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8 hours in central London (2022)


UK_Palms
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I challenged myself to see as many palms and exotics as possible in central London on Thursday, including ones that I haven’t posted before. I’ll start off with the less impressive ones. I have posted about these CIDP’s previously. They are self seeding aggressively with hundreds of seedlings coming up, some of which are on strap leafs. All of these are my photos from Thursday.

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Here are yet more London Washingtonia that haven’t even been posted before on here. All backyard lurkers that have been growing there for years. 

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I also stopped by at Egerton Terrace to see the exotics too

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Brahea Clara in Notting Hill

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Brahea Armata and CIDP in Notting Hill

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Washingtonia in St James square

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Mount Street Gardens CIDP

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Eaton Square CIDP’s

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Norfolk Island Pine in Fulham

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Phoenix Canariensis in Wapping

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Another church CIDP located at St Michaels

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Heres one of the Bougainvillea’s that I actually walked past by mistake.

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Big bananas in Fulham

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Reporton Road CIDP

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Chamaerops Humilis

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Here’s the weird shade grown Phoenix hybrid in Lincoln Inn Fields @gurugu @Phoenikakias

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Little Venice Washingtonia

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Jubaea and Cycas Revoluta in Belgravia

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Lemon citrus?

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I wasn’t looking for Yucca Elephantipes, but since it does so well in London I obviously came across quite a few…

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I haven’t even commented on the parakeets yet, which was the best part of the trip. That is an entire post in itself.

 

 

 

Edited by UK_Palms
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Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

Average annual precipitation - 18.7 inches : Average annual sunshine hours - 1725

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Beautiful.. those canaries grow really well..  they fit in nicely with the cityscape.

London is on my bucket list.

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Obscenities 

most duly screamed!

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Let's keep our forum fun and friendly.

Any data in this post is provided 'as is' and in no event shall I be liable for any damages, including, without limitation, damages resulting from accuracy or lack thereof, insult, or lost profits or revenue, claims by third parties or for other similar costs, or any special, incidental, or consequential damages arising out of my opinion or the use of this data. The accuracy or reliability of the data is not guaranteed or warranted in any way and I disclaim liability of any kind whatsoever, including, without limitation, liability for quality, performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose arising out of the use, or inability to use my data. Other terms may apply.

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Lots of nice findings. Personally I can see phoenix dactylifera and Sylvesteris becoming more popular within the next 20 years but that depends on how easily they can be bought. 

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7 hours ago, SailorBold said:

Beautiful.. those canaries grow really well..  they fit in nicely with the cityscape.

London is on my bucket list.

The huge River Gardens CIDP in Fulham is also located in central London too. I didn't bother visiting it on Thursday though since I only saw it 2 weeks ago when passing through for work. Obviously you wouldn't want to miss this one either if you are in central London. It's one of the iconic London palms. Arguably the best palm in London.

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Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

Average annual precipitation - 18.7 inches : Average annual sunshine hours - 1725

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I mentioned previously that seeing and feeding the wild parakeets in London was the highlight of my trip. It was an unbelievable experience! I spent about an hour feeding them on Thursday at Kensington Gardens. You can see them all over the capital but there are certain ‘hotspots’ where you are guaranteed the chance to hand feed them and interact. They will land on your head and shoulders even. St James Park is another location where you can experience this. When I say that these parakeets are very tame, I am not joking.

@gurugu @Peachs Do you guys have them in northern / central Spain?

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The squirrels are also very tame!

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Edited by UK_Palms
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Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

Average annual precipitation - 18.7 inches : Average annual sunshine hours - 1725

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4 hours ago, UK_Palms said:

I mentioned previously that seeing and feeding the wild parakeets in London was the highlight of my trip. It was an unbelievable experience! I spent about an hour feeding them on Thursday at Kensington Gardens. You can see them all over the capital but there are certain ‘hotspots’ where you are guaranteed the chance to hand feed them and interact. They will land on your head and shoulders even. St James Park is another location where you can experience this. When I say that these parakeets are very tame, I am not joking.

@gurugu @Peachs Do you guys have them in northern / central Spain?

4A60EE23-5A54-4BE4-BA1B-B2588006B95A.thumb.jpeg.feb97ac8ebffd7ad87fefc3e57f3e5e7.jpeg

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05681A0D-99B6-472B-9C50-FD6E5421E9F3.thumb.jpeg.c8b437e2904a79268e856425f10361e4.jpeg

6C7B15BE-D5B9-4AC4-8CB4-728CECE15654.thumb.jpeg.247e91c6d508ae500b1b90dbc5a1426c.jpeg
 

The squirrels are also very tame!

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In my area only pigeons are the easiest thing to see. By the way, why is it not easy to see livistona palms? Some like Nitida grow fast and resist more than Washingtonia.  

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44 minutes ago, Peachs said:

In my area only pigeons are the easiest thing to see. By the way, why is it not easy to see livistona palms? Some like Nitida grow fast and resist more than Washingtonia.  

I know there is a Livistona Chinensis growing at the Royal College of Physicians Garden in north central London. I didn't get to visit it as I was only really in a small part of the city. This post only covers central London, which is a relatively small section. It doesn't show north, east, south or west London. There are thousands more palms and exotics in those places. There are actually so many palms in London now that I would need at least 4-5 days to cover all 5 sections fo the city (central, north, east, south, west).

I'm pretty sure there are other Livistona's growing outdoors in London. I think there is another growing in south London, possibly in Wimbledon. Close to where the big 40 footer Washingtonia is located that I have posted before. The trunk alone on that Washingtonia is over 3 stories high. Washingtonia are an easy grow in London nowadays so people will always plant them. I have seen washies go from 2-3 foot right up to 30 footers within 10-12 years in the capital. They grow quicker than Trachycarpus in London.

The main reason we aren't seeing Livistona's is because they are just rare over here. People mostly plant Trachycarpus, CIDP or Washingtonia. That is all we can really get and only small ones. Interestingly every single palm I posted in this thread was planted as a tiny little palm to begin with. Most of them can be traced back on Google street view to when they were tiny. We don't get big palms shipped in or the rarer, exotic species like Livistona. If we do get one, it is via seed or imported as a very small specimen.

This is the Livistona Chinensis at the Royal College of Physicians in London, but the photo is almost 4 years old now. It will be quite a bit bigger. Now you have mentioned it, I will try to dig out some more London Livistona's. I need to visit east London as I haven't really covered that ever and I know a lot of palms exist there. More big ones like the ones shown in this thread. God knows what is growing in people's back yards. I looked over fences into back yards and spotted those big Washingtonia on Thursday.

2125887512_LivistonachinensisRCP1-2019(119).jpg.facb03d958b2c7a0f29b1a2fb469e675.jpg

 

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Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

Average annual precipitation - 18.7 inches : Average annual sunshine hours - 1725

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8 hours ago, UK_Palms said:

I know there is a Livistona Chinensis growing at the Royal College of Physicians Garden in north central London. I didn't get to visit it as I was only really in a small part of the city. This post only covers central London, which is a relatively small section. It doesn't show north, east, south or west London. There are thousands more palms and exotics in those places. There are actually so many palms in London now that I would need at least 4-5 days to cover all 5 sections fo the city (central, north, east, south, west).

I'm pretty sure there are other Livistona's growing outdoors in London. I think there is another growing in south London, possibly in Wimbledon. Close to where the big 40 footer Washingtonia is located that I have posted before. The trunk alone on that Washingtonia is over 3 stories high. Washingtonia are an easy grow in London nowadays so people will always plant them. I have seen washies go from 2-3 foot right up to 30 footers within 10-12 years in the capital. They grow quicker than Trachycarpus in London.

The main reason we aren't seeing Livistona's is because they are just rare over here. People mostly plant Trachycarpus, CIDP or Washingtonia. That is all we can really get and only small ones. Interestingly every single palm I posted in this thread was planted as a tiny little palm to begin with. Most of them can be traced back on Google street view to when they were tiny. We don't get big palms shipped in or the rarer, exotic species like Livistona. If we do get one, it is via seed or imported as a very small specimen.

This is the Livistona Chinensis at the Royal College of Physicians in London, but the photo is almost 4 years old now. It will be quite a bit bigger. Now you have mentioned it, I will try to dig out some more London Livistona's. I need to visit east London as I haven't really covered that ever and I know a lot of palms exist there. More big ones like the ones shown in this thread. God knows what is growing in people's back yards. I looked over fences into back yards and spotted those big Washingtonia on Thursday.

2125887512_LivistonachinensisRCP1-2019(119).jpg.facb03d958b2c7a0f29b1a2fb469e675.jpg

 

To my knowledge, no parrots in any of the big cities along the north coast of Spain.  Maybe in Vigo. 

But they have become a plague in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Málaga and Sevilla. 

Only in Madrid it is estimated to be between 12.000 and 20.000 parrots. Cotorra argentina ( Myiopsitta monachus)  and cotorra of Kramer. This last one more seen in Sevilla. 

Parrots (cotorras) are bigger than parakeets. Very similar to those in your pictures. Maybe parrots too? 

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4 hours ago, gurugu said:

To my knowledge, no parrots in any of the big cities along the north coast of Spain.  Maybe in Vigo. 

But they have become a plague in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Málaga and Sevilla. 

Only in Madrid it is estimated to be between 12.000 and 20.000 parrots. Cotorra argentina ( Myiopsitta monachus)  and cotorra of Kramer. This last one more seen in Sevilla. 

Parrots (cotorras) are bigger than parakeets. Very similar to those in your pictures. Maybe parrots too? 

 

The ones over here are Rose Ringed parakeets (Cotorra Kramer). They are one of the biggest parakeet species, so look more like parrots. During the 2015 census the UK had the largest population of them in Europe supposedly. Since then the numbers have exploded over here however, so it would be far higher. They are probably thriving due to the milder winters and hotter summers. The same reason the palms are getting crazy suddenly over here. Hard to argue with climate change really.

My estimate of 2 million parakeets in London is probably a bit over the top. I would say it is more like 500,000. Enough that councils are culling/killing hundreds each week. Apparently they are becoming an agriculture pest in areas. Entire apple plantations have been lost to the parakeets in north London this year. Quite a few farms have been affected in Essex and Kent. They are almost like a plague in areas here too. The total number in the UK is probably about 1-2 million.

I went to the south coast yesterday and spotted some parakeets there too. More big palms in Portsmouth too that I will post about. One thing about the parakeets is that they don't really like rain much, which is why they may not be in northern Spain. I see San Sebastian gets 70 inches of rain per year, compared to about 20 inches in London. So over 3 x more rain. When it does rain over here, the Parakeets hide away and wont feed for a few days. That could be a factor on why they aren't present in northern Spain maybe?

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Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

Average annual precipitation - 18.7 inches : Average annual sunshine hours - 1725

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Truly amazing! Any commercial citrus or banana plantations in London?

What you look for is what is looking

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9 hours ago, bubba said:

Truly amazing! Any commercial citrus or banana plantations in London?

I don't think so. Reason being is it's only recently tropicals and exotics are becoming popular in London so people back 50 years ago wouldn't have bought land for good sized citrus and banana plantations in London and the land now would probably cost around £200 million for something still fairly small. The only thing you might see is small groups of them in parks and gardens. Lots of avocado trees in London as well. The climate is slowly getting better for them as the summers and winters become warmer and the urban heat island is much bigger than it was back then now. Being close to the sea with the Thames and the gulf stream would make London a 9a if there wasn't the urban heat island. However the urban heat island has helped central London become a solid 9b and the argument of 10a can be made in good microclimates. The majority of bananas are Musa basjoo because that's the most commonly sold banana in the UK but there are a few other species in London.

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10 hours ago, bubba said:

Truly amazing! Any commercial citrus or banana plantations in London?

I don't believe they're are, though in Cornwall there are commercial tea plantations. Bananas wouldn't be viable commercially due to winter frosts. Ornamental bananas in the UK are usually protected over winter. Even here in Aus, you don't get commercial banana cultivation south of mid-north coastal NSW, and there's really no comparison in climates.

Citrus however I think might work on a niche basis in Cornwall, much as a tea does now, if cultivars were carefully selected - satsumas and lemons should be botanically possible without needing any elaborate protection (beyond, perhaps, a basic polytunnel field setup) if you could figure out a business model - which would be the real issue.  Spain is very close by and produces vast quantities of citrus very efficiently, and has ideal conditions. I don't see how a Cornish supplier could compete with that, even though it may be botanically possible.

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43 minutes ago, JasminInYarpshire said:

I don't believe they're are, though in Cornwall there are commercial tea plantations. Bananas wouldn't be viable commercially due to winter frosts. Ornamental bananas in the UK are usually protected over winter. Even here in Aus, you don't get commercial banana cultivation south of mid-north coastal NSW, and there's really no comparison in climates.

Citrus however I think might work on a niche basis in Cornwall, much as a tea does now, if cultivars were carefully selected - satsumas and lemons should be botanically possible without needing any elaborate protection (beyond, perhaps, a basic polytunnel field setup) if you could figure out a business model - which would be the real issue.  Spain is very close by and produces vast quantities of citrus very efficiently, and has ideal conditions. I don't see how a Cornish supplier could compete with that, even though it may be botanically possible.

The Scilly isles are a zone 10b so so they could there and some fruiting bananas can handle light frosts so they would be suitable for london and Cornwall. Bananas don't normally get protected in central London and costal Cornwall because theres no need to.  The UK in general  is not really comparable to the climate of central London, Cornwall and the southeast it's completely different in terms of rainfall sunshine hours and temperature.  Central London is probably better for citrus than Cornwall because it's warmer but land for a citrus plantation would be 200x less in Cornwall and they still grow there. The hot dry air from Spain and Portugal and on rare occasions the Sahara Desert reaches London but not Cornwall in the summer. Lemons and satsumas and oranges don't need protection/ a polytunnel in London or Cornwall the London grown lemons are pretty good.

 

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12 hours ago, bubba said:

Truly amazing! Any commercial citrus or banana plantations in London?

Yeah there isn’t really any commercial citrus or banana plantations in the city. That could change in the coming years though with the prices going up for imports. Lemons, oranges, nectarines, grapefruit, loquats all grow in London. I have seen them fruiting profusely. The loquats are harvested and sold on street markets in Hackney. There are also a number of big lemon trees near the Thames full of fruit. I know of quite a few orange trees as well. There are some lemons visible in one of my photos. They usually mature over winter and spring, so many had just recently been harvested when I visited. There’s one next to the big CIDP on Egerton Terrace that I posted. I have seen photos of big, ripe yellow lemons on it before.

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On 9/25/2022 at 2:51 PM, UK_Palms said:

 

The ones over here are Rose Ringed parakeets (Cotorra Kramer). They are one of the biggest parakeet species, so look more like parrots. During the 2015 census the UK had the largest population of them in Europe supposedly. Since then the numbers have exploded over here however, so it would be far higher. They are probably thriving due to the milder winters and hotter summers. The same reason the palms are getting crazy suddenly over here. Hard to argue with climate change really.

My estimate of 2 million parakeets in London is probably a bit over the top. I would say it is more like 500,000. Enough that councils are culling/killing hundreds each week. Apparently they are becoming an agriculture pest in areas. Entire apple plantations have been lost to the parakeets in north London this year. Quite a few farms have been affected in Essex and Kent. They are almost like a plague in areas here too. The total number in the UK is probably about 1-2 million.

I went to the south coast yesterday and spotted some parakeets there too. More big palms in Portsmouth too that I will post about. One thing about the parakeets is that they don't really like rain much, which is why they may not be in northern Spain. I see San Sebastian gets 70 inches of rain per year, compared to about 20 inches in London. So over 3 x more rain. When it does rain over here, the Parakeets hide away and wont feed for a few days. That could be a factor on why they aren't present in northern Spain maybe?

I forgot to mention that. Most surely you are right saying that the reason for not being parakeets here might be the amount of rain we have year round, which is, on average, 1.200 litres a year . Being July the driest with 59 litres. A little further inland, right  on the mountain slopes, you find up to 2.000 litres.

I also think, that is the reason for not being so many Rinchophorus ferrugineus either. Someone reported of the weevil in Oviedo a few years ago, but it it wasn´t clear at all.

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