Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden - Palms

Arecaceae (Palm Family) Collection


Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Coral Gables, Florida
Dr. Carl Lewis, Executive Director
Mary Collins, Curator of Palms and Cycads

Primary Focus:
Collection represents broad taxonomic diversity, including cultivars

625 taxa, not including unidentified species
2006 accessions
44% known to be wild-collected, 26% known to be from cultivated sources
DNA Bank
Herbarium holds 3,200 palm specimens, available online
Fairchild Guide to Palms - www.palmguide.org

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (FTBG) has developed a comprehensive collection of palms for over 65 years, emphasizing wild-collected germplasm. South Florida's climate has proved excellent for growing a wide variety of palms, and historically palms have been FTBG's primary collection. Fairchild's Center for Tropical Plant Conservation is a leader in Tropical plant research, containing a herbarium, library, DNA lab, and nursery. The herbarium contains over 165,000 specimens, nearly 50,000 of which are available online through a virtual herbarium. The palm collection is actively curated, and there is much institutional experience in propagating and growing these plants. The online Fairchild Guide to Palms includes horticultural information, an image library, and listings of living plants and DNA samples.

The Palm Biology program includes six researchers whose work is focused on palms: Dr. Scott Zona, Palm Biologist and current chair of the World Conservation Union's Palm Specialist Group, is a world-class taxonomist who has published several palm generic monographs; Dr. Jack Fisher, Senior Biologist and recipient of the Botanical Society of America medal for outstanding contributions to botany, studies palm anatomy and mychorrizal relationships in palm roots, and is working on a revision of the Monocotyledons with Dr. P. Barry Tomlinson; Dr. Carl Lewis, FTBG Director, is a molecular biologist who studies palm phylogeny, and has developed the world's first palm DNA bank; Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega, a joint Florida International University appointment, is an expert on palm conservation genetics; Dr. Joyce Maschinski is managing the recovery of the Florida populations of Pseudophoenix sargentii; and Dr. Mike Maunder, former director and expert in the conservation of island endemic palms. FTBG is the main research institution engaged in studies of local endangered species and their reintroduction in South Florida. FTBG is involved in research and integrated conservation projects with partner institutions in the Caribbean, Africa, Mascarenes and Madagascar

Taxonomic References and Authorities:
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew World Checklist of Palms (Dransfield, et. al.)
Dr. John Dransfield, RBG-Kew
Dr. Natalie Uhl, Cornell University
Dr. John Dowe, James Cook University
Dr. Andrew Henderson, New York Botanical Garden
Dr. William Baker, RBG-Kew
Dr. Jean-Christophe Pintaud, IRD-France

Palm Publications from FTBG Staff since 2000

March 2006