Palm Bloom Moment

June 10th, 2014, 8am

How long to produce a sketch? Anything from ten minutes to several hours. Today’s sketch concerns that Palm Tree bloom in the pic above. I snapped the plant growing in the garden where we are staying, and decided that a quick botanical ID and an “Ain’t this pretty?” would suffice for an alacritous moment with my ‘friends on Hi’ this morning. Easy 5 minutes max! But then again, how long is a piece of string?

Usually it takes no more than 10/15 minutes to identify a common plant species on the internet (especially since the advent of Google image search). But after peering at literally hundreds of pics of palms in bloom, nothing. Well, I’ll just take a brisk walk around the grounds of our accommodation to have a closer look at the actual specimen. Pulling back the fronds, I notice, for the first time, ouch!, thorns.

Returning to the pic, I can now see clearly the long thin needles that I somehow missed on first observation. And reexamining the google image search, I do find several images that are almost certainly the same species. But, rats, the photographers know no more than I. I’ll just google ‘palm thorns’. No ID, but what’s this about dangerous puncture wounds causing septic arthritis after palm tree thorn injury? If you don’t mind, I’ll just lie here on the couch for a few hours waiting for the arthritis symptoms to appear. Another adventurous day on Hi!

P.S. Shu Kuge got his friend and palm tree expert Jason Dewees to identify the palm as Phoenix roebelenii. Also, for anyone who was worried, I recovered from my thorn prick within minutes. LOL

Amal, Adrian, Christine, Shu and 2 others said thanks.

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David Wade Chambers

Born in Oklahoma: 30 years in US. 6 years in Canada, 40 years in Australia. Academic field: history and philosophy of science. Currently, teach indigenous studies online at Institute of American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM) and Brandon University (Manitoba). Come visit our B&B on Australia's Great Ocean Road. Mate's Rates for Hi community! (

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