Red colored bismarckia

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I have an orange-red leafed bizzie. Not purple, but red.

In order to get a sense of the spectrum of genes in bismarckia and find some clones that might like our Tasmanian-style mild but coolish climate that features Summer lows as chilly as 42F, I planted a half dozen of them from distinct sources and age groups. If they all get huge I've got a big problem, but the idea is that nature would do some selection (with some of my help - ugly ones would get the ax.)

When I shopped around last Spring, I came across one 15 gallon specimen that had orange-red leaves, not purple ones. For kicks, I went ahead and bought it because I was curious. During the Summer, it put out nice blue-teal, almost copper-blue colored leaves, but the old leaves kept some of the red. Now that we've had some chill accumulations (temps below 45F) at night, those new leaves are also turning orangish-red. With the rate of chill accumulation we get around these parts, this thing will be cherry red by March.

In contrast, all the other ones I grow are totally silver-blue and showing no signs of stress. The largest specimen I have that happens to be the most powder white-bue color has continued to grow through the cold nights and has even opened a new leaf about a week ago. The new leaf is actually light green at this point and probably won't get more waxy silver until it gets hot again. It's not showing any signs or red, but it only looks good between 11AM and 2PM. Before and after that, it seems the sunlight spectrum just isn't right to really show off the silver and it looks almost gray-green.

I am puzzled by the orange-red color on the one funky bizze, it definitely looks like stress, but so far, people walking through the garden look at it and usually react with a "oooh" and an "ahhhh". I am not going to complain, it looks cool.

Here's the red one last February - it's not quite as red anymore, but the red is coming back now.

20130323_163757_zpsbf2bf706.jpg

Silver-blue one:

20130831_151749_zpsebf63145.jpg

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Axel-

I think you are reading too much into this.

I have seen a lot of small Bizzies and some with red color like that.

the only thing that makes them grow fast is plant them in blazing sun all day long with no shade and lots of water.

all they care about is being hot and wet.

fertilize the bejesus out of them too.

Edited by trioderob
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agree. BTW nice growth rate during summer, Axel!

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Red is a bad thing for that palm.

It means that it is stressed.

Bismarckia palms are red only when they are not satisfied with the conditions to which they are exposed.
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Well, this isn't exactly bismarckia country, it's not possible to offer a stress free environment. I guess I will have to live with some red in my bismarckia.

The red shows up from any dip below 45F.

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Here in Florida, you see tgT color often in young bizzies but they turn blue as they get bigger

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I have heard that the more red/purple they are when they are young, the stronger the blue grey colour is when they mature. I have just planted some young Bismarkias in my new garden......I bought reddish coloured plants for the job.

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I have heard that the more red/purple they are when they are young, the stronger the blue grey colour is when they mature. I have just planted some young Bismarkias in my new garden......I bought reddish coloured plants for the job.

I would have to agree with this. The grower that I bought my bizzie from stated that as well. Pics soon...

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Red or purple bizzies are stressed palms. I don't think it has anything to do with genetics or color. I bought two abused bizzies that saw the 2009 cold spell in pots unprotected. I didn't pick them, as all I saw in the nursery were red/purple. Yeah red petioles and sickly looking, but somehow pretty in a gaunt kind of way. the smaller one was really abused just a couple fronds and a spear. I planted it the summer of 2010 and it turned silver, then it got hit by the dec 10 28F good frost event with no protection and it turned purple. As the new growth pushed it was light green for the first frond or two. then it recovered to silver and never saw purple/red again from the 2 foot+ height size as the next 2 winters had a minimum of 35F. Here is a pic before the winter hit at silver, the purple freeze color and the opening of the first spear. the palm is now in around 12' overall... I think a some sellers will tell you what they think will get you to buy, and it worked. From my palms, that were bought looking sickly and red, I think stressed is purple and really stressed is the red color...

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Red color is not a healthy color for this palm specie.

Only silver version of this palm is red when stressed.

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Red or purple bizzies are stressed palms. I don't think it has anything to do with genetics or color. I bought two abused bizzies that saw the 2009 cold spell in pots unprotected. I didn't pick them, as all I saw in the nursery were red/purple. Yeah red petioles and sickly looking, but somehow pretty in a gaunt kind of way. the smaller one was really abused just a couple fronds and a spear. I planted it the summer of 2010 and it turned silver, then it got hit by the dec 10 28F good frost event with no protection and it turned purple. As the new growth pushed it was light green for the first frond or two. then it recovered to silver and never saw purple/red again from the 2 foot+ height size as the next 2 winters had a minimum of 35F. Here is a pic before the winter hit at silver, the purple freeze color and the opening of the first spear. the palm is now in around 12' overall... I think a some sellers will tell you what they think will get you to buy, and it worked. From my palms, that were bought looking sickly and red, I think stressed is purple and really stressed is the red color...

Ok, if yours stayed silver at 35F why does this particular specimen revert to red below 45 F? The three other large ones I have are all silver. One of them was exposed to 26F and only the newest frond is showing reddish tinting.

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Are there different soil/light/fertilizer conditions?

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I had one turn reddish like that after a transplant...

It then died several months later.

That big bizzie tap root or whatever didnt like the transplant dig...

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I have a bizzie that has had that reddish hue for at least a year and is fine however. I'll upload a picture later. I don't think having red is a death sentence. I'm still learning...

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Red or purple bizzies are stressed palms. I don't think it has anything to do with genetics or color. I bought two abused bizzies that saw the 2009 cold spell in pots unprotected. I didn't pick them, as all I saw in the nursery were red/purple. Yeah red petioles and sickly looking, but somehow pretty in a gaunt kind of way. the smaller one was really abused just a couple fronds and a spear. I planted it the summer of 2010 and it turned silver, then it got hit by the dec 10 28F good frost event with no protection and it turned purple. As the new growth pushed it was light green for the first frond or two. then it recovered to silver and never saw purple/red again from the 2 foot+ height size as the next 2 winters had a minimum of 35F. Here is a pic before the winter hit at silver, the purple freeze color and the opening of the first spear. the palm is now in around 12' overall... I think a some sellers will tell you what they think will get you to buy, and it worked. From my palms, that were bought looking sickly and red, I think stressed is purple and really stressed is the red color...

Ok, if yours stayed silver at 35F why does this particular specimen revert to red below 45 F? The three other large ones I have are all silver. One of them was exposed to 26F and only the newest frond is showing reddish tinting.

You have a bizzie that is unhealthy apparently, but I don't know why. I don't know what the soil conditions are or what you have done, but it is not happy. As for the 45F line and red, how do you know it was the temp even, could have been some other source of damage. This is likely some kind of protection mechanism when stressed. Most that I see are cold stressed at a young age when they are not as cold hardy. Never saw one as big as yours that was purple or red after cold. I got it distressed and red in the petioles after it was left outside in a pot in the winter of 2009 at a nursery(lots of other palms around it were obviously badly burned) and the above pictures show the progression after it recovered and was hit by the frost and cold. The frost didn't burn the foliage, just turned it purple. the fact that yours has had this multi season(?) red issue seems to suggest an ongoing problem.

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I had one turn reddish like that after a transplant...

It then died several months later.

That big bizzie tap root or whatever didnt like the transplant dig...

this is very interesting, red after transplant damage... hmmmm.

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post-7959-0-30906200-1390448994_thumb.jp

post-7959-0-68213200-1390448931_thumb.jp

post-7959-0-56848000-1390448965_thumb.jp

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Red or purple bizzies are stressed palms. I don't think it has anything to do with genetics or color. I bought two abused bizzies that saw the 2009 cold spell in pots unprotected. I didn't pick them, as all I saw in the nursery were red/purple. Yeah red petioles and sickly looking, but somehow pretty in a gaunt kind of way. the smaller one was really abused just a couple fronds and a spear. I planted it the summer of 2010 and it turned silver, then it got hit by the dec 10 28F good frost event with no protection and it turned purple. As the new growth pushed it was light green for the first frond or two. then it recovered to silver and never saw purple/red again from the 2 foot+ height size as the next 2 winters had a minimum of 35F. Here is a pic before the winter hit at silver, the purple freeze color and the opening of the first spear. the palm is now in around 12' overall... I think a some sellers will tell you what they think will get you to buy, and it worked. From my palms, that were bought looking sickly and red, I think stressed is purple and really stressed is the red color...

Ok, if yours stayed silver at 35F why does this particular specimen revert to red below 45 F? The three other large ones I have are all silver. One of them was exposed to 26F and only the newest frond is showing reddish tinting.

You have a bizzie that is unhealthy apparently, but I don't know why. I don't know what the soil conditions are or what you have done, but it is not happy. As for the 45F line and red, how do you know it was the temp even, could have been some other source of damage. This is likely some kind of protection mechanism when stressed. Most that I see are cold stressed at a young age when they are not as cold hardy. Never saw one as big as yours that was purple or red after cold. I got it distressed and red in the petioles after it was left outside in a pot in the winter of 2009 at a nursery(lots of other palms around it were obviously badly burned) and the above pictures show the progression after it recovered and was hit by the frost and cold. The frost didn't burn the foliage, just turned it purple. the fact that yours has had this multi season(?) red issue seems to suggest an ongoing problem.

Interesting feedback on the red on the bismarckia, and perhaps a bismarckia going purple red in Florida means trouble. Here in California if going red means something is wrong, then the large majority of bismarckia are telling us they don't like growing in California. Last year when I shopped around for bismarckia, pretty much all of them I looked at had some red or purple in them. Because I wanted a broad gene pool to play with, I picked several bismarckia with different degrees of redness. I did pick one that was totally red, and that's the one shown above. It has not changed from the red except that the red seems to go away during the Summer and return as soon as temps drop below 45F.

The consistent story on the red and purple is that the more red and purple a bismarckia has, the hardier to frost it will be. This comes from very reputable growers, and those that have succeeded with bismarckia in frostier climates have always given me the same advice: pick the ones with the most purple in them when smaller.

Given the broader gene pool I am testing out here, it also appears that the red is tied to chill exposure, but not necessarily to frost. The red is obviously some sort of protection mechanism, and must impart more frost tolerance to the palm. So those palms that more readily react to chill with red are obviously better prepared to deal with frost.

The super silver bismarckia that were imported from Florida and did not have any red had a horrible track record in Northern California, most of them having perished in freezes as high as 29F. Not so with any of the nice purple specimens I got. All of them have fully been exposed to the brunt of last December's freeze, and are doing fine.

My only hesitation at this point is how desirable it is to have a reddish bismarckia in the garden. i guess only time will tell how these will acclimate to our Central Coastal foothills conditions.
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I grew some from seed 4-5 years ago and they have been red/purple there whole life. I have some in 15g size that spent last year and this year out side. The cold we got probably killed them. Half the spears pulled, a few might make it. IF they do I have high hopes that I can grow one here. They saw low 20s this year for several days.

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Axel, I personally think it's the climate. I've lived in South Florida and in Santa Cruz. The difference with Florida is that if it gets down to 35 at night, the same day the winds can switch and bring in warm tropical air and hit 70 or 75 for the high or we can have 60F for the overnight low and then a cold front comes through and the temps drop throughout the day and that overnight low might be the highest temp we get that day. That would probably be very rare in SC. I think its the combination of prolonged cold, even though the nightly lows aren't that low, and that your daytime highs aren't that high. We also rarely get that cold fog coming in off the ocean that for you is probably a daily occurrence except for maybe in September or October. You can't compare Florida and California climates. I now live in Northeast Fl. and my B. nobilis turns red every winter and by May it's back to normal silver.

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I started reading some of this and just stopped. Red is the color of baby silver ones--you will never see a large one with any color because they grow out of it. The more color as a baby, the more silver as an adult. Axel, I think you have excogitated too much, in this case.

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I definitely agree with Andrew. Red is just the immature color. Like he said it seems that the more purple they are young the more silver they grow into. I have one that was blood red as a little guy and now is almost white.

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I definitely agree with Andrew. Red is just the immature color. Like he said it seems that the more purple they are young the more silver they grow into. I have one that was blood red as a little guy and now is almost white.

Nope it is a stressed color.

Thing is, when they are young, they are less cold hardy and they are more sensitive.

So in not ideal climate for them, they will be red or purpule.

But only silver version of this palm is red when stressed. Green Bismarckia is not showing that trait. So that is the reason why people use red color as indicator will that Bismarckia be silver or green.

But red is a bad, unhealthy color for this palm specie.

Bismarckia is a tropical palm. So it is not strange at all that they are not happy in USDA zone 9.

They will turn red if the climate is too cold for their taste.

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Axel, I personally think it's the climate. I've lived in South Florida and in Santa Cruz. The difference with Florida is that if it gets down to 35 at night, the same day the winds can switch and bring in warm tropical air and hit 70 or 75 for the high or we can have 60F for the overnight low and then a cold front comes through and the temps drop throughout the day and that overnight low might be the highest temp we get that day. That would probably be very rare in SC. I think its the combination of prolonged cold, even though the nightly lows aren't that low, and that your daytime highs aren't that high. We also rarely get that cold fog coming in off the ocean that for you is probably a daily occurrence except for maybe in September or October. You can't compare Florida and California climates. I now live in Northeast Fl. and my B. nobilis turns red every winter and by May it's back to normal silver.

Since you lived in Santa Cruz you probably know the Santa Cruz Mountains have a different climate than Santa Cruz. I would not want to try to grow a bismarckia in the fog belt, not enough heat.

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I started reading some of this and just stopped. Red is the color of baby silver ones--you will never see a large one with any color because they grow out of it. The more color as a baby, the more silver as an adult. Axel, I think you have excogitated too much, in this case.

Andrew, You just taught me a new word: excogitated. Had to look that up.

Nope it is a stressed color.

Thing is, when they are young, they are less cold hardy and they are more sensitive.

So in not ideal climate for them, they will be red or purpule.

But only silver version of this palm is red when stressed. Green Bismarckia is not showing that trait. So that is the reason why people use red color as indicator will that Bismarckia be silver or green.

But red is a bad, unhealthy color for this palm specie.

Bismarckia is a tropical palm. So it is not strange at all that they are not happy in USDA zone 9.

They will turn red if the climate is too cold for their taste.

For starters, the specimen I am posting about is growing in USDA 10a, lowest temperature it has experienced so far is 31F. Taking it from a reputable source, Tobias Spanner, here's what he writes about the red color being perfectly normal and it shows up in juvenile plants even in the tropics:

The Bismarck Palm has a fullcrown of large, silvery-blue, circular, fan-shaped leaves and a tall, columnar trunk. In seedlings and young plants, the leaves are tinged with an unreal purple-red color. Bismarckia develops fairly quickly into a large and stunning tree that is excellently suited for the subtropical or tropical garden, for parks, and for breathtaking avenues. It is tolerant of drought and a few degrees of frost and wants a place in full sun, such as it enjoys in the highland savannas of its native home of Madagascar.

What I take issue with is your statement that it's "bad" or "unhealthy", and that is just not true at all.

I do believe you are correct in only one thing, namely that the red is in fact a result of exposure to cold, but it's not "bad", in fact, it's desirable because the red is associated with some sort of cell mechanism that corresponds to increased cold tolerance. That's this palm's way of adjusting to cope with colder temperatures. The green ones simply succumb to cold.

Thousands of these palms are planted all over California and Florida where they all have the purple-red tinge as juveniles. All nurserymen have stated exactly the same thing that Andrew says above: the more red when juvenile, the more silver as adults, and the hardier the plant. Never ever has it been an issue of "bad" or "unhealthy" that they have red as juvenile.

Bismarckia is rated to be hardy to 22F as an adult specimen, making it a solid 9b palm that can survive even into 9a under some circumstances.
The challenge of growing this in a cool Summer area is that it would get hot enough to get any Winter red stress to revert to blue during the Summer. Time will tell how this will work out here. If not, who cares, the red does look pretty unreal.
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The word is excogitate--you are welcome. I have grown Bismarckia from seed and the red has NOTHING to do with the cold. I hope Tom reads this, as he seems to show an interest in the pursuit of truth.

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I started reading some of this and just stopped. Red is the color of baby silver ones--you will never see a large one with any color because they grow out of it. The more color as a baby, the more silver as an adult. Axel, I think you have excogitated too much, in this case.

Andrew, You just taught me a new word: excogitated. Had to look that up.

Nope it is a stressed color.

Thing is, when they are young, they are less cold hardy and they are more sensitive.

So in not ideal climate for them, they will be red or purpule.

But only silver version of this palm is red when stressed. Green Bismarckia is not showing that trait. So that is the reason why people use red color as indicator will that Bismarckia be silver or green.

But red is a bad, unhealthy color for this palm specie.

Bismarckia is a tropical palm. So it is not strange at all that they are not happy in USDA zone 9.

They will turn red if the climate is too cold for their taste.

For starters, the specimen I am posting about is growing in USDA 10a, lowest temperature it has experienced so far is 31F. Taking it from a reputable source, Tobias Spanner, here's what he writes about the red color being perfectly normal and it shows up in juvenile plants even in the tropics:

The Bismarck Palm has a fullcrown of large, silvery-blue, circular, fan-shaped leaves and a tall, columnar trunk. In seedlings and young plants, the leaves are tinged with an unreal purple-red color. Bismarckia develops fairly quickly into a large and stunning tree that is excellently suited for the subtropical or tropical garden, for parks, and for breathtaking avenues. It is tolerant of drought and a few degrees of frost and wants a place in full sun, such as it enjoys in the highland savannas of its native home of Madagascar.

What I take issue with is your statement that it's "bad" or "unhealthy", and that is just not true at all.

I do believe you are correct in only one thing, namely that the red is in fact a result of exposure to cold, but it's not "bad", in fact, it's desirable because the red is associated with some sort of cell mechanism that corresponds to increased cold tolerance. That's this palm's way of adjusting to cope with colder temperatures. The green ones simply succumb to cold.

Thousands of these palms are planted all over California and Florida where they all have the purple-red tinge as juveniles. All nurserymen have stated exactly the same thing that Andrew says above: the more red when juvenile, the more silver as adults, and the hardier the plant. Never ever has it been an issue of "bad" or "unhealthy" that they have red as juvenile.

Bismarckia is rated to be hardy to 22F as an adult specimen, making it a solid 9b palm that can survive even into 9a under some circumstances.
The challenge of growing this in a cool Summer area is that it would get hot enough to get any Winter red stress to revert to blue during the Summer. Time will tell how this will work out here. If not, who cares, the red does look pretty unreal.

I disagree.

Silver Bismarckia are only red or purpule when stressed. When they are not happy. Nothing less, nothing more.

Some specimens of this palm are more or less hardy, sensitive ( like in every palm specie, there is variations from palm to palm ). So that is the reason why some specimens will be red in same condition, and some not.

But they will turn red only when they are not happy.

In natural habitat, they are never red.

Zone 10a is also cold for tropical palm. It is actually a miracle that these palm trees are able to survive in zones 9 and 10. In their natural habitat, they never see nothing close to such cold.

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I started reading some of this and just stopped. Red is the color of baby silver ones--you will never see a large one with any color because they grow out of it. The more color as a baby, the more silver as an adult. Axel, I think you have excogitated too much, in this case.

Andrew, You just taught me a new word: excogitated. Had to look that up.

Nope it is a stressed color.

Thing is, when they are young, they are less cold hardy and they are more sensitive.

So in not ideal climate for them, they will be red or purpule.

But only silver version of this palm is red when stressed. Green Bismarckia is not showing that trait. So that is the reason why people use red color as indicator will that Bismarckia be silver or green.

But red is a bad, unhealthy color for this palm specie.

Bismarckia is a tropical palm. So it is not strange at all that they are not happy in USDA zone 9.

They will turn red if the climate is too cold for their taste.

For starters, the specimen I am posting about is growing in USDA 10a, lowest temperature it has experienced so far is 31F. Taking it from a reputable source, Tobias Spanner, here's what he writes about the red color being perfectly normal and it shows up in juvenile plants even in the tropics:

The Bismarck Palm has a fullcrown of large, silvery-blue, circular, fan-shaped leaves and a tall, columnar trunk. In seedlings and young plants, the leaves are tinged with an unreal purple-red color. Bismarckia develops fairly quickly into a large and stunning tree that is excellently suited for the subtropical or tropical garden, for parks, and for breathtaking avenues. It is tolerant of drought and a few degrees of frost and wants a place in full sun, such as it enjoys in the highland savannas of its native home of Madagascar.

What I take issue with is your statement that it's "bad" or "unhealthy", and that is just not true at all.

I do believe you are correct in only one thing, namely that the red is in fact a result of exposure to cold, but it's not "bad", in fact, it's desirable because the red is associated with some sort of cell mechanism that corresponds to increased cold tolerance. That's this palm's way of adjusting to cope with colder temperatures. The green ones simply succumb to cold.

Thousands of these palms are planted all over California and Florida where they all have the purple-red tinge as juveniles. All nurserymen have stated exactly the same thing that Andrew says above: the more red when juvenile, the more silver as adults, and the hardier the plant. Never ever has it been an issue of "bad" or "unhealthy" that they have red as juvenile.

Bismarckia is rated to be hardy to 22F as an adult specimen, making it a solid 9b palm that can survive even into 9a under some circumstances.
The challenge of growing this in a cool Summer area is that it would get hot enough to get any Winter red stress to revert to blue during the Summer. Time will tell how this will work out here. If not, who cares, the red does look pretty unreal.

I disagree.

Silver Bismarckia are only red or purpule when stressed. When they are not happy. Nothing less, nothing more.

Some specimens of this palm are more or less hardy, sensitive ( like in every palm specie, there is variations from palm to palm ). So that is the reason why some specimens will be red in same condition, and some not.

But they will turn red only when they are not happy.

In natural habitat, they are never red.

Zone 10a is also cold for tropical palm. It is actually a miracle that these palm trees are able to survive in zones 9 and 10. In their natural habitat, they never see nothing close to such cold.

You obviously do not know what the heck you are talking about.

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So far, no science has been used to explain anything in this thread, just a lot of "I saw this or that". Considering science, we can look to the known plant chromophores as wax cannot introduce a color as it does not have the conjugated pi system in the molecular structure required to be a chromophore(gives rise to color). Flavins and carotenoids absorb blue 420-480nm, this renders a red color in absence of chlorophyll which absorbs blue(420-480nm) and red(640-700nm) yielding green. However since both chlorophyll a and b absorb red, red plants are very likely to be low in chlorophyll. A white bismarckia is white because it reflects much more light than it absorbs and the reflected sunlight is of a wide band, that is white. All visible colors in sunlight add to ~white. So on hypothesis that is supported by the data is that red bismarckias have lost their wax(purple also to a lesser degree) probably due to cold(wax becomes brittle at low temps and may shed) and are chlorophyll deficient. How can this happen? When the plant withdraws sap the chlorophyll will be partly removed from the leaflet and drawn into the root system. I do see this as a protection mechanism as that chlorophyll takes lots of energy to produce and is the life blood of the plant. this hypothesis is also consistent with Rays observation that his root damaged bizzie turned red. When bizzies roots are damaged they "bleed" profusely from what I have read.

carotenoids_absorption-spectrum.jpg

the color of matter has to do with the light that is passed vs absorbed. absorb red transmitted light will be blue, absorb red and blue transmitted light is green like chlorophyll, absorb blue the transmitted light is red.

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I started reading some of this and just stopped. Red is the color of baby silver ones--you will never see a large one with any color because they grow out of it. The more color as a baby, the more silver as an adult. Axel, I think you have excogitated too much, in this case.

Andrew, You just taught me a new word: excogitated. Had to look that up.

Nope it is a stressed color.

Thing is, when they are young, they are less cold hardy and they are more sensitive.

So in not ideal climate for them, they will be red or purpule.

But only silver version of this palm is red when stressed. Green Bismarckia is not showing that trait. So that is the reason why people use red color as indicator will that Bismarckia be silver or green.

But red is a bad, unhealthy color for this palm specie.

Bismarckia is a tropical palm. So it is not strange at all that they are not happy in USDA zone 9.

They will turn red if the climate is too cold for their taste.

For starters, the specimen I am posting about is growing in USDA 10a, lowest temperature it has experienced so far is 31F. Taking it from a reputable source, Tobias Spanner, here's what he writes about the red color being perfectly normal and it shows up in juvenile plants even in the tropics:

The Bismarck Palm has a fullcrown of large, silvery-blue, circular, fan-shaped leaves and a tall, columnar trunk. In seedlings and young plants, the leaves are tinged with an unreal purple-red color. Bismarckia develops fairly quickly into a large and stunning tree that is excellently suited for the subtropical or tropical garden, for parks, and for breathtaking avenues. It is tolerant of drought and a few degrees of frost and wants a place in full sun, such as it enjoys in the highland savannas of its native home of Madagascar.

What I take issue with is your statement that it's "bad" or "unhealthy", and that is just not true at all.

I do believe you are correct in only one thing, namely that the red is in fact a result of exposure to cold, but it's not "bad", in fact, it's desirable because the red is associated with some sort of cell mechanism that corresponds to increased cold tolerance. That's this palm's way of adjusting to cope with colder temperatures. The green ones simply succumb to cold.

Thousands of these palms are planted all over California and Florida where they all have the purple-red tinge as juveniles. All nurserymen have stated exactly the same thing that Andrew says above: the more red when juvenile, the more silver as adults, and the hardier the plant. Never ever has it been an issue of "bad" or "unhealthy" that they have red as juvenile.

Bismarckia is rated to be hardy to 22F as an adult specimen, making it a solid 9b palm that can survive even into 9a under some circumstances.
The challenge of growing this in a cool Summer area is that it would get hot enough to get any Winter red stress to revert to blue during the Summer. Time will tell how this will work out here. If not, who cares, the red does look pretty unreal.

I disagree.

Silver Bismarckia are only red or purpule when stressed. When they are not happy. Nothing less, nothing more.

Some specimens of this palm are more or less hardy, sensitive ( like in every palm specie, there is variations from palm to palm ). So that is the reason why some specimens will be red in same condition, and some not.

But they will turn red only when they are not happy.

In natural habitat, they are never red.

Zone 10a is also cold for tropical palm. It is actually a miracle that these palm trees are able to survive in zones 9 and 10. In their natural habitat, they never see nothing close to such cold.

You obviously do not know what the heck you are talking about.

I can say the same for you...

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Gentlemen, calling each other names is pathetic, no real scientist does this when discussion science. Read my post, and if you can come up with an explanation for the color, bring it on, I'd love to hear it!

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So far, no science has been used to explain anything in this thread, just a lot of "I saw this or that". Considering science, we can look to the known plant chromophores as wax cannot introduce a color as it does not have the conjugated pi system in the molecular structure required to be a chromophore(gives rise to color). Flavins and carotenoids absorb blue 420-480nm, this renders a red color in absence of chlorophyll which absorbs blue(420-480nm) and red(640-700nm) yielding green. However since both chlorophyll a and b absorb red, red plants are very likely to be low in chlorophyll. A white bismarckia is white because it reflects much more light than it absorbs and the reflected sunlight is of a wide band, that is white. All visible colors in sunlight add to ~white. So on hypothesis that is supported by the data is that red bismarckias have lost their wax(purple also to a lesser degree) probably due to cold(wax becomes brittle at low temps and may shed) and are chlorophyll deficient. How can this happen? When the plant withdraws sap the chlorophyll will be partly removed from the leaflet and drawn into the root system. I do see this as a protection mechanism as that chlorophyll takes lots of energy to produce and is the life blood of the plant. this hypothesis is also consistent with Rays observation that his root damaged bizzie turned red. When bizzies roots are damaged they "bleed" profusely from what I have read.

carotenoids_absorption-spectrum.jpg

the color of matter has to do with the light that is passed vs absorbed. absorb red transmitted light will be blue, absorb red and blue transmitted light is green like chlorophyll, absorb blue the transmitted light is red.

I agree.

It is logical.

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Gentlemen, calling each other names is pathetic, no real scientist does this when discussion science. Read my post, and if you can come up with an explanation for the color, bring it on, I'd love to hear it!

Tom, let's be real; scientists, doctors and all humans bicker--Heck yeah they do! Have you ever seen the top doctors, that work for the NFL, defame anyone who has anything to say about the science of concussions?

Tom, I like how you look to science in order to prove or disprove your point, but I think in this case, you are trying to obfuscate the situation. You are not taking into account that there are different colored Bismarckia whether there is cold or not--maybe you should break down a punnett square for us? lol

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Cikas, so your saying that Miami is to cold for bizzies and they are stressed? I find this very hard to believe. Miami is practically tropical. Further more if these "stressed" red bizzies were so unhealthy then why do they grow so fast? Lastly I can tell you that my "stressed" bizzies are red year around, they don't turn silver spring - fall when my temps are in the 80-100s. Your unhealthy bizzy theory doesn't seem to hold water

Maybe all of the red latania are stressed too

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I took issue with Cikas' statement because I looked up the temperature range in the native habitat for bismarckia. Both the silver and the green grow all the way up to 6,000 feet where occasional frost is present. The gene pool for many palms in the Southern part of the island features a lot of cold hardiness even for palms that only grow at lower elevation where it never drops below 15C. Most of that cold hardiness is easy to understand if you map out the trajectory that Madagascar has taken over the eons, and the coming and going of ice ages. For example the triangle dypsis is now a common landscape palm in Southern California. There are specimens downtown Riverside that routinely take upper 20's without even a hint of stress. Yet in habitat along the beaches of Madagascar, this palm never sees anything below maybe 18C.

Bottom line: just because a palm doesn't experience certain conditions in its present climate of origin doesn't mean it's not suitable for subtropical or warm temperate areas. And funny thing is, Tobias who has been to Madagascar explains clearly that this palm is purple as a seedling, yet Cikas insists on knowing for a fact that these palms do not show purple in habitat as seedlings. Has be been there? Probably not. Well, I will go along with the opinion coming from an expert who has the right credentials.

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Gentlemen, calling each other names is pathetic, no real scientist does this when discussion science. Read my post, and if you can come up with an explanation for the color, bring it on, I'd love to hear it!

Tom, let's be real; scientists, doctors and all humans bicker--Heck yeah they do! Have you ever seen the top doctors, that work for the NFL, defame anyone who has anything to say about the science of concussions?

Tom, I like how you look to science in order to prove or disprove your point, but I think in this case, you are trying to obfuscate the situation. You are not taking into account that there are different colored Bismarckia whether there is cold or not--maybe you should break down a punnett square for us? lol

Andrew is that the best you can do? I am a spectroscopist, I do this for a living so I break it down to the possibilities. I know where the color comes from, I'm not sure you do. The anecdotal evidence you contributed is not going to be accepted scientifically, and I don't expect any real discussion of the facts here with those. Plant botany isn't nuclear physics, and this part of it isn't all that hard to understand. There are only so many possibilities for the red color. In the petioles its not so bad, in leaves it prevents photosynthesis. Red bizzies are for some reason exhibiting a low level of chlorophyll. If you think this is good, we obviously cant discuss this. As seedlings many plants struggle for various reasons, but as the plant becomes larger this chlorophyll deficiency cannot be consistent with good health any more than anemia is good for humans.

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Spectroscopist--is that the guy who feeds the little camera into the back end of patients? :mrlooney: Hey, I am glad you have such an awesome title! I totally understand that my argument is not backed by science, but that does not mean I yield to your observations. I really don't have anything to add scientifically, but I am still fairly certain I am right. It would be nice if one of us could be proven correct, but I don't see how... is this where we just respectfully think the other is wrong? :winkie:

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Cikas, so your saying that Miami is to cold for bizzies and they are stressed? I find this very hard to believe. Miami is practically tropical. Further more if these "stressed" red bizzies were so unhealthy then why do they grow so fast? Lastly I can tell you that my "stressed" bizzies are red year around, they don't turn silver spring - fall when my temps are in the 80-100s. Your unhealthy bizzy theory doesn't seem to hold water

Maybe all of the red latania are stressed too

Bismarckia is very hardy palm.

In natural environment it is exposed to very harsh conditions. Exposed to conditions from extreme drought to high humidity. Also fires are common in that area.

But cold is not something that Bismarckia sees in natural habitat.

Only reason why Bismarckia can survive in our zones 9 and 10 is because it has strong capacity for regeneration ( adaptation to fires ). Because in their natural habitat climate is hot, truly hot. It is truly a tropical climate.

Temperatures never goes below 9-10 degrees Celsius. Even USDA zone 10 is cold for Bismarckia.

Bismarckia will survive in zone 9 and 10. But it will not be happy in winter. And she will show that with redish or purple color.

When Bismarckia is sick, it will be red. It is always red when sick. If you damaged roots of bismarckia, leaves will in the next few days become red. That is the fact.

Every time when something is wrong with temperature, soil, exposure to sunlight, roots, bismarckia will change color to red.

And you can test that on healthy silver Bismarckia.

Edited by Cikas
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Cikas, so your saying that Miami is to cold for bizzies and they are stressed? I find this very hard to believe. Miami is practically tropical. Further more if these "stressed" red bizzies were so unhealthy then why do they grow so fast? Lastly I can tell you that my "stressed" bizzies are red year around, they don't turn silver spring - fall when my temps are in the 80-100s. Your unhealthy bizzy theory doesn't seem to hold water

Maybe all of the red latania are stressed too

Bismarckia is very hardy palm.

In natural environment it is exposed to very harsh conditions. Exposed to conditions from extreme drought to high humidity. Also fires are common in that area.

But cold is not something that Bismarckia sees in natural habitat.

Only reason why Bismarckia can survive in our zones 9 and 10 is because it has strong capacity for regeneration ( adaptation to fires ). Because in their natural habitat climate is hot, truly hot. It is truly a tropical climate.

Temperatures never goes below 9-10 degrees Celsius. Even USDA zone 10 is cold for Bismarckia.

Bismarckia will survive in zone 9 and 10. But it will not be happy in winter. And she will show that with redish or purple color.

When Bismarckia is sick, it will be red. It is always red when sick. If you damaged roots of bismarckia, leaves will in the next few days become red. That is the fact.

Every time when something is wrong with temperature, soil, exposure to sunlight, roots, bismarckia will change color to red.

This is basically all I have left to add to this: I maintain that no Bismarckia goes from red, to silver, and back to red again--once the transformation to silver is complete(if the particular palm will turn silver) the palm cannot revert back to a red or purple or any other shade. This would lend to my point holding water, right Tom? I also concur that if you can show us that a Bizzy has turned back to a red, from once being fully silver, then I am wrong.

Has anyone ever seen a large red one?.. I bet not, since I maintain this to be a seedling trait for only the most silver cultivars.

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