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Where are the cold weather palms in Australia?


Yunder Wækraus

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Are there no cold-hardy palms in Australia’s tropics? I just went on a hunting trip in Queensland’s high country. Our base camp was at 2000’, and we hunted his high is 2700’. It got down to the low 50s each night, and the property manager said it regularly drops down to the high 20s at least once each winter. Property is huge—I cannot disclose it location—and I did not see a single palm or cycad, just eucalyptus trees and a few grass trees. I drive on various roads for about 8 hours and did a few day hikes. No palms near water either. Why? I’ll include pics of the landscape. Latitude is roughly between 17 & 18 south.

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There's quite a few around the Atherton Tablelands but most of them have been cleared by farmers. Palms from there will even live happily (with care) in Melbourne.  The photos show Dry Sclerophyll Forest (hope I spelt that right) which is not really suitable for palms to establish themselves in,  apart from a few pockets of N.T. and W.A.  I was surprised to see all the grass trees however. Usually where they are,  palms are not far away.

Peachy

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I came. I saw. I purchased

 

 

27.35 south.

Warm subtropical, with occasional frosts.

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27 minutes ago, peachy said:

There's quite a few around the Atherton Tablelands but most of them have been cleared by farmers. Palms from there will even live happily (with care) in Melbourne.  The photos show Dry Sclerophyll Forest (hope I spelt that right) which is not really suitable for palms to establish themselves in,  apart from a few pockets of N.T. and W.A.  I was surprised to see all the grass trees however. Usually where they are,  palms are not far away.

Peachy

Yeah, it's a dry climate, but Palms are famously to be found in riparian habitats in otherwise dry areas (e.g. Southern California, Texas, the Middle East, etc.). The Atherton tablelands are not as cold as these drier areas, which are at the same elevation (600-950 meters). The record cold for the Atherton Tablelands is 3C, whereas the property I hunted drops below 0 every year and so would be a a good place (I would have thought) to find a truly cold-hardy palm, one that can withstand the occasional freeze (much like the palms of CA, FL, and TX). I'm surprised none seem to have evolved to colonize the watercourses of such areas.

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About 20 years back I flew from Townsville to a Pasminco site north of Mt Isa. I don't recall seeing palms at the site, only Eucalyptus.

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12 hours ago, Yunder Wækraus said:

Yeah, it's a dry climate, but Palms are famously to be found in riparian habitats in otherwise dry areas (e.g. Southern California, Texas, the Middle East, etc.). The Atherton tablelands are not as cold as these drier areas, which are at the same elevation (600-950 meters). The record cold for the Atherton Tablelands is 3C, whereas the property I hunted drops below 0 every year and so would be a a good place (I would have thought) to find a truly cold-hardy palm, one that can withstand the occasional freeze (much like the palms of CA, FL, and TX). I'm surprised none seem to have evolved to colonize the watercourses of such areas.

That is interesting... Wonder if maybe Soil chemistry, prior land use -if any- ( clearing of any palm sps that might have grown there )  ..and suppression of competing vegetation by the Eucalyptus themselves could all play a part.  Pretty scenery regardless.

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