By Jonathan Haycock
The Payneham Jubaea chilensis is a very fertile palm, producing copious amounts of pollen and subsequent fruit.
The Jubaea chilensis at Waite Arboretum appears to be self-sterile, offering tiny quantities of poor quality pollen per inflorescence and up until today, hasn’t dropped a single fruit over the last 2 years despite pushing almost year round spathes.
A while ago, I noticed a limited number of fruit forming on the Waite Jubaea. They were more elongated than the round fruit typically seen on this species.
I picked up the ripe windfall, cleaned the fruit to reveal seed that is again elongated, but also smaller than regular Jubaea.
Due to the previous sterility of the Waite Jubaea, I’m wondering if it has been open pollinated by the various Butia or Syagrus next to it? Plenty of helpful insects/birds around plus Adelaide has been exceptionally windy this summer.
I’ve always thought that seed morphology of a pure cocoid palm species does not change whether it has selfed or received pollen from another species. Rather differences show up in the subsequent F1 hybrid parent.
Could it be seed morphology is an indication of possible hybridisation? Is the Jubaea actually a hybrid? Or am I reading too much into this ?
Waite Jubaea chilensis seed left, Payneham Jubaea chilensis seed right
Payneham Jubaea chilensis
Waite Jubaea chilensis
I earned a few browny points with my beautiful daughter this morning, I took her up to the Perth hills so she could play with a koala. She loves koalas, my wife does too, they are quite nice little things. This little bloke is 10 years old, his name is William and he comes when his name is called. My daughter wants to be a volunteer at the wildlife park on weekends, I think it would be difficult keeping her away from William and his mates though!
In January 2020 The Merwin Conservancy officially took on the stewardship of the house and palm garden of poet W.S. Merwin on Maui. As we have been cataloging personal items in the house, we discovered boxes of files containing letters about the early days of seed exchanges, conservation work, and friendships revolving around palms. Some of these letters written more than 30 years ago include correspondence between Inga Hoffman coordinating the IPS seedbank out of the Southern California Palm Society Chapter, Grant Hawley from Aitkenvale North Queensland, and Norm Patterson in Western Australia (he mentions the Western Australia Palm and Cycad Society being only 2 years old). We are just starting to go through these now, and I hope those in the PalmTalk community might help me put more context around these pen pals. Grant Hawley's letters include descriptions of his own gardening situation, it would be interesting to find out what happened since those letters. William had been working on a Pritchardia project and mentions sending a few wild collected seeds to his network. I've only scratched the surface and I assume there will be many more kindred spirits in the piles of correspondence. The letters are an interesting snapshot of the world of serious amateur palm collecting - species lists, wish lists, and old certificates like the photo attached.
I found these maps online, they show where Australia and New Zealand would lie if they were situated in their current latitude except in the northern hemisphere. I was surprised at how much closer to the equator some of our cities and major towns were in comparison.
By Fi Melbourne
I've just received my 3 sprouted coconuts in the mail. This will be my first time growing coconut and I am a bit excited and nervous at the same time as I've never done this before.
I grew up in South East Asia and my late grandfather's house was surrounded with beautiful coconut trees. Now that I've moved to Melbourne Australia, I wanted a piece of tropical paradise with me to remind me of my childhood.
Since it's currently winter now in Melbourne, the coconuts will be grown indoor. Once they get bigger... I will move them in the greenhouse. Hopefully with the right method and equipment, I would be able to grow them in the ground one day. I have about a dozen of banana trees growing in the backyard already and now I just need a few coconut trees to have my own tropical paradise.
Do you guys have any advice for a newbie like me? Do's and don'ts? I have a heat mat, grow light and humidifier to help these babies grow. Should I leave the heat mat on all night? I put plastic over them to create a humid environment. Any fertilizer at all at this stage?
Thanks guys and it's great to be a part of this community.