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Aquatic Palms 1/6
Mangroves, Bald Cyprus in aquariums? Why not palms? Twenty years ago one of the first aquarium plants I bought for my new aquarium was a "miniature palm tree". I planted three in succession but none lasted for more than a month submerged. Later I saw a pot full of a similar looking palm seedlings at a garden center. I bought it with the intention of submerging the lot. I only submerged one, the rest got me hooked on to palm cultivation and collecting. At one point I had more than forty species, with a few hundred individuals. I germinated seeds like crazy in my home made incubator (heated by an aquarium heater), joined the International and European palm societies and finished up researching and writing about the local palms. But what about aquatic palms? Well they do exist. In 1992 Henk Beentje discovered a new Ravenea species in Madagascar (ref. Principes Oct 1993). He was surprised that the palm grew in the river itself and not on the banks like so many other palms. The trunks bend towards the center of the river and the round fruit fall from different heights into the water sounding different notes. Beentje aptly named the new species R. musicalis .
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