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RIP Rolf Kyburz


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Well known Australian nurseryman seed/seedling trader....many would have heard of K-Palms. 

Rolf introduced us to the Madagascar Foxtail as well as many other new species of palms from Madagascar.

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Gold Coast, Queensland Latitude 28S. Mild, Humid Subtropical climate. Rainfall - not consistent enough!

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Sorry to hear this Daryl. 


Vista, CA (Zone 10a)

Shadowridge Area

"Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are."

-- Alfred Austin

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  • 1 month later...

Just noticed this now. That is real sad. K-Palms brought a lot of great stuff into Oz and cultivation.

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Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.



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  • 9 months later...

Prior to Rolf's passing, I knew him for over three decades.  He was actually a European who somehow ended up in Australia.  There he became a genuine plant explorer, naturalist and expert seedsman.  He traveled throughout the New and Old World seeking adventure.  His seed exporting business was named "K-Palms".  I would repetitively see him at IPS Biennials where we'd have an evening cognac and discuss rare plants, palms throughout the world, the Palm Society and international politics.  He was a gentleman yet had a rugged and rustic part to his personality. with a beard to match.  This is what made him so memorable.  But, he also had a high degree of sophistication,  probably from his roots in Europe. 

He married a girl from Singapore and had a son.   He was super proud of his son.

And, a short story about him:  For those of you who know the true taste of strawberries, once I took Rolf out to dinner in San Diego.  We ordered strawberry shortcake as a desert.  The strawberries were obviously not ripe.  Rolf looked at me with surprise and asked "Is this what you call stawberries here?".  I knew exactly what he was saying and apologetically said we don't have easy access to "real strawberries". 

He had friends throughout the world including Jim Wright,  Carolo Morici, Stan Walkley, Eric Anderson and a woman named "Cookie" (Carol) in Florida and many others.

I lost contact with him in the latter years of his life but maintained my respect for him.  His passing is a true loss for all that love his character, his experience and his knowledge of palms and the world.  I will miss him and our random meetings.

Phil Bergman
Past President of the IPS


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Jungle Music Palms and Cycads, established 1977 and located in Encinitas, CA, 20 miles north of San Diego on the Coast.  Phone:  619 2914605 Link to Phil's Email phil.bergman@junglemusic.net Website: www.junglemusic.net Link to Jungle Music Palms and Cycads

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  • 5 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Thank you all for your kind words, I'm sorry I didn't find this sooner. I am his son Caliph. Luckily I bumped into Daryl today and have been made aware of my father's efforts in the palm and cycad world. 

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  • 8 months later...

I have encephalartos ferox I purchased of Rolf 20 plus years ago they finally flowered this year for the first time Rolf is remembered in my garden and will never be forgotten rip Rolf 

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