For my next post, I want to highlight some of the palms that I've come across in the Cincinnati suburbs outside of the ones in my yard. The first picture is of a windmill palm (trachycapus fortunei) on the eastern side of town. According to the grower, this specimen has endured three winters in the ground with minimal protective measures. His protection for this palm is only a heating cable around the trunk and a frost cloth. This picture was taken in late spring, 2019. It had completely defoliated during January,2019 when temps did drop below zero. The palm started to rebound very quickly. The second picture is the same palm this spring shared to me by the grower with the heating cable still on the trunk and a fully recovered crown.
The next several pictures are from a grower just a stones' throw away from me in the northern Cincinnati suburbs. This grower has some truly wonderful exotics that most nursery staff would say are a waste of time and money in his yard that have proven to be as reliable as tulips simply from protection for wind, placing in the sunniest spots, and extra mulch. The first of these pictures from his yard is a rare true trachycarpus takil that he raised for seed. It has also been in the ground for three years and is only protected by being covered with a mound of straw, no added heat. The other pictures are winter time pictures of his needle palm and sabal minor, He unlike me, does take some protective measures. His protective measures are just covering the trunk of the plant with straw while leaving all leaves exposed. these needle palms and sabal minor have been in the ground since 2006 and laughed off the vortex years.
I collect rare specimens of the variable Sabal minor, esp. those that are dwarfs or uber dwarfs. I got many of those from Plant Delights Nursery, which offers Sabal palms sporadically, sometimes as one-off sales. When they have one I want, I know to order quickly because it may never be offered again. Such is the case for two different Sabal minors I pounced upon nearly two years ago and haven't seen since. I have them in my garden lot where they have gone pinnate. Today I took photos of them. They are quite distinct.
Sabal minor 'Welfare', Texas aka the "Poor Scrub" palmetto
This palm occurs as a population in grasslands near the ghost town of Welfare in Kendall County, TX. Some plants will grow trunks up to 8' tall. The juvenile I have is approx. 2' tall x 2' wide. Check out the link to PDN below:
Sabal minor 'High Springs', FL
This dwarf Sabal minor comes from the town of High Springs in Alachua County, FL. It is distinctive for being very short, 2' tall, and wide, 4' wide. Leaf pinnae are notably narrow. Flower stalks reach 7' tall.
See link to PDN catalog below:
This afternoon while walking the Piedmont Trail (off Strawberry Road) in Greensboro, I stumbled upon a couple dozen or more sabal minors growing in a swampy area parallel to Lake Brandt. There were volunteers coming up everywhere, along with several older palms. My guess is somebody threw some seeds along the trail or planted a couple and they reproduced. Greensboro is around 80 miles west of the fall line, so pretty far away from the native range of dwarf palmettos. Here are some pictures I took:
I also saw some of what I think are Southern Magnolias coming up. Here they are:
My Sabal minor Emerald Isle Giant has produced a crop of 250 seeds this year. For info on this beautiful NC native Sabal minor check out link below from last year:
I am selling this year's crop as follows:
Sabal minor Emerald Isle Giant seeds: 50 @ $10.00
Shipping: $5.00 in padded envelope. No shipping outside the US. No shipping to HI
Total = $15.00
Payment via Paypal. Pm me if you are interested.
The Sabal minor population in and around Congaree National Park, which is just Southeast of Columbia, South Carolina, look really cool. They have basically 360° fronds that stick kind of upright. Look at this observation of them that I saw on iNaturalist in their habitat. I would recommend looking around the observation map as well, you can literally see the different ecotypes around the Southeast.