| Pritchardia (pritch-AHR-dee-ah) |
Kuliouou valley. Photo by Colin Peters
Habitat and DistributionHawaii.
A solitary, medium sized, water-loving, moderately slow growing palm. Not known in cultivation, endangered in the wild. It has a smooth, grey-brown trunk, 7 m. (23 ft.) tall, 23 cm. (9 inch) diameter with persistent leaf-bases and spaced ring leaf scars, and large partially segmented, palmate (fan) leaves, 0.75 m. (2.5 ft.) long, 0.75 m. (2.5 ft.) wide, green above and, greyish green beneath. Inflorescences 5-8, interfoliar, ascending to nearly spreading and ca. equaling subtending leaf and to 1.3 m long in flower, arching to pendulous and greatly exceeding the subtending leaf and to 2.8 m long in fruit. Fruits green 40 x 35 mm, ovoid-oblong, eventually likely turning dark brown to black. Editing by edric.
Pritchardia bakeri can tolerate close to freezing conditions. But low temperatures are best avoided. This species naturally occurs on islands in moist low montane forest, and is heavily effected by the surrounding sea temperatures, which are constant and often form sea mist and cloud. In this type of natural environment temperature fluctuations are slight, and this palm prefers a constantly mild climate with little temperature difference between day & night, and Summer & Winter. Under extreme cold conditions we recommend you keep this palm as dry as possible, and well wrapped up. Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a. (Phil Markey)
Pritchardia bakeri is an easy to grow palm but not often available for the landscape. Pritchardia bakeri 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 bolth 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. Micronutrient deficiencies are occasional problems. If it doesn't get enough Mn and Fe (Iron), the leaves take on a rather unhealthy yellow colour. Micronutrient 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)
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.
A new species segregated out from Pritchardia martii as having exceptionally long infructescences.
Stiff leaves, glossy green adaxially, silvery gray abaxially. Infructescences greatly exceeding the leaves; characterize Pritchardia bakeri.
"One of the small bakeri washed down the landslide this past storm. It is gone. It was only two feet tall but was very, very old." (Colin Peters 9/11/2016)
Pritchardia's in Hawaii's Loa ridge area Honolulu, Oahu, HI. "Top of Hawaii Loa ridge heading towards Niu and Kuliouou valleys. Saw quite a few at the top trail, some in groups some single. Saw none with ripe fruit. On a couple there were fruit stalks beyond the leafs, could be P.bakeri, but I think there is a mixture of both P. Martii and bakeri in the area. Here is one with long stalks. On a vertical cliff, in fact many were, but a few were basically just off the trail." Photo by Colin Peters
- Glossary of Palm Terms
- MODERN BOTANICAL LATIN
- "Just To Be Clear"
- Raymond F. Baker (1945-2010)
- Christine Bacon Studies Rare Palms in Hawaii.
- Dr. Christine Bacon Studies Rare Palms in Hawaii
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.