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Raphia ruwenzorica

Highland Raffia Palm

A moderate sized species native to the highlands of eastern Africa in Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and neighboring areas of the Dem. Rep. of Congo, where it is found in moist valley bottoms between 800 and 1200 m, sharing a habitat with the famous mountain gorillas. It forms a solitary trunk to 10 m tall, mostly covered in the persistent leafbases. The leafbases produce copious amounts of long, brown fibers. The lightly plumose, ascending to arching leaves are shorter than in most Raphia, forming a denser, more spreading crown, and consist of up to 150 broad leaflets that are dark green above and an attractive waxy white grey below. The short petioles as well as the leaf midrib are a brilliant yellowish orange color and are the highlight of this palm. It has one of the largest fruits in the genus, up to 13 cm long, covered in attractive, snakeskin-like scales. The Highland Raffia Palm is apparently unknown in cultivation outside of Africa so far but will surely grow well in many warm temperate and all tropical climates

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germination comments by our visitors
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Seeds from this species ...

... are very difficult to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
I bought 20 new seeds from RPS . I soak them all in warm water for 2 days and then laid them all in the pot with 5 inch deep. Put the pot into big white plastic bag for high temperature and humidity.The first seed sprouted after 6 months later.
Submitted on 12/03/2008 by Jakkrit Jakkrit_Mn@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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