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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - October 01, 2009

From: Los Gatos, CA
Region: California
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Growth on miniature palm in Los Gatos. CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I think that my miniature palm is infested with some sort of bug or fungus. Last night it looked fine but this morning there was a large bright yellow fuzzy looking growth on the trunk. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER:

We have two problems with answering this question. The first is, we really don't know much about plant disease. The second problem is we can't figure out what palm this is. There are a number of palms referred to as "miniature palms," but not in our Native Plant Database. The closest we could come is Sabal minor (dwarf palmetto) which, while native to North America, is not native to California.We also found these websites on Rhapis excelsa (variegated miniature fan palm) BackyardGardeners.com and Trachycarpus wagnerianus (miniature Chusan palm tree), both native to China. 

Ordinarily, when someone asks us about a possibly diseased plant, we refer them to their local County Extension Office. However, we doubt they would be prepared to offer any help on miniature palm disease. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the care, use and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown. There are obviously so many hybridizations of the various palms that we are pretty sure that whatever you have is out of our range of expertise. We would suggest you go to a commercial outlet that specializes in these plants, and ask them for information.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Sabal minor

 

 

 

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