My gardens have been in place for over 10 years so many of my palms have grown to maturity. However, I still lose individual plants over the course of a year, which give me opportunities to sort through palms I've grown from seeds to fill gaps in the yard. Since fall began I have planted the following plants, including one Areca catechu semi dwarf and five Areca catechu dwarfs that demanded to go into the ground.
Areca catechu semi dwarf - replaced a fading Livistona nitida
Areca catechu dwarf #1 - replaced a dead Satakentia on east side of jungle
Areca catechu dwarfs #2 & #3 - on east side of house
Areca catechu dwarf #4 on west side of house - replaces dead Chambeyronia Hookeri
Areca catechu dwarf #5 - west side of jungle in place of dead Livistona jenkinsiana
Hello all! Just wanted to get opinios on how fast it takes a cycad in the seedling stage to develop a caudex?
I know there are many types of cycads that grow and different rates.
My personal favorite cyads right now are encephalartos.
What is the typical rate from seedling to developing a small caudex for encephalartos?
Is it better to pay for something that has a caudex developed or stick with seedlings and watch them grow?
Also what is the typical amount of time for germination?
Definitely sounds unusual at first glance, but I dug up this thread from 2016 where user cycadjungle wrote on a successful experiment where a "sex reversal" was achieved on around 20% of E. natalensis by manipulating the plant's specific growing conditions to cause hormone shifts. They wrote that they knew someone in Los Angeles who owned several clones of E. woodii who would allow them to conduct the experiments once the plants cycled through several cones/flushes.
I'm curious if anyone else has attempted sex reversals since then, and if it really is a possible method of bringing back the E. woodii!
Fresh on the heels of my hugely popular and gripping tale of an unknown Encephalartos, I bring you the sequel! Naaaaaame that plant! Sometimes I have to amuse myself, ya know!
This one seems to be a medium-sized Encephalartos and it's showing a bit of bluish coloring now that it's out in more sun. You can't really see that in the photos, but compared to a Hildebrandtii nearby it's definitely in the "slightly blue" category. Part of this might be water spots from my well water, which should go away now that it's not in my overhead spray "tropical bed." The leaves are slightly cupped and nearly spineless, with just small remnant spines along the bottom edge and occasionally 1 small spine on the top edge near the base. Leaf tips are consistently swept forwards. Leaves are noticeably keeled but it's hard to say if they would overlap or not. The existing 3 fronds flushed in significant shade, but I planted it in almost 100% sun after a couple of week's acclimation. Leaves have zero sunburn even with the short acclimation period. The caudex is about 4 inches and the fronds are about 3.5-4 feet long. Petioles are furry with leaves reducing to spines.
My initial thought was Munchii, because the leaves can be variable in color and amount of spines. Being in rainy Floriduh and in shade it wouldn't be too blue, and I didn't even notice the coloring until it had been out in full sun for a couple of weeks. Here's the whole plant, with a sunburned green spiny Munchii behind it. ChuckG also had several other in the Manikensis group and other SW Mozambique cycads, so it's possible that it is a "lost label" kind from somewhere in that area.
Here's the caudex and petioles, you can see they have small spines almost to the caudex. The shortest leaves switch to a 3-spine tip like Laurentianus/Whitelockii instead of being nearly spineless.
And the leaf detail, with noticeable keeling. If these fronds were grown in full sun they'd be shorter and *might* have some overlap.
I was over browsing through ChuckG's collection of cycads and palms, and we ran across two unusual large Encephalartos. This is one of the two, it was tagged with "Ituriensis" but both of us are pretty sure that's not accurate. The leaf shape is wrong and the number of prickles are wrong. However it is a big one, with 9-10' shade grown fronds with a 5-6" caudex. So it's likely to be one of the "big green Encephalartos" or possibly a hybrid. Any suggestions on an ID or possible parents?
Leaves have around 20-22 spines pretty much evenly spaced on the top and bottom of each leaf. This is way more than Whitelockii (6-12) or Ituriensis (12-16) but similar to Laurentianus (12-20). Tip is consistently forked with 3 spines near the end. Leaves are more elliptical or Oblong/Ovate than they are lanceolate The only description I can find of an Encephalartos with that large number of spines on the leaves is Laurentianus. Superficially it looks a bit like one, but the others I have (also from Chuck) have more parallel leaves that are definitely not ovalized. Here's a few photos:
Front and back of the mature leaves, grown in a lot of shade. The reddish stuff on the top of the leaves is iron/manganese deposits from hard well water.
Leaf detail on the new flush, these are about 2.5 feet tall today:
Larger view of the new flush, caudex and 3 older fronds. It's tied to a steel post I drove into the ground to support the Dendrocalamus Hamiltonii on the right of the photo: