Calyptrocalyx overview

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According to Uhl & Dransfield in Genera Palmarum the genus Calyptrocalyx comprises about 38 species, one in the Moluccas, the remainder in New Guinea. They are solitary or more often clustering, small to moderate, undergrowth palms of the primary rainforest. Occurring at elevations from sea level to about l,000m in mountains usually on montaine slopes with well drained soils, more rarely along streams or sometimes gregarious in swampy or poorly drained areas.

This genus over the last couple of years has given an expectation of something new and exciting to palm growers. Species such as C. hollrungii have been around for many years, but now species like C. albertsianus, C. polyphyllus, C. mara, C. spp. Sanumb, C. spp. Brriau (and the list goes on) are some of the new and exciting discoveries.

At the moment over 25 species have been named, and they include fine, split or entire leaf forms, and both trunked and trunkless forms. One even has a very mottled leaf, however seeds of this species are very hard to obtain. All of these palms have enormous potential for ornamental horticulture. C. albertsianus, which is one of the few single trunk species, grows to 8 - 10 metres tall, likes shade to filtered sunlight when young, but will grow through the canopy above. This means the species, one of the few, will tolerate full sun when large. Most of the others require shade to filtered sun, and do not do well in windy places.

They respond to mulch, a well balanced fertilizer with trace elements, and being kept moist and wet. Their greatest asset is their new red leaf, which can vary from bronze to orange to red to blood red to maroon, and the colour can last up to 3/4 weeks. The new red leaf on the entire leaf species such as C. spp Mara and C. pauciflorus are extremely attractive.

Because of the colour of the new red leaf the new Calyptrocalyx species has been much sought after at garden shows and expo displays. These species are a must in anybody's collection, and as for the ordinary garden, they will be a highlight and a conversation piece for a long time.

I have two large areas of C. albertsianus and C. polyphyllus at my nursery, and when they produce their new red leaf at the same time, they are an absolute picture, quite spectacular.


Contributed by:

Morrie Spina

External Links:

[http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Calyptrocalyx+overview %22&num=10&sa=Google+Search Google], [http://images.google.com/images?q=%22Calyptrocalyx+overview %22&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search Google Images], [http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Calyptrocalyx+overview

Flickr], 

[http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Calyptrocalyx+overview %22%20site:http://forum.pacsoa.org.au/&sa=Google+Search PACSOA Forums], [http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Calyptrocalyx+overview %22%20site:http://www.palmtalk.org/&sa=Google+Search PalmTalk]