Two Distinctive Palms

by Alan Collins

Sabal pasaballmetto
We purchased this palm in a 8" pot in 1979, it is a native of S.E .USA and has successfully grown to over 6 metres in a corner of our backyard.  At any one time the tree has about 18 mature green leaves and retains probably half this number in dead leaves.  These spent leaves eventualy snap off about 2/3 along the petiole leaving a criss cross pattern of stubs.  These stubs remain on the trunk which are attractive and do not detract from the general appearance.  The leaves are distinctive with the petioles extending well into th leaf which has a twisted look.  A heavy crop of fruit is born on long petioles among the large leaves.

Orania appendiculataorania
This palm in our garden was purchased in 1979 in a 10" pot.  It is situaed in a most unfortunate position in very poor soil and receives nowhere near the amount of water to grow successfully.  Inthe 30 years this palm had developed a base of about 40cm and not yet formed a trunk, all of the leaves therefore coming from ground level.  These palms are found in rainforests of tropical Queensland growing close to creeks, it is not abundant.  We spotted this palm in the mountainous areas in the Atherton Tablelands during the societies trip in that area in 1998.  These palms are slow growing and have a stout trunk and can attain a height of 12m and bear feather like leaves up to 4m.

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