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Coconut Palms in South Texas


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#1 Big Tex

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 07:00 AM

We took a short trip to the Rio Grande Valley is South Texas Tuesday and took quite a few palm pictures in the area. The below pictures were of Coconut Palms (coco nucifera) that we stumbled across. I have no idea how long each of these palms has been in the ground. However, I have a feeling they were probably planted as seeds because each was in the yard of a home that was very modest. I don't expect the families that lived in these communities had the money to by palms to plant in the yard. I have heard that there are quite a few cocos in the area that are much bigger, but I was not able to find them.

This is a juvenile coco.
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This modest home had two cocos growing. The one towards the back had trunk and was bearing coconuts.
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This is a close up of the 2nd palm with coconuts
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We found several good size coconuts growing in the back of a home that was converted to a business. It didn't look they were receiving much care. Again, they were loaded with coconuts.
Posted Image
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Houston, Texas
29.8649N - 95.6521W
Elevation 114.8 ft
Sunset zone 28
USDA zone 9a
Average maximum high temperature 93.60 F
Average maximum low temperature 45.20 F
The annual average precipitation is 53.34 Inches

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#2 fastfeat

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 08:55 AM

Ouch--I hope that dead one in the last pic didn't croak from LY...

Thanks for the pics, BigTex.
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SoCal and SoFla; zone varies by location.
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#3 DoomsDave

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 10:26 AM

Those look like the coconuts they sell at Home Depot, as part of their Coconut Rental Program.

I wouldn't spend much for one, as Lethal Yellow roared through there a while ago, and destroyed the CIDPs that used to line the roads there.
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Let's keep our forum fun and friendly.


#4 jimbiz

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 12:32 PM

Dear Dave SoCal

After reading your posts about palms in Texas, could I buy you the book 'The Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman
Vincent Peale?

LOL of course.
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#5 oliver

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 02:15 PM

Also BTW Dave - we don't have lethal yellowing here - we have "TEXAS Phoenix decline"
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#6 bubba

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 02:57 PM

Big Tex, Those are great shots of those RGV Coconuts.I know the freeze history but tracking your climate, I am suprised we do not see more,especially in the RGV.Thank you
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#7 syersj

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 03:32 PM

Big Tex, Those are great shots of those RGV Coconuts.I know the freeze history but tracking your climate, I am suprised we do not see more,especially in the RGV.Thank you


There are others. They're not abundant, but they are around. There are lots of Royal palms too. Of course "lots" is a relative term, when washingtonia are planted by the millions and outnumber every other palm combined by 20-1 at least.
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#8 Mr. Coconut Palm

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 10:31 PM

We took a short trip to the Rio Grande Valley is South Texas Tuesday and took quite a few palm pictures in the area. The below pictures were of Coconut Palms (coco nucifera) that we stumbled across. I have no idea how long each of these palms has been in the ground. However, I have a feeling they were probably planted as seeds because each was in the yard of a home that was very modest. I don't expect the families that lived in these communities had the money to by palms to plant in the yard. I have heard that there are quite a few cocos in the area that are much bigger, but I was not able to find them.

This is a juvenile coco.
Posted Image

This modest home had two cocos growing. The one towards the back had trunk and was bearing coconuts.
Posted Image
This is a close up of the 2nd palm with coconuts
Posted Image

We found several good size coconuts growing in the back of a home that was converted to a business. It didn't look they were receiving much care. Again, they were loaded with coconuts.
Posted Image



Coconut palms are becoming very popular in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, especially in Cameron County (Harlingen, Brownsville, Port Isabel and South Padre). They stand a reasonably good chance of making it through the winter here, Zone 10A, whereas in the next county, Hidalgo County, just inland from Cameron County, it is a Zone 9B climate and you don't see many, if any at all. Nighttime lows just inland from the Brownsville/Harlingen area in the winter can be 3-5 degrees cooler, which is why you don't see them further inland. Brownsville's normal temps for January are highs 69F and lows 50F. South Padre is highs 67F, with lows of 52F. The all time lowest ever recorded in Brownsville is 12F in 1899, and 17F in South Padre in 1989, but temps like these only happen about once in a hundred years or so there. The last time there was a coconut killing freeze in the Rio Grande Valley was in 1989, and the time before was 1983. Before the 1983 freeze, though I have been told by a nursery owner in the area that there were a lot of coconut palms growing in the lower Valley in the 1970's. I have recently seen producing coconuts in Harlingen and one on South Padre Island that has dozens of coconuts on it, some almost mature and big enough to plant. In Brownsville there are two nice 30ft. tall (overall height) Mexican Tall coconut palms at a small motel in the center of town, but unfortunately the lawn crew keeps cutting off the flower spikes, or else these would have some nice size coconuts on them too. I hope to post my pics of these palms here soon, if I can figure out how (I"m not very computer literate though, so any suggestions will help, otherwise, I can just email the photos to anyone interested once I get them scanned onto a disc.)
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#9 Tad

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 05:57 AM

trust me we have lethal yellowing
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