Palm Nut Pages

Palm Nut Pages Newsletter

What's New

February, 2016  

In this issue
Impatiently waiting for Spring!
It has not been a cold winter or a warm winter here.  It has been consistently cool since the beginning of 2016 with warm days few and far between.  It has also been very cloudy and rainy for what is suppose to be our sunny, dry season.  I guess we have El Nino to thank for that.  I know I am, as well as my palms, eagerly awaiting some consistent warm weather and more sunshine!  

The International Palm Society Biennial will be coming up before too long.  It is being held in Singapore
Johannesteijsmannia perakensis at Singapore Botanic Gardens
and Malaysia, June 12 - 19 with a post trip to the Northern Territory of Australia.  The pre-tour to Sarawak sold out quickly. There is still plenty of room on the biennial and post tour but you need to register as soon as possible.  The registration deadline is fast approaching with registration ending February 29th!  For more information and to register, visit: 

I have been updating some old articles and writing some new ones.  A few have been added to the "Information" tab on the homepage.  More will be added over the coming months.  I hope you enjoy reading them.  

As always, check out our website,, often to see what we have been up to!

The little used palm, Allagoptera arenaria or seashore palm
A large specimen of Allagoptera arenaria
The aptly named seashore palm is a native of Brazil, where it grows in the coastal sand dunes along the beaches of Rio de Janeiro.  In this habitat, it is a short clustering palm to less than 6 feet and generally shorter.  In cultivation, it can grow much taller and even develop above ground stems given enough time.  The plumose leaves are dark green above and light silver underneath often giving the palm an overall silvery colorization from afar.

Allagoptera arenaria is relatively cold hardy tolerating short cold dips to 25 F (-4 C) easily.
 It is also extremely salt tolerant and can be used in coastal situations in open winds.  The heavily clustering habit of the seashore palm makes it an ideal screening plant as well as an extremely striking specimen in a sunny area of the landscape.  The seashore palm is also quite drought tolerant and is not fond of wet situations.

This is a palm that has been in cultivation for many years so why it has not been used more in gardens is baffling.  It is attractive, adapted to a wide range of conditions and is available from most palm specialty growers.  Its only fault lies with it being not that well known, so not considered as often as it should be when deciding on palms for the landscape.  Keep this palm in mind when you, or someone you know, is thinking about an addition to the garden.           

The diversity of Cuban palms 
Coccothrinax munizii growing on limestone rock in the dry desert-like of Eastern Cuba

Many of you know that I am working on a book of the Cuban palms.  It has been a challenge but now that I have a bit more time to devote to the project, it is progressing well.  

One thing that attracted me to Cuban palms is their amazing diversity and the number of taxa on an island equal to to the land area of Pennsylvania.  There are presently 98 taxa of palms in 16 genera.  Much work is needed on the Coccothrinax and Copernicia and some of that work is occurring now.  How this research will affect the number of taxa in the end is difficult to say, but some changes should start becoming published over the next couple of years.  

To understand why there is so much diversity in Cuba, one needs to look at the island itself.  Cuba, as well as Hispaniola and Jamaica, is made up of land that broke off the top of South America eons ago.  That alone helps explain why Copernicias can only be found in South America, Hispaniola and Cuba.  At one time there was a land bridge connecting Central America to Cuba, which helps explain the link of Sabal yapa. Pseudophoenix and Colpothrinax being found in both places.  Being located along a migratory path for birds, which can disperse seeds along the route, helps understanding the common ties of Roystonea, Sabal palmetto, Thrinax radiata, Acoelorrhaphe and Leucothrinax.  Going even further, it turns out Serenoa, which is only found in Florida, is a close relative of Copernicia and perhaps descended from it.  

Also helping with the diversity is the land itself.  Cuba is home to mountains up to 6000 ft. (1800 meters), lowland savannas, swamps and desert.  In each of these areas plants have evolved to become distinct species unique to Cuba.  The limestone rock of the mogote hills, the rich red clay found in savannas, and the unusual serpentine rock areas scattered throughout the island also helped create the unique plants found today in Cuba and no where else.           

Copernicia cowellii in its serpentine habitat
 While one can just learn all the palm species of Cuba, it is much more exciting to learn why they came to be and what forces of nature helped them evolve.  At times there can be a great deal of head scratching but usually an explanation of how a palm came to be can be figured out.  It can be quite enlightening for a crazy palm nut such as myself!;-)    

If you want to learn more about Cuban palms, I have posted a couple articles under the "Information" tab on the website.  If you are wondering when the book will be finished and available ...... all I can say is progress is slow and steady.  Research can take time and there is still the need of a trip or two more to Cuba to gather additional information.  Sometimes you just cannot rush a project to completion!;-)  

Home Decor


Kitchen wares

Outside Garden


Palm Products

and more

Final closeout sale on most remaining items in our online store!!! 
We are at the point where we only have a few items left in our online store and we are clearing out everything at below wholesale except my book (which is on sale too!)  Once these few items are gone, we will begin restocking with new, completely different items.  Check out these incredible deals!!!  Go to the 'online store' tab in the menu bar of our website, or simply click here: 

Palm Tree Note Cards Set of 5: $7.95
Single Palm Men's Shirt $31.95


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