Briefly: Chennai’s Vibhu Natrajan exports plam trees to the Middle East
Vibhu Natrajan exports palm trees to the Middle East from his farm in Chennai. Natrajan recalls that two years ago an ornamental plant with thick long leaves called ‘mother-in-law’ was fetching upto Rs 40k per plant in Southeast Asia. Among the popular palm tress that grows at Natrajan’s farm are Dypsis decaryi, an unusual palm from Madagascar with a triangular trunk; Syagrus schizophylla, a Brazilian variety, and Wodyetia bifurcate, an Australian variety commonly called the foxtail palm, which is popular because it grows easily and quickly. Bismarckia nobilis is a handsome palm with silver-colored leaves from Madagascar, which can grow well in tough conditions. Phoenix rupicola is a beautiful soft-leaf palm from the lower Himalayas reaches, and North India’s khajur or Phoenix sylvestris—silver date palm—is the most popular landscape palm because of its low maintenance and ruggedness.
Among the avenue trees, the Brachychiton acreifolius , or the Illawarra flame tree, with its bright crimson flowers, is the most sought after. The Brachychiton rupestris—Kurrajong tree or bottle tree—is an Australian showstopper. It is easy to transplant and can survive up to three months after being uprooted. Pluemria—frangipani or pagoda tree—is popular among women.
From an article Open, March 2010