This is the site of the project Hyphaene, one of the research activities undertaken by the Conservatory and Botanical Garden of Geneva towards the study of African palms. The information here presented aims to expand our current knowledge of the enigmatic genus of the widely known “Doum” palms, Hyphaene (7-8 species), which ranks among the most economically important, yet extremely poorly known African palm genera (Stauffer et al., 2014). The genus was monographed about 90 years ago, and our project aims to undertake modern taxonomic, morpho-anatomical, phylogenetic, ecological and conservation studies of the group. Our broad initiative on the study of African palm taxa is part of the 50 projects associated to the 2012-2016 African program of the University of Geneva.
We are keen to receive your feed-back on the “Hyphaene World”!. All your photos, field information, etc. are most welcomed. Contact us
This Project is kindly supported by the A. Lombard (2015) Extraordinary Grant, awarded by the Société de Physique et d’Histoire Naturelle de Genève (SPHN)
From March 23 to March 29 of 2018 Fred Stauffer is visiting the world-class palm botanical garden Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) in Miami, Florida. In the frame of this visit many interesting Hyphaene species are being sampled for molecular phylogenetic analyses that will be undertaken in Geneva. All these palms have been collected from wild populations in several countries (i.e. Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Namibia) that won’t be visited in the frame of our project. Early September of the last year Montgomery Botanical Center was badly hit by the Hurricane Irma, an extremely powerful and catastrophic hurricane, known to be the strongest observed in the Atlantic in terms of maximum sustained winds since Wilma, and the strongest storm on record to exist in the open Atlantic region. Many interesting palms at MBC could not support the strong winds that hit Southern Florida, some of them reaching almost 290 km/h.Here some breathtaking views of some areas of this magnificent garden. Our research is supported by Patrick Griffith, Larry Noblick and Joanna Tucker Lima. You can see more amazing images associated to our work at MBC by clicking here.
The coconut lake is one of the two artificial lakes in this property originally owned by Colonel Robert H. Montgomery (1872-1953), founder of the Fairchild Tropical Gardens in 1936. Many years later and especially due to the important commitment of his wife Eleanor "Nell", this collection undoubtedly became one of the most important palm collections in the world in terms of taxonomic richness and ornamental value.
View to the main house of the property showing the rich diversity present at the Montgomery Botanical Center. The living collection requires important efforts from the part of the executive director, researchers and gardeners. The result of this common work is outstanding.