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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

A Palm Tree Story from North Island

The Seychelles has six palm species that occur nowhere else in the world and are therefore considered as endemic to the archipelago/islands. North Island is lucky enough to have five of the six. Some species were probably present before humans occupied the island and have been reintroduced during our island rehabilitation to replace alien invasive species as these were removed, whilst others, such as the coco de mer, were introduced to help preserve the species.   
Palms mature slowly, and the task we embarked on to re-establish them as components of our native forests is therefore a slow process, requiring patience. Hence our happiness after noticing that one of the deckenia palms, planted at the turning circle where the road branches off respectively to Honeymoon Beach and Sunset Bar, produced flowers for a second time. 
This palm species, also known in the local Creole language as "Palmis", became rare because it was used to make the so-called "millionaire's salad", which involves removing the edible terminal bud - thereby killing the tree. 

On North Island, the divine palm salad served to our guests originates from the exotic commercial coconut palm instead, since "Palmis" is now a protected tree in the Seychelles. 
When driving through the forest on your way to our Sunset Bar or Honeymoon Beach, you can distinguish the endemic palms by the spines on their stems, apparently developed as defence against the appetite of the giant tortoise in the area! Deckenia palms are the ones with the yellow spines and long leaves with many leaflets, rather like a coconut tree. 
Ask your host or villa attendant to organise a forest walk with our knowledgeable guides, so we can show you our planted coco-de-mers and the rest of our palm family.
Please use the links provided fro info on Safari Holidays, Zanzibar Holidays and Zanzibar Honeymoons or call: 01227 753180

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