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FishEyeAquaculture

Some of the "Legendary" Acrocomia totai in Dade City, FL

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FishEyeAquaculture

There are several specimens scattered here and there through out this little town, some MUCH taller, but typically only one specimen per property.  A local garden club member told me that there were once many planted in the city parks, but were cut down several years ago because of "safety concerns".  However, the property owners where the palms are pictured below do not seem to mind the giant "pin cushions"...and I hope their thought stays that way.  I regularly drive by this property, usually with no time to admire...but yesterday, I found myself with a little bit of time to slow down and capture a good picture to share.

IMG_8630.jpg

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FishEyeAquaculture

Here is one of the taller specimens.  The property owner claims her father planted this palm over 40 years ago, and proudly claims this specimen is responsible for all of the smaller ones nearby. 

Acrocomia totai.jpg

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SilverDragon

I really don't understand the whole "safety" argument...I mean, if people out west can live with giant cacti everywhere, how is this any different? :hmm:

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FishEyeAquaculture

While I agree that cutting them down was wrong..in defense, I'm sure the decision was made based on the fear of one of these large fronds, filled with very sharp spines, would fall on some unsuspecting passer by.  Now, I'm not at all familiar with cacti, but I'm not sure pieces of them fall down on a regular basis?

On a side note, I wonder how many that even notice this palm and think, "wow, I've never seen a queen palm with spines before"?

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Silas_Sancona
9 minutes ago, FishEyeAquaculture said:

While I agree that cutting them down was wrong..in defense, I'm sure the decision was made based on the fear of one of these large fronds, filled with very sharp spines, would fall on some unsuspecting passer by.  Now, I'm not at all familiar with cacti, but I'm not sure pieces of them fall down on a regular basis?

On a side note, I wonder how many that even notice this palm and think, "wow, I've never seen a queen palm with spines before"?

Having first hand experience with "spinier things" in the landscape here,  most high traffic, commercial landscapes avoid planting them,  especially really spiny stuff like Cholla, pieces of which ..in some species.. can easily detach and cling to anyone who accidentally brushes against them. Other stuff like heavily armed Agave and Dasylirion are also "avoided" in places where there the chances of a potential liability issue are greater.   Yea you see plenty of such things planted around here, but notice where a majority are used in various landscapes.. or which species are used more often than others... Play grounds and Teddy Bear Cholla don't mix.. Having spent years working in a few, i can't imagine some "watering hole" deciding to use such stuff in their landscaping, ..a few too many + late night bad additudes + spiny things don't mix, lol..  Concrete planters and parking curbs seem to be enough of a challenge for some at such hours.. Home landscapes don't normally face the same possible issues, so you can plant what you like as long as it can't reach out and hug someone walking by..

While circumstances and thinking might be different in this particular situation, i'd suspect the same logic in respect to potential liability would come up regarding use of spiny Palms like Acrocomia where falling leaves might be an issue.. Never like to see something cool or unique cut down / removed out of hasty, overblown ..and / or just plain ignorant fears.. but understand why a business owner would avoid planting stuff that could cost him big time ..even if his entire yard is nothing but spines..

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Fusca

Acrocomia isn't self-cleaning is it?  I see evidence of a fallen spiny leaf clinging to the power line in the second photo.  Imagine if Roystonea regias had similar spines!  Scary thought...

Edited by Fusca
addition

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masatepino

In Panama (central america) Acrocomia seems to be quite common in streets or parking lots.   the spines on the trunk usually cut off.  They look nice!

I have a 10 m Acrocomia aculeata in my garden. One has to be carefull, but I have been injured more by a Phoenix canariensis than by the Acrocomia.

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RedRabbit

I’ve always thought it was cool those palms became established there. They’re in zone 9a and seem to be doing fine long-term. :)

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Steve in Florida

Are they dropping any seeds?

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