Friday, April 1, 2011

Piccabeen Flowers

Archontophoenix cunninghamiana
Family: ARECACEAE
I am delighted that my Piccabeen is flowering at last.
I planted in it 1988, so it’s taken 23 years to reach this level of maturity. It’s had a hard life, in rather unforgiving dry soil. I imagine that a plant which had been better cared-for, with rich soil, water, and mulch, would have got to this point considerably sooner.
Each of the two spikes unwrapped itself, like a birthday present, from a spathe which was only revealed when an old leaf fell off the plant. Prior to that, it had been just a little pregnant bulge under the leaf’s petiole.






The flower spikes are pearly white (and gleam in the moonlight), and you can see how lovely the little purple buds and flowers look against the stem colour.







The buds open a few at a time, so the first spike, which appeared about six weeks ago, still has a lot of buds on it.

I am now hoping the flowers will be followed by a showy display of orange fruits.

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