Growth of ornamental palms, Phoenix and Washingtonia, as epiphytes on suburban street trees in Albury, NSW, Australia

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Abstract

Palms are ubiquitous as landscaping plants in many urban areas. Dispersed by frugivorous birds and often tolerated as self-seeded plants by the property owners, Phoenix canariensis (Canary Islands date palms) and two species of fan palms (Washingtonia robusta and Washingtonia filifera) in particular, have become established in many urban spaces. This paper examines the establishment of such self-seeded palms as epiphytic growth in crooks
and branch scars of suburban street trees. Given the limited nutrient availability and the restricted space for rootmass development, these palms undergo a natural bonsai process. Some palms have persisted for over a decade without
reaching sexual maturity. While the epiphytic growth demonstrates the palms’ further dispersal capability, it does not appear to increase their potential invasiveness into new areas of land.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-119
Number of pages8
JournalCunninghamia
Volume19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Grant Number

  • Phoenix canariensis
  • Wahingtonia robusta
  • dispersal
  • marginal environments
  • frugivory

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