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Palm Beach Palm & Cycad Society - January Ramble - Stuart, Florida

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Palmarum

- 12:51PM - If you moved too fast you were going to miss something. The landscape layout had small niches and spots hidden all over. A rare Alpinia rugosa occupied one such spot. It featured thick, wrinkled leaf margins. (B,C) Across the path, a mature Zamia angustifolia was sporting two male cones.

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- Watch your step, some palms need more support than others. A leaning Livistona decora was propped up to induce a characteristic bend in the trunk. (B) A wide planting bed bordered the front of the house and contained rare material including a recently-planted Lemurophoenix halleuxii. (B) A few steps away, I noticed a small Gustavia longifolia near the edge of the bed. This tropical flowering tree produces some killer flowers.

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- This plant was one of many in the yard that flat-out blew my mind. I got as far as "Wha..?". It screamed at me with the family Araliaceae but the leaf size and the name Trevesia palmata were completely new to me. I can see how it got the common name Snowflake Aralia. The leaf pattern was unique and made one think of cutting paper forms with scissors.

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- Further into the area, a Salacca magnifica was putting out one bifid leaf after another. I could picture this palm taking up the entire area with huge leaves and suckers. Host Tracy began to walk through and answer questions as curious Jeff points out a number of smaller plants in the area.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 12:56PM - I was becoming desensitized to the idea of being surprised, but it kept happening anyway. In the back of my mind I thought there couldn't be one in the collection, but when I saw this Red Sealing Wax Palm, Cyrtostachys renda, I had loss all doubts of what could grow in this 'northern' yard. It had a lot of red color for its size and looked perfect. (B,C) A must for fans of big aroids, Philodendron 'Weeks Red Hybrid'. It was a hefty plant already and the leaves were going to get even larger.

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- I could hear people beginning to gather by the driveway so I took the long way back, taking shots as I went. (B) I paused for a second to capture a Lanonia dasyantha hidden under other palms and plants. (C) One leaf was out in the open and was showing some nice mottling.

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- 12:59PM - By this point, most of the attendees had arrived and were gathering at the driveway out near the street. Terry began to get everyone's attention and herded us into a large group. He then began by introducing Tracy, our host for the third and final garden of the day. Everyone responded (B) with a large round of applause. She introduced herself and continued by welcoming all of us to her home. She went on to describe her passion for palms and tropical plants and gave us details about how her yard was organized, where lunch was going to be, etc. In prepping for the tour, Tracy had gone ahead and made two plant lists, one for palms the other for everything else, and printed out copies for attendees to use (held in her hands). The plants were organized by binomial, then common name, then yard location (looking at my copy right now).

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- 1:01PM - After the introductions were completed and lunch info was delivered to the group, we dove right into it. Tracy led us across the front of her yard as she pointed out the inhabitants. The easement of the front yard was packed with attendee vehicles. (B) This section was stacked with large palms and trees. It was tricky to photograph individuals. One plant that caught my attention was this weird Hibiscus (Mallow) family member, Wercklea ferox. It is an exotic ornamental, flowering tree and weird foliage plant all rolled into one. This is a particularly large specimen. The last one I had seen was a few feet in height growing in a three gallon pot.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 1:03PM - This front corner section held our attention for a while as it was loaded with material. As we began to cover territory, the tour turned around and headed back up the driveway. One shaded spot held a Dwarf Betel Nut Palm, Areca catechu cv. 'Dwarf'.

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- I had to walk out into the easement to get a good shot of this very familiar Triangle, Teddy Bear Palm Hybrid, Dypsis decaryi × leptocheilos. This palm once resided at Searle Brothers Nursery before Tracy visited one day and arranged for it to be moved. (Jeff was out of town at the time and never knew who had bought the palm). When we drove past the first time on the way to Jack Miller's residence, Jeff commented on how his brother Larry (who took care of the relocation) had mentioned the palm was installed in this area. After I got a closer look at the palm, I knew it had to be the one I had seen for years at the nursery. I found Jeff and dragged him over to look at it again. He was surprised and didn't believe it at first... so he went to go ask Tracy... who confirmed the whole episode.

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- The tour was moving up the driveway towards the house. The area surrounding the wide part of the driveway was heavily landscaped and the mass of tour goers fanned out to look it all over.

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-Some of the larger members of the collection inhabited the planting areas rounding the driveway. (B) Still surprised at the whole episode with the Hybrid Dypsis, Tracy and Jeff were joking back and forth with one another. The tour entered a walkway that led to the backyard along the left (east) side of the house. Space was tight along this narrow walkway, so I had to duck under a unknown fan palm to get a shot of the group.

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Ryan

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Jeff Searle

Hats off to the Palm Beach Chapter for organizing this garden tour of 3 homes that were WELL WORTH the visit. Ryan and I are glad we made the drive and really enjoyed ourselves.  Tracy is really pushing it some with certain species this far north. But after finding out that Pelagodoxa henryana grows nearly this far and now has been seeding, I guess nothing should surprise me now. Tracy......you were the rock star that day. Love your passion!

Jeff

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dmc

Was a great day with great people. Thanks for documenting Ryan. 

Dominic 

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Tracy S

Jeff,

Thanks for the kind words. It means so much coming from you. It was a pleasure to have everyone up and to be able to show my garden to fellow palm enthusiasts.

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Palmarum

- 1:06PM - The tour progressed from the driveway to the back yard, via the east side of the house. This required the group to thin down to a single file to get through. As attendees began to move through the 'east passage' they took turns trying to identify the fan palm next to where I was standing; passing the I.D. possibilities down the line as they went. It went from one person to another until it got to Dominic and then Terry. (B) I felt as if I was missing most of the action and attendee reactions while being stuck in line, so I ran around to the west side of the house and reached the back patio. I crossed over and got near the pool and took this shot of the front end of the tour as they were exploring the east side area. Center of the frame held a mature specimen of Dictyosperma album var. conjugatum as it was flanked by numerous other plants. A Coconut Palm, perhaps a Malayan Tall, rides the left edge of the photo while a Telegraph Pole Tree, Polyalthia longifolia var. pendula, asserts its height on the right.

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- Back into the bush. I entered the east side of the house, which consisted of multiple planting beds. As I left sun and entered shade, I passed by this interesting fountain. It is hard to see the trickling water in the photo, but the design was simple and was making a very pleasing sound. It set the mood very well. (B) I stepped ever so lightly through a planting bed to cut across a pathway packed with attendees. This area of the yard was older than some of the others and held larger specimens. Some of the smaller ones, however, were just as striking. An established and perfectly-grown Sabinaria magnifica resided in its own spot near a pathway...

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- ... where it was performing as a prime exhibit of its new genus. The tour slowed down as people, with lists in hand, took an extra moment or two to look it over. Listening as I do, I heard that for many this was their first time seeing a Sabinaria magnifica in person.

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- As the tour kept following the pathways, I began to bounce back and forth between sections while looking for shooting positions. The sections were densely planted and required a bit of footwork to both maneuver through and take photos. A Calyptrocalyx hollrungii got its timing right and began to show several newly-emergent red leaves simultaneously. (B) Tracy was moving along with the tour pointing out species while going off path here and there to answer a question or to identify a plant. She was answering a question put forth by the young attendee on the left. Those leaf bases (left of center) belong to an elongated Bottle Palm, Hyophorbe lagenicaulis, that was shading part of the surrounding area.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 1:10PM - The surprises kept coming. It was easier to just set one's own face to 'stunned' for the duration of the tour. Not rare, not very rare, not extremely rare, but perhaps ultra to beyond rare was this attractive juvenile Salacca dransfieldiana. This palm is possibly the rarest species in the collection as it is normally impossible to find. At this moment in history, they are only propagated as divisions separated from a clustering mother plant, as all plants known to exist are of a single gender. (C) The underside of the newest leaf had some unusual banding, perhaps caused by constriction on the new leaf spear prior to opening.

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- Although labeled as regular Red Ginger, Alpinia purpurata, this bloom was producing even more blooms at its base. I had not seen this before. (B) A new copper-red leaf on another Heterospathe elata.

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- A young Borassus aethiopum grows in a key spot with a nice view of the pool.

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- Always nice to see, a Mapu, Licuala mattanensis var. paucisecta, was featuring some nice mottling.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 1:14PM - Attendees began to venture off down different paths, but most continued south... down along the east side of the yard on the way to the back corner. Another bloom of the same Red Ginger seen above, but as a pendant bloom. (B,C) A species that would actually benefit from having cooler nights, Welfia regia.

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- Near the edge of the property, a more moderately-sized Triangle, Teddy Bear Palm Hybrid, Dypsis decaryi × leptocheilos, marked the end of one path and the beginning of another. (B) A genus, let alone the species, seldom seen in palm collections: Socratea salazarii. It was tucked under a banana and had a decent compliment of stilt roots.

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- I was trying to look at everything, although I was noticing the palms more than anything else. I couldn't forget about the tropical flowering trees as they were well-represented in the collection. This Amherstia nobilis was small but was going to become a great tree. (B) The label does it all for me.

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- Every collection has its beginnings and they are always important. This Spindle Palm, Hyophorbe verschaffeltii, was located near a pathway intersection and was flawless in all regards. Lower left, same Calyptrocalyx hollrungii seen earlier. In the center background, attendees began to circle the patio looking at the ever expanding spread of food, as lunch was about a half hour away.

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Ryan

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