Loxococcus rupicola grows at between 400 and 800 meters above sea level in Sri lanka.
Their home terrain is very much like the big granitic boulder country we are
familiar with in and around Mount Lewis (where you'd see Archontophoenix
purpurea and Linospadix apetiolata naturally growing!) They appear to like
growing in constantly wet soil but it is also well drained! And I think the
more friable and loamy the sand the better! I think they might not like
waterlogged soils! They can grow at low land elevations but demand shade and
humid conditions to keep healthy!
They only grow in localised colonies, not numbering more than 30-40
individuals (mature) but with hundreds of baby seedlings forming thick
carpets underneath the parent trees! At most I think surveys done by the Sri
Lankan Forestry Dept there reckon they are no more than 1000 trees in total!
There are 2 main colonies and a third (isolated) colony in the deep interior
not easily accessible!
It's interesting to note the highest diversity of leech species lives there
with them, anywhere in the world! Even though its not a very big forest its
certainly one of the wettest!! It rains almost every night there, and is
misty with low clouds rolling in after 3 PM on a daily basis!
The name of the park where the entire population grows is called Singharaja
It's an offence to remove any seeds or seedlings from that park! And you can
be jailed for a very long time for removing any seeds or seedlings from
Seeds are now being produced from 2 commercial nurseries based in Kandy
(since mid 1990's) and the main one is called Samarakoon nursery!
Although this palm comes from the tropics it can be grown in the sub tropics
in a protected area but it will not like low humidity and it seems to like
plenty of moisture around the root system, so keep it well mulched.
This is still a Very rare palm and should be a must have for those keen collectors, we have these available now.!