March 17
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Plant Species of the genus Bismarckia

Information about this genus
Name: Bismarckia
Cultivation: CULTIVATION: Bismarckia has been widely grown in palm collections in the tropics and subtropics. It does best in a climate with a distinct dry season, but will survive in somewhat cooler and moister regions if planted in a hot sunny position. Under good conditions it makes quite fast growth if watered well in summer. Propagation is only from fresh seed with the flesh stripped off; germination takes up to 2 months and requires a container at least 12 in (30 cm) deep to accommodate the downward-growing cotyledon, from the tip of which the growing shoot turns upward.
Description: A palm genus of a single species, Bismarckia is endemic to Madagascar, where it is fairly common in dry grasslands of the central plateau. It is a fairly large fan palm allied to the African doum palms (Hyphaene). It has a solitary, stout trunk topped by a crown of large fronds, which are roughly circular in outline and divided to about half their depth into stiffly radiating segments. Male and female flowers are produced on separate trees on elongated panicles among the frond bases. The tiny male flowers are crowded onto curving crimson spikes that radiate from the panicle branches, the female flowers are less conspicuous and on sparser yellowish spikes. Fruit are about date-sized with a single large seed enclosed in rather dry flesh. German botanists named Bismarckia in 1881 in honor of their famous Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, much to the chagrin of the French botanists who dominated study of Madagascar?s flora. They saw Bismarck as France?s arch-enemy, and so the French then insisted it should be included in the North African genus Medemia.

Specie Vernacular Zone
Bismarckia nobilis 10-12

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