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Cocos nucifera on Madeira Island


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Tank you for that data I will compare it with mine:). As for other not so bad looking coconuts, I think the last picture on post 164 shows how decent the green malaywan dwarf looks and they are less cold tolerant, it is more beautiful than some you showed me in my opinion and post 186 the first picture, this coconut while being super trimmed has some amazing fronds, can compare as well in my opinion. These are the public ones. As for small coconuts surviving, I only have the last picture of post 185 as an example, we will see how it fairs the winter.

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Proeza now that I see where you are gathering information I understand you better, though the information is not accurate. I never understood why all the external meteo sites fail when it comes to Madeira, maybe they go to Marrocos or something nearby to gather data or a station at 200 m altitude (Funchal has many of those and higher personal stations). It could be perhaps the Airport station in the east which is not protected by the Mountain Range like the south and southwest coast. Regardless the official station is the observatory in Funchal, the airport is not in Funchal.

This is what accuweather showed:


this is what happened:


Also I am not sure 20 is really necessary for survival but more like wanted:), of course maybe with 18 during a month they might not look gorgeous. Madeira did have a cold spell some days ago, but it could have happened the other way around to Northern Canaries while in Madeira it would be fine.

Edited by Cluster
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It's a dypsis decaryi, but not the most beautiful I saw on Madeira, it seems to be weak or didn't like the transplantation

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Yep, that would be great. They could plant some cocos on the new beach and seafront in Funchal. It would give a tropical look to the capital.

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Just a quick update on the island temperatures. The south coast has been having temperatures with lows on the 16-14 and highs 21-23 everyday unlike the forecast predicts (what the forecast predicts are always near low records both on low and highs for the island, it is probably hard for the models to predict this particular island). Lets hope the cocos will look good the next time I see them (in about 2 or 3 weeks if everything goes well). A problem has been the rain, not much rain the last couple of weeks! Have a nice day!

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I established a list of almost all the palm trees you can find on Madeira Island. I based it on what I saw last time I went there and on what I saw on pictures or on Street view. This is a non-exhaustive list provided that there might be more species that I couldn't identify.

The most commun Palm trees (palms that you're bound to see there) :

- Phoenix canariensis

- Phoenix dactylifera

- Washingtonia robusta

- Washingtonia filifera

- Archontophoenix cunninghamiana

- Howea forsteriana

- Archontophoenix alexandrae

- Syagrus romanzoffiana

- Dypsis lutescens

- Chambeyronia macrocarpa

- Phoenix roebelenii

- Roystonea regia

- Roystonea oleracea

- Livistona chinensis

- Livistona australis

- Chamaerops humilis

- Hyophorbe verschaffeltii

- Chamaedora elegans

Palms that you can see at some places (only a few exemplars):

- Cocos nucifera

- Wodyetia bifurcata

- Adonidia merrilli

- Caryota urens

- Ravenea rivularis

- Dypsis Decaryi

- Bismarckia nobilis

- Brahea armata

- Butia capitata

- Trachycarpus fortunei

- Phoenix reclinata

Very rare palm trees (only one or two exemplars):

- Hyophorbe lagenicaulis

- Veitchia arecina

- Ptychosperma elegans

If you have some questions or more species to add, ask me. ( I know there are more species like sabal bermudana or other species that I suspect they grow on the island). If you want me to prove you something ask me too ;).

I have also a non exhaustive list of ornamental trees of Funchal and the southern coast, tell me if you're interested to see it :)

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That is a very nice compilation, I wish I could identify 1/3 off those palms:). Only one project remaining and I am on vacations, want to fly to Madeira soon:)

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  • 2 weeks later...

First of all let me say I do not bring the best news, though there are also good news! The weather has been crazy because of the unusual location of the Azores anticyclone(people in Azores are also complaining), it does not rain at all and the weather has been way colder than the usual, the next 3/4 days will experience an unusual cold spell with temperatures returning to normal afterwards. The western Europe weather has been weird and colder the last month and end of December due to its position.

I discovered the reason why we probably do not see coconuts on Madeira Island, they are removing the inflorescence! (so this is bad and good news?). A picture speaks a thousand words so I present you our usual star to show you this:


they removed the coconuts and the inflorescence:( :


So well the next coconut tree(a tall one), near the dwarf (which I had shown in some post before with its youngling coconuts) are now more developed, green:


And now a picture that shows the first row of the Marina coconuts (last one being the dwarf and the one before the one with small coconuts), unfortunately there are what I believe to be some white flies in some coconuts (not too many).


This last picture is from another "row" of coconuts in the Marina it does not make it justice, it is full green and the fronds are bigger and more filling than it appears:


I also have to say I counted 4 fronds cut from the dwarf coconut!

Edited by Cluster
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I also went to Regency and they removed the coconut near the entrance (as I had suspected) and other palms...though I still took some pictures of the one inside:



All these pictures were taken this Tuesday, I will be here till next Thursday. I will be watching these coconuts and I know I will also go to Madalena at some point and check how things are there.

The temperatures have been around 18 degrees for Funchal sine the cold spell and 13/14 during the night, supposedly during the next 3/4 days they will go to 17-13/12, a bit warmer for southwest of course.

After this cold spell the normal temperatures around 20 should return.

I now know someone that might be able to address some of the coconut issues, I will try to contact this person, can't promise the attitude will change, but I am trying:)

Edited by Cluster
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Thanks for your work Cluster ! I appreciate what you have been doing for us :)

But there are, indeed, bad news today... It is getting worse and in maybe 10 years there will probably be no more coconut palms on the Island...

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Don't be so pessimistic:) there will always be private gardens and I think some people are beginning to get interested in them. The people that have them in private gardens won't get rid of them. As for the public ones, we shall see I want to talk with that person before I go. The dwarf is looking quiet nice even though they took the coconuts away and it has 4 cut fronds, maybe they will realize they can look good:).

Stelios thank you, I am trying to convince people not to cut or harvest their coconuts:). I mean how can we get coconuts here in Madeira if we do not import them? I wanted one fresh coconut from the dwarf to try in my garden:\

This will be the coldest week of the year I will keep you guys up to date!

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So today I went for the mountains and when I returned I passed by Santa Cruz to see the coconut there:


With the lack of rain the coconuts overall seem a bit dry but at least the one in Santa Cruz is still there:)

I also saw this tall and thin palm what is it?



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Everything is dry I have never seen such a dry winter and also "cold", supposedly there should be some rain soon. The days have been like today:

this was taken from Santa Cruz.


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I found a picture of the coconut palms of the seapromenade and it seems that they didn't take care of them... Lack of pollinators and humidity. They don't water them on the island and, like it wasn't bad enough, they trimm them and remove their inflorescence... They definitely need to be informed otherwise there will be no more cocos on the island...


Look at these dry cocos just before their removing in 2009, a few months before they were green, healthy and with bigger fronds. Maybe that is what happened to the cocos near the dwarf one on the marina :48527300.jpg

It was so beautiful, the healthiest and best good looking coconut tree of the island. But it has been removed, maybe because of the bad care of the madeirans... I'm sure the other cocos will know the same fate...

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I do not know of any coco that has died that has been due to cold, actually to be honest I do not know of any coco that has died. I only know that some of them were taken away. The marina coconuts do not seem to have enough soil and sometimes they do look dry, I have also seen whiteflies. It does not make sense the dwarf resists cold and the tall does not, so I think whatever the reason they took it off has nothing to do with cold. I have shown other palms dead on the island, but none of them were coconuts. We can't forget that the coconut living near 200 m altitude is almost 20 years old and will stay there. Having said that, the people in Madeira are not the best handling palms and they are are probably responsible for much of what is happening with the palms.

Later on I will show some pictures I took today in Madalena. That place looks like summer with the lack of rain.

Ps: While the humidity is not very high it is also not very low, its mean is around 70% on the south coast, should be ok for them.

Edited by Cluster
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Thanks for your passion and work Cluster :) May I make a suggestion ? It would be awesome if you go to Paúl do mar and check the two cocos in a private garden there : https://www.google.ch/maps/@32.755101,-17.2266439,3a,75y,244.79h,88.88t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sPS0l7m87NbUCnnxFflWM-w!2e0?hl=fr

These two exemplars are on the coast near the beach and on a private garden, they seem to be often watered and they may not be trimmed by the owners. If you have the time and if you want to ;).

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Removing the inflorescence is probably actually better in this case, as the palm doesn't focus on trying to produce fruits in the marginal climate, so they can focus more energy on actually growing.


Palmetto, Florida (10a) and Tampa, Florida (9b/10a)

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That might be true or not Zeeth, in any case if you want to have a new generation of coconut trees they must give us coconuts. Madeira climate should be ok for growing coconuts as even the dwarf is doing great:)

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Thank you Xenon:)

The temperatures should go back to something more normal after Tuesday. In any case in Madalena the temperature was 2 degrees warmer than In Funchal and even in this cold spell (it is snowing in the mountains) the temperature was reaching 19 or more in Madalena, I had to wear a Tshirt at this altitude.

Here are the pictures of some Madalena coconuts taken this Saturday:


and the small sister just nearby


The one near the beach, it does have some big fronds:



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I have also found its twin getting free of this huge tree at last:



If I am able to go to Jardim do Mar/Paul do Mar I will try to find those private coconuts, it depends if I can get a ride before I need to go back to the continent, we will see:)

The cold spell is strong, but Madeira's sea and mountains make sure it never goes to extremes, it is not the right temperature for them at the moment but the lows are still around 13-14 for the southwest and 12-13 for Funchal.

What I am concerned still, is the lack of rain. This is how Madalena do Mar is looking at this time of the year... looks like the typical mid summer color, I also fear for fires in the summer:


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The last cocos really suffers from lack of rain and light. Under the shadow of these fig trees they will grow very slowly, someone has to cut these trees or replace them somewhere else !

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So today it rained a bit. at least in Jardim/Paul do Mar and Funchal, though I am not sure the coconuts in Madalena were blessed as the ground looked quiet dry when I was returning from my small trip.

Disclaimer it was raining so I had to take quick shots from the private coconuts in Paul do Mar as my camera is not weather proof and the private property made it harder to find a nice perspective.

Left coconut palm:



Right coconut palm:



These coconuts were in perfect conditions although also trimmed, they look somehow young. This is as cold as it gets, one week with a cold spell in the coldest month, now returning slowly (though still below the normal) to normal temperatures.

Paul do Mar being in the southwest coast is very warm, I wonder if the owners will let them have coconuts as it is clear they are quiet happy there:)

Edited by Cluster
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Also some bonus pictures, both taken from Ponta do Sol:). The first allows one to see Madalena do Mar and then Calheta further away, also a waterfall at Ponta do Sol's beach. Even though the temperatures are still below the normal values the southwest coast was around 20-21 C. Hope you enjoy!



Edited by Cluster
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Very nice Cluster. The palms in the private gardens look very healthy. They get proper care and water.

That's what the coconuts in public places need. Some more water.


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thank you for the pictures. the cocos in the private garden look good but over trimmed. I see that an inflorescence forming on one. hopefully they will leave it alone.

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I do not know what happened but they replaced the last coconut picture with cookies?

here is the picture that was replaced, if they do this again I will have to find another hosting site!


Edited by Cluster
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Tomorrow I have a plane to catch, not sure I will have much more time to take pictures:(. Should only return to the island in August.

I have some theories why the marina Coconuts do not look as great, with the exception of the dwarf which looks greener/healthier. I believe as people have mentioned before, that perhaps there is not enough soil and they are thirsty(this probably also affects the fruiting, though since they remove the inflorescence we can't see). The dwarf being smaller maybe needs less water requirements. One thing is apparent, the coconuts in private gardens/Hotel look healthier than public ones.

I am angry that I have not yet seen a mature coconut (though the one from the dwarf was looking great before they removed it!), I should perhaps knock the door and ask the people from Paul do Mar house to let them have coconuts! Speaking of this are these coconuts from Paul, dwarf or tall, perhaps one different from the other?

With that said here are some pictures from the marina I took today(as I may lack time tomorrow), in this "cold" spell:



If there is any last request I will try to read it in the morning and then if I have the time I may be able to help:)

Edited by Cluster
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Talk with the people with the coconut in the private garden and explain to them everything and see if they will leave the inflorescence.

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That one might be hard to accomplish as Paul do Mar is still 30/40 minutes by car and I may find no one at home during the afternoon. What I can do is warn them next time I go there:)

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