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The Coco-De-Mer in Cultivation

Naturevolume 43page19 (1890) | Download Citation



WITH only one exception, the palms of the Seychelles have long since proved amenable to cultivation in our tropical plant-houses. The genera Stevensonia, Verschaffeltia, Roscheria, Latania, Dictyo-sperma, Acanthophænix, Hyophorbe, and Chrysalido-carpus, which are peculiar to this small group of islands, and which rank amongst the noblest of a noble family, are all well known in European collections of palms, their cultivation presenting no more difficulty than that of tropical plants generally. The coco-de-mer or double cocoa-nut (Lodoicea seychellarum) has, however, so far proved unmanageable under artificial treatment, notwithstanding that many attempts have been made to establish it at Kew and elsewhere. So long ago as the year 1827, Sir William Hooker published a series of figures and a description of the coco-de-mer in the Botanical Magazine, and recorded the arrival of living nuts of it at Kew, where, he says, “we cannot doubt of soon seeing them flourishing in our stoves.” But they failed to grow, and although dozens of nuts have since been tried at Kew, not one ever got beyond the first stage of germination.

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  1. Royal Gardens, Kew



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