First PRA of 2014

Moose

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10/09/09
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Randy (palmisland) has been promised a visit for awhile. Mike Harris (waykoolplantz) planned a visit for Jan. 1st 2014.Traffic would be superlight we figured that morning. He are some pre-dawn shots of the Moose loading plants to bring north. I know they are crotons and this is a palm thread, there will be plenty of palms to follow. These are 6 crotons for Ricky to be forwarded to the ongoing Palm Beach Zoo Project.
 

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Twenty three miles later I'm at a red light .25 miles from the Mike Harris Estate. While waiting I took a couple of photos. How appropriate that Mike lives on Palm Ave. Sun is trying to rise, it looks pretty darn cloudy. Oh the light is green, gotta go ...
 

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Pulling up to the Mike Harris Estate gate at 7:28 am., I realized that I have never been on time when visiting. Not wanting to end my streak, I stopped to take a couple of shots of the entrance. The house has no view of the gate so Mike would have to be sitting at his desk and looking at the monitor to see me. I waited until 7:31 am to push the button - so I could be officially late. :rolleyes:

Its so palmy already with lots of colorful crotons.
 

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After greeting Mike on the side porch. He announced that the schedule needed to be altered. 1st, our PRA co-conspirator Jeff Searle had called saying that he got to bed way too late. Jeff apologized - he was too tired to join us. 2nd - the bagel shop did not open until 8:00 am since it was New Years Day morning. What was a Moose supposed to do ? - he got out the camera ...

Here are a couple of palm beds under the stately oaks.
 

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Not really sure what this palm is. The newly open red leaf certainly caught one's eye. It is nestled beneath a massive oak, only receiving morning sun. It stays heavily shaded after midday.
 

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Here is a rare palm by South Florida standards, Cocos nucifera cv. Macapuno. This tall variety from the Phillipines produces nuts with "meat" which is reportedly "soft and sweet like ice cream". I may recall that this was a very sought after palm by body builders and serious weight trainers about 15+ years ago. It is suppose to be chock full of natural amino acids that are difficult to come by.

This is only one of two that I know of in South Florida. There have to be some others out there but I have seen quite a few collections over the past 22+ years.
 

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Here is a Tahina spectabilis planted very near the edge of Mike's .5 acre pond. It appears to relish all that water its roots have access to.
 

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Here is a Cryrtostachys renda. This shot was from across the pond by my cheap camera, sorry for the lackluster image. This palm suffered during the 2010 winter. It took the knock down but has recovered very nicely. Having its feet wet and the warm micro clime created by the pond may have been the key to its survival.
 

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Not very often to see such rare beauties planted near each other. Tahina spectabilis foreground, Cocos nucifera cv. Macapuno background. :cool:
 

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And a couple of Beccariophoenix sp. 'Windows". Look at those spathes that should be opening come Spring. :cool:
 

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This is Beccariophoenix sp. 'Coastal Form". Is this what is now called Beccariophoenix madagascariensis instead of the sp. 'Windows' ?
 

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It was now time for the feeding of the fishes. Mike's Koi are pretty smart. They could hear our voices and they began staging themselves for the soon to follow feast. The water was as smooth as a mirror, reflecting images of the mass of palms planted along its eastern edge.
 

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Ron, great pics and love the commentary. But before you go any further, you gotta tell me what a PRA is. Inquiring minds want to know. I was checking out the post on the French Palm Society visit a while back and was intrigued by Mike's place. It is now on my list of gardens to visit someday.
 
The bedlam got more intense. A bunch more photos were taken but only the splashes were visible, no fishys could be seen, so I deleted them. Directly across from our position is a huge Raphia possibly farinifera, not truly certain.
 

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Mike wanted to see if his alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) would make an appearance. This is the largest (weight wise) of the fresh water turtles. The ones found in South Florida, especially in the Everglades, I do not believe get as large as in other areas of the South East United States. Due to habitat loss and the collection for the pet trade - this species has been classified as threatened since 2006. Multiple shots were taken but my auto focus kept missing his surfacing. Plus he likes to hang out under the dock. Only shot I got worth posting. Wish I could have done better - it was a beautiful specimen.
 

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Another although stretched Corypha utan. Situated amongst Talipots and four towering Roystonia (possibly oleracea) - this utan continues to grow but is slowed from all the intense shade. Waiting for the Talipots to bloom - then boom, it will rocket with the sun exposure.
 

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This shot was taken from the dock looking west towards the house over the expanse of lawn. The plantings have encroached over the years into Mike's lawn areas. This area will remain clear so that the view from the porch remains unobstructed.
 

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Oh, looky looky - we have found some Metroxylon vitense seeds. Both palms are currently seeding.
 

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It getting near 8:00 am, Bagel shop will be opening soon. Got to get this PRA mobile. Here is the parting shot. Rare and definitely one of the slowest if not the slowest of any palm, Copernicia cowellii. It been two years since I last checked it out. It has gotten bigger and looks like it has recently opened a new leaf. :D
 

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Its 8:43 am, Mike's cell phone rings. "Where are you guys?" - 500 yards from the guard house of Randy's gated community. Phase II of the First PRA of 2014 is about to ensue. We hit the drive way at 8:45 am.
 

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Ron, Looks like it was a great day down that way for a PRA. Thanks for the photos of a great looking garden and palms.
 
My first priority was to check on this palm, Dypsis onilahensis. This has proved to be a hard grow for many in South Florida. Randy seems to have found a solution. Plant it very high in a mound. The coloring on the trunk and crown shaft is spectacular. It appears that Randy is cultivating the "weepy leaf" form.

After this photo post, the thread will be inactive with additional photos for a bit. Still have 89 more photos to configure.
 

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My first reaction was that this palm was some form of Chambeyronia. Now looking at the photos, I am uncertain. That sure is a robust looking crown shaft with some funky looking glacous powder on it. Got to defer to Randy for the proper ID.
 

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My first reaction was that this palm was some form of Chambeyronia. Now looking at the photos, I am uncertain. That sure is a robust looking crown shaft with some funky looking glacous powder on it. Got to defer to Randy for the proper ID.
Ron, is it a Kentiopsis? What is a PRA?
 
Immaculate is the only way to describe Randy's garden.
Balancing a palm and croton collection...worthy of any botanical garden..with the needs of open space for people and doggie is something remarkable. Add to that it's in a gated community with a HOA makes the result even more impressive.
 
This is a difficult grow in Florida. Randy seems to have the knack for cultivating this Burrentiokentia vieillardii. There is also a Burrentiokentia koghiensis elsewhere in the garden. I don't recall him pointing it out. There may not be a photo of that one.
 

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Here is another lovely Dypsis onilahensis found in Randy's courtyard. What are those strange growths emerging out of the trunks ? :rolleyes:
 

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Here are a couple of shots of Randy's spa with a beautiful Satakentia liukiuensis towering over it. It does not seem to mind being situated in that large planter. The cascading water was very soothing.
 

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