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Hemithrinax ekmaniana (= Thrinax ekmaniana)

Jumagua Palm

Probably one of the rarest palms on the planet, this absolutely unique little treasure survives only on three small mogotes (heavily eroded karst limestone hills) in northern Cuba, where a small number of individuals cling to the steep cliffs, battered by high winds and rooting in the porous rock with almost no humus. The Jumagua Palm grows a slender trunk to only 5 cm (2 in.) in diameter which holds a perfectly spherical and very dense crown of stiff, spiky leaves that that have almost no stalks and therefore sit very close together. While it grows rather slow, requiring about 6 years until it starts forming a trunk, it is definitely well worth the wait for this outstanding miniature palm. It will do well in tropical and a number of warm temperate climates, given a position in full sun and a very well drained soil. It can also take considerable coastal exposure. With the exception of a handful of plants in botanical collections, this species has not yet been introduced into cultivation.

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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 ...

... are easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I purchased ten seeds From Tobias. After 3 months I've had five sprout. The first three had damping off issues. The problem was temperature related. I am germinating in the winter and did not keep sprouted seed warm enough, the next two that have sprouted are being subjected to warmer conditions. If they survive to emergance I will update. In summary; warm, not too wet, and otherwise rather easy to germinate.
Submitted on 10/01/2009 by Justin

... are difficult to germinate and need more than 1 year to sprout.
Planted 10 seeds in a mixture of sand and potting soil and kept moist and warm (70-90 F) for over a year. Wasn't sure if they were still viable but they seemed firm and moist so kept them in the pot. Finally after about 18 months 6 of the 10 sprouted. Now two years after sprouting each plant has about four strap like leaves and are about 6 inches tall. Need a lot of patience with this one.
Submitted on 11/07/2010 by Lonny

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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 coral gables in usa they need much care and grow slow.
The key to success with this palm is conditions. I have been growing them in south Fl and I also live near the coast, but the key is to have FAST drainging soils with intense sunlight. The hotter the better... Do Not Underestimate the amout of intensity this palm can withstand. I placed two palms in different conditions and there is direct evidence that it likes harsh conditions with very intense, bright sunlight to fulrish...yes, it is counter intuative to every other palm you have...
Submitted on 25/10/2013 by rush

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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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