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Cocos nucifera on Madeira Island


Cluster
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Hello everyone! First of all this is my first time here and wanted to greet everyone, secondly I am just an amateur that started as simply a curious person for palms overall and more specifically coconuts!

I have been on Madeira (have a house there and go there 2 or 3 times per year) this summer and took a few pictures of the coconuts located in the marine of Funchal.

When I was searching for coconuts one year ago I discovered on this forum that Madeira had some just in front of my nose! It is my belief that this is one if not the northern most region where they survive without extra man care with just the natural conditions (I believe at most maybe watering, don't have the info). On some portuguese meteo forums people have told me there is a place on the northern island of the archipelago (porto santo) where there is at least a coconut in someone's garden, but need to check it out when I go there.

So without further due here I present you two pictures of one of the coconuts, I believe this is a dwarf one, but it seemed to have mini cocos?

If people are interested I also have pictures from last year (including the other tall ones that are in the marine, I focused on the dwarf because it seemed to be more mature:) )

2vwwyex.jpg28le2dw.jpg

Edited by Cluster
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Thanks these are the type of posts that most everyone likes to see.!

Now that you know they will grow and fruit, are you going to try and grow some?

Modesto, CA USDA 9b

July/August average 95f/63f

Dec/Jan average 55f/39f

Average lowest winter temp 27f

Record low temp 18f

Record high temp 113f

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I would like to try but my house is at 140 meters from the sea level, even though it is quiet near the sea. Maybe it will work, what is funny about this story is that the people that planted them had no clue how mandatory coconuts are. There are warmer regions than Funchal on the island, like the southwest coast which are protected by huge cliffs that are responsible for additional heat.

If I tried to raise one at my house when would the best time be?

ps: Thanks for all the replies, later on I will post last year pictures (I should have taken more this year but was in a rush and needed to catch the plane)

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You won't know if you can grow a coconut until you try, so go for it!

Welcome to PT

Meg

Palms of Victory I shall wear

Cape Coral (It's Just Paradise)
Florida
Zone 10A on the Isabelle Canal
Elevation: 15 feet

I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus' garden in the shade.

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You are Welcome: Latitude 32º 38' 4" N, Porto Santo is located at 33 but I still need to go there one day and try to find it to confirm. I could update with new pictures every now and then when I go to the island:).

here are some older pictures from the previous year:

15ek9pe.jpg

2v1vwxi.jpg

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Many Cocos nucifera lovers here in Palmtalk, you are in good company, welcome.

Happy Gardening

Cheers,

Wal

Queensland, Australia.

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Thanks again everyone, hopefully one day I will begin to raise palms I certainly would like to when the chance comes.

Just for curiosity could anyone try to identify those coconuts? From my limited knowledge I would say the second picture and the last is a dwarf one(they belong to the same palm at different time periods), but I have heard on these forums before additional information like green, yellows, Jamaican's and so on:)

Do you believe pineapples could also thrive on the island without the use of Greenhouses?

ps: Nice to see some people form my country too luring around :)

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thanks for posting. I know these Cocopalms in Funchal and I'm surprised to see small nuts on it. I remember another one in the SE corner of Madeira. Love to see pictures of Porto Santos Coconut palm.

Cheers nick

Edited by nick

USDA 10b - 19.1°C/ 66.4°F 24hr average/ year

sunshine: 3.400 hrs year.

Precipitation: 380mm/ 15 inches/ year.

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I do not Know the SE coconut in the SE, if you remember the spot I would appreciate it (would try to check it when I go there again). As for Porto Santo one, I will just have to find it next summer!: )

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Custer.... Thanks so much for sharing

Funchal's climate looks a lot like San Diegos, only 4-5 degrees warmer for the low temps.

I am surprised more coconuts aren't grown there. Your winters seeming a lot like the Island of Bermuda.

Jeff

Modesto, CA USDA 9b

July/August average 95f/63f

Dec/Jan average 55f/39f

Average lowest winter temp 27f

Record low temp 18f

Record high temp 113f

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I agree with you, I suspect people are just not informed or realize how blessed they are with the weather there or maybe because in continental Portugal you are used to other less demanding palms. Hopefully one day they will have more. What you see mostly is Phoenix canariensis, queen palm, royal palm and i believe some foxtail ones.

Madeira island has many micro climates, including some warmer ones than Funchal, I suspect many people could just have a coconut in their gardens without the need of extra care.

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Cluster, I remember now, the Inn&Art Hotel in Canico has a coconut palm at the rear of their restaurant, there are steps down to the terrace (above the cliffs).

Sorry, I have no picture any more but maybe this helps: http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/01/9a/fd/5b/klifflage.jpg

You can see the leaves of the coconut palm in the middle of the picture.

Found also this here, same palm: http://www.holidaycheck.at/data/urlaubsbilder/images/12/1156635199.jpg

cheers nick

Edited by nick

USDA 10b - 19.1°C/ 66.4°F 24hr average/ year

sunshine: 3.400 hrs year.

Precipitation: 380mm/ 15 inches/ year.

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Very nice to see they grow well on Madeira. And it means that we in Europe have the most northerly growing coconut palms in the World! Farther north then Bermuda!

Alexander

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Cluster, welcome to PT. I'm also new on this forum and is good to see how palms grow in different countries. I would say go for it and create an amazing garden in Madeira. I believe you have a great climate to grow not only coconuts, which you know that they already grow there, but also you have the possibility to grow a big range of palms. Your climate is mild all year round. If I were you I would try even Cyrtostachys renda. I'm sure if coconuts are growing good in the public places in private gardens with extra care they will grow even better. Keep us posted.

Stelios

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Thank you again for the reception!

I might be able to try out a coconut palm at some point in this location, this would be at around 130-140 meters.

2rdx2tz.jpg

You can see part of the port from where the coconuts were shot, am I not stretching such a demanding palm at this altitude ( i guess like PalmatierMeg said, I won't know it till I try it)?

Also could someone perhaps help me to identify the kind of coconuts that are shown here:)? Thanks in advance !

Edited by Cluster
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Hi Cluster,

Welcome to one of the best forums on the Internet. To answer your questions, the second and last photos you posted are of a Green Malayan Dwarf Coconut Palm. The palm next to the red colored SUV at the marina looks like it is probably an Atlantic Tall (aka Jamaican Tall). You can tell the difference by the swelling (bowl) at the base of the trunk. Dwarf coconut palms usually do not have any swelling at the base or if they do, it is only a little, whereas the tall varieties usually have considerable swelling at the base. Also, the tall varieties usually have a more curving trunk than the dwarfs, which usually have a straighter trunk. (Trunk curvature is a general rule of thumb, since I have seen some really straight talls, and some curving dwarfs, but the swelling at the base is usually a more consisted sign of the tall varieties.) The leaves on the talls are usually slightly longer and more robust than those of the dwarfs, but the dwarfs usually have more leaves in the crown than the talls.

Dwarfs begin flowering and fruiting when the palm is only about 3-5 years old and when the trunk is only about 2ft. tall, whereas the talls begin flowering and fruiting when the palms are 7-8 years old with trunks about 8-10ft. tall. The talls are slightly more cold hardy than the dwarfs, especially, the Mexican Tall and the Jamaican (Atlantic) Tall, but the dwarfs are much more resistant to the Lethal Yellowing disease that has killed many talls in the Caribbean and Mexico. They naturally hybridize since the talls need to be cross pollinated with other nearby coconut palms, but the dwarfs are self pollinating.

Here are a couple of photos of my two Green Malayan Dwarfs in my front yard on the east side of Corpus Christi near the Laguna Madre, USDA Climate Zone 10A (by the skin or our teeth).

John

P.S. You should be able to grow pineapples there outdoors without any problem. They may take a little longer to fruit and the fruits may be a little smaller due to your somewhat cool climate, though.

post-1223-0-64918700-1411780000.jpg

post-1223-0-94327700-1411780010.jpg

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John, good description, thank you.

I am thinking about coconut palms for years, but on our island you have to be lucky to find only a few very small in flower shops.

How can I found out, what kind of variety the mother plant was respectively tall or dwarf? Same if you buy nuts, origin dwarf or tall?

It's important, because I had some trouble with yellow leafes (iron problem or maybe Lethal Yellowing) on other small palms and want to avoid it.

nick

Edited by nick

USDA 10b - 19.1°C/ 66.4°F 24hr average/ year

sunshine: 3.400 hrs year.

Precipitation: 380mm/ 15 inches/ year.

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You're welcome, Nick. It is virtually impossible to determine the parent plant if you can't see it. Sometimes you can make a pretty good estimation of the variety of the parent plant if the offspring looks like a true pure variety. There are some nurseries in Florida and a couple here in South Texas that carry pure Green Malayan Dwarfs, but trying to get them to you alive and healthy might be difficult, but you could try looking them up on the Internet anyway. There are a lot of nurseries in South Florida that carry them, and they may be able to ship a young one or two to you. Be sure they pack it very securely so that it won't get destroyed in shipment. I doubt if you had Lethal Yellowing in Europe, since I don't think you have the leaf hopper vector that carries it there. It was probably a nutritional deficiency. Try a good well balanced all organic fertilizer that has a lot of the micronutrients. A 6-2-4 or 8-4-6 ratio fertilizer would be good. What did you mean by the flower shops? Do they sometimes have sprouted coconuts there?

John

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Great pictures !

I can help you with some spots on Madeira island I know there is at least one coconut palm growing. In Santa Cruz just in front of the beach (praia das Palmeiras), there is a little public swimming pool and just behind it there is a coconut tree, here goes a picture from the internet:

: bandeiras400.jpeg

Then In canico there are two coconut trees one in a hotel (Inn&art) and another one in a private garden next to the tropical hotel.

In funchal there are a few ones in the seafront promenade and the marina and also in some hotels (regency palace for example):

2120871.jpg

and also 3 in a hotel in front of the "praia Formosa"

9601464.jpg

In the SW I know there are 3 cocos in Madalena do Mar in front of the parking here goes the google street view link: https://www.google.ch/maps/@32.702048,-17.1349217,3a,43y,289.96h,82.74t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sst7VdXI6T7za41O_lQ5WLw!2e0?hl=fr

And there are also 2 Cocos in Paul do Mar in a private garden :

https://www.google.ch/maps/@32.755101,-17.2266439,3a,75y,233.79h,90.07t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sPS0l7m87NbUCnnxFflWM-w!2e0?hl=fr

Good luck !

Edited by Pargomad
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What did you mean by the flower shops? Do they sometimes have sprouted coconuts there?

Hi John, they sell coconut palms of 1-1.5m size, nothing special but the easiest way.

cheers nick

Edited by nick

USDA 10b - 19.1°C/ 66.4°F 24hr average/ year

sunshine: 3.400 hrs year.

Precipitation: 380mm/ 15 inches/ year.

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Hey Nick,

That's neat that flower shops sell them there. Here, you would almost never find something like a coconut palm in a flower shop. Try asking them where they get them from. Maybe the grower that ships them to the flower shops can tell you what varieties are available. I looked at your elevation from one of your earlier posts, and I think that at your elevation, you should have no problem growing them in your yard. If you were at 800-1,000 meters elevation, you might have some problems, but as close as you are to sea level, they should do fine. I really look forward to seeing some photos of some planted in your yard in the next year, but wait until spring to plant them, since cool winter weather would not be good for newly planted coconut palms.

John

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Sorry, Nick, I got Cluster's earlier post confused with yours. Anyway, he should have no problem growing them at his elevation. I think it's great that there are some European islands where coconut palms can be grown in the ground outdoors.

John

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Mr. Coconut, thank you a lot for your valuable information. I did think it was a dwarf but was not sure (as I said I am very amateurish) and I did not know that dwarves were self sufficient while the talls needed others. I am not sure they are growing anywhere in Europe, except Canaries and Madeira, but hey to be fair they are not located(even though they are part of it) in Europe:). For Cyprus I had heard that people tried it out with some success but it eventually failed with the odd winter so the palms were not lasting many years. If they die (even if rarely) in Miami one can understand why it is very hard if not impossible in Europe without additional help. Madeira and Canaries have "warm" golf current which gives them the ability to never drop as much (extreme winter nights) as any region in Europe and possibly even Miami while still maintaining some mild highs during the coldest months.

Pargomad, the amount of places you know that have them surprised me, I will definitely go to many of those places in the following year :).

Edited by Cluster
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Maybe you can get even better coconutpalm varieties from places like Assam, Sikkim and Nepal. There you can see coconuts growing in the Terrai and in the lowest hot valleys of the Himalaya. But sometimes in winter those areas are hit by coldsnaps. So the coconut palms they grow in those areas are probably selected on coldhardiness. And they do produce good coconuts. And thats the reason they are grown in those areas in the first place. Maybe those types of coconut palms will even fruit well on Madeira! So producing good coconuts on Madeira.

The coconut palms in Mexico and the Carribean however where probably introduced from Tropical Africa and/or South East Asia by the Spaniards and Portugese. From more tropical places places where its always hot.

Alexander

Edited by Explorer
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It is nice to know that there are probably more cold hardy coconut palms there, however seeing all these new pictures on Madeira with the "regular" ones makes me believe they might be just fine. I look forward to seeing if the dwarf coconut delivers the fruit, from the picture I took before departing it seemed promising:).

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Growing a coconut here in Cyprus is probably very difficult. The best chances are around the town of Paphos where I live. We have the most mild climate on the island. The one which I grow here is a golden dwarf variety. This year will go through it's 3rd winter in the ground. I still have to give it a little protection in the winter. The bigger it gets the best chances it will have. For me this was the hardiest one. I lost a green one when they were still in the pots outside next to each other. The green died in a few days and this golden had a little leaf damage. This one I planted it in pure beach sand. This year started to grow more quickly and now is opening a new leaf ( the 5th one).

On Madeira is easy to grow one especially in the private gardens with more care. It will be great if they will produce fruits too.

Stelios

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Its Great they grow on island of Madeira. How about further inland ? I have seen Coconut palms in Fuertuventra. I am wondering if they can grow in Ibiza ? Ibiza is 10b and in winter some days can get lows of 10C .

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Ibiza will have the same problem as Cyprus, but with protection during the winter maybe they can survive. The problem is that some winters or some days of the winter can be more extreme in certain years, for some reason the Newport beach coconut palm ended up dying after some years.

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I don't know where you can buy a coconut palm on Madeira... This palm tree may be very difficult to find since there is only a few of them on the islands. It may not be as popular as on the Canary islands where you can find it everywhere.

The last time I went there I saw only 13 exemplars, one in Santa cruz, three in Madalena do Mar and the rest in Funchal. If this was like Tenerife I would have seen like 1000 cocos ahahhahah.

For the cocos in Porto santo, I can assure you that they do exist! They are at least 3 I saw them on a picture on Instagram. In a private garden in front of the beach. They have quite a good size I think.

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I don't know where you can buy a coconut palm on Madeira... This palm tree may be very difficult to find since there is only a few of them on the islands. It may not be as popular as on the Canary islands where you can find it everywhere.

The last time I went there I saw only 13 exemplars, one in Santa cruz, three in Madalena do Mar and the rest in Funchal. If this was like Tenerife I would have seen like 1000 cocos ahahhahah.

For the cocos in Porto santo, I can assure you that they do exist! They are at least 3 I saw them on a picture on Instagram. In a private garden in front of the beach. They have quite a good size I think.

Some portuguese supermarkets sell 1m cocos nucifera (15€)
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In Portugal you can often find the fruits in the supermarket, would take longer but would feel more rewarding:).

Pargomad, with the finding of Porto Santo I believe those would be the northernmost coconuts growing up without additional protection/aid, if you can share some photos I would appreciate. I do not believe people on the island are aware or used to the coconut palms, but eventually they might be used more often.

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In Portugal you can often find the fruits in the supermarket, would take longer but would feel more rewarding:).

Pargomad, with the finding of Porto Santo I believe those would be the northernmost coconuts growing up without additional protection/aid, if you can share some photos I would appreciate. I do not believe people on the island are aware or used to the coconut palms, but eventually they might be used more often.

Not the fruit but juvenille coconuts.
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Not sure I understood you well Rafael. I think you meant that one can buy small coconut palms (1 meter) in the supermarkets. From my experience you can also get the coconut fruit/seed/nut, the one that looks like a skull with the brown husk, which should be enough to grow into a coconut palm if it is not damaged somehow?:)

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Not sure I understood you well Rafael. I think you meant that one can buy small coconut palms (1 meter) in the supermarkets. From my experience you can also get the coconut fruit/seed/nut, the one that looks like a skull with the brown husk, which should be enough to grow into a coconut palm if it is not damaged somehow?:)

You can find the fruit too, off course :)

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