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Recent Topics on the Cloudforest

Duguetia peruviana

by Dada » 1 day ago in Fruits, Rare Fruits, Orchards and Exotics

Hi everyone,
I found Duguetia peruviana. Let me know if anyone is interested!

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Opensource (weather / greenhouse monitor station) project

by CJW_Asia » 2 days ago in Palms and The Tropical Look

Pasted_Image_6_8_14_8_57_PM.jpg
This project is highly technical (requires geeking about), but might be useful for those who are looking for a way of not having to shell out +$1000 for high end environmental monitoring solutions for a greenhouse or home situation.

I think many people here have weather stations or at least require realtime monitoring of environmental conditions, either around the house/ yard or in a greenhouse situation (if you're a palm seedling grower or growing other like-plants.)
As many of you know, the ARM processor ( a low energy consumption CPU with multiple computing cores) basically runs everything from inside vehicles, cellphones/ tablets to guided missiles. These draw a few watts of power yet have the ability to accomplish most things a regular computer can do using far less power.
This technology is open source (free to modify and no licensing fee) and able to be purchased for very little money.
Several DIY boards are available for well under under $80 ( actually Interior electric in Victoria has them for ~$50) that contain a basic ARM v7 platform and are usually dual core with a graphics co-processor build onto the same unit.
Most have 512Mb - 1GB ram and 700Mhz-1Ghz or better for their processor clock speed.
These boards are small enough to fit onto a credit card size board so portability is excellent. One easy to obtain board that is commonly available is the
Raspberry-pi B+. This is a decently fast board with enough power to run several sensors at the same time and report their status via python script onto an imbedded webpage on the device.
( You can view your greenhouse's status in real time via your cellphone/tablet or computer remotely and potentially turn on your sprinklers or drip irrigation if needed) :D

Now, that I've explained the benefits of running ARM platforms, here is an example of what can be done using them in our situation.

For our project idea (realtime greenhouse monitoring or outdoor monitor) We'll be running Raspian dev Linux OS and a DHT22 humidity and temperature sensor on one digital input, (an optional CO2 sensor and a soil moisture sensor on 2 other digital inputs if doing a greenhouse monitor)

Link describing a monitor project here.

http://www.mnkjournals.com/ijlrst_files ... tion-1.pdf


link to what we're going to use to start monitoring using nettemp.

http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2014/09/26 ... pberry_pi/


http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewt ... 37&t=58416

Graph via python script from Nettemp under Raspian (linux OS).
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I'm sure there will be some questions regarding this open project. I'm in the process of building one so once I get my parts together I'm going to start a step by step process in putting a station together.
This is a very practical project for any serious greenhouse owner / subtropicalist.

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Winter solstice

by Las Palmas Norte » 2 days ago in Palms and The Tropical Look

The winter solstice (first offical day of winter) is on our doorstep and according to my wall calender is Sunday, Dec. 21. With only 8 hours of daylight (49°N) it's pretty much rock bottom as far as I can tollerate. This is made even worse by the heavy overcast and periodic rain in the PNW. I don't have the seasonal disorder, but I would if I had to live further north. Typically the coldest days are ahead so we wait and see what comes our way.
Here's an interactive link to make daylight hour calculations for your latitude.

http://astro.unl.edu/classaction/animations/coordsmotion/daylighthoursexplorer.html

Cheers, Barrie.

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A few shots from our place

by Kev Spence » 2 days ago in Palms and The Tropical Look

Apologies for you guys who read our UK forum, where this post is, but for some who never get to surf all the forums here are a few shots from our place in the very middle of the UK.

I normally post a few shots of the garden in the summer but this year I decided to do a photoshoot 1 week from xmas. :shock:

Nerine's still flowering

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This protection is normally ok down to -6c for my Brahea armata

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Schefflera chapana

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Melianthus has gone nuts this year staying evergreen throughout last winter goodness knows how big it will get if we have another mild winter

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This is my attempt an arid bed, a bit on the flat side, but hopefully I have incorporated enough drainage into the soil.

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Agave boldinghiana about to flower next year

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All the leaves here on my Jubaea chilensis are new as of 2010 when it took a bit of a hit. :(

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The trunk is 9ft in circumference now surely its time to go up now.

I quite like the look of this corner which will be getting no sun now till May next year.
Chamaerops humillis, Cyathea cooperi, Woodwardia radicans and W.unigemata

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This Shefflera came from Tom Hudson's place at Tregrehan gardens when planted in any sun it wilted alarmingly here its in total shade all year round and is the fastest growing of many Schefflera I have......love it!!

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I have decided my Butiagrus is not going to be summer bedding so I have lashed out on some Cellotex insulations boards to protect it.
I have 2 more sides ready to slip in to make it totally enclosed should we get some silly temperatures.

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A few tree ferns

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Yucca rostrata with Agave bracteata and a newly lushed Cycas revoluta

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Xanthorrhoea glauca protection below.
This was planted pre 2010 so it went through 2 weeks sub zero with accompanied cold temps.

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Surely this must be the most cold hardy of this spp out there.

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What grows and what doesn't without much Summer heat

by Axel » 2 days ago in Palms and The Tropical Look

Given Mike's desire to start a topic on cool growing palms here are my rfesults.

First I'll start with my most successful palms least affected by the lack of heat, meaning they look good in our climate are the following:
- All Andean higher elevation palms like ceroxylon and parajubaea
- All Lord Howe Island palms, Kentia, etc...
- All butia and butiagrus, jubaea and jubaeopsis palms
- Brahea, although a small minority are pathetically slow. The slowest ones give me 1-2 fronds a year due to being in more shade than they should be. Growth seems to be limited to when light is most available, so from around March through September.
- Archontophoenix species, plenty fast although they never bloom
- betefaka palms, i.e. dypsis decipiens and the various dypsis betefaka variants
- dypsis ambositrae, albofarinosa, baronii, onilahensis
- pretty much all phoenix species
- Lytocaryum species
- sabal- all do great, they just like a ton of water: causiarum, blackburniana, pumos, uresana are the most reliable.
- All trachycarpus species
- all livistona except those from the Northern Territory and Thailand, even saribus has decent growth rate here. Livistona fulva, nitida, decora and australis are gangbuster growers for me.
- chamaedorea - endless number of palms that do great in cool weather.
- ravena - best one for me has been glauca, but rivularis and hildebrandii do great here too.
- beccariophoenix: only alfredii does well, and boy, does it do well. It grows fine in cooler weather. It's incredibly fast in hot weather, but it's plenty fast in cool weather too. I don't know how well it would do on the North Coast though.
- pritchardia: some are slow but they hold on to fronds for a long, long time. Minor and beccariana are the best cool growers. All actively grow in December and January.
- trithrinax: these are easy in our climate, but they are poky.
- Serenoa and needle palms: slow but ok growers.
- Caryota - urens, himalaya, and gigas are the main happy growers. Mitis hates it here. Even caryota ochlandra isn't very happy in cooler weather.
- arenga - micrantha is spectacular, engleri is snails pace slow, 1 frond a year maybe.

I've had limited success with these:

- bismarckia: only the largest 30" box specimen has succeeded so far with around 5-6 fronds a year. Another one in full sun from a 15 gallon is doing about 2-3 fronds a year, and another 4 planted in the cooler more ocean breeze exposed part of the garden put out maybe 1 frond a year. Not exactly a success, but I'll take one out of six tries, not too shabby. I see no hope for this palm to ever show up as street plantings in Norcal.

- New Caledonia species: Very limited success on these, they can take the Winter chill but they are pathetically slow. The only one that shows real promise is kentiopsis oliviformis, which seems to grow at a decent rate and is quite resistant to Winter chill. Chambeyronia are pathetically slow, and I seem to only be successful with small seedlings. I've lost two large ones I bought, I wasted a total of $450 on the large ones 20g or bigger that both didn't last more than 6 months in my climate.

- licuala: not happy in our climate, I've only gotten ramsayi to put on decent growth for me. Again, here I have one out of three 15 gallons that is happy.

- copernicia: prunifera died due to lack of water during the drought, but not due to lack of heat, alba is slowly taking off and looks like it might be borderline ok around here.

- chuniophoenix: I've been able to get alba to grow decently, but hainanensis is frustratingly slow!

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