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"And the LORD God made ... trees that were pleasing to the eye ..." Gen. 2:9, New International Version.

"Bonsai isn't just something I do; it's part of what I am." Remark to my wife and daughter.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Flowering Palm

     A few years ago my daughter bought me a little pot of palms for my birthday. My intent at first was to create a forest planting with them; it would be unusual, I thought, but interesting. (I hoped, anyway.)

That idea had to be given up: unlike any other type of tree, a true palm can't be pruned without killing it. The tree has a single growing point (at the base of the leaf bundle) and cannot generate a new one. Cut off that one growing point and the whole plant dies.

So I decided to use them as accent plants and, as they get bigger, kusamono. The biggest one, tho, has almost outgrown kusamono status and will soon become a houseplant in the living room.

For a size reference, the bamboo support is just a bit thicker than a pencil.
The tree was recently repotted.
You may notice something else in the picture: a new flower spike is developing.   (If I understand correctly, most palms produce inflorescences, so that's probably what this should be called.)

Here's a closer look.

At this point the buds are not much bigger than pinheads.
This palm flowered for the first time at the end of 2014. The flowers are very small - dinner peas are larger -  and no fruit was produced. (I have reason to think this is a dioecious species, with each individual plant either male or female.)

But the colors more than made up for the size, in my opinion! 

By the time I thought to get a picture, more than half the blossoms had fallen. Taken January 2, 2015.
I'm looking forward to full flowering. It would be great if the tree were in bloom for the club's Fall Show in four weeks, but that remains to be seen. Whenever the flowers are mature, I'll be sure to post a few more pictures.

:-)  :-)  :-)

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