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Borassus aethiopum

African Palmyra Palm

Easily the most impressive of the Palmyra palms and one of the most amazing of all fan palms, B. aethiopum grows a massive, smooth trunk to over 30 m (100 ft.) tall and swollen in the middle, topped by a large crown of enormous, grayish green leaves. The seeds are the size of small coconuts, three to a fibrous fruit, which is apparently popular with elephants. When germinated, the seed quickly produces a long taproot (technically the cotyledonary stalk) to anchor the base of the plant deep in the ground. If they cannot be planted in their permanent position, very tall pots are required. Young plants are slow growing but highly attractive, with black leafbases and coarse, black thorns along the margins of the leafstalk. Although a typical palm of the dry African savanna, where it is sometimes found in large stands, it is highly adaptable and will succeed beautifully even in the wet tropics. A superb palm for any tropical garden that can afford the space the palm requires to develop.

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germination comments by our visitors
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Also see plant cultivation comments below.

Seeds from this species ...

... are average to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
Soaking the seeds seem to speed up the germinating process. I place the seeds in a galoon pot in a shady spot. With regular waterings and kept moist, the seeds should germinate in no time. The Borassus seeds are average to germinate, but once they germinate you have to pay close attention to them... The first root that emerges from the seeds grows very large. Germinating in a deep pot would be the best way to germinate the Borassus seeds without disturbing the root system once it starts to grow.
Submitted on 09/01/2008 by Tyler Sharpe TyTy1581@aol.com

... are easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
They are very easy to germinate the only problem is that when they germinate they give a long root and only then they give what is going to be a palm (buried in the earth), they where not in a deep container so then I had to take it all out and put them at soil level whith the seed attached, then they are slow but steady unfortunatly they are not very cold tolerant and they died after one winter. Mediterranean climate USDA zone 9
Submitted on 16/04/2007 by joao capelo bidwilli@hotmail.com

... are easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
All borassus species need deep pot because of the deep root and they need to be fresh to germinate, they are easy to grow.
Submitted on 15/12/2006 by Vida Sopheap vidasopheap

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
Also see germination commnets above.

Plants from this species ...

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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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