Thursday, May 28, 2009

Life cycle of a Sago palm

Like every other yard in coastal South Carolina my yard is full of Sago palms. They look pretty from a distance but for me the joy of the Sago palm is what's going on inside the fronds. When I walk around the yard, walking the dog, killing fire ant mounds, picking up toys - (it's just one fun thing after another here!) I always peek down inside the palms to see what's happening. I thought it was interesting yesterday that of the six palms in the yard, they were almost all at different stages of development. (They must not be female palms or their cycles would have synchronized by now - ba dum dum.)

So the first guy has nothing going on...just some dead leaves. Picture would probably look better if I had removed the dead leaves but the palm fronds are actually sharp and reaching down in there is dangerous - putting your hand in is like playing Operation but the sting isn't just mildly shocking it's incredibly painful.

The next guy has just the tiniest hint of the growing fronds. And still lots of dead leaves.

Then here you can see the frond buds (I don't really know what they're called, I'm just making this up) getting a little taller - they still just look like brown sticks though.

Now they are beginning to look like something, little green baby palm arms starting to unfurl.

But then there is this...WTH? I have lived in this house for four years. I don't remember ever having seen a giant green possibly alien blob growing inside my Sago palm. I'm going to be watching this carefully and when it hatches it better just be a baby palm - not a hybrid palm monster here to attack.

I'm going to get that question answered. Next week is the city's Tour of Gardens. Five master gardeners are opening up their gardens one a day for five days - see five gardens, five days - it's all so logical. And I am planning to tour them and peek inside all their Sago palms until I find an alien palm baby and then I'll ask aloud, "What the hell is that?" and see what the Master Gardener says probably accompanied by a little eye rolling and heavy sighing. And on the last day, the Master Gardener is in my neighborhood, just one street over. And so I am assuming their yard is going to very similar to my yard... lots of sand (did you see that bare sandy spot in the very first photo), all sorts of trees dropping tree debris constantly, totally invaded by ants and moles, ravaged nightly by deer, and just in general.. hard to work with. And if I like the Master Gardener who lives in my neighborhood, I'm going to take advantage of their "Rent a Master Gardener" program and drop $50 for a consultation. I'm VERY EXCITED! Probably by garden three or four "VERY EXCITED" will be replaced by depressed and hopeless - similar to my emotional roller coaster that is the Christmas Tour of Homes. Somehow I always resist actually leaving that tour and going home to set my house on fire so I'm sure I'll get through this too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, what did you find out? Mine is doing the same thing this year.