Tropicals forum: Busy weekend of planting

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Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Nov 27, 2011 8:29 AM CST
I'd moved in loads of new soil which I've mostly spread out now. So with the rains we've been getting it seemed like a good time to start planting. There were lots of plants accumulated, as they tend to do, just from buying what looked great at the time but no time or room to plant out just yet. Some of them have been sitting in odd corners the past couple of years or more and looking a bit neglected. So with my garden area enlarged, armed with a shovel, fertiliser (slow release and monsoon tablets) I set out at first light.

Seeing that my main garden is a rainforest setting one of the priorities was to get trees in to extend the canopy. There's already a good canopy from the existing garden so shade loving plants can go in there. The new trees will take several years to add their bit.

Here's a list of the plants, first lot are the trees.

Sterculia quadrifida
Syzigium suborbiculare
Allosyncarpia ternata
Buchanania arborescens
Phaleria clerodendron
Bauhinia sp.
Michelia (Magnolia) alba
Gardenia Vietnam
Adonidia merrillii "Golden"
Socratea exorrhiza
Calyptrocalyx spicatus
NOID palm
Bowenia spectabilis
Lepidozamia hopei


Sterculia quadrifida is called Peanut Tree because of the edible small peanut sized nuts it produces. It can grow into a good sized tree with spreading canopy.
Thumb of 2011-11-27/tropicbreeze/a6c9bd

Syzigium suborbiculare, common name Red Bush Apple, is not at all related to apples. Even the similar looking fruit is totally different in taste, texture and internal structure. But it can also grow to a decent sized spreading tree with dark green glossy leaves. The large white flowers are very attractive too.
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Allosyncarpia ternata, common name Allosyncarpia, grows to a much larger size. It gets covered with small white highly fragrant flowers.
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Buchanania arborescens, grows as a medium tree along watercourses and produces a small black edible fruit.
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Phaleria clerodendron, a small tree producing flowers and small inedible fruit along the trunk. I saw one fruiting in the botanical gardens in Cairns and some of the fruit accidentally fell into my pocket. So I now have 2 seedlings.
Forgot to get a photo of this one.

Bauhinia sp. Not sure which species, it's the one often called Orchid Tree, and produces a lot of seed. It grows into a medium tree. These are multiple seedlings but I'll thin them back to one later.
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Michelia (Magnolia) alba. Called White Champaca, this variety has white flowers with the most exquisite fragrance. Even at its small size it flowered for me this last winter.
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Gardenia Vietnam. That's all that was on the label when I bought it. It has fared badly from the neglect but hopefully it'll come good now that it's in the ground.
(Forgot to get photos.)

These are the palms.

Adonidia merrillii "Golden", Christmas Palm, was given to me by a friend who is really into palms. I already had the common 'green' one.
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Socratea exorrhiza, Walking Palm. If it doesn't like where it is it just moves. The trunk is always above the ground so it stands on its roots. It grows more roots on the side where it wants to go and the roots on the other side wither and break away. Just hope mine don't decide to walk off up the road.
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Calyptrocalyx spicatus, was also given to me by the same friend. Didn't realise it grows so big. I may have it too shaded, so might have to move.
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A NOID given to me again by the same friend. She told me the name but I've forgotten it.
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Some Cycads.

Bowenia spectabilis, one of my favourite Cycads. I've got a whole lot from seeds I planted last year so now it's time to plant them out. They're a rainforest species and should look great when they get a bit larger,
Thumb of 2011-11-27/tropicbreeze/904127

Lepidozamia hopei is another rainforest Cycad. It can grow up to about 20 metres tall, not that I'm likely to still be around to enjoy it. These are also from seed planted last year. While they're at planting out size, there's still about 15 that haven't shown any sign of wanting to germinate.
Thumb of 2011-11-27/tropicbreeze/f19bed

They're all still a bit small, but as they say, "From little things big things grow".
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 1:26 AM (+)]
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Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
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extranjera
Nov 27, 2011 4:57 PM CST
Fabulous collection. Some of them I have never seen, most of the Australian natives, and some are familiar here. The Bauhinia monandra and Bauhinia variegata have naturalized here and are often seen in people's gardens as well as growing wild out in the countryside.

The scent of Michelia alba is one of my favorites. I've been looking for one here that I can grow in a large pot on my bedroom terrace. I need to get back on that search. It's a heavenly smell and they seem to bloom most of the year.

The walking palm is really interesting. Plants are so amazing in their adaptations, I've never seen that one.

Plants grow rapidly in the tropics, it will be fun to watch these develop.

A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Nov 28, 2011 4:30 AM CST
Thanks Jonna. The advantage of including a large number of natives is that they're right for the climate and readily available. I've been going back through my old photos and have dug out some shots of these plants and their flowers, etc.

This is the flower of Syzigium suborbiculare
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Flowers of Allosyncarpia ternata
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Flower of the Bauhinia, the same tree as I got the seeds from for my plants.
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I'll post some more when I locate other photos.
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 1:26 AM (+)]
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Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
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extranjera
Nov 28, 2011 2:05 PM CST
The Allosyncarpia ternata is a nice looking tree, the leaves look almost like eucalyptus in the pictures I googled. I like the look and that the flowers are scented is a big plus.

That Bauhinia looks close to the pink type that are here, the white is the more common here.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Nov 29, 2011 6:36 AM CST
The Allosyncarpia gets to be a huge tree, over 30 metres. Although, I'm not expecting that out of mine in my lifetime.

Flowers of the Gardenia, sometimes 6 petals, sometimes 7. Seems strange for that to happen on the same plant.

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The Michelia flower isn't very impressive but the fragrance is outstanding.
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[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 1:27 AM (+)]
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Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
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extranjera
Nov 29, 2011 11:51 AM CST
I'm now back to searching for a Michelia. I found the Michelia champaca in seeds from a nursery here in Mexico. http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.mx/MLM-72558366-10-semillas...

I don't know if it would take forever for it to get to blooming size or whether it would do all right in a pot - I don't have garden room for it. I've never smelled the champaca, is it as strong a scent?

BTW, the prices are in Mexican pesos and $50p would be about $3.50 US at current rates. I would also have to pay a little more than that for shipping.

A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Nov 30, 2011 9:09 AM CST
Jonna, I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but the ones grown from seed are the common yellow which don't have the fragrance. Before getting mine I did a lot of (internet) research on it. The white is propagated by marcotting (or air layering). Hence the price difference between the white and yellow plants (here it's about 10 to 15 times more for the white). I had strong misgivings as I handed over the money for mine. But it flowered very soon after and lived up to expectations. So I'm happy but have my fingers crossed for the planting out in the ground. Be sure you're getting exactly what you want. I was told the white doesn't set seed whereas the yellow seeds freely.

(Red) Fruit on the trunk of Phaleria clerodendron. Couldn't get a photo of the whole tree as it was intermingled with dense vegetation.
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Bowenia spectabilis. They usually only have up to 3 leaves at a time which can get up to 2 metres tall. These photos are in habitat and show only a single leaf.
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A cultivated B. spectabilis.
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Lepidozamia hopei in the botanic gardens in Cairns. I don't have any photos of any tall ones.
Thumb of 2011-11-30/tropicbreeze/ac28c8 Thumb of 2011-11-30/tropicbreeze/e56054
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 1:27 AM (+)]
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Nov 30, 2011 12:23 PM CST
Zig: What an amazing selection of plants! Many of those I've never heard of ... they sure are great looking plants. I love that one called Bowenia spectabilis, what a beautiful plant! I don't grow Bauhinia but there's a variety that grows here in Florida and they sure are pretty when in bloom!

The noid in your 10th photo down looks a lot like a cycad that grows here called Zamia integrifolia:
Thumb of 2011-11-30/plantladylin/27f37d

I really like that Michelia alba bloom. I have a small Michelia figo (commonly called "Banana Shrub" here) and the fragrance of the blooms is really wonderful! It's become one of my favorite shrubs. I rarely see them for sale at garden centers this far north in the state and I wish I had thought to purchase more than one a couple of years ago when I saw them available! Thumb of 2011-11-30/plantladylin/1377e9 Thumb of 2011-11-30/plantladylin/e0a5b0
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
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extranjera
Nov 30, 2011 9:34 PM CST
Thanks for that info Zig. I'll just keep looking for the real thing.

I loved that tree with the red fruit growing from the trunk, very distinctive. We have a native tree here, Crescentia cujete, that grows almost basketball sized fruit right on the trunk. It's not edible but used like a gourd to make bowls and decorations.

A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Dec 5, 2011 4:10 AM CST
Lin thanks. The Bowenia is one of my favourites. I love finding them out in the wild, they're fantastic looking. Can't wait for mine to get a bit of size. I got about 25 seed from a friend and had rapid 100% germination. Unfortunately growth after that isn't so fast. There's Zamia integrifolia sold here in the nurseries. I don't have one yet, but they look quite good. The plant 10th photo down does have a very cycad looking frond, but it is a palm. I'll have to ask my friend its name and put a label on it. I read a bit about Michelia figo when researching Michelia alba.

Jonna, believe me, the real thing is worth the effort. Because mine is growing pretty fast I'm going to try some marcotting, grow up a forest of them, LOL. Imagine the fragrance from that!

Another planting from that weekend, although not a real "planting". I just put a pot with Hoya macgillivrayi up against a tree so it could climb up.

Thumb of 2011-12-05/tropicbreeze/08a1fd
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 1:28 AM (+)]
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Dec 5, 2011 6:31 AM CST
Zig: I enjoy seeing photograph's of your garden, it's really lovely and you have such a variety of plants. How pretty that Hoya macgillivrayi will be as it matures and continues to grow up that tree. What's the Aroid growing to the left of the hoya?
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Dec 10, 2011 5:19 AM CST
Lin, I still have those 2 Cubits articles on my garden from last wet season:

http://cubits.org/Jungle/articles/view/819/

http://cubits.org/Jungle/articles/view/872/

I was thinking of doing another one this current wet season but it would mostly be repetition, same old plants. Have to think of something else.

The aroid in the last photo is Philodendron lacerum. I used to have a huge one on a coconut. But a couple of wet seasons ago lightning struck the garden killing 6 coconuts, frying the Philodendron and generally wiping out a few other plants. Now I've got lots of smaller P. lacerum in different parts of the garden, as insurance against further lightning strikes.

This is the same plant (minus the Hoya mac) taken about a year ago. It's grown more since then.
Thumb of 2011-12-10/tropicbreeze/cb0e1b
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 1:28 AM (+)]
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Dec 10, 2011 12:59 PM CST
Zig: Wow, that Philodendron lacerum is gorgeous! Sorry about the lightning strikes killing the coconut palms ... we have the problem here with lightning striking pine trees. That was a good idea to plant numerous P. lacerum around your garden as insurance against future strikes. Thanks for the links to your two articles at Cubits. I haven't had much time to visit cubits recently but I certainly want to check out your lovely plants!

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Dec 12, 2011 10:10 PM CST
That P. lacerum is more than twice that height now and with the wet season full on it's rocketing up the tree. I've got a couple more that are right up in the tree tops but they're having a full on battle with Syngonium. Nothing outgrows Syngonium so you only see bits of the Philo sticking out of the dense mass of Syngonium leaves up the trees.

This has been my last weekend before heading south for a family Christmas. So I was flat out planting again to take advantage of the rains while away. Nothing beats rain water for making plants grow.

Phoenicophorium borsigianum, otherwise known as Thief Palm. The trunk and the backs of the leaves are covered in spines, presumeably making it thief-proof.
Thumb of 2011-12-13/tropicbreeze/19de74

More Hoyas set to grow up a tree. These I got as cuttings from out bush. The one you can see I suspect is H. australis, probably sanae. Inside the pot and barely visible is probably H. pottsii.
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An Epipremnum, also as a cutting from out bush. Not sure which species.
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Chamaedorea deckeriana, only grows to about 2 metres tall but has new emerging leaves a nice bronze colour.
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A small Diffenbachia, they don't take long to get big.
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A Costas I also got as a cutting from out bush.
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Maniltoa lenticellata, Handkerchief Tree. New foliage comes out in a flush of drooping white leaves looking just like handkerchiefs.
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Another native tree, Carallia brachiata, common names include Freshwater Mangrove, Billabong Tree. Has small edible red friuts during the wet season.
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A Philodendron I bought about a year ago. The leaf stems are furry. It was darker when first bought but seems that keeping it in heavy shade has made it grow a paler green.
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One of a number of small flowering shrubs I got for sunny spots. Can't remember the name.
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This shrub was labelled Tropical Foxglove. It came in 3 colours, I got all 3.
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Another of the NOID sunny shrubs.
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This one I remember being called Brazilian Button Flower. It seems more of a ground cover than a bush.
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This Chambeyronia macrocarpa hookeri (there were 2 actually) has been sitting neglected in a pot about 3 or 4 years. It's called Blond Flame Thrower because of the blond stem and the bright red new fronds it puts up. The fronds turn dark green after a couple of weeks.
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Part of a big clump of Caladiums I divided up and planted out.
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When I get get home in a few weeks time, just after the New Year, they should all be settled in and growing. Although still hot and humid, the day after planting it was overcast and rain came in the afternoon. I went for a swim in my dam during the rain.
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 1:29 AM (+)]
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Dec 13, 2011 8:41 AM CST

Moderator

As busy as the holidays are at this time, I look forward to seeing your photos each morning. It's cold and dreary here now. All our tropicals are either potted up or sleeping underground. You have so many plants I've never seen before. So, I take my cup of coffee and sit down for a few minutes to see what's new i your garden!
Hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family. Will look forward to more photos when you return.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Dec 13, 2011 12:08 PM CST
We are having lovely weather here in central Florida, sunny today with mild temperatures @ 78ºF days and mid 50's at night. We had a lot of rain yesterday and the day before which was well needed as we were below normal for rainfall. This is our normal dry season so it was an unexpected surprise to receive over an inch of rain!

I love Zig's Garden ... and since we can't take an in-person tour, this is the next best thing! As great as everything looks in photograph's I can only imagine what it looks like in person!

Safe journey and Merry Christmas to you and your family Zig!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Dec 14, 2011 7:34 AM CST
Your garden is beautiful.
I am enjoying the photos so much since we are deep in winter here.
Thank you for posting the pics of the plants---none of which I know.
They are completely different from what we grow here!
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo) (Zone 10b)
Leap. The net will appear.
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AlohaHoya
Dec 14, 2011 11:46 AM CST
Zig....great article!!! I have the Michelia (now Magnolia, I believe...did it change back, again?) champaca...and it is really really fragrant!!!! Hmmmmm, wonder if they have the name wrong here? We call it PakLan....
It's all about choices.

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Dec 15, 2011 6:12 PM CST
Thanks everyone, and a Merry Christmas to you and your families and loved ones, and all the best for the New Year.

Sandi, I like this time of year because for us it's the wet season and gardens look their best. Last wet season I published those 2 articles on my garden in Cubits. This time I'm putting together an article on the Flecker Botanic Gardens in Cairns. Carol Noel (AlohaHoya) would know they're great, I'm sure she would have visited them when she was over here.

Lin, I saw on some other web forums the prediction for Florida was above average winter temperatures. Give you a bit of respite after the past 2 winters. That's the thing with averages, when you get some below there must be some above to compensate.

Caroline, I'm sure at Calgary there's quite a lot of plants you grow that won't grow here. That's what makes it all the more interesting, the variations we have and can enjoy for what they are.

Carol, it's still Magnolia (to my knowledge) but I put in both names because there's still a lot of references around under the name Michelia. It comes from South East Asia and is used extensively as a perfume. Often it's used as floating flowers in a bowl. They even use the flowers to make a tea. The name Pak Lan is apparently from a Chinese dialect meaning white orchid.

From afar (via internet) I've been watching the weather up my way and there's been a reasonable amount of rain. So I'm confident my new plantings will be going well. Before I left the Sterculia (Peanut Tree) and the Buchanania had already put on a big burst of growth.
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 1:30 AM (+)]
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