It's Easy to Enrol

Select a Learning Method

 

£325.00 Payment plans available.

Enable Javascript to automatically update prices.

Courses can be started at any time from anywhere in the world!

Palms & Cycads

Course CodeBHT233
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment
ONLINE STUDY PALMS AND CYCADS

Learn how to Grow and Use Palm and Cycad Plants

  • A correspondence course for the enthusiast or commercial grower.
  • Study anytime, at your own pace, from anywhere

Palms are a very important group of plants, primarily throughout the tropics, but also extending into cooler areas.

There are some palms which will even grow very well in temperate climates. There are palms growing successfully in cooler places throughout the world, including Tasmania, England, Canada and Cape Cod in the USA. Many palms however are not particularly hardy to the cold, and will be injured by temperatures approaching freezing point. In temperate climates, palms are also often grown as indoor plants.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
  2. Culture
  3. Propagation
  4. Selecting Suitable Palms and Cycads
  5. Pests and Diseases of Palms and Cycads
  6. Using Palms and Cycads
  7. Commercial Applications For Palms & Cycads
  8. Special Assignment

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Distinguish between the characteristics of different types of palms and cycads.
  • Determine general cultural practices, including propagation, for growing palms and cycads.
  • Choose palms and cycads to suit different climatic situations.
  • Determine treatments for palms and cycads suffering various health problems.
  • Specify appropriate landscape applications for palms and cycads.
  • Explain different commercial applications for palms and cycads.

Palms May be Grown Wider than you think

Palms and cycads look similar, but they are in fact very different. Cycads are a much more primitive plant which does not produce flowers, and is more closely related to a pine tree than a palm.

Palms are a very important group of plants, primarily throughout the tropics, but also extending into cooler areas. There are some palms which will even grow very well in temperate climates. There are palms growing successfully in cooler places throughout the world, including Tasmania, England, Canada and Cape Cod in the USA. Many palms however are not particularly hardy to the cold, and will be injured by temperatures approaching freezing point. In temperate climates, palms are also often grown as indoor plants.

One of the hardiest palms is the Needle Palm (Rhapidophyllum hystrix). Once established, it is reported hardy to temperatures as low as minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit. It does still like the heat of summer though.

Some other particularly hardy palms are:

  • Nannorrhops ritchiana - survives zero degrees F when established
  • Phoenix canariensis - mature specimens grow well in Sydney, Melbourne and parts of Tasmania.
  • Sabal minor - survives zero degrees F when established
  • Sabal palmetto (cabbage palm) - survives to 5 degrees F (maybe lower) when established
  • Trachycarpus fortunei (windmill palm) - are grown successfully in northern British Colombia (Canada)
  • Trachycarpus - several other species will survive low temperatures
  • Washingtonia filifera - there are mature specimens growing well in southern Victoria (Australia), where temperatures can drop below freezing.

What are Palms?

Two different names can be used Palmae (the older classification) or Arecaceae (the newer classification); the palm family is known by either or both of these; though many experts may insist only one is accurate, you should be aware of both as synonymous words.

The family has 210 genera and 2,780 species (Ref. Hortus)

Members of the Arecaceae (Palmae) family are ancient plants that date back to the Cretaceous period (85 million years ago). Most palms grow in rainforests (around 2/3rd of all species) as forest canopy plants, as intermediate plants living below the canopy and some live on the forest floor. Some very hardy species live in dry open Savannah grasslands (with permanent underground water) others live in mountain regions of the Himalayas and Afghanistan where they are covered with snow each winter.

Arecaceae plants are woody, perennial, monocotyledons, with either solitary trunks or a clumping growth habit. They mostly grow with erect, single trunks but some species are prostrate (growing along the ground for example Elaeis oleifera, Serenoa repens). Some have a leaning or creeping habit such as Chelyocarpus repens. Others such as Elaeis oleifera creep at the base becoming erect at the top. Some such as Serenoa repens are clumping but also usually prostrate; some are without trunks eg. Raphia regalis. Variations in trunk habit also occur within a genus or even a species.

They are all easily identified - the leaves appear in a distinctive crown of palmately or pinnately compound leaves with caryota being binnate. Leaves may be dense or few; large and long or short depending on the species. They have adventitious roots at the base. Much confusion occurs amongst amateurs identifying between cycads and palms.

Flowers are either unisexual or bisexual (produced on the same or separate plants). The flowers are usually individually small, but are often extremely showy en-masse. Sepals and petals usually occur with 3 in each whorl, but sometimes 2 and sometimes more than 3. Stamens are often 6, sometimes 3 but can be up to over 200 in a flower.

What are Cycads?

Cycads look like palms, but are in fact more primitive plants; that do not have flowers. Cycads in fact are more closely related to conifers, and produce seed in a cone, like a conifer.



Meet some of our academics

Bob JamesHorticulturalist, Agriculturalist, Environmental consultant, Businessman and Professional Writer. Over 40 years in industry, Bob has held a wide variety of senior positions in both government and private enterprise. Bob has a Dip. Animal Husb, B.App.Sc., Grad.Dip.Mgt, PDC
Gavin ColeB.Sc., Cert.Garden Design. Landscape Designer, Operations Manager, Consultant, Garden Writer. He was operations manager for a highly reputable British Landscape firm (The Chelsea Gardener) before starting up his own landscaping firm. He spent three years working in our Gold Coast office, as a tutor and writer for Your Backyard (gardening magazine) which we produced monthly for a Sydney punlisher between 1999 and 2003. Since then, Gavin has contributed regularly to many magazines, co authored several gardening books and is currently one of the "garden experts" writing regularly for the "green living" magazine "Home Grown".
John Mason Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant. Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 70 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Rosemary Davies Leading horticultural expert in Australia. Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer. She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has completed her 6th book this year and is working on concepts for several others. Rosemary has a B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing


Check out our eBooks

Trees and ShrubsA great little encyclopaedia that is valuable for students, tradespeople, or the home gardener needing a quick reference when selecting garden plants. It covers the care and culture of 140 commonly grown genera of trees and shrub, plus many hundreds of species and cultivars. 169 colour photos 94 pages
Growing Palms and Palm Like PlantsPalms and palm-like plants are mostly grown as structural plants. They add stunning shapes into a garden that are different to other plants and for that reason alone, stand out and capture our attention, making a garden more interesting. Palms can be more than just architectural forms though; providing shade, colour and texture to a garden. If you choose an appropriate species, they are great indoor plants.
What to Plant WhereA great guide for choosing the right plant for a particular position in the garden. Thirteen chapters cover: plant selection, establishment, problems, and plants for wet areas. Shade, hedges and screens, dry gardens, coastal areas, small gardens, trees and shrubs, lawns and garden art.
Growing & Knowing GrassesGet to all about the botany of grasses, how to identify them, how to cultivate grasses, the different uses for grasses and also includes a detailed illustrated encyclopedia of grasses and grass-like plants.