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Eric in Orlando

The most Acrocomia specimens I have ever seen, dozens of specimens

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Eric in Orlando

Last Saturday my wife and I went exploring around Lake Alfred and Winter Haven, Florida. This is about 60 miles south of Orlando. First stop in Lake Alfred was the former Lake Alfred Hotel, built in 1913. Nowadays it is a senior assisted living facility. Several specimens of Acrocomia are growing on the grounds. 

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Eric in Orlando

This first specimen is a mystery, not sure what species it is but doesnt look like either aculeata or totai. It has a more robust trunk but short leaves with wider spaced leaflets. Maybe it is a A. aculeata total hybrid. 

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Eric in Orlando

Several A. totai

 

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Eric in Orlando

Another nice A. totai 

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Eric in Orlando

A couple of young Acrocomia aculeata. Not sure what happened to the parents. 

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Eric in Orlando

I have lots more photos from another location to post in awhile. 

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DoomsDave

I suspect the semi-retired tree huggers retire quickly . . .

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Eric in Orlando

The next stop is Mackay Gardens in Lake Alfred, on the north side of Lake Rochelle. It is the former estate of Alexander Mackay, a Scottish businessman. He had a house built in 1915 and hired John Morley, a British botanist to design and maintain the gardens. Morley was friends with David Fairchild who would send him plants to try out. I don't know the history of the plantings but it is now currently owned by the City of Lake Alfred. There are dozens of Acrocomia totai on the ground along with some other rare rare palms and old bamboo, tropical trees and Eucalyptus. On the back lawn are some very tall specimens that are probably date to when the garden was young. Quite a few of the A. totai  appear to be naturalized seedlings that have grown up. 

First, here is the front of the house and a cluster of totai. 

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Eric in Orlando

From Lake Rochelle looking towards the back of the house. 

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Eric in Orlando

Some very old and tall specimens in the back lawn. 

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Eric in Orlando

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Eric in Orlando

Osprey preched in top of the dead tree. 

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Eric in Orlando

Acrocomia totai with an old Sabal yapa 

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Eric in Orlando

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Eric in Orlando

The rest of these are in the front sections of the property. 

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Eric in Orlando

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Eric in Orlando

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Eric in Orlando

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Eric in Orlando

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Eric in Orlando

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Eric in Orlando

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Eric in Orlando

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Eric in Orlando

Besides the Acrocomia there were some Sabal specimens. 

Sabal yapa

 

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Eric in Orlando

What I believe to be a Sabal domingensis growing next to a Bombax ceiba.  It was almost twice as thick as the nearby Sabal palmetto. 

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Eric in Orlando

Sabal uresana and Sabal mexicana 

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Wow Eric@@!!

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PalmatierMeg

Scores of spiny beauties. Great photos.

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redant

Good stuff, I gather the spiny beasts where used as they look tropical but obviously have cold tolerance. I have 1 acrocomia in my yard, so friggen mean. 

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Jeff Searle

Not the most exciting species we've seen here on PT. Lol. But it's nice to see so many of these old specimens being preserved on the property grounds considering they have (spines!). Thanks Eric,

Jeff

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Eric in Orlando

The first photos are a very interesting specimen, not sure what species it is but I am going to go back later in the year looking for seeds.

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Reeverse

Good find!! Somebody liked those scary palms and went crazy planting them. 

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bubba

Johnny Appleseed! Thank you.

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Eric in Orlando

It seems two sources were the original introducers of Acrocomia into cultivation in Florida in the late 1800s. Theodore Mead with A. totai and Reasoners Nursery with other species. A. totai was a popular novelty in the first half of the 1900s in Florida gardens and you see it in old landscapes. Its really intersting to see it still growing and naturalizing at these 2 historic properties.

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Matt N- Dallas

Those are amazing Eric- love the pics. 

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Eric in Orlando

From reading through old botanical papers I have there seems to actually be 3 sources who were either the first or among the first to bring Acrocomia into Florida. One is E. H. Hart who had a palm and botanical collection in Federal Point south of Jacksonville. He settled there in the late 1860s and died in 1898. The second is Theodore Mead of Lake Charm (near Oviedo, northeast of Orlando) who brought in Acrocomia totai around 1905. And 3third is the Reasoner Bros. at Royal Palm Nursery in Oneco, near Bradenton. They first listed an Acrocomia in their catalog in 1888, A. havanensis from Cuba. Then A. vinifera in 1891, A. scelocarpa in 1893 and A. totai in 1910. I wonder if Mead was the source of A. totai seed or the other way around.

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dekaoxtoyra

fantastic acrocomia tottai

i like this tree

how can i found some seedlings seeds

please help

better seedlings because the seeds late to sprout much time

and not sure

i tried but nothing yet from seeds

i just forget them.

george

thanks

Edited by dekaoxtoyra

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