Burretiokentia hapala

Burretiokentia hapala
Source: Gardenology.org

Burretiokentia hapala is a tall, slender palm from New Caledonia with a bright green ringed trunk and a beautiful crown of glossy green leaves.

It is easily recognizable by its bizarre, thick and bushy inflorescences.

This is one of the easiest to grow palms from New Caledonia which is doing very well in the garden up to USDA Zone 9 or indoors is a colder climate. It is one of the fastest growing palm trees from New Caledonia, but growth is still rather slow.

Description:

The pseudo-stem is very recognizable, up to 15 m high and a shiny green ringed trunk with a diameter of 15 cm. Adventitious roots may appear down the trunk. At the top of the trunk is a prominent crown shaft on top of which the leaves grow. This crown shaft is thicker than the trunk and smooth.

The foliage is glossy green, the leaves are pinnate, up to about 2.4 m long. There are about a dozen soft hairy leaves on a short petiole. The sheath is 60-100 cm long, olive green and covered with a brown to white tomentum.

The flowers (2-6) are scattered and pendant, covered with a thick, woolly whitish tomentum that turns brown with age.

The fruit is ovoid, 15 x 8-9 mm, purple when ripe.

Etymology:

The name Burretiokentia was given in honor of German botanist Karl Ewald Burret Maximilian (1883-1964) by combining his name with the generic name Kentia, named after William Kent (1779-1827), curator of the botanical gardens at Buitenzorg, Java,
Hapala is the Latin word for soft, referring to the soft hairy tomentum.

Origin:

New Caledonia

Habitat:

Dense and humid rainforest, often on slopes.



Hardiness:

USDA zone 9-11, -3. 8 °C. At this temperature serious plant damage occurs. It is better to overwinter the palm tree inside.

Care:

Soil:

Nutritious, humus-containing and draining soil.

Temperature:

Keep it preferably at at least 15 °C during winter.

Exposure:

Shade or partial shade.

Wind:

It is important to provide a place sheltered from wind.

Water:

As a seedling it must always remain moist. Larger plants are fairly drought resistant.

Fertilizer:

This is a slow grower, so give solid (grains) or organic fertilizer.

Repotting:

When the pot is too small for the roots.

Propagation:

Seed

Sowing instructions:

  • soak the seeds 1 day in water
  • plant in a light and moist substrate
  • cover the pot so that the moisture is retained
  • 25-30 °C
  • germination time: 2-4 months
  • keep the seedlings in the shade and always moist

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