Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Raphic Australis

I've just come back from a trip to St Lucia so decided to cover the following palm in my blog today. I guess it is a misnomer to call it the Raphia Australis since it does not actually occur in Australia.

Common names: Kosi Palm, Southern Rafia

Native to swampy areas of Mozambique and South Africa, this immense palm has a broad, single trunk and a dense crown of large, erect, pinnate leaves. The large flower head produces scaly brown fruits and the three unfortunatley dies after the seeding cycle. It adapts well to subtropical and tropical climates. The seeds should be soaked prior to sowing to enhance germination, which is erratic and can take up to 6 months.