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Actinokentia divaricata (Watermelon)

Even though one of the more commonly seen palms in New Caledonia, where it is found in rainforests at low and high elevations to 1100 m (3600 ft.), mostly in the southern half of the island, Actinokentia is definitely rare in cultivation, mainly because of the lack of seeds for propagation. It is slow but not difficult to grow and will adapt to most tropical and many warm temperate climates. It is a smallish palm with a slender, solitary, smooth trunk. A reddish crownshaft holds a sparse crown of pinnate leaves which are stunning dark red when unfolding. The showy fruits mature through yellowish to a dull purple. The "Watermelon" form is known only from a small, recently discovered population and displays a very attractively mottled crownshaft.

 
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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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