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Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by katsen, Jan 3, 2008.
hi i have a palm i would like to know what type it is, Anne
At this size Anne, it is virtually impossible to be certain. Almost all palms have a similar form when first grown from seed. Not until the plant begins to gain some of its adult characteristics will it be certain to determine a species.
ok i will wait, thank you for the reply. Any ideas how long it will take? Anne
That will depend on the species. Palms are typically very slow growing plants. Some only grow a few inches each year while others grow faster. If this is a Chamaedorea species (known as parlor palms), it could be just a few years. If it is one of many other species, the time to reach maturity can be much longer. I have one in a large pot grown from seed that is now only 4 feet tall after 8 years of growth. The parent tree was in our yard in Florida and was well over 10 meters high (30 feet). That one is kept in a tropical atrium during the winter and moved into direct sunlight in the summer. But it still grows very slowly. With a palm I wouldn't look for fast growth.
wow that is slow, i will have to wait a long time :) thanks for the reply. Anne
Looks more like an areca species than a Cham. May well be a cataractarum, but the foliage looks too broad for it.
Hi Anne this is a Howea forsteriana common name kentia palm. Native along with one other species in this genus to Lord Howe Island off the coast of New South Wales, Australia. Although quite frost tender, they do not need high temperatures or bright light to grow well, so are good house or conservatory plants. They will grow outdoors in frost free gardens in any area that is not too hot or dry. A lightly shaded spot with moist, humus rich, well drained soil is best. If indoors a well draining mix with organic matter is best. They like a diluted fish/seaweed fertiliser or one high in nitrogen in the warmer months. Dont overwater. In the summer they need moderate water cut back in the winter.
I didn't think Kentia's clumped that readily when they were that small?????
G'day Ed. They are made up that way for the retail nursery industry. Sold as Kentia Multi. Usually in a 150ml pot. I'm not sure how they are propogated but I can find out for you if you want.
I'm very curious what characteristics you see in this young palm seedling that help you to make a positive scientific identification? I have often shown similar photos to several palm experts and the response I always receive is similar to the one I received from palm, cycad and aroid expert Leland Miyano who lives on the island of Hilo in Hawaii. Leland has written several books on palms and is often asked by botanists and students studying species in his islands to assist with an ID:
"Aloha. It is almost impossible to confirm an identity
on these as they appear to be a cluster of young palm
seedlings of a pinnate species. Many seedlings look
identical to this photo. I suggest that the grower
separate one out and let it grow independently until
some diagnostic character develops. Origin or other
data may help...any seed description?"
I don't grow that many palms in my tropical atrium but would like to know more about the characteristics you saw in this photo to make the ID of Howea forsteriana? I have looked at this photo several times and can't find anything that would lead me to any scientific determination. What makes me most curious is the lack of division in any of these fronds. None I can see have begun to pinnate. Almost every seedling I've ever seen looked just like this and in Florida I used to see many species.
I have been involved with the breeding and selling of Howeas for over fourty years. I know one when I see one.
I do not doubt your credentials. I would simply like to know the characteristics that define this plant at this age.
Katsen, I've been doing some research this morning on Howea forsteriana. If your specimen turns out to be that species you will need a very big pot. According to information on the Missouri Botanical Gardens' TROPICOS website the species originated in Colombia, South America. It is now grown all over the tropical world. But it grows to be an enormous palm tree. You can type Howea forsteriana into Google images and do a search to see some photos. Be sure and put the name in quotes, "Howea forsteriana" or you will bring up all sorts of bad results.
thats brill thanks for all the info, going to go and ask google. Katsen