| Lytocaryum (ligh-toh-KAR-yuhm) |
Habitat and DistributionBrazil - São Paulo, on the Atlantic plateau. In southern Brazil, L.
Solitary, pinnate palm. Height up to 3.0m. The palm has a small stature, in rare cases, this palm can grow to 10 feet, with a trunk reaching a diameter of about 2". The leaves can eventually become about 90cm (35 inch) long and 22cm (9 inch) wide, the shiny, dark green fronds, which are divided into many pinnae (or leaflets) spread out from a very short thickened base. Each frond, carries on a petiole 20-30cm (8-12 inches) long, has a rachis covered with black scales. There are 20 to 30 slender pinnae on each side of the rachis 12 cm long, and these are evenly arranged – though not quite opposite one another – in herringbone fashion.. After flowering, it produces small edible fruits that resemble and taste like coconuts. Editing by edric.
Closely related to the coconut palm, but is much smaller and more cold tolerant, taking down to about 25 °F (−4 °C). This palm can be successfully grown in hardiness zone 9b. This palm should be grown in well draining soil that is constantly moist, but not soggy, as this can lead to lethal root rot. restricted to filtered light and humus-rich soil. Water moderately at all times, giving enough to make the mixture moist, allowing the top centimetre (0.4 inch) or so to dry out before watering again. When temperatures fall below 15°C (59°F), allow the top 2-3 cm (0.8-1 inch) of mixture to dry out between waterings.
Comments and Curiosities
Endemic to Brazil, where a total of four species are known. Palms once classified as Microcoelum are herein included; the genus is closely related to Syagrus, from which it is differentiated only by abundant tomentum, strongly versatile anthers, and slight epicarp, mesocarp, and endocarp differences. Both species are solitary trunked, closely ringed and retain leaf sheaths at the top of the stem. The trunks reach 7.5 cm in diameter to 3.5 m in height. The spherical leaf crown consists of numerous pinnate leaves to 90 cm long on hairy, 30 cm petioles. The pinnae are 12 cm long, closely and regularly arranged along the rachis, in the same plane, green on top with gray, glaucous undersides. The inflorescence is interfoliar and once branched, covered in brown hair, monoecious, (flowers of both sexes). The female flowers are twice as big as the male's, both with three sepals and three petals. The fruit is globose to ellipsoidal, pink to red, with one seed.
L. weddellianum is a commonly potted plant throughout Europe which may save it from extinction, but L. hoehnei is essentially unknown in cultivation. The former demands shade and rich, friable, quickly draining soil with some acidity; the latter would likely require the same if cultivated.
Formerly known as Microcoelum weddellianum or Cocos weddelliana, this small palm originates from high altitudes in Brazil's Coastal Cloud Forest. Now rare in the wild due not to 'over exploitation by seed collectors' as is popularly and routinely supposed, but by forest destruction that is eating up the tiny remaining areas where it clings to life. Just one more palm that may have to survive in cultivation if it is to survive at all. It is not the easiest of palms to cultivate but certainly unsurpassed for its beautiful, finely pinnate, arching leaves. Lytocaryum is suited to a wide range of climates from cool temperate to cool tropical and will tolerate light frosts. It grows best in a humus rich, acidic soil. (RPS.com)
Syagrus weddelliana (Lytocaryum weddellianum) N°1305+04+01, 3 types of growers 2 years old (2015-04-07) N°1305 slow grower (germinated 2013-04-07) with short leaves, showing tip of 8th leaf; 27 cm high. N°1304 normal grower (germinated 2013-04-07) with average leaves, showing tip of 8th leaf; 48 cm high. N°1301 fast grower (germinated 2013-04-01) with long leaves, showing already tip of 11th leaf; 80 cm high. The diameter of the clay-pots is 12 cm. Photo by Research Work Editor Pal Meir
Syagrus weddelliana (Lytocaryum weddellianum), 8∼10 months after germination, now all in 12 cm-pots Lytocaryum weddellianum: 4/12 = 33% of this batch had entire first eophylla and 6/12 = 50% perfectly pinnate first eophylla. – N°1300 IMG_7576. Pot nos.: Back: 7, 2, 8; middle: 5, 1, 4; front: 3, 6. Photo by Research Work Editor Pal Meir
Syagrus weddelliana (Lytocaryum weddellianum) N°1301∼03, 1¾ years (2015-01-05) since germination (2013-04-01) N°1301, 03, and 02 in 12 cm clay pots: The palms N°1301 and 02 are over 70 cm high, N°1301 shows already the tip of the 10th leaf. Cf. these 3 palms produced 5 new leaves in 2014. – This palm is endemic in the Estado do Rio de Janeiro of Brazil and seems to thrive today only in the Serra dos Órgãos and Serra da Estrela. Photo by Research Work Editor Pal Meir
Syagrus insignis vs S. weddelliana (Lytocaryum insigne vs L. weddellianum), 1 year since germination L. insigne N°1404, 03, and 02 in 8×8×9 cm plastic pots (2015-02-25), germinated on 2014-02-25/24/20 – L. weddellianum N°1301, 03, and 02 in 12 cm clay pots (2014-04-01), germinated on 2013-04-01 Photo by Research Work Editor Pal Meir
Syagrus weddelliana (Lytocaryum weddellianum), growth of seedlings (2013-07-31 to 2013-10-01) A 2013-10-01; B 2013-09-01; C 2013-07-31 – Growing L. weddellianum indoors on a north window-sill inside a kitchen in Germany (51.5° N), germinated in spring 2013. Pot nos.: Back: N°1302, 01, 06, 07, 08; front: N°1303, 04, 05. Photo by Research Work Editor Pal Meir
Syagrus weddelliana (Lytocaryum weddellianum) N°1301∼03, 3½ months (2013-07-17) since germination (2013-04-01) Lytocaryum weddellianum; above N°1302, 01; below 03. The diameter of the pots is 8 cm. 2013-03-20: Seeds received from rarepalmseeds.com; 2013-04-01: These first 3 seeds germinated. Photo by Research Work Editor Pal Meir
Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.
Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.
Special thanks to Palmweb.org, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.
Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).
Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.