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Aquatic Palms 6/6
Phoenix roebelenii is a miniature date palm from Laos, SW
China and Vietnam
(http://www.palms.org/principes/1994/pf9410.JPG). It is
frequently available as a house and garden palm, growing
very well in both tropical and sunny Mediterranean type
The interesting aspect of this palm is that in its native
homeland it grows a clustering rheophyte, and has been
observed actually growing in rivers (ref. Principes Oct.
1994). I have completely submerged seedlings in my garden
pond during the summer. Surprisingly not only do they
survive but also grow albeit at a slower rate than usual.
The seedlings are grass like. Pinnate foliage appears after
a few years in cultivation.
Funnily most experts tell us to avoid 'wet feet' in this
palm, which leads to root rot. This is true, but only for
plants grown indoors in cold, low light conditions. My
plants grow happily partly submerged in my outdoor pond all
Last month I tried a new experiment; I placed three seeds on
the substrate of a fully planted aquarium in the front near
the current from the filter outlet. Three weeks later two
germinated! The embryos are growing at what I think is a
normal rate for palms i.e. slow! I still have to see what
happens when they get to leaf and root formation.
This is definitely the palm any 'Aquarium Tree Grower'
should try first.
I hope someone out there was interested in my palms series.
(At least I have'nt received any nasty comments. (yet)). For
any who were, have a look at http://www.palms.org/.
I would like to hear from anyone who has successfully grown
or seen palms in an aquatic environment.
BTW Congratulations again to the TAG staff. I've just
received the Nov issue. They keep getting better and better.
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