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Palmarum

The 22nd Annual Fall 'Ganza - The Few and Far Between

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Palmarum

Searle Brothers Nursery, Inc. & The Rainforest Collection®

presented...

The 22nd Annual Fall Extravaganza

October 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th - 9th, 10th, 11th - 2020

 

The Few and Far Between - A Palm Sale During the Pandemic

Unknowns. The unknown elements pertaining to having a plant sale during the pandemic created the most concern. We didn't know what the interest level would be, or if there would be any demand. I figured there would be at-least some need for landscape material, as there always is... as long as there is any urge for homeowners and gardeners to play in the dirt. As for the plant explorers, enthusiasts and collectors, I personally had no idea as to who might show up; and if they did, do they have their list or cart in hand, or would they just be browsing for eye candy? For those who may not know, South Florida has been hit especially hard by the pandemic. So to have both the desire for plants and the urge to travel during the age of Covid-19, is a particular combo.

The nursery had put every pandemic-related safety measure into place. Signs for social distancing and mask usage, a different entrance pathway for customers entering the sales area, screens and safeguards throughout the checkout process and enough hand sanitizer to sink a ship. Hand washing stations were spaced around the sales area and cleaning materials were used to clean the bathrooms and high-volume surfaces after each use. All we needed then was customers. The 'Ganza was effected by other factors as well. Due to the pandemic, we were short on volunteers that often help during the sale days. These included not only those happy to load a trailer, but those with plant knowledge. To reduce movement through the sales area we had assigned locations during the event. I was positioned at the white tent in the main shadehouse. This factor, along with the intermittent rainfall, greatly reduced the amount of photos I took during the sale.

Leading up to the sale, I was monitoring the online plant world as much as I could to try and get a feeling as to the 'mood' of plant people. I do this regularly, but I was trying to get an idea of how well the sale might be as a result. The usual amount of communication I had regarding the 'Ganza was way down and those communications I did have had represented a mix of moods, from low to high. I waited to see how this would correspond with customers attending the sale.

 

Thursday, October 1st

- 7:41AM - For the first time, the Extravaganza opens on a Thursday morning. This was done to try and maintain social distancing and to help alleviate the crowding that normally occurs on a Friday morning. It didn't work. Most everyone that could attend on a Friday, came Thursday. Plant fanatics follow the credo, 'If they can seek plant, they shall'. It was still early, with the sun fighting to rise among a cloudy sky. The rain was going to play a big part during this already unusual 'Ganza. I took a long gaze down the sidewalk while at the main shadehouse entrance, looking over the Palm selection and anything that might need attention; a fallen plant, a stray hose, etc. Looking to the left (B) the Croton selection was primed and ready for the oncoming onslaught. Hard to make out, but there were 144 different cultivars in there; available in varying amounts.

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- On the right, the Aroid tables were packed with plants of all sorts. (B) The side road had more than its fair share of plant material ready for customers. In addition to the usual spread of Cordylines and ground orchids, there were unusual flowering shrubs, trees and vines. A botanical oddity or two was mixed in for good measure.

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- 7:43AM - Under the barn, the Orchids were on display. They were arranged in their groups, most if not all had a photo of the bloom, if they were not in bloom themselves.

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- 7:47AM - Red leaves everywhere. For some reason, the timing mechanism that controls the newly emerging leaves throughout the Chambeyronia macrocarpa population was in sync. In behind the sidewalk and yellow caution tape, almost every specimen of C. macrocarpa, whether it was a single or multiple, had a new red leaf. It was cool and freaky at the same time. I was not the only one to notice, as the showy leaves waved down customers throughout the first weekend, selling many of the plants in the process.

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Ryan

 

- Link to For-Sale Topic: The 22nd Annual Fall Extravaganza - For-Sale Topic

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Palmarum

- 7:49AM - The sidewalks look so wide now. Well, this is how it normally looks. Kinda. To help with social distancing and to make passage through the shadehouse easier, the sale plants were pushed off from the sidewalk and placed on the ground cloth. The yellow caution tape was then loosely placed in behind, denoting what plants were for sale and which ones were not. There was a bit of confusion. We ended up telling customers to look for the lavender tag to know which plants were actually for sale. (B) A popular sight now around South Florida, a sign requiring mask usage. Even a sign can hold a sign.

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- 7:52AM - As we hadn't opened yet, I took advantage of the short time period to run around taking sales area photos. A view looking east down the main road, with the second half of the landscape plants bordering the road. The familiar white nursery trailer blocks off the end of the road from customer traffic. The bleak amount of sunlight didn't offer much in the way of mood lighting.

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- The Full Sun Palm section, off of the side entrance to the main shadehouse. The section is usually divided in half, with the Caribbean Palms on the right (B) and everything else on the left. The large palm on the left in the second photo is a Copernicia fallaensis

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- A small plant of an Ae-Ae Banana, which was once a rhizome, but is now the entire clump. The motherplant had flowered and expired, leaving this guy on his own. It was quite the attention-getter during the sale, as everyone wanted to know what it was. (B) The non-Caribbean half of the Full Sun Palm section, seen from the side shadehouse entrance. On the lower right, I had to create a bigger space between the 3 gal. Chamaerops humilis var. argentea on the left and the 3 gal. Serenoa repens var. 'Silver' spanning the lower right corner. They were a little too similar to be right next to each other.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 7:55AM - A palm sale favorite, the ever-popular and fast growing Verschaffeltia splendida. The palm is complete with unique features and they all combine to lure the eye. The palm does a number on those new to exotic palm species. The entire or nearly-entire leaves, the orange petioles, the spines and stilt-roots all work together to force out phrases like "Wow, what is that?". Those undivided leaves on the right with the silver undersides belong to a Salacca magnifica, another rare palm of note that has its own grand following among collectors; a whole 'nother story... (B) In addition to the 25-gallon specimen, we only had one 7 gallon out for sale. It was decided to pull over-sized one-gallon plants, as we had many of them. The smaller size was a favorite among customers.

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- Opening time approached so I decided to try and get some photos of the 'rush' at the gate. On my way to the front area, I stopped to grab shots of the grouping of Pelagodoxa henryana before they disappeared. This is another popular species due to undivided leaves. The over-sized 3-gallon plants were an extremely hot item. They didn't last long. (B) A different view of the larger 7-gallon plant, showing the newer leaf at its prime. These plants could very well have their name changed to the now resurrected epithet Pelagodoxa mesocarpa. I wasn't sure and did not had the time to track the plants' origin down and do the research. 

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- 7:58AM - The heart of the sales area, the main road between the Holding Area on the right, and the Landscape Palms on the left. The entire area shaded by the historic Royal Poinciana, Delonix regia, that has resided here ever since it barely survived Hurricane Andrew (and wasn't sold as a much needed tree) in 1992. Everyone and most everything comes through here during the 'Ganza. The Tropical Fruit Tree section is in the distance, center frame. Carefully placed empty carts await customers. (B) Further down the road, the last few measures of the sale are prepared. The sale trailer belonging to Broward Orchid Supply comes to life and is made ready. To the right of the pallets of fertilizer, a directional set-up comprised of tables and orange cones was staged to direct customers around the checkout area to form a new entrance. They would go to their right and around to the side road leading to the Fruit Tree section.

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- Turning around 180 degrees, a view looking down the main road, with landscape plants on the left and the Bromeliad section on the right. Cloudy skies foretold the rain that was still to come.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 7:58AM - Opening time, well close enough. Jeff Searle turns his blue golf cart westward and heads to greet the early birds. His approach triggers a reaction as customers begin to form ranks at the gate. (B) At the same time he flips the latch and begins to open the gate, a volunteer arrives at the wrong time, with their truck forcing customers to part in order to allow the vehicle entry.

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- With both gates thrown open and no last-minute vehicles, the crowd begins the high-paced walk down the main road towards the sales area. Jeff stays ahead of the crowd as volunteers, crew members and nursery dogs begin to marshal by the checkout area.

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- 8:00AM - Approaching the crew gathering with hat and mask, Larry Searle begins to instruct everyone as to what to do and what their assigned locations will be; with his dog Gypsy at his side. (B) Jeff reaches the improvised re-directed entrance way and parks his golf cart, as the crowd gains ground.

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- The crew gathering begins to disperse as everyone begins to take their duty stations.

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Palmarum

- 8:00AM - As the crowd closes the distance in short order, Jeff begins to greet those who are first to reach him. (B) As we were now open, everyone begins to don their masks and space out: literally not figuratively.

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- The majority of the early morning crowd, which measured beyond my expectations, began to take the improvised route around the checkout area, directed by Jeff.

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- 8:01AM - Jeff combined his role as greeter with traffic cop. I had to move around a lot to shoot through the crew members assigned to the loading area or holding area. (B) Some customers wanted to stop and talk with Jeff, as others were on a mission and hurried around the obstacle course. I had stretched out my time in the front area as long as I could, so it was time to head back to my white tent location in the shadehouse...

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- 8:06AM - Back at my post within the main shadehouse, I began to photograph the action. The crowd quickly enveloped the sidewalk and began to browse and grab plants. As I was keeping distance and was without my familiar location checklist, I answered questions from a far and did my best to hunt down species. Two "One-of's" (palm species of which we only had one specimen) quickly found their way to the nearby cart, a 1 gal. Phytelephas macrocarpa, the Ivory Nut Palm or Tagua Palm (on the left) and a two-gallon, the heavily sought-after variety, Licuala glabra var. selangorensis. (B) The tables were getting attacked in proper fashion as one customer checks out the grouping of Red Sealing Wax Palms, Cyrtostachys renda. We had the species represented across four sizes, with some only available in small quantities.

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Palmarum

- 8:19AM - The rush was on. The palm frenzy was in full effect, with most doing their best to keep their distance from one another while browsing and navigating their cart down the now wider sidewalk. One customer, whose cart carried a 7 gal. Needle Palm, Rhapidophyllum hystrix, reads up on the Sealing Wax Hybrid, Cyrtostachys sp. 'Hybrid'. Another customer just down the sidewalk examines the lavender tag belonging to one of the specimens. The price didn't deter everyone as we sold two of them. (B) Three and four loaded carts ride past me, each one containing a different mix of palms. Two of them seem to be dominated by Caribbean natives.

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- 8:28AM - No cart, no bother. A customer carries what I am fairly sure is a 7 gal. Coccothrinax montana. (B) Crotons were as just as popular as ever. I wasn't able to checkout the section, but I witnessed cart after cart going past me, loaded with Croton cultivars. This batch was joined by two, three-gallon palms, a Ptychosperma sp. 'Wotoboho' and a Betel Nut Palm, Areca catechu. A small 1 gal. Cabada Palm, Dypsis cabadae, goes for a ride on the right.

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- 8:32AM - A tall and slender 7 gal. Golden Betel Nut Palm, Areca catechu cv. alba, joins forces with a 10 gal. nearly mature, Burretiokentia vieillardii. The two of them slowly work their way down the sidewalk and out to the (B) side entrance, while being joined with Crotons and other palms. The nearby cart held a mix of palms, including a 7 gal. Copernicia gigas.

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- 10:08AM - 10:43AM - Hmm. The tires on this aluminum cart are being tested. It held a little bit of everything, Palm-wise. The larger fan palm on the left with the bluish-silver leaves is an overgrown 7 gal. Azul Palm, Coccothrinax macroglossa. (B) A cart flew past me loaded with a future landscape plan, which included a Singapore Twist Cordyline.

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- 10:55AM - With the assistance of a nearby dolly, two customers lift and lean-over a 10 gal. Hydriastele kasesa bound for the holding area. The leaves of the taller stems were beginning to touch the shade cloth, 15 ft. (4.5m) above. (B) The popularity of the Red Sealing Wax Palm, Cyrtostachys renda, has no boundaries. It is not only recognizable by non-palm people, but non-tropical plant people as well. Customers new to the sale will enter the shadehouse in search of it without knowing the name, but after they give a few words of description, we know immediately what they are looking for. One such customer flagged two seven-gallon specimens and came back as soon as possible with a cart to load them. (C) The 7 gal. specimen on the left was growing naturally as a near solitary individual. Without all the energy spent on producing suckers, the main stem was much larger than those found on other plants of equal age, i.e. the plant on the right.

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- 10:59AM - Make way for the palms, loaded cart coming through. A cart loaded with a rapidly-growing, 15 gal. Metroxylon vitiense parts the way as it makes the turn for the side entrance to the shadehouse. I swear that newly-emerging leaf grew a few inches as it moved by. An unknown Pritchardia sp. sits at the front of the cart, while a tilted rider, leaning away from the M. vitiense sits precariously on the left. The rider is a seldom encountered species of Astrocaryum in S. Florida, A. aculeatissimum. (B) Back to that rolling holding area first seen above, it has since gathered more passengers. There is so much crammed in there. A 3 gal. Dypsis sp. 'Baby Red Stems' sits jutting out of the far left corner; a 7 gal. Chamaedorea metallica multiple is in the center, with the solid, bifid leaves; and a 7 gal. Chambeyronia macrocarpa var. hookeri rests on the sidewalk, off the cart on the right. They had run out of room.

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- 11:35AM - Restocking had already begun and it wasn't even lunch time yet. Photographing through the shade cloth, Travis Searle is seen driving the tractor and trailer back to the sales area, loaded with a pair of Princess Palms, Dictyosperma album, steadied by Riley.

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- 11:37AM - Palms can and will certainly sell themselves, without any help... except from maybe a red new leaf. A 7 gal. Dypsis crinita struts its new leaf show as it sits on a customers' cart. At the base, the palm had begun to divide into multiple stems. It is joined on the right by a 1 gal. Chambeyronia macrocarpa var. hookeri and a 3 gal. Red Sealing Wax Palm, Cyrtostachys renda. (B) The leaf was a shade darker the day before, as it fades to green rapidly, but it is still great eye candy.

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Palmarum

Friday, October 2nd

The first ever Thursday ended most like a Friday, with it busy in the morning and the activity tapering off in the afternoon. I didn't know how Friday was going to be, but I had an idea. Slow. Between the rush the day before and the onslaught of rain, my prediction was correct.

- 7:32AM - Rain. To my surprise we were mostly spared the rain on Thursday, but Friday had begun to follow the forecast as if it was a scripted show. It was raining all morning and it followed me to the nursery, ending only as I reached the white tent. After preparing the shadehouse, I decided to take advantage of the break in the rain and the time we had until we opened to take photos of the sales area. With the overcast skies and wet sidewalk, the entire mood was gloomy, almost like the beginning of a horror movie.

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- As I fired away, I tried to both test the sidewalk for slipperiness (I had to look up that word) and do my best to not slip myself. The Palms were certainly happy. The rainfall and humidity made some think they were back in their native haunts.

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- 7:38AM - Outside, I visited the holding area and the main road intersection. Everything was being prepped like the day before, and with years of practice, it was done quickly. Looking past the orange fence, the silhouette of the robust Carpoxylon macrospermum stands out from the bleak sky. (B) The large palm was for sale, but was being used mainly to sell the numerous three-gallon specimens positioned out in front of it. To the left of the Carpoxylon grouping, was a gathering of quite distinguished palms...

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- The venerable Dwarf Betel Nut Palm, Areca catechu cv. 'Dwarf', in all its glory. The gathering including a trio of very old specimens in 65-gallon containers. They varied in trunk height as many mature palms do. The two in the back were placed upon concrete blocks to give them more height over the smaller (B) one in the foreground, which also had a few seven gallons remaining around it. The seven gallon size is super popular, as it more affordable, easier to transport and a large enough size to showcase a true dwarf nature. They were, of course, only available in a small amount.

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Ryan

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- 7:40AM - With a little time left before we opened, I continued to meander through the sales area. The Bromeliad section had been restocked and recovered the day before. The rain was anticipated so much of the restocking was done late Thursday.

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- The next section over held the various Heliconia and Ginger cultivars, species and varieties. It is often mixed with some of the larger Flowering Trees, but some of them were used to provide shade in another section. This area also receives a fair amount of collectors and enthusiasts. A lot of the cultivars in this section, whether Heliconia, Ginger or one of their allies, make great companion plants for larger palms.

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- 10:10AM - We opened to a small trickle of customers which took a couple hours to reach a crowd. In one instance, a crew manning the tractor and trailer transport an order of plants up towards the checkout area. The order included a rather large Dypsis carlsmithii that waved (B) as it went by.

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- As the order above proceeded down the main road, I walked out to get a shot as it moving towards the checkout, or perhaps the holding area. The silver palm on the back of the trailer is a 15 gal. Copernicia ekmanii. Volunteer Judy Glock helps a customer with the landscape plants, further down on the right in the red shirt.

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Ryan

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palmfriend

Ryan,

I really like your reports!

Thank you for documenting the 'Ganza events!

best regards from Okinawa -

Lars

 

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- 10:11AM - As I was heading back inside to my post, I noticed this gathered stash near the shadehouse side entrance. The morning was spent creating it. It was mostly Palms with a few exceptions. From left to right, the behemoth resting on the cart is a rare, 20 gal. Copernicia × vespertilionum. Next, is a tall Pritchardia species of which I am not certain, probably P. vuylstekeana. Next to the right, the slender three-gallon palm is a tall, overgrown Nephrosperma vanhoutteanum. The last of those that can be easily seen is a low, silvery, 7 gal. Brahea decumbens. (B) As I passed by, I took another photo of the Copernicia × vespertilionum because it may be one of the last containerized specimens in cultivation. It is the naturalized hybrid between Copernicia gigas and C. rigida and one of very few specimens in S. Florida. It was so heavy, it was just left on the cart.

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- 2:57PM - Rain delay. The rains came and either caused a significant downpour causing people to seek shelter, or made for a long, heavy, steady drizzle that required the use of rain gear. This went on and off for much of midday and the early afternoon. The next point of excitement in the shadehouse didn't come until almost three o'clock. I got a call letting me know that customers were getting two big palms from near the main entrance. The rain had slowed enough to allow umbrella-less travel down the sidewalk, so I headed down to see what was going on. (B) I arrived to find customers selecting two, 45 gal. Cabada Palms, Dypsis cabadae, that were also in the process of being moved to the checkout. The first one was already on the tree dolly and heading out the door.

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- With crew assistance, the first palm was rolled over to a waiting New Holland, with Travis at the controls. (B) With a solid tip, push and shove, it was loaded onto the bucket.

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- Jeff grabbed the first palm by the lip of the pot and pulled it over to the far side of the bucket, leaving more room for the second. (B) With hand pointing, Jeff notions for the crew to get the second palm.

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Palmarum

- 2:59PM - Photographing these palms in action was the only thing going on at the moment, but it was still fun to watch. Within a minute, the second Cabada Palm was leaned over and then (B) placed onto the tree dolly...

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- With two people pushing and Amadeo pulling and guiding, the second palm headed out of the shadehouse...

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- 3:00PM - A collection of grunts resulted in loading the second palm onto the bucket.

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- Now all the two palms needed was a ride through to the checkout and transport to a waiting vehicle. With guides all around, Travis steers the New Holland down the side road, in between customers and plants...

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Palmarum

- 3:01PM - I followed the moving palm parade until it reached the main road. Travis then turned the New Holland and (B) headed out to the checkout, with Jeff guiding on the left. I went as far as I could then headed back to my post.

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- 3:02PM - Heading back to the white tent, I ended up following a loaded cart down the sidewalk. It held a mess of Croton cultivars along with a recently restocked 7 gal. Verschaffeltia splendida and a 3 gal. Thai Mountain Giant Fishtail, Caryota obtusa. I began to feel the rain returning. (B) A collaboration of plant minds. Volunteer Judy Glock discusses all things plants and beyond with Darryl Windham, Horticulture Manager of the Naples Zoo. The rain was bringing out the umbrellas once again, while many headed for cover.

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Palmarum

Saturday, October 3rd

More Rain. Did I mention the rain yet? Ugh. The constant precipitation that dominated Friday continued into Saturday with even more intensity. The chance for rain increased as we went into the weekend. The activity on Saturday was reduced but constant, at least from my point of view. Photographic opportunities were almost non-existent.

- 7:29AM - Night and morning were dominated by the falling wet stuff. The wind-driven rain woke me up early as it was hitting the windows. I made a break for it when it wasn't so heavy and made it to the nursery. There was zero traffic. I got the shadehouse ready with plenty of time until opening. There wasn't much else to do, so I walked around taking photos in the rain; one hand on the camera, the other on the umbrella. Any idea of sunrise was just a hint of daylight, it was dark. My flash was the only source of decent light. It was enough to light up the grouping of Licuala peltata var. sumawongii on the right, and not much else. (B) Moving one inch at a time, I stood center at the sidewalk intersection and photographed the grouping of Red Sealing Wax Palms, Cyrtostachys renda. If you look closely between the palms and camera, the flash lit up the larger drops as they fell from the shade cloth.

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- I shuffled my feet as I moved in the rain, looking for freshly wet palms and leaves to photograph while under the umbrella. I came across this 7 gal. Calyptrocalyx albertisianus that was pulled late the day before. The new red leaf was noticed in behind the caution tape shortly before we closed on Friday. A instant "look at me" flag to palm people everywhere. It was going to be a treat for anyone coming Saturday morning.

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- 7:31AM - I headed outside of the shadehouse to look around, as it was still early and no one else was around. I tried to take an actual-light shot of the Croton section, but it still came out a bit blurry. I was hand-holding the camera while taking the shot at 1/10th shutter speed. A reflection of how dark it was. The remaining plants were spaced out across the section, creating some large spaces. (B) The Orchids were also moved around a bit under the barn, the only dry spot around.

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- 7:34AM - The three mature Dwarf Betel Nut Palms, Areca catechu cv. 'Dwarf', showcased out near the main road intersection needed to be photographed again. Somehow, they managed to look a bit more impressive while sitting in the rain-soaked darkness. (B) The smaller one near the front of the grouping was now surrounded by other plants, as the seven gallon specimens were now long gone.

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Ryan

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Jeff Searle

Once again Ryan, your narration and photography skills are exceptional. Thanks for being a big part of the Extravaganza Sale once again.

Jeff

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kinzyjr

@Palmarum Nice work documenting the sale.  Enjoyed stopping by and grabbing a few gifts to hand out this year.  

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Palmarum
On 10/29/2020 at 12:36 PM, kinzyjr said:

@Palmarum Nice work documenting the sale.  Enjoyed stopping by and grabbing a few gifts to hand out this year.  

It was great to see the Central Florida Palm & Cycad Society tour goers in attendance over the first weekend. I didn't have the chance to talk with them a lot, but it was nice to see the tour in action visiting the sale. A true 'Palm Related Activity'.

 

- 7:34AM - Another shot of the large Carpoxylon macrospermum mentioned earlier. It certainly did its job showcasing the genus and palm-folk in general. (B) Still no one around. Started to feel eerie. It was still early and rain clouds could be seen in all directions. I walked to the front area to get a closer look at the set-up, sans people.

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- The entrance divider served two purposes. It directed customers to the alternate entrance 'pathway' while at the same time allowing people to wash hands, clean items and use sanitizer in abundance. The pallet of fertilizer was an unwilling but useful participant. (B,C) The overhang with the checkout area comprised a few challenges in keeping people apart while at the same time allowing customers to pay for their new plants. A set of hanging dividers were used to partition the area. When in doubt, use more plexiglass. It resembles similar set-ups I am sure most of you have seen by now in retail establishments, maybe not as "make-shift" as this one though. It worked regardless.

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- 7:37AM - The mobile shop belonging to Broward Orchid Supply was in full turtle mode. (B) Heading back inside, I noticed a couple plant orders still sitting on trailers. I knew nothing of the reason why, but I could guess they were either part of a delivery scheduled for this morning, or the customer was coming back to get the plants after we opened. This often happens when a larger vehicle is needed, either borrowed or rented.

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- 9:29AM - We opened to rain and a small, but steadily increasing crowd of customers. Whenever the downpours had lightened up, customers hit the sidewalks. Two sets of customers pass by one another as the rain had been reduced to a fine mist falling under the shade cloth. The aluminum cart on the left was loaded with a tall Yellow Cordia, Cordia lutea, one 3 gal. Red Sealing Wax Palm, Cyrtostachys renda, and a large batch of flowering 'Pop's Favorite' Spathoglottis hybrid ground orchids.

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- 9:30AM - More photos of the Verschaffeltia splendida grouping of 25 gallon plants. Just cause... I think they were incredible looking and I am running out of photos to post. There was a funny story that happened later in the day involving a group of customers and how they reacted to 'what' they thought the stilt roots resembled. I can't tell it here so let your imagination handle that one.

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- More rain was on the way when I noticed yet another new red leaf on a 15 gal. Chambeyronia macrocarpa hiding in behind the yellow tape. It was pulled to assist the group containing a few three gallons (which sold by the time I took the photo) and a batch of one-gallon plants. The flash had washed away some of the color, but it was too gloomy otherwise. Overall, the color was one or two tint levels past prime.

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- A close-up of the bright yellow flowers belonging to the Pop's Favorite Ground Orchid, photographed as the cart seen above passed me by. This hybrid originated at the nursery.

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Palmarum

- 9:34AM - Before the next round of the wet stuff began to fall, I did a quick run through the selection inside and outside of the shadehouse, recovering the material, policing the sections as needed. I straightened out the smaller plants on the Full Sun section's table. Afterwards I noticed how symmetrical the Hemithrinax ekmaniana were in their three sizes; five, two and a half and one-gallon. (B) The smaller sizes were of course, more popular and had to be restocked more often. At this point there was one 2.5 gallon and three 1 gallon specimens still on the table. This would change throughout the day along with the rest of the Caribbean palms.

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- Additional portraits of the larger 5 gal. H. ekmaniana. I kept spinning him around, trying to either get a photo of the full 'ball' of leaves or a shot showing more of that unique curly coarse fiber. He loves growing in that nearly straight pea rock mix. It has incredible drainage and alkaline pH. His roots have started to break the pot.

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- 9:36AM - The last shot from Saturday, taken still early in the morning. The rains came afterwards and were either pouring or just enough to be annoying. Customers checkout the palm species on the 'First Table' often the repository of the rarer of the rare. By this point of the sale, the table had been thinned out dramatically. It was after all, the morning of the third day, not the second as it would normally be for Saturday. They are reacting to both the description and the price of the mostly obscured 4-inch Lanonia centralis, also known as the Vietnamese Hat Palm.

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- Saturday Afternoon

The remainder of Saturday was wet and busy. Even with the rain, customers came to browse and purchase. Between the weather and staying at my post within the shadehouse, my photo opportunities were severely limited. I did manage to do some serious Palm Talk and point out a lot of species for customers. In the midst of everything that was going on, it was a very busy day, an above average Saturday for sure.

Ryan

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Palmarum

Sunday, October 4th

The nasty weather continued into the fourth day of the sale. It was becoming one the wettest, weirdest, most socially distant events ever, but it still managed to be busy. No photos for the day, except for the few below. A lot of plant related conversation made the shorter day fly by. Two separate collectors who were not able to attend earlier in the weekend were in attendance and seem to be dueling to see who would get which large and rare palm first. It was fun to watch.

- 2:54PM - On a separate note regarding the weird and unusual, I came across this surprise on Sunday afternoon. As the day was winding down, we began to pull plants for the second weekend including many more Cyrtostachys renda in different sizes. We only had one seven-gallon-size plant remaining and when a second specimen was dropped off at the white tent, I began to trim, clean and tag it. The plant was a very bushy example. I began to trim the older leaves and thin out the lower suckers and old leaf bases. As I made headway into the clump, I noticed there was no red to be found, but yellow. "Hmm" I said out loud. It had turned out to be the yellow variety, Cyrtostachys renda var. 'Yellow'. I told Jeff about it who also said "Hmm" and told me to move it away from the sidewalk and leave it not for sale.

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- Since it is a variety within the species, yellow plants may appear among offspring grown as regular red plants, but it rarely happens. Mostly, the yellow variety comes from seed collected from mature yellow specimens, which is more likely to come true from seed. To add to the weirdness, the leaves appeared to be different than those of other Sealing Wax Palms of the same size. When compared side-by-side, the leaves on the Yellow specimen were shorter, more compact, with the leaflets thinner and packed closer together along the rachis. This resembles the dwarfism characteristic found in palms sometimes referred to as crenulation, but not as severe as what is found on lets say, the dwarf betel nut palms. The plot thickens. I do not know if all Yellow varieties have this feature. So, it is not only a Yellow variety, but it could also be a blunt-dwarf or semi-dwarf. Dwarf Yellow Sealing Wax Palm sounds interesting.

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Palmarum

Second Weekend

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, October 9th, 10th and 11th

- The second weekend still had rain, but not as much as the first. In general, it was slow with an average level of attendance for a second weekend. The second Friday was typically very slow, with enough customers to keep the day going. No photos either for any of the three days, just not much going on from my post within the shadehouse. It was like being in a duck blind all weekend with rain and no ducks. A few collectors came out for the second Saturday and Sunday and hit the tables and sidewalk hard for what was left. In the end the sale was still a big success, even with all the rain and restrictions.

Ryan

---<

 

Happy Halloween!

It has be raining here almost all afternoon and night, but I hope you are having a more festive and entertaining All Hallows Eve. A full moon, an extra hour and falling on a Saturday would make for a flawless holiday, if it wasn't for the rain and pandemic.

Look out for the spiders. ..   . .  . .  .    . . .. . .     . .    (\(\;.;/)/) . .     ..  .      . .  . . .     . .. . . .    (\(\;.;/)/) . . .    . . . .  . .

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palmsOrl
10 hours ago, Palmarum said:

Sunday, October 4th

The nasty weather continued into the fourth day of the sale. It was becoming one the wettest, weirdest, most socially distant events ever, but it still managed to be busy. No photos for the day, except for the few below. A lot of plant related conversation made the shorter day fly by. Two separate collectors who were not able to attend earlier in the weekend were in attendance and seem to be dueling to see who would get which large and rare palm first. It was fun to watch.

- 2:54PM - On a separate note regarding the weird and unusual, I came across this surprise on Sunday afternoon. As the day was winding down, we began to pull plants for the second weekend including many more Cyrtostachys renda in different sizes. We only had one seven-gallon-size plant remaining and when a second specimen was dropped off at the white tent, I began to trim, clean and tag it. The plant was a very bushy example. I began to trim the older leaves and thin out the lower suckers and old leaf bases. As I made headway into the clump, I noticed there was no red to be found, but yellow. "Hmm" I said out loud. It had turned out to be the yellow variety, Cyrtostachys renda var. 'Yellow'. I told Jeff about it who also said "Hmm" and told me to move it away from the sidewalk and leave it not for sale.

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- Since it is a variety within the species, yellow plants may appear among offspring grown as regular red plants, but it rarely happens. Mostly, the yellow variety comes from seed collected from mature yellow specimens, which is more likely to come true from seed. To add to the weirdness, the leaves appeared to be different than those of other Sealing Wax Palms of the same size. When compared side-by-side, the leaves on the Yellow specimen were shorter, more compact, with the leaflets thinner and packed closer together along the rachis. This resembles the dwarfism characteristic found in palms sometimes referred to as crenulation, but not as severe as what is found on lets say, the dwarf betel nut palms. The plot thickens. I do not know if all Yellow varieties have this feature. So, it is not only a Yellow variety, but it could also be a blunt-dwarf or semi-dwarf. Dwarf Yellow Sealing Wax Palm sounds interesting.

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Ryan

Ryan, 

Thank you providing this update on the yellow renda we discussed in the pm.  Very interesting indeed.  While I am torn on whether to characterize it as "orange" or "yellow", the overall morphology of the plant itself is quite interesting.  Looks like you might have struck gold there as a more compact renda would lend itself to more to smaller plots and container culture in marginal climates like Southeast Florida.  Have these differences been noted in any of the other yellow renda you have come across?  Are you familiar with any other dwarf renda having shown up in cultivation worldwide?

As a side note, I am going to be bringing my Cyrtostachys "Apple" and C. renda as well as my C. bakeri and C. elegans seedlings (and the cordata) up north when I relocate, so I guess I will need one hot, steamy terrarium for these and a mild, humid one for the Nepenthes, with good air circulation.

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Palmarum
11 hours ago, palmsOrl said:

...  While I am torn on whether to characterize it as "orange" or "yellow", the overall morphology of the plant itself is quite interesting.  Looks like you might have struck gold there as a more compact renda would lend itself to more to smaller plots and container culture in marginal climates like Southeast Florida.  Have these differences been noted in any of the other yellow renda you have come across?  Are you familiar with any other dwarf renda having shown up in cultivation worldwide? ...

It is possible the Yellow specimen could color up on its own. I did consider the fact that there was little light reaching some of the leaf bases, but a few were still exposed to sun and the lighter color was uniform across the entire plant. I have seen C. renda specimens where they were neglected and starving for both nutrients and light -- bearing pale leaf bases as a result, but the lighter color was random, patchy and inconsistent; almost like marbling. Other pale color variations do exist, but they are often treated as unwanted mutants and discarded. In the early 1990s when smaller Red Sealing Wax Palms began to appear more regularly in S. Florida, plants with full green leaf bases would show up now and then. They were considered 'trash' because no one would spend that much money for a slow growing, rare C. renda that had no color. As a joke, they were often referred to as Cyrtostachys lakka, as they "lacka" any red color. C. lakka was an old retired epithet that was lumped in with C. renda. I never found out the original description of how C. lakka was supposed to differ from C. renda in the first place. It would be funny if it was because of green crownshafts found on described specimens in habitat.

A compact C.  renda would be a conversation piece among collectors, as it would be a smaller, even slower-growing Sealing Wax Palm. There isn't much of a problem with regular C. renda specimens growing too fast and getting too large in S. Florida.

I haven't seen enough Yellow C. renda plants in person to know how their habits may differ from regular C. renda. They have all been either one or three-gallon containerized specimens with the typical C. renda clumping habit and leaves. The majority have just been seedlings.

I have seen dwarf Red Sealing Wax Palms in person and in photos. As many would guess, they are very rare. They look like a clumping dwarf Betel Nut Palm, with thin stems, upright shuttlecock/feather duster-like crowns and red crownshafts. I saw one many years ago at a nursery/garden center in Homestead, Florida. It was a moderate-sized specimen, perhaps under 7 ft. (2.4m) in height. It was growing in a large mostly submerged pot, located in the middle of a man-made pond in their entrance area. The pond was extensive and was not only stunning, but deep and I am sure that aided in security for the rare palm. It appeared as 'an island' and was growing in full sun. I saw another dwarf specimen at a nursery in Costa Rica during the '08 Biennial. It was in a pot, small in size and growing in full sun. It was mixed in with a ton of other potted material and I could not get close enough for a decent photo. I have seen other specimens in pictures. The largest one in a photo was from a private collection, I think was in Queensland, Australia, but I'm not sure.

Ryan

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Jeff Searle

Nice job Ryan. I appreciate all your hard work, and countless hours of time associated with this plant sale.

Jeff

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      Ryan (Palmarum) Email: palmthetree@yahoo.com or PM me a message through the Forum
       
      Directions:
      The map below is a general street map of western Broward County, Florida showing the location of the nursery (Palm tree symbol). Using Sheridan Street would be the best option to get to the nursery if you are heading west through the area. If you are taking the Florida Turnpike, use the Griffin Road exit from the north, or the Pines Blvd. exit from the south. If you need any additional directions, please contact the nursery, Jeff or I (Ryan). When you get close to the nursery, look for large power lines as they run east and west above the nursery. Parking is along the shoulder of 172nd Avenue in front of, and down the street from, the nursery entrance. If you intend to arrive early before sunrise (and many usually do) be wary of hard-to-see speed bumps along 172nd Avenue and there is a possibility of a speed trap as well. There has been considerable construction along I-75 so the exits near Sheridan Street and Griffin Road have been changed slightly compared to previous years. Express lanes have been added to I-75, they may or may not make the trip faster.


      Plant Availability, Photo Requests:
      For plant availability including a copy of the ever-growing list of palms, cycads and other information regarding which plants and species will be for sale, please contact the nursery, Jeff Searle or I (Ryan). The plant selection process has already begun and will continue right up to the last day before the first morning of the Extravaganza, (sometimes even on the mornings of each event day if the need applies.) The sale lists for palms, cycads and crotons will be made available as soon as they are completed. Special selections might be pulled for sale as requests, but only if the plants are available. There will be certain species, varieties and cultivars that will only be available in limited quantities. These rarer plants will likely sell out quickly in the morning hours, so be sure to arrange your wish list accordingly. Plant groups may have been moved around the sales area, relocated or added in with others. In order to speed your way to your favorite plants please ask a nearby staff member or volunteer as to their location.
      Each plant will be priced with either a lavender tag or will have the price written on the pot and/or on the display card or sign.

      Featured Plant Groups:
      The plant selection at the Extravaganza is constantly growing and changing. The largest and most diverse group is by far the Palms, of which there will be over 300 species available in various different sizes. The plant selection will include genera, species, hybrids, cultivars and varieties representing various plant families from around the world. A large number of Croton cultivars will also be on display as their demand has increased production to new levels. There are always new plants to be added to the selection, as the demand for new, exotic and unusual material remains constant...
      Palms:
      Aroids: - Bromeliads:
      Butterfly Plants: - Cycads: - Crotons:
      Cordylines: - Ferns: - Orchids:
      Heliconias, Gingers and other Zingiber order members: -
      Tropical Flowering Trees, Shrubs, & Vines:
      Succulents & Sansevierias:
      Landscape Ornamentals: - Tropical Fruit Trees:
      Rare and Unusual Exotic Species:
      One-of-a-Kind and Hard-to-Find wonders of the plant world: - … and much more:
      There is always a chance a newly cultivated & recently discovered species of tropical plant will make its way into the sales area.
       
      The Sale Flyer:
      The nursery will soon mail out sale flyers to everyone on our mailing list. If you are on the mailing list and do not receive one, please let Jeff or myself know. In addition, if you would like to be placed on the mailing list for future Extravaganza flyers, please send a message to Jeff or myself with your address.

      Plant Carts:
      We do provide a limited number of carts for customers to use, but it is recommended that you bring your own plant shopping conveyance. The carts do go quickly in the morning of each day, soon after the gates open and during busy periods. During the day when they are returned from the holding area or from the parking lot, they are placed back on the concrete pad across from the register area or near the holding area along the main road.
      Information and Invitation:
      If you need any more details regarding plants, directions, or anything that I have not included above, feel free to contact the nursery, Jeff Searle or myself by the methods listed above. Feel free to post any messages, questions, etc. in this topic. Jeff Searle, I and all the family members and volunteers look forward to meeting everyone including new and familiar Palmtalk Forum members and IPS members at the upcoming Extravaganza. Be sure to find one of us and introduce yourself. You will be sure to find other Forum members at the event as well, possibly walking right past you down an aisle or grabbing for the same plant. The entire Searle family and the mass of volunteers will be waiting to help you find that perfect plant.
      We hope to see you there!
      Ryan
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