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Phoenix roebelenii (Mekong)

Wild Pygmy Date Palm

For some reason not yet fully discovered, the wild, unhybridized form of Phoenix roebelenii has a much daintier appearance than the commonly cultivated form, with thin, heavily clustering trunks and very finely pinnate, wispy leaves. It is native to Southern China, Laos and Northern Vietnam, where it grows as a rheophyte along large rivers, being occasionally submerged during high water. Much of its main habitat, the banks of the Mekong river, will be completely destroyed over the next few years by the construction of eight dams that will flood large areas. This may be your last chance to aquire seeds of this beautiful wild form and save it from extinction.

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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 6 months to sprout.
After soaking for 24 hours the seeds were added to a moist mix of equal parts peat and vermiculite. This was put in a zip lock bag and left in a dark place at 26 Degrees C. The seeds took some time to start germinating but produced their first leaves quickly once germination began - even though the roots were only an inch or so long. Easy to germinate, but, as with many palms patience is the key.
Submitted on 06/08/2004 by Lucian Morris lucianmorris@hotmail.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I soaked the seeds in water for five days, and planted them in 50% perlite/50% vermiculite. Bottom heat of 90F was used. I had about 85% germination after 1 month. Now comes the tough part waiting for them to grow.
Submitted on 15/05/2004 by one of our visitors

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I used two different methods to germinate 30 seeds. Both methods produced the same results, nearly 100% germination.Used bottom heat of 85F and a soil mix of 50% perlite and 50%vermiculite for one method. The other I used same soil mix, but at ambient temperatures (85F daytime and 60F night). I also presoaked the seeds for 5 days. Kept the soil mix moderately damp, very easy to germinate.
Submitted on 22/04/2004 by Dan Cox dccox3@msn.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I got some of these seeds off of a plant in a hardware store. I soaked them for 4 days and put them in a baggy with 50% perlite, 50% sand and kept it moist. the temp. Was about 80 degrees. germination was within 18 days.
Submitted on 21/03/2004 by anton chuidian wutang8364@yahoo.com

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

Plants from this species ...

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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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