Chilean Wine Palm, Honey Palm or Coquito Palm
A record specimen in the Temperate House
The huge specimen of this palm found in the centre of the Temperate House was raised in 1846 from seed collected in Chile. In 1862, it was moved from the Palm House to the main block of this house and planted half-way between its present site and the gallery to the west. By 1938, it was 13.8 m high and as it had now reached the roof, it had to be moved to the centre of the house.
This major task was carried out in August 1938 after four weeks preparation which involved excavating a tunnel underneath the root-ball and constructing a strong platform of running boards. Six powerful jacks were used to lift the palm (estimated to weigh 54 tons) and help it along on iron rollers.
In 1960 this palm was 16.8 m high, in 1985 it had reached 17.67 m (58 ft) and today is believed to be the world's tallest glasshouse plant.
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