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Brahea sp. (Super Silver)

Silver Rock Palm

This plant is a most exciting and somewhat unlikely discovery from central Mexico, in a desert region that has a high number of endemic species. First thought to be a somewhat out-of-range population of B. nitida, because its leaf stalks are completely thornless, a key characteristic of that species, we quickly came to the conclusion that we must be dealing with something else, perhaps a palm species completely new to science. The palms grow in sparsely vegetated, dry, high altitude valleys around 1800 m (6000 ft.) and higher, where they are one of the dominant elements of the local vegetation. A green form of Brahea dulcis (with thorny leaf stalks!) is also commonly found in the same habitat. What sets this palm apart is foremost the incredible color of its leaves, an unreal, bright silvery white, easily as good as the best Brahea armata you have seen. As opposed to the fierce armament of other Brahea species, this plant has completely smooth leaf stalks, without a single thorn. Of botanical interest are also the very long, arching inflorescences that extend well beyond the leaves. The fruits are small and black when ripe. As for its horticultural future, we think this Brahea has great prospects and easily has enough potential to become as popular as Brahea armata is today. It is hardy to drought as well as to severe freezes and should be adaptable to a wide range of temperate climates. Due to its reasonable size it should find room in any garden.

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germination comments by our visitors
For general germination instructions click here.

Also see plant cultivation comments below.

Seeds from this species ...

... are difficult to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Seed put in enclosed container in damp ordinary seed mix. After 4 weeks 5% germination, but just as much if not more rotting. Have changed mix to one of 80% perlite to see if that helps. Temperatures and light levels well down on those of 2006 in U.K. So this hasn't helped. Perhaps a presoak in fungicide would be benificial for this species.
Submitted on 28/07/2007 by Gary Fisher garyfisher_sigi@tiscali.co.uk

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Very easy the germination!! They germinate in 1 month I dipped 100 seeds in the water for 3 days. Soon after I put in a bag Ziplock, with coconut fiber. I sealed the bag and I maintained in hot place of the house.I was super frightened with the germination, that happened. I didn't have loss none, I obtained total success. Thank you. Tobi, your seeds are the maximum!! Best wishes Ronaldo
Submitted on 28/05/2007 by Ronaldo M. Almeida plantaverde@terra.com.br

... are difficult to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Very thin seedcoat,soak for 24hrs maximum or rot is likely to occur.Squeeze sphagnum almost dry and add washed perlite and a handfull of almost dry peat (enough to coat the wet seed and extract extra moisture) into zippy sandwich bag.Temperature in grow chamber 25-35deg celcius.Use atomiser to spray one or two squirts every few days to very gradually increase moisture levels.If too wet guaranteed to rot.These are a true desert species and the driest germinating palm seed I have experienced.Sporadic germination!
Submitted on 01/12/2006 by one of our visitors

... are easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
received my seeds on 06/12/06. Soaked seeds in warm water for 36 hours, changing water daily. After 36 hours, mixed seeds in a baggy with a moist sand/crushed oyster shell (used for chickens)/potting soil mix. Baggy/seeds were kept on my covered/shaded back porch where day time temperatures were usually in the 90s F and the night time temperatures were in the 70s or 80s F (it stays hot here in the summer). On 09/08/06 my first seed germinated and has a distinctly pink plumule.
Submitted on 09/09/2006 by Einar Hephzibah, Ga8a pwalden8@comcast.net

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

Plants from this species ...

In Melbourne in Australia they need very little care and grow normal.
Tried potted seedlings in greenhouse and outside over winter.The seedlings in the greenhouse were very slow growing and seemed to suffer from lack of air movement.The seedlings outside flourished over winter and were visibly stronger.Several frosts occurred and low temps at night to around 0deg C have not affected plant health.This Brahea is easy to grow in a temperate climate!Seedlings are green gradually changing to mature leaf colour with time and exposure to higher light intensities.
Submitted on 28/09/2007 by Scott Cumberland scott.cumberland@visionstream.com.au

... are of excellent ornamental value
In Melbourne in Australia they need little care and grow normal.
Seedlings of this palm seem to require wet/dry regime with lots of air movement. Preferably water from bottom up then allow to nearly dry out before rewatering. Potted plants in greenhouse slow, pale, stressed. Potted plants outdoors under shadecloth Melbourne, Australia are deep green and growing strong. Seedlings respond well 300 mm deep pot with well drained slightly calcerous growing media. No stress shown from constant mild frosts or winter rain. So far this plant seems to have excellent prospects for a mediterranean climate! No coastal exposure in my area. Temperature range from -1 to 44 deg/C. Protect seed and seedlings from rodents.
Submitted on 02/07/2007 by Scott Cumberland scott.cumberland@visionstream.com.au

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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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