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Pic of the Day - Butia capitata

Butia has an imposing presence in the landscape. Who doesn't love palms?  They evoke images of exotic beaches and hidden oases and even a single specimen in a warm temperate garden can create a tropical feel.  For sheer presence, few hardy palms can compete with Butia capitata.  Long, pinnate fronds are silvery blue and sit atop a slow forming but very thick trunk.  Like all moderately hardy palms, winter protection when young is the key to their survivability.  Once they put on some size they are generally hardy at least in warmer areas.  We've been growing this plant for many years and moved it with no issues 5 years ago into a prominent spot in our Xeric Garden. Butia capitata appreciates the very well-drained soils and bright sun which mimic the areas where it grows in South America.  The fruit of jelly palm is bright gold-orange and deliciously sweet with hints of other tropical fruit.

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Pic of the Day - Sabal palmetto (Bald Head Island, NC form)

This specimen was 2' tall when planted in 2008. Sabal palmetto ranges from Florida to southeastern North Carolina.  It is the main trunked palm of the southeast US and the state tree of South Carolina.  This form is from the northernmost native stand of palmettos on Bald Head Island off the coast of Wilmington, NC.  It has proven to be one of the hardiest selections available, surviving to 6 F (-14 C) once established with no problem.  It can grow to 35'-40' tall over time with a stout trunk and folded (costapalmate) fronds.  This plant enjoys a sunny, well-drained spot.  Transplanting palms can be confusing with some surviving easilyand others dying immediately.  Sabal palmetto and some other palms will only transplant well as field or garden grown plants if they are mature - generally about 10' of clear trunk with fronds cut off for Sabal palmetto.  Palmetto roots die back when cut and will not grow new roots unless the plant is mature.  Large transplanted specimens should be kept well hydrated and fronds trimmed back until new roots grow.  For most gardeners, small (3g for best survivability) container grown plants are probably the best option.  Make sure to avoid cultivating around the base of palmettos too much as this will cut the roots.

Sabal palmetto (Bald Head Island form) in the foreground with Butia capitata in the back.