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London Washies are flowering and self-seeding now


UK_Palms
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After recently posting about the London CIDP's self seeding, I have now also identified several flowering/seeding Washingtonia in London. First up is a big Filibusta hybrid in southwest London that I photographed on Monday. It is flowering profusely and appears to have set seed as well this year. The London palms certainly aren't playing games.

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When I got some photographs of a backyard Filibusta in London last month, I didn't realise that it was also flowering. I could only photograph it from a distance and it wasn't until I zoomed in on the crown that I realised it had about 3-4 flower spathes on it. The flowers aren't as prolific as the previous one, but it has certainly put a bunch out.

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The Court Lane Washingtonia in East Dulwich, south London, appears to have flowered as well, although I can't be 100% sure via street view. Flower bracts appear to be visible though when you zoom in. The jury may be out on this until it is visited in person for better shots. I reckon even more flower spathes are present and just not visible.

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Here's that big 35 footer Robusta next to the pool in a central London backyard, which many of you would have seen me post about before. There is a CIDP right next to it. I don't have a close up photo update, but you can just about see it from street view and a flower spathe is clearly visible hanging down on the left hand side. This is probably carrying a ton of seeds. I think there are a few long flower spikes shown there too, which are protruding out to the left and yet to open? Can anyone confirm if those are flower spikes that haven't opened? @Silas_Sancona @Xenon The street view image is from back in July 2022. It probably had big long white flower trusses come August, based on the pictures I am about to post.

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Looking back at the older photos of this same Robusta by the pool, it is now evident that it had previously flowered. I don't know how I missed this before. If I had zoomed in previously, I would have noticed. These pictures are from back in 2019-20 I believe now. Makes you wonder what it looks like now and just how many seeds it would be carrying this year if we could see more recent, updated photos of it! Again these are the older photos showing it flowering, which I originally missed...

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Interestingly no flowers on the Wimbledon monster. I wonder why? I doubt the owner would have cut them off? 

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No flowers yet on the big twin Robusta's near Kew Gardens either. Of course there are bound to be others out there flowering, especially in back yards. It's probably only a matter of time before they become naturalised in London. Same with CIDP, which are self seeding profusely now too. CIDP are naturalised in central London already.

I haven't checked on any of the big washies in north or east London, many of which aren't visible on street view. The big Filifera on Falcon Way, which is on the Isle of Dogs in east London for instance. Theres a big one in Belvedere as well. Hopefully street view updates for the Greenwich washies soon too. I know there will definitely be others flowering out there.

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Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

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

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You'll know they are at home when they start germinating in your pots, cracks in the paving, in the drains, and in your gutters. Once they're in, they're hard to get out. 

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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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Washingtonia are scary. Their adaptability is remarkable.

I mean this in a grudgingly admiring way: they are the roaches of the palm world, although when seen in habitat, W. filifera is awesome.

Tyrone is correct: happy = weedy.

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9 hours ago, hbernstein said:

Washingtonia are scary. Their adaptability is remarkable.

I mean this in a grudgingly admiring way: they are the roaches of the palm world, although when seen in habitat, W. filifera is awesome.

Tyrone is correct: happy = weedy.

That’s why I won’t have them here. I will leave them to others. There’s hundreds in this town alone. 

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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  • 1 month later...

Another flowering Washingtonia in Greenwich, east London to add to the list…

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These are going to end up naturalising eventually as it doesn’t get cold enough to kill them in London, or damage them even. Phoenix Canariensis has already naturalised in central London with thousands of seedlings in places.

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Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

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

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The more Washingtonia the better that way even if people cut them down because "they are taller than the house" there will be thousands more. I'm even considering putting Washingtonia seed on roundabouts next year, there are lots of ugly bare ones with just grass one them in London, that could do with some plants on them. My bet is 10-15 years from now there will be nikaus (depends if large ones are planted) , chamedorea and archontophoenix naturalising in London. Queen palms will only probably be setting seed if we get 2 months of 27c+ temperatures and 2 more of 24c+ weather. Which is very possible considering we are apparently predicted to be as hot as Barcelona in the year 2000 in 28 years, which would be a high of 29c and Low of 23c in July and August. Personally i think the low will be slightly less than that though, since the Mediterranean sea is the reason the low is so warm in Barcelona, and I can't see the English channel being 27c like the Mediterranean sea in the summer! Maybe 22-24c.

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If I'm being honest I've never had a desire to visit england but if london starts looking like the LA skyline that would draw me for a visit because that would be super cool 😂

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1 hour ago, ZPalms said:

If I'm being honest I've never had a desire to visit england but if london starts looking like the LA skyline that would draw me for a visit because that would be super cool 😂

Even now you could have a nice palm trip. You could visit Kew and all the other botanical gardens and parks around London. See all the Washingtonia and Canary Island date palms. Visit the south coast and the gardens there. Go to the isle of wight and see the Ventnor botanical gardens and Washingtonia and canary island date palms around there. Then visit Cornwall and see all the botanical gardens, which is where most of them with the interesting plants are and see archontophoenix, howea forsteriana, Rhopalostylis sapida, livistona, sabals, juania australis and plenty more. Then take a trip to the Scilly isles to visit the tresco abbey gardens! In the next 10 years the council's need to start planting more Washingtonia so It looks like La If not the birds will spread the seed around anyway but it will take longer before there's more 30ft plus ones! You could always venture north as well to see Washingtonia growing at 53n and canary island dates palms growing even further north.

Edited by Foxpalms
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