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Retrophyllum minus (= R. minor)

Corkwood Tree, “Bois Bouchon”

Astounding, that’s what botanists say when they see Retrophyllum minor in habitat. A true water dweller, it grows on ultramafic soils just off the banks of streams in southern New Caledonia, where it is endangered by mining activities. Young plants establish themselves between the reeds along the streams edge and as they grow and mature, they anchor themselves into the riverine silt. The plants rarely attain two meters in height and the trunks are distinctly swollen at the base. Retrophyllum minor seems to be a perfect tropical conifer for bonsai cultivation. The “needles” are very small and lanceolate and the trunk starts to swell even when juvenile plants are only a few years old. It can grow in water but also under normal nursery conditions in "dry" substrate. An incredible and extremely rare plant that we are very proud to offer.

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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 easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
A seed coat is removed first. It places on the damp ground, Moisture is maintained so that it may not get dry. Cool climate is suitable.
Submitted on 06/08/2012 by one of our visitors

... are easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
A seed removes an outer cover. good ground of drainage is used. coolly damp environment is maintained.
Submitted on 21/06/2012 by shadowz

... are average to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I had success with the following method with what appeared to be very fresh seeds:I planted the seeds as soon as I recieved them. After removing as much of the soft outer "fruit" as possible with my fingers, I soaked the seeds in water ~24 hr, exchanging the water once. I planted the seeds ~1 inch (2. 4 cm) deep in a peat/pumice based soil 1-2 seeds per 2X2 inch pot. I kept the soil moist and provided constant bottom heat set to 80 degrees F (26. 7 C). Six of ten seeds sprouted in ~1 month at which time I removed the heat and allowed the seedlings to grow at ambient temperature (~65 F, 18 C) in an east facing window. Three additional seeds germinated approximately 2-3 months later. Plants are good-looking and reminiscent of Taxus. I have moved on pot outside where temperatures have been colder (45-65 F in March in San Francisco, CA USA) and growth slowed significantly, but did not stop. Hope this can help someone.
Submitted on 27/06/2011 by Nathan Gushwa

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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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