Black crowned night heron, Lindo Lake © Robert Sommers 2020

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Las Palmas, Burma yard
I have been on a mad tear of late planting palms, cycads and succulents. Hard to drive by a mom and pop nursery without stopping.

Today I bought a dioon edule and a livistonia decipiens from Bill Earley.

The dioon edule or chestnut dioon is also known as the palm of the virgin and comes from Mexico. It is supposed to be very hardy, especially the rio verde cultivar. The plant I bought has a beautiful blueish color. Here is a picture of a gorgeous one I found on the internet. Dioon means double egged and these unusual plants have two ovules.

My friend Bruce has a major collection of cycads, plants that were here on earth before the dinosaur, when the good lord was still a young child. Bruce says that there is a saying in the business, we don't buy green bananas. Which translates to, no time to wait, buy them big. Some of his prize specimens are over 60 years old. I am not a rich guy so I guess I will have to buy them small and wait. But it is a marvel to see the incredible plants he has amassed.

There is a major palm and cycad nursery in Encinitas called Jungle Music. I had to pick up a painting from a client today and stopped by afterwards. Quite a selection, very helpful. Will have to stop by again soon.

Doug has a great collection as well, actually there are many great palm and cycad collections here in Southern California including the famous Dr. Mardi Darian collection in Vista. Darian is a vet who found a lot of rare plants doing field research in Madagascar early on.

Livingstonia decipiens
I have grown palms for a long time but because I live in an atypically cold microclime, have to stay away from some of the more sexy stuff.

Even so, there are a plethora of palms that will do just fine here and it amazes me how many people resort to boring old queens and canaries.

The livistona decipiens is from Australia,  also known as a ribbon fan or weeping cabbage palm and is characterized by a frond that sort of droops over at the tip. Very pretty. The trunks get a lovely red color, at least my old friend Phil Morgan's did.

Bill Earley has three really nice palm yards in Fallbrook. He is vacating one yard and has some great deals on all sorts of palms and plants.

Brahea armata var. clara
He needs to meet you at the yard, which is behind a gate with a code but it will be worth it. Today I saw a beautiful specimen of Brahea Clara that I really want bad. One of the workers told me it was an armata but I knew it wasn't.

Bill and his Las Palmas Ranch can be reached at 760-726-7488 and by cell at 760-445-4990.  If you love palms you will want to check out his yards. You will not leave empty handed. His prices are so good you won't believe it.

Speaking of green, the ill fated lavender fields on East Mission have been scraped this week. Sad, sort of, somebody put in a lot of work, just didn't quite have it together. I swear all was going fine until they put the big Bill Horn for Supervisor sign up. Might have hexed the field. Will see what they try next.

No comments: