Captureclimate.thumb.JPG.27d517adaaaa8f603282863012ba9315.JPG

 

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cbmnz

This was Jan 2019

Jan 2019 Average Temps, Rainfall, Sunshine and departures from 1981-2010 normals ℅ NIWA

Site                     T-max °C      T-min °C      T-mean °C     Rain mm      Sun hrs

Auckland, Mangere       24.4  +1.0    17.8  +1.9    21.1  +1.5     36   59%    288  124%
Auckland Aero           24.4  +0.8    17.8  +1.8    21.1  +1.3     32   48%
Tauranga Aero           26.7  +2.8    17.4  +2.3    22.1  +2.6     16   20%    n/a   n/a
Hamilton Aero           25.6  +1.3    14.0  +1.6    19.8  +1.5     32   39%
Hamilton, Ruakura       26.6  +1.6    14.5  +1.6    20.5  +2.1     23   29%    271  118%
Wellington, Kelburn     22.5  +2.2    15.4  +1.9    18.9  +2.0     25   33%    258  104%
Christchurch Aero       25.1  +2.5    13.4  +1.5    19.2  +2.0     30   85%    251  105%
Dunedin, Musselburgh    21.2  +2.3    12.9  +1.3    17.0  +1.7     84  115%    216  120%
Greymouth Aero          19.5  -0.3    12.9  +0.5    16.2  +0.1    134   64%    218  108%

 

2018

 

Jan 2018 Average Temps, Rainfall, Sunshine and departures from 1981-2010 normals ℅ NIWA

Site                     T-max °C      T-min °C      T-mean °C     Rain mm      Sun hrs

Auckland, Mangere       25.8  +2.4    19.0  +3.1    22.4  +2.8    121  198%    212   91%
Auckland Aero           26.1  +2.5    18.9  +2.9    22.5  +2.7     66   99%
Tauranga Aero           25.3  +1.4    18.9  +3.8    22.1  +2.6    136  173%    n/a   n/a
Hamilton Aero           26.3  +2.0    16.5  +4.1    21.4  +3.1    112  136%
Hamilton, Ruakura       26.7  +2.7    15.8  +2.9    21.3  +2.9    275  347%    188   82%
Wellington, Kelburn     23.5  +3.2    17.2  +3.7    20.4  +3.5     86  114%    210   85%
Christchurch Aero       24.4  +1.8    15.3  +3.4    19.9  +2.7    115  320%    221   93%
Dunedin, Musselburgh    21.6  +2.7    14.7  +3.1    18.1  +2.8     54   74%    244  135%
Greymouth Aero          22.9  +3.1    16.7  +4.3    19.8  +3.7    306  146%    217  108%

 

+2-3C above those published 1980-2010 averages seems to becoming the new normal. 2017 was cooler, but 2015 and 2016 were warm also. Heat loving palms must be getting happier by the year.

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Albey
On 3/25/2019 at 2:35 PM, UK_Palms said:

It amazes me how they can grow Parajubaea and all those other exotics in Christchurch, given their average low temperature in July is 0.5C (33F) with 80-90 days of ground frost per year. My average low temperature in January (mid-winter) is actually warmer at 2.5C (37F) and I only have 50 days of ground frost, yet I can't grow Parajubaea here, or half of the stuff they do. 

In fact their average lows are colder than me across every one of the 12 months. Heck they even average a low of 53F (11.5C) in their warmest month, which is January. Which makes it all the more surprising that they can grow all that stuff. Like fair play to them and I envy their climate, to a degree. I'm just slightly puzzled at how Parajubaea can grow there, whereas it will die after two winters in my climate. I'm marginally drier than Christchurch as well. 

Hi UK_Palms

We do not get 80-90-days of frost ( May be true at the airfield during a cold Winter ) but in the City no where near that.

I get around 15-frosts during a mild Winter / average Winter would be 25-frosts and a cold one would be around 40-frosts and i live on the flat ( Central-south )

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Chester B

If you want to see something trippy, look at this.  Similar to Christchurch except slightly more sunshine, slightly more rain, warmer in the summer but all time lows are worse.  I can't grow anywhere near the variety of plants in the photos.  As far as frost is concerned, I get <10 days per year - last year we only had 4.

image.thumb.png.65f8b1b090ef16fb8b754cf574479ebd.png

Edited by Chester B
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Albey
On 3/25/2019 at 2:35 PM, UK_Palms said:

It amazes me how they can grow Parajubaea and all those other exotics in Christchurch, given their average low temperature in July is 0.5C (33F) with 80-90 days of ground frost per year. My average low temperature in January (mid-winter) is actually warmer at 2.5C (37F) and I only have 50 days of ground frost, yet I can't grow Parajubaea here, or half of the stuff they do. 

In fact their average lows are colder than me across every one of the 12 months. Heck they even average a low of 53F (11.5C) in their warmest month, which is January. Which makes it all the more surprising that they can grow all that stuff. Like fair play to them and I envy their climate, to a degree. I'm just slightly puzzled at how Parajubaea can grow there, whereas it will die after two winters in my climate. I'm marginally drier than Christchurch as well. 

Hi UK_Palms

Here is the last 2-weeks of max temps here in Christchurch City at my place and we are only 3-weeks out of Winter.

13.7 / 20.8 / 18.1 / 13.7 / 16.1 / 16.1 / 15.7 / 13.3 / 20.9 / 17.8 / 17.0 / 18.1 / 16.2 / 21.5 - this was today's temp

 

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sipalms

Came across these these parajubea t.v.ts in a back yard near the botanic gardens (there are two but the other is out of sight). I tried getting hold of the owner to get some good photos of the trunks but couldn't. I think these are a perfect palm for this climate as they grow solidly for 3/4 of the year. Also very coconutty too...

20191121_133239.thumb.jpg.425cd2bb759fb8b960b5c99bb496276b.jpg20191121_133233.thumb.jpg.143326e36a87495808a97fceed847388.jpg

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sipalms

Or could they be coicoides?

They have much deeper green, less upright fronds and no sign of silver under the leaves.

What do you think folks? 

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cbmnz
7 hours ago, sipalms said:

Came across these these parajubea t.v.ts in a back yard near the botanic gardens (there are two but the other is out of sight). I tried getting hold of the owner to get some good photos of the trunks but couldn't. I think these are a perfect palm for this climate as they grow solidly for 3/4 of the year. Also very coconutty too...

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Great looking hardy palm. Would plant one myself if I had more space. Not easy to find in NZ though and not cheap when I have seen them. I have had non palm people occasionally tell me they have seem a coconut palm growing in NZ, was probably one of these. Can forgive a non palm person for being fooled.

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sipalms
53 minutes ago, cbmnz said:

Not easy to find in NZ though and not cheap when I have seen them.

Any ideas where to get one from? I think this will be the next addition to my yard .............

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cbmnz

https://www.coastpalms.co.nz

Had a couple of large grade PVT for sale last September when I went over there, they wanted about $1000  ea for them which was fair as they were huge and healthy, but seem to have sold out now.  When I went there they had about 30 Chattam Nikau ( R. Sapida var Oceanina) in PB18 in stock from which I picked my 3. This year judging by their website they have none of those, only much larger grade ones for 6 times the price.
It shows you do have to grab palms when they are available sometimes, no guarantee you could get the same thing 6 months or a year later.

Glad I snapped up two R. Baueri from my local Mitre 10 last month, they were a steal at $34 each. None there now and who knows when more might appear.This one is in a 60L half barrel for now as will need to come against the house and under the roof overhang for winter as they are apparently not as hardy as the Chats.

My three little Chats breezed through the mild winter this year and are really taking off now :)

 

 

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