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A short tour of Auckland Palminess

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sipalms

Coming from colder zone 9 southern latitudes of New Zealand, it's always nice to visit Auckland and Northland for a smorgasbord of palms and tropicals in Zones 10-11. These are some pics I shot last week while there for work.

Auckland is a very subtropical city. I've said it before but you could be forgiven for thinking you're in Hawaii in many parts, the city sits on a narrow isthmus between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, and is completely surrounded by and built on volcanic cones, making it clear that one is definitely straddling the infamous Pacific Ring of Fire. You can look out to sea across the Hauraki Gulf at Rangitoto Volcano, and get a distinctly Pacific Island feel.

There's also an abundance of native plants that give the area a much more tropical vibe, many of these are more at home in much more tropical climes, in particular Hawaii, like New Zealand's native Mangroves, or the Pohutukawa / Metrosideros excelsa closely related to the Hawaiian species. And we can't forget the native palm Nikau / Rhopalostylis Sapida.

There's other Kiwis on this Forum from this area so feel free to chip in with more pics and photos. In the meantime, here's a few of mine. Apologies in advance, not all of these are Palms…

Kicking off with Views of Rangitoto Island from Mission Bay. You can see P. reclinata and canariensis, Archontophoenix, Syagrus and Howea in these pics. Rangitoto is a recently dormant Volcano that is a beautiful yet slightly ominous sight. The America's Cup yacht race was on, hence a lot of vessels parked outside watching on…

The second pic zoomed in shows a nice set of Howeas which to me always look like Coconuts from a distance.

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A closeup of Team New Zealand in the middle of beating the Brits!

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The Pohutukawa was in full bloom, hence the name New Zealand Christmas Tree… looks amazing at this time of year. A close relative of ōhiʻa lehua / Metrosiderosis Polymorpha, of Hawaii.

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sipalms

Then, Alberon Reserve – a lush, palmy park in the middle of one of Auckland's most prestigious suburbs. There's hundreds of palms here including some rare varieties. It's like a little palmetum amongst suburbia.

The Archontophoenixes were naturalising in the undergrowth, along with several other palms, it seemed like the archontophoenix were outnumbering the juvenile rhopalostylis, perhaps not surprising given the slow germination of Nikau.

Some of the palms include Washingtonia, Syagrus, Brahea, Rhopalostylis, Archontophoenix, Caryota, Ravenea, Butia, Howea, and many other ones I found difficult to identify, particularly some smaller species…

By the way, as you can see I'm forever mixing between scientific and common names, it's a bad habit of mine, I just type the first one that comes to mind!

The second pic shows a beautiful tall Majesty Palm.

272733909_AKLPics(2).thumb.jpg.2bb04017b60b645d738f13bb1e330310.jpg

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The second photo shows what I believe to be a stunning Rhopalostylis Baueri. Someone could confirm. But it is an absolute beauty and looking right at home. The colour was incredible.

36377969_AKLPics(5).thumb.jpg.0c1d4f79b962e0117386b8447be484ca.jpg

 

I'll post more on this later on in another thread, but I'm lucky to have 7x Queens at home, growing from seed from taken from these Queens.

They look super lush and gracious, and from my own opinion, look very much like the variety from Northern Argentina / Southern Uruguay so will be interesting to watch these grow up and I would hope that perhaps they may have better cold hardiness than mainstream Queens. But as it goes with Queens, they're all one and the same in many people's eyes. Who would know.

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Brahea Edulis...

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A classy mainland Nikau lurking in the undergrowth...

What are the palms growing like bushes beneath, perhaps some kind of Chamadorea? Or small dypsis? Looked a little bit like robellini but too bushy. Sorry I'm not an expert. But they were everywhere. 

1150918946_AKLPics(7).thumb.jpg.0f106ddaa89bd5d6c66dc5dbfc5b19a0.jpg

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Looking out to Rangitoto, and back towards Auckland City.
 

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I took this pic because immediately when I pulled up and parked, the view for some reason reminded me of around Moana Lua / JB Pearl Harbor Hickam where I once spent some time.

181676103_AKLPics(1).thumb.jpg.12b95f82b2767a4fc8ce027e9ed88fc7.jpg

Bougainvillea in full show off mode!

1178209336_AKLPics(32).thumb.jpg.b5b00af1b3dcf59d5237178ce232bcb5.jpg

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sipalms

These next two pictures show some of the mangrove forests that fringe most of Auckland. This mangrove is a NZ native and one of, if not the farthest mangroves from the equator growing down to 38S at Kawhia Harbour further down the North Island. It definitely adds to the tropic vibes and the muddy shallows make the humidity all the more present in these coastal areas.
 

644777875_AKLPics(21).thumb.jpg.5a40a25e7fa2de8bcd36627e64183dd1.jpg

1366405865_AKLPics(20).thumb.jpg.ecbbe4a8efc2aa01f49dba8bb2da2814.jpg

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sipalms

Then, a look at some extremely old skydusting Robusta's at Speight Road Reserve. These would be some of the oldest in Auckland I would think.

They appear to be very pure robusta strain. They were flowering and fruiting profusely – almost as many active and dead infructescences than fronds! They were naturalising amongst rotting leaves in the park, as you can see in the second pic. beneath this one was several more tiny babies.

I collected some seed from these ones a few months back, they sprouted rapidly and I now have some direct descendants growing at home. More on this in another thread.

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sipalms

Later in the day I called in to a palmy contact living on the forested outskirts, who collects seed from city parks and garden and raises palms for fun – like me, he likes to know where the parent trees are so the exact plant can be observed and compared to others.

He has a proper little jungle with native towering Nikau alongside Kings/Bangalows, Queens, Chamaerops, Washingtonia, Kentia and others.

376103058_AKLPics(33).thumb.jpg.ade89e18c1b3c0d1a03c480c178c65a6.jpg

1909171547_AKLPics(34).thumb.jpg.69c4695e8fc1732de673de73f8a0914b.jpg

1950763224_AKLPics(35).thumb.jpg.aa43e40b0117201051ce0d2ab72dd118.jpg

1696220612_AKLPics(36).thumb.jpg.c08a0face8775696b116fe0c6261dbfe.jpg

 

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sipalms

The next day I had a further explore of some of Auckland's mangroves – yes, I have a drone – unfortunately it was a very high tide so doesn't really show the ‘forest', rather the fully submerged Mangroves. But you can get the feel of the place.

Typical Auckland weather this day… muggy heat, partly cloudy, and a salty breeze.


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Edited by sipalms
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sipalms

Now a few more pictures of some odd palms and tropicals around the place.

A pure filifera – one of the few I have ever seen in Auckland. No doubt there would be more, but very rare all the same.

1736861377_AKLPics(43).thumb.jpg.c8e1b588d44975a90b3cf0613f23f240.jpg


Jacaranda in full showtime.

2069335538_AKLPics(45).thumb.jpg.1d5052227de7d489be5b5702161941bb.jpg

 

Jacaranda & Pohutukawa...

444321789_AKLPics(44).thumb.jpg.6b8da185448a9ed52ff11b3bd28ef9f9.jpg

 

 

Edited by sipalms
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sipalms

This was an extremely coconutty-looking Archontophoenix I came across – got a fright when I first glimpsed it, very much a cocos nucifera lookalike! Don't you think?

930344906_AKLPics(48).thumb.jpg.6baa6e5d9f30869b38926d002d3c9ca6.jpg

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sipalms

More along the lines of actual coconut... Parajubaea – it appears as though the smaller ones are definitely cocoides, the larger one may be Torallyi.

1889333282_AKLPics(46).thumb.jpg.ced732e22bbbe79c86208aa68db33cfa.jpg

1347149574_AKLPics(47).thumb.jpg.8d0dafa67e5856007e113119c006c304.jpg

Now this, I just couldn't put a name on but I believe it's an Aussie native. It grows well in coastal areas of Christchurch too...
 

1299819142_AKLPics(49).thumb.jpg.57d2eb0b84eead62a8e0a200f0483add.jpg

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sipalms

Then, time to fly back to the cooler (sometimes much hotter!) and more arid climes of the eastern South Island. It's getting pretty dry here now. Pics showing flying in over the seaward Kaikoura ranges and into land at Christchurch.

1569153110_AKLPics(50).thumb.jpg.0f8f1d1318d4340891725a346dd444f1.jpg

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489057314_AKLPics(53).thumb.jpg.8d7fb1a67f46877793a8caf23e1f44c8.jpg

 

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sipalms

And, that completes the tour!

Hope you enjoy the pics, let me know what you think, and if you have any suggestions of what I should take pics of next time I'm in Auckland. Unfortunately I didn't spend much time in the forest outside of the city so not many Nikau habitat pics.

A bonus pic of Rangitoto :-)

2010549284_20201217_152930(Large).thumb.jpg.f8aaa75d1eeb3c29040758f0f23d1f34.jpg

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PalmsUSA
14 minutes ago, sipalms said:

This was an extremely coconutty-looking Archontophoenix I came across – got a fright when I first glimpsed it, very much a cocos nucifera lookalike! Don't you think?

930344906_AKLPics(48).thumb.jpg.6baa6e5d9f30869b38926d002d3c9ca6.jpg

That Archontophoenix does look very coconut-esque. So beautiful! Thanks for sharing! New Zealand has a lot of great palms!

Edited by PalmsUSA
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Palm Tree Jim

Great pictures.....thanks for sharing!

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Darold Petty

Sipalms,  your unnamed Aussie tree appears to be Corymbia ficifolia, (formerly Eucalyptus).  This tree is very common here in San Francisco, with color forms from pink to salmon, then orange, and scarlet.

https://www.smgrowers.com/products/plants/plantdisplay.asp?plant_id=602

Thanks for posting these images ! :greenthumb:

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Tyrone
6 hours ago, sipalms said:

Then, Alberon Reserve – a lush, palmy park in the middle of one of Auckland's most prestigious suburbs. There's hundreds of palms here including some rare varieties. It's like a little palmetum amongst suburbia.

The Archontophoenixes were naturalising in the undergrowth, along with several other palms, it seemed like the archontophoenix were outnumbering the juvenile rhopalostylis, perhaps not surprising given the slow germination of Nikau.

Some of the palms include Washingtonia, Syagrus, Brahea, Rhopalostylis, Archontophoenix, Caryota, Ravenea, Butia, Howea, and many other ones I found difficult to identify, particularly some smaller species…

By the way, as you can see I'm forever mixing between scientific and common names, it's a bad habit of mine, I just type the first one that comes to mind!

The second pic shows a beautiful tall Majesty Palm.

272733909_AKLPics(2).thumb.jpg.2bb04017b60b645d738f13bb1e330310.jpg

606864507_AKLPics(3).thumb.jpg.125b99b7e9ec96e3d14ba89d872e6817.jpg

957011673_AKLPics(4).thumb.jpg.1203bcd4988c15c92b1f876ac9912908.jpg

 

The second photo shows what I believe to be a stunning Rhopalostylis Baueri. Someone could confirm. But it is an absolute beauty and looking right at home. The colour was incredible.

36377969_AKLPics(5).thumb.jpg.0c1d4f79b962e0117386b8447be484ca.jpg

 

I'll post more on this later on in another thread, but I'm lucky to have 7x Queens at home, growing from seed from taken from these Queens.

They look super lush and gracious, and from my own opinion, look very much like the variety from Northern Argentina / Southern Uruguay so will be interesting to watch these grow up and I would hope that perhaps they may have better cold hardiness than mainstream Queens. But as it goes with Queens, they're all one and the same in many people's eyes. Who would know.

1279005103_AKLPics(16).thumb.jpg.4e47b1048c641ccc4ef8fc220f2b4b46.jpg

1247844273_AKLPics(17).thumb.jpg.251e22392d7e32fdf1cc309ddd71ce07.jpg

Brahea Edulis...

793463315_AKLPics(18).thumb.jpg.c661fd3483185761e0d8f744fca0f200.jpg

1543721165_AKLPics(8).thumb.jpg.9f6f5c59f504d21fe7baff084c00b549.jpg

 

A classy mainland Nikau lurking in the undergrowth...

What are the palms growing like bushes beneath, perhaps some kind of Chamadorea? Or small dypsis? Looked a little bit like robellini but too bushy. Sorry I'm not an expert. But they were everywhere. 

1150918946_AKLPics(7).thumb.jpg.0f106ddaa89bd5d6c66dc5dbfc5b19a0.jpg

1626859651_AKLPics(6).thumb.jpg.fa54d1ecd4e4ef4c7fb529c239de6f43.jpg

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Looking out to Rangitoto, and back towards Auckland City.
 

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I took this pic because immediately when I pulled up and parked, the view for some reason reminded me of around Moana Lua / JB Pearl Harbor Hickam where I once spent some time.

181676103_AKLPics(1).thumb.jpg.12b95f82b2767a4fc8ce027e9ed88fc7.jpg

Bougainvillea in full show off mode!

1178209336_AKLPics(32).thumb.jpg.b5b00af1b3dcf59d5237178ce232bcb5.jpg

Hey thanks for these pics. I'm enjoying them immensely.

That pick of a R bauerii is indeed a R bauerii looking very happy.

I'm not sure what those smaller palms in the understory were but I'm thinking there are two species going on there. The first pics look like Chamaedorea cataractum (Cascade Palm) but the second with a trunk has me stumped really. It kind of has the stature of Geonoma schottiana but the end leaflets are wrong. It looks like it doesn't have a crownshaft either so maybe a Ravenea hillebrandii. But I'm not sure.

The climate in Auckland isn't too far removed from my area and the plants that grow there seem identical. The big difference is the consistent summer rain and humidity that results from it in Auckland compared to my place but on average across the year the temps would be comparable. I'd be a bit warmer in winter than Auckland (except for the odd cold spike which I doubt Auckland would get) but the rainfall in the cooler months would seem similar. Also the much greater population means more things have been actually tried in Auckland compared to little old back water Albany.

My Metrosideros are in flower now as well and I've just planted 26 new ones all fully irrigated to get big one day just a couple of weeks back. They're a very tough tree.

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Tyrone
6 hours ago, sipalms said:

More along the lines of actual coconut... Parajubaea – it appears as though the smaller ones are definitely cocoides, the larger one may be Torallyi.

1889333282_AKLPics(46).thumb.jpg.ced732e22bbbe79c86208aa68db33cfa.jpg

1347149574_AKLPics(47).thumb.jpg.8d0dafa67e5856007e113119c006c304.jpg

Now this, I just couldn't put a name on but I believe it's an Aussie native. It grows well in coastal areas of Christchurch too...
 

1299819142_AKLPics(49).thumb.jpg.57d2eb0b84eead62a8e0a200f0483add.jpg

Now we are talking. Parajubaea!!! Looking happy too. Are any seeding????

The last tree is a red flowering gum (original name hey). RPS had seeds for this listed as the Albany red flowering gum. There are quite a few in the wild here up to the Stirling Ranges inland from me. It probably thinks its still home in Australia. Its very happy.

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greysrigging
1 minute ago, Tyrone said:

Now we are talking. Parajubaea!!! Looking happy too. Are any seeding????

The last tree is a red flowering gum (original name hey). RPS had seeds for this listed as the Albany red flowering gum. There are quite a few in the wild here up to the Stirling Ranges inland from me. It probably thinks its still home in Australia. Its very happy.

They grow very well in Victoria too.... spectacular in full bloom !

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Tyrone
6 hours ago, sipalms said:

Now a few more pictures of some odd palms and tropicals around the place.

A pure filifera – one of the few I have ever seen in Auckland. No doubt there would be more, but very rare all the same.

1736861377_AKLPics(43).thumb.jpg.c8e1b588d44975a90b3cf0613f23f240.jpg


Jacaranda in full showtime.

2069335538_AKLPics(45).thumb.jpg.1d5052227de7d489be5b5702161941bb.jpg

 

Jacaranda & Pohutukawa...

444321789_AKLPics(44).thumb.jpg.6b8da185448a9ed52ff11b3bd28ef9f9.jpg

 

 

I'm glad to see Jacaranda doing so well in Auckland. That Metrosideros next too it is giant. Where I lived in Perth was just street after street lined in Jacarandas and when they bloomed man it looked great. They're quite rare down here in Albany. I think I need to plant a few. The purple and red of the Metrosideros really contrast well too.

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Tyrone
1 hour ago, Darold Petty said:

Sipalms,  your unnamed Aussie tree appears to be Corymbia ficifolia, (formerly Eucalyptus).  This tree is very common here in San Francisco, with color forms from pink to salmon, then orange, and scarlet.

https://www.smgrowers.com/products/plants/plantdisplay.asp?plant_id=602

Thanks for posting these images ! :greenthumb:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corymbia_ficifolia

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Tyrone
6 hours ago, sipalms said:

Later in the day I called in to a palmy contact living on the forested outskirts, who collects seed from city parks and garden and raises palms for fun – like me, he likes to know where the parent trees are so the exact plant can be observed and compared to others.

He has a proper little jungle with native towering Nikau alongside Kings/Bangalows, Queens, Chamaerops, Washingtonia, Kentia and others.

376103058_AKLPics(33).thumb.jpg.ade89e18c1b3c0d1a03c480c178c65a6.jpg

1909171547_AKLPics(34).thumb.jpg.69c4695e8fc1732de673de73f8a0914b.jpg

1950763224_AKLPics(35).thumb.jpg.aa43e40b0117201051ce0d2ab72dd118.jpg

1696220612_AKLPics(36).thumb.jpg.c08a0face8775696b116fe0c6261dbfe.jpg

 

That guys living in heaven with wild Nikaus growing everywhere. Gotta get myself to NZ.

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Tyrone
6 hours ago, sipalms said:

Then, time to fly back to the cooler (sometimes much hotter!) and more arid climes of the eastern South Island. It's getting pretty dry here now. Pics showing flying in over the seaward Kaikoura ranges and into land at Christchurch.

1569153110_AKLPics(50).thumb.jpg.0f8f1d1318d4340891725a346dd444f1.jpg

1475737676_AKLPics(51).thumb.jpg.85743cc37c1ee9471f97462c92bd7ed5.jpg

489057314_AKLPics(53).thumb.jpg.8d7fb1a67f46877793a8caf23e1f44c8.jpg

 

Amazing contrast between the green and humidity of Auckland in the north and the dry in the south.

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sipalms
6 hours ago, Tyrone said:

Now we are talking. Parajubaea!!! Looking happy too. Are any seeding????

Unfortunately not that I could notice :-(

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sipalms
6 hours ago, Tyrone said:

That guys living in heaven with wild Nikaus growing everywhere. Gotta get myself to NZ.

If you want to spend two weeks in a small hotel room then you're most welcome....!

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Tyrone
3 hours ago, sipalms said:

If you want to spend two weeks in a small hotel room then you're most welcome....!

At the moment I’d be doing the same coming home too. One day then.

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palmfriend

Very interesting documentation!

Had once a few hours in Auckland before my next flight to Samoa and a few years later when I went to the Cook islands - both times way too

short to check out the area, could just snap a few pictures here and there at that time - so, thank you very much for posting! 

 

best regards from Okinawa -

Lars

 

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Chester B

Thanks for the memories.  I spent a few months working in the Auckland area.  I was staying in a small village called Titarangi right on the edge of the Waitakere ranges park and was working for the small town of Huia so was way out there.  So scenic there.

Edited by Chester B
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Gary

the small understorey palms at Alberon are chamaedorea radicalius and palm by steps at back  entrance  mentioned as rhopalostylis baueri is more likely ravenea rivularis-there are 2 there but only one is decent

 

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Gary
6 hours ago, Chester B said:

Thanks for the memories.  I spent a few months working in the Auckland area.  I was staying in a small village called Titarangi right on the edge of the Waitakere ranges park and was working for the small town of Huia so was way out there.  So scenic there.

I live 4k past titirangi

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Gary
31 minutes ago, Gary said:

the small understorey palms at Alberon are chamaedorea radicalius and palm by steps at back  entrance  mentioned as rhopalostylis baueri is more likely ravenea rivularis-there are 2 there but only one is decent

 

I couldbe mixing up the pics as I see a couple of pic with baueri in them.There is a very old hedyscepe there as well 30yr old oraniopsis and a strange multihead brahea edulis.The old part of Alberon planting is over 100yrs old.

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Gary

me and a few palm society members done a bit of a clean up on the butia there in 2014 so you can see how much the brahea have grown in 6years

palms 677.JPG

palms 680.JPG

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Palms_03

Nice pics! Will have to get down to Alberon Reserve myself.

If you haven't been yet, a trip to the Auckland Botanic Gardens is worth it.  Some pics ive taken there:

92122077_537385096933071_1245796272552542208_n.jpg

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92844974_666814757407934_1794976762686341120_n.jpg

fullsizeoutput_9b1.jpeg

Edited by Palms_03
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Palms_03
On 12/22/2020 at 7:26 AM, sipalms said:

1911721215_AKLPics(23).thumb.jpg.56b152058ce5da7bdf3e34204923e28f.jpg

Also I just realised ive got a pic of these same Howeas from the other side .:D

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This pic was taken just around the corner,  theres a pretty nice robusta which seems to be growing sideways across a driveway.

IMG_3783.JPG

Edited by Palms_03
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