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Basselinia tomentosa

Native to the remote island of New Caledonia in the Southwest Pacific, home of so many rare and unique palms, this striking species represents one of the most sought-after of all palms. Aside from a few seedlings in enthusiasts' collections in New Caledonia, this palm, like most Basselinia, has not yet been introduced into cultivation and we are very proud to be able to offer fresh and viable seeds. Basselinia tomentosa is a tall palm with a solitary, ringed trunk up to 25 cm (10 in.) in diameter and reaching up to 20 m (66 ft.) in height, making it the largest of the Basselinia. The compact crown consists of up to ten ascending and slightly arching leaves. The stiff leaflets are inserted at an angle so that the leaf appears V-shaped in cross section. The leaflets are wide, regularly arranged, and closely spaced, which, together with the nearly absent leaf stalk, gives the crown a very compact and neat featherduster appearance. The leafbases form a prominent purple or gray crownshaft up to 1 m (3 ft.) long. It is closely related and very similar in appearance to the equally sought-after B. humboldtiana and B. porphyrea. B. tomentosa grows only on the tops of two mountains in southern New Caledonia at an altitude of around 1000 m (3300 ft.) and consequently is one of the more cool-tolerant New Caledonian palms. It will thrive in cool tropical, subtropical, and some warm temperate climates.

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germination comments by our visitors
For general germination instructions click here.

Also see plant cultivation comments below.

Seeds from this species ...

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I obtained excellent germination using no special 'tricks'. Just a ziplock bag with a 50/50 mix of perlite/peat, on bottom heat at 75 F. Seven out of ten have sprouted in about eight few weeks, and these appear to be strong growing plants. The first leaf is small, short, thin, simple, stiff and pointed.
Submitted by Mike Vitkievicz covinapalms@aol.com

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
Also see germination commnets above.

Plants from this species ...

... are of excellent ornamental value
In Carambeí-PR Second tableland 1030 m alt in Brazil they need average care and grow normal.
The seeds germinated easily in slightly humid vermiculite with some peat at +- 20°C. The germinated seed were planted in acid clayish loam. They are now at the third to fourth bifid leave. I added some copper sulphate to the ground,since this metal is abundant in some soils in habitat. They are growing in pots below dense canopy. They saw night frost this winter with temperatures of -3°C and looks pristine one month later. It certaily has some cold hardiness!
Submitted on 03/07/2011 by Alberto Leonardo Barkema

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by writing a plant cultivation comment about how to cultivate the plants of this species. Click here!

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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