| Pritchardia (pritch-AHR-dee-ah) |
Galápagos, Archipiélago del Ecuador. Photo by Dr. Ana Mireya Guerrero G.
Habitat and DistributionHawaii. Wet forest in the Kohala Mountains, northern and eastern slopes of Mauna Kea,
To 15 m tall; proximal margins of petiole with moderate fibers; leaf blade slightly undulate to nearly flat, divided 2/5-1/2, abaxial surface incompleteiy covered with scattered iepidia, segment tips stiff; inflorescences composed of 1-3 panicles, equaling or exceeding petioles in flower, exceeding petioles but shorter than leaf blades in fruit, panicles branched to 2 orders, rachiUae permanently clothed with dense, reddish brown, cottony or woolly indumentum; fruits 35-55 x 30-40 mm, globose to ellipsoid. (iucn.org) Editing by edric.
Pritchardia lanigera is distinguished by its leaf blades incompletely covered abaxially with lepidia, inflorescences equaling or exceeding the petioles in flower and exceeding the petioles but shorter than the leaf blades in fruit, and the rachillae permanently clothed in cottony to woolly indumentum. It is similar to P. woodii but the latter differs in its rachillae clothed with felt-like rather than cottony or woolly indumentum. Although Beccari (1890) and Beccari and Rock (1921) stated that Lydgate collected the type, photographs at FI of the destroyed holotype at B show it to have only Hillebrand's name on it. Lydgate frequently collected for or with Hillebrand, though, and it is likely that Hillebrand, who sent his original set of specimens to B, would have put his own name on specimens even if Lydgate had collected them. (iucn.org)
Pritchardia lanigera is an easy to grow palm but not often available for the landscape. Pritchardia lanigera vary in shape. Specimens raised in dry and/or infertile soils tend to be smaller in stature with smaller leaves. Light also affects the plant's form while those grown in full sun are more compact. This palm prefers a sunny, well drained, and moist location. Growth rate: It is a slow growing, short stocky palm. Soil: It likes organic soil, but is adaptable to clay and loam both slightly alkaline and acidic. Good drainage is also important. Fertilization: Need a perfect fertilizer diet including all micro nutrients and trace elements or slow release fertilizer. Micro-nutrient deficiencies are occasional problems. If it doesn't get enough Mn and Fe (Iron), the leaves take on a rather unhealthy yellow colour. Micro-nutrient deficiencies only show up on soil with a high pH. Fertilize often for faster growth. Water Requirements: Needs regular water, do not let dry out between waterings. however it does not want to sit in continually wet, mucky soil. The roots and lower trunk can rot if soil is kept too moist. Light: Prefers full sun but will tolerate half day sun. Hardiness: It is adapted to tropical and subtropical climates, young plants are more cold sensitive. Maintenance: Remove dead fronds and spent fruiting stalks for a clean landscape appearance. Fronds can be left on the palm to form a skirt for natural settings. Palms recycle nutrients from dead or dying fronds and use them for healthier fronds. Palms only have a set number of new leaves that can sprout and grow per year and removing fronds will not increase that number. If you cut off more than what will grow annually, you could be left with a pretty bare and bald palm. Pest & Disease: Mealybugs and whiteflies underneath the leaves can present problems at times if not kept in check. A generous spray of water can wash them off. Ornamental: It is cultivated as an ornamental tree, and planted in gardens and parks in tropical and sub-tropical climates either as a single specimen or in groups. Culture in containers is possible although growth rates are slower. A bright patio will provide an excellent environment for young specimens which can eventually be planted in a sunny location. (llifle.com)
"Apply a complete palm fertilizer with minor elements as directed on label. Be certain that sufficient magnesium and potassium is present in the fertilizer component. This is especially critical for loulus in pots. Magnesium and potassium deficiencies are two of the most serious nutritional disorders in palms. The deficiencies are characterized by bright yellowing (chlorotic) on leaf edges or streaking or the entire fronds yellowing. This can be difficult to reverse. Applications of Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate (MgSO4), is good but does not last and is usually washed out of the soil in rainy periods. There are some very good slow release fertilizer spikes made for especially for palms on the market which contain a good balance of minor elements with magnesium and potassium. Potted or younger loulu planted in the ground appreciate a foliar feeding of kelp or fish emulsion and Epsom salt monthly or bi-monthly. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi." (Encyclopedia of Life curator Dr. David Eickhoff)
Loulu are prone to leaf rollers, red spider mites and sugar cane borers. Rats will eat its fruit. (Encyclopedia of Life curator Dr. David Eickhoff)
Comments and Curiosities
Etymology: Pritchardia name is dedicated to William Thomas Pritchard (1829-1907), British official stationed in Fiji in the 19th Century, British counsul in Fiji, adventurer, and author of Polynesian Reminiscences in 1866. The epithet (species name) honors Dr. John Mortimer Lydgate Besides having been a minister, plantation manager, journalist, surveyor and historian, as well as the namesake of Kaua‘i’s Lydgate Park, Dr. Lydgate was also an outstanding amateur botanist. See external link "The Expedtion".
Conservation: Endangered. Subpopulations are in decline and there is limited regeneration. Habitat degradation caused by pigs is the major threat to the species. (IUCN Redlist 1998.)
"From the Big Island of Hawaii, this skinny trunked palm with overly large 4' leaves grows up to maybe 20' in it's native island. It is a very slow palm, though and doubtful it will get that tall here in So Cal, where it is pretty rare. The dark green leaves are split about 1/3 their length and the tips are irregularly pendant. The leaves are nearly semicircular." (Geoff Stein)
"Pritchardia lanigera has its habitats in the wet f0rest of the Kohala Mountains, the northern and eastern slopes of Mauna Kea, and the southern slopes of Mauna Loa. This species grows at elevations of 1600 to 5000 feet. The stems attain a height of 50 feet. The petioles are covered with felt, from which the Latin epithet lanigera is derived. It means “wool-bearing”. The species sports large leaves which are 4 or more feet wide, perfectly semi-circular, emerald green and supported by long, stout petioles. The segments are short and stiff in new leaves, turning pendent at the apices with age." (Bill Chang)
- Glossary of Palm Terms
- MODERN BOTANICAL LATIN
- "Just To Be Clear"
- "The Expedition"
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.