January 29, 2009

Talipot Mania

talipot palm at FairchildTalipot Palm. Photo courtesy of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens

I found a great website detailing the blooming of a Talipot Palm on a private property near Fairchild: Talipot Miami. One of them, named Andi by its owners, is in full bloom right now.

Talipots are native to India, Sri Lanka and Southern China. They command a curious place in the palm world. They are monocarpic, which means they flower only once then die. They are among the largest palms and its inflorescence (flower cluster) one of the largest, capable of producing millions of cream colored flowers in a massive display of life. They reach 50 to 60 feet and its trunk girth is impressive.

They are indeed majestic trees.

If you recall, the Talipot palm located near the fruit pavilion at Fairchild was taken down last year after it bloomed and died. There are several others in the garden, but I believe they are nowhere near dying stage. Learn more about the collection at the palm guide.

I've seen a few other Talipots in their relatively young stage on some properties in South Miami and Coconut Grove. I thought it would be a good idea to catalog them. I believe there may still be a Talipot that Fairchild collected at the Kampong. If you see a Talipot or know of a location where one is planted, let me know!

And speaking of palms, Fairchild's new director, Dr. Carl Lewis, has coauthored a book entitled Genera Palmerum: The Evolution and Classification of Palms. He is one of the world's best known authorities on palms and has been on staff at Fairchild since 2000, when he began his postdoctoral research. Dr. Lewis replaces Dr. Mike Maunder, who left to become Director of Horticulture and Landscapes at the Al Ain Wildlife Park in Abu Dhabi.

On an unrelated note: mango trees are blooming like crazy all over the place. Take note of their pretty red blooms!

No comments: