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Pritchardia hillebrandii (Huelo Blue)

Huelo Isle Blue Palm

Everything about this palm is simply spectacular, its habitat, its color and its rarity. It is found only on the tops of two inaccessible, stack-like, rock islets off the northern coast of the Hawaiian island of Molokai, where it probably survives because the islets are free of rats and mice. Even though the population here has been determined to be P. hillebrandii, there is considerable discussion about this as the plants show a number of significant differences from P. hillebrandii elsewhere, such as their heavier, thicker, bluish leaf, longer, upright flower stalks and oblong rather than round seeds. The Huelo Blue cultivar is not to be confused with the so-called P. hillebrandii "Dwarf Blue" that has been widely offered for many years and is not all that blue but rather slightly glaucous at best. Huelo Blue was started with seeds from the bluest Huelo islet plants that then underwent a rigorous selection for only the best, bluest leaf color. Only these were used to propagate further and eventually produce the seeds offered here. Seedlings will be green at first, then gradually turn glaucous as they attain a few years of age. At this point, their much thicker leaf texture is also easily observed. While we know that mature plants will show the full effect of the spectacular coloration, the onset of it can vary considerably in individual plants, i.e. some will turn blue after only a few years while others may take 10 years or more. Light, exposure and soil likely play a role in this as well. Also, not all plants produced from these seeds may come up blue, but a high percentage will. Although patience will be required with this plant, it is the hottest new introduction in palms since the Silver Bismarckia. It will do well nearly anywhere in warm temperate areas as well as in the tropics and can take direct coastal exposure, some drought and light freezes. Besides the Silver Bismarckia it is the only blue palm really suitable for the tropics but can take more coastal exposure as well as having a much more manageable size.
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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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