Who am I?


1. I am considered a native palms of Florida. However, due to my spines, you generally have a hard time finding me in most nurseries. Of all the native palms, I am the most cold resistant.




2. Everybody in Asia knows me by my black sheath of fibers surrounding my stems. Since my fruits are turned into sugar, I think dentists around the world should be responsible for my conservation. I mean, I'm good for their business, so why not?




3. Mon Dieu! My name is known in French as coco fesses (coconut buttock). How disrespectful! My seeds are the heaviest of all palm trees. Just might be the largest seed in the plant kingdom. Ok enough hints, you should be able to guess my name. For extra credit, tell me who was I named after. And was the French biologist who named me really looking to insult the king?



4. Beautiful things come in small packages. I am small understorey palm, indigenious to northern Guatemala and southern Belize. Unlike the other species in my genus, my leaves are not shiny, but almost a velvety texture.




5. My genus is the largest in the palm family, with 370 pinnate-leaved species. If you think of a palm as a stick in the ground, with some leaves on top, that's not us. Many in my genus climb trees, then go long distances from tree to tree. Any attempt by Tarzan to swing from us, would result in bloody hands.




6. I’m a very common indoor palm as I do well in shady conditions. Look closely at my tag, as it will read, “Of horticultural origin.” Say what? I was discovered in the 18th century, but only in the last three decades became popular as a house plant in the US. I come mainly from China and SE Asia. The other species in my genus are doing poorly in the wild, as the shoots are used as food and the fruits as medicine.




7. In my native habitat, I can grow up to 50 ft. It’s pretty incredible that it took until 1978 to be discovered in Australia. I am likely the only palm named after an Australian aborigine. Extra credit: Name the Province in Australia where I was discovered.




8. I can be found in rainforests from Nicaragua to south of Bolivia. I need good shade and plenty of moisture. I have " legs" which are long stilt roots. I am called the “Walking Palm” based on an unproven theory that I can fall down, grow more stilt roots and walk about. So, these stilts were made for walking and walking is what I’ll do… one of these days I going to walk all over you! (Apologies to Nancy Sinatra)




9. My scientific name is Dypsis lastelliana with a very distinct brown crownshaft is a popular palm in Florida. However, a very similar palm Dysis leptchielos is often sold under the same common name.(ref: Riffle and Craft, Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms). I demand justice! What is the common name?




10. Botanists are really mean folks, just trying to break up my happy family. My genus used to have as many as 279 species, but botanists have merciless split us up or re-assigned some of the species to other genera. My genus is most closely related to other spiny palms - Acromia, Aiphanes, Astrocaryum and Desmoncus. One of my species is used to make heart of palms, so humans can devour the palm crown in a salad. How terrible! So, what is my genus?




11. Boy, I hate my name. I was named after an engineer and in his early life, owned a lumber mill. Who would name a palm after a fellow that liked to cut up trees into timber? He became famous as a general in the Union Army during the Civil War, and is considered the founder of today’s Department of Transportation.




12. Man, I've got it all. I've got a big beautiful green crown shaft and grow very easily in South Florida. I usually make the list of top 10 palms that palm geeks want to own. Yet, I still suffer from name recognition because my common name is Aneityum palm. I was discovered on the Vanuatu island in 1987.




13. I've got a pretty red crownshaft, just like the sealing wax palm. The crownshaft in my species has different color variations, ranging from a bright shiny orange to a reddish orange or red.





14. Help! My owner doesn't understand me. He confuses me with Royal Palm, even though my natural habitat couldn't be further away. He thinks the cure to my frizzled yellow leaves is to simply cut them off. Obviously, this is plant cruelty. What I need is micronutrients, which includes boron, manganese, potassium and magnesium. So, who am I?




15. I love nothing better than to get wet, in warm estuaries and rivers in SE Asia. Scientists estimate I’ve been around for around 70 million years, based on fossil reports, so I’m one of the earliest surviving palms. My leaves are used for thatched roofs and my flower clusters can be made into an alcoholic drink called “tuba.”




16. Matchup game. Which common names go with scientific names? I don't care is not an option. (A) European fan palm (B) Betel palm (C) Everglades palm and (D) Solitary palm. Scientific names: 1. Acoelorrhaphe wrightii 2. Areca catechu 3. Chamaerops humilis and 4. Ptychosperma elegans.



17. I've been called stunning. My scientific name is Archontophoenix purpurea, and I come from northern Australia. I am in the same genus as the Alexander palm. What is my common name? Extra credit, what is the significance of this common name?






18. I am big and strong. Alkaline soil - no problem. Salt tolerant also. Super drought resistant. Homeowners need to be aware my leaves can span 20 ft across, My native origins are likely Northern Africa or the Middle East. All of my genus are dioecious, which means male and female flowers do not grow on the same palm. How many more clues do I need to give you? Ok, just one more. The fruits from my palm are available everywhere. Enough clues! Extra credi - name the common food uses of all the other palms listed below.




19. I am monocarpic, which means the last thing I do in life is produce offspring which are of course my fruits. In my case, it is a huge celebration, with a cream colored flower spike (inflorescence) shooting up like a huge Christmas tree, stemming from the very top of my palm, I'm certainly not the only monocarpic palm. My end of life blast off measured by the size of my inflorenscence is considered the largest of all palms. So, who am I and for extra credit, name at least 5 genera for whom all or some of their species are monocarpic.




20. Please stop admiring me. Yes, my unsegmented leaves are what draws your attention. I am cold tolerant and grow best in partial sun conditions. Careful not to expose me to full sun when I'm just a seedling. I am tolerant of Florida's alkaline soils as long as they are fast draining.






21. Yes, I am truly spectacular. They call me girasol or sunflower in my country of origin, Colombia. My name is Sabinaria magnifica and my seeds were first collected by Saul Hoyos, a Colombian botanist in 2013. But I guess everyone knows this. I can be found on the border of Colombia and what other South American country? Extra credit- scientists believe based on phytogeny, the Sabinaria is closely related (same tribe) as this genus. (Image from Ibguomeva - Own work - https://dx.doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.144.2.1, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30068413)






22. My full scientific name is Johannesteijmannia altifrons, but my good friends just call me Joey. I grow very slowly and need protection from the wind. How far out do you think my leaves can extend?





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