Ptychosperma elegans

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Figure 1. P. elegans

Contents

Synonymy:

Seaforthia elegans

Common Names:

Solitaire Palm

Distribution & Habitat:

Tropical rainforest throughout northern Australia.

Description:

This is a single, slender, grey trunked palm to 10m. It carries a small head of semi-erect leaves, each pinnae notched in the typical Ptychosperma fashion, and produces bright red fruits.


Figure 2. P. elegans trunk detail

General:

Solitaires are produced in the thousands by nurseries in the south as indoor or patio palms. Given a shady spot, they grow slim and elegant, holding a crown of dark green leaves above a green crownshaft. Irrigation, fertilizer and mulch are necessary. No garden would be without the odd corner to accommodate a specimen or two. Not used very much in public plantings, but popular locally (Northern Territory) as a tub palm. Becoming very popular with landscapers because the leaves aren't as big and hard to deal with as the widely used Archontophoenix alexandrae.

Cultivation:

The small red fruit are quickly cleaned and the ridged seed put in shallow trays, where most will germinate in three months. Standard horticultural practice will produce a 1.5m specimen in 2 years, ready to plant in a semi-shaded position. They do equally well in sun or shade, but extremes of heat or dry wind will scorch even the most well watered mature specimen.

Figure 3. P. elegans - leaves and inflorescence.


Contributed by:

Alan White (Text - from Palms & Cycads No. 20 July-Sept 1988)
[[flrec.ifas.ufl.eduHortPalmspalmproductionpalmproduction.htm" University of Florida-IFAS (Figure 1&2)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, JSTOR, Trebrown, ATRP

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk