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GaDawg

Phoenix theophrasti

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GaDawg

Why aren’t there more of these being utilized here in the US?  Can these handle the southeast’s humidity?

I know many people aren’t advised to plant filifera- another palm that doesn’t like humidity- in the southeast, but I’ve heard of quite a few people that grow filifera- as opposed to the less hardy robusta- in 8b/8a South Carolina, middle 8a Georgia, the pan handle of Florida and in Texas. 

With the hardiness, I would assume there would be more of these. 

Edited by GaDawg

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_Keith

I coddled mine like a baby.  It sure did not like it here. 

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GaDawg

How did you coddle it? 

And, is it growing? 

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kinzyjr

I have 13 in pots here and 4 in the ground.  I sent a few to SC and NM.  The only issue I've had with mine is the usual issue of graphiola leaf spot that also affects phoenix dactylifera in humid climates.

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GaDawg
2 minutes ago, kinzyjr said:

I have 13 in pots here and 4 in the ground.  I sent a few to SC and NM.  The only issue I've had with mine is the usual issue of graphiola leaf spot that also affects phoenix dactylifera in humid climates.

Do you sell them? How big are they? 

I guess they’re more hardier than a Sylvester and Canary? 

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kinzyjr

Mine are at the stage where they are transitioning from strap leaves to normal fronds.  They are a bit behind what they would normally be since they were kept in dappled light in the garage for a while to keep the critters from snacking on them.  Their hardiness has been the topic of much discussion, but I think the consensus thus far has been they are roughly equal in hardiness to dactylifera and/or CIDP.  Somewhere in that 15-20F range on the east side of the USA and much hardier in arid or semi-arid areas.

I can get a couple of them to you if you want some.  PM me please.

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GaDawg

It wouldn’t let me send this pic through messenger, so I put it here. 

Question: what is the growth rate of Theophrasti compared to a Sylvester. I bought this Sylvester from Tyty about 2 years ago. It was in a 5gallon pot and stood about 3’ tall in the pot. It is now well above 9’ in less than two years. 

2E6BC205-07C1-45AB-BC6A-5D52AE4A1F59.jpeg

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kinzyjr

In my case, pretty close to that.  All of the ones I have one tap right now are ~ a year old from seed.

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RJ

Lazz here on PT has one in Charleston, SC that if I recall is going fine. Perhaps he will chime in. 

 

 

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Laaz

I have three here in Charleston that are doing excellent & flowering. So far two are males & the other hasn't flowered yet. Largest has about 6 ft of clear trunk. They sucker like hell, but I keep them trimmed to a single trunk.

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NC_Palms

I want to try one here but I have no idea where to buy one. 

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kinzyjr
24 minutes ago, NC_Palms said:

I want to try one here but I have no idea where to buy one. 

I know where you can get one... or more.  Send me a PM.

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TexasColdHardyPalms

I know of a small batch of Theos field grown near Alexandria, LA that made it through this winter without too much burn and are doing well.  Several hundred Butia Odorata next to them defoliated and died from fungus and are being bulldozed.  The Odorata were 4-7' clear trunk specimens and the theos have leaves about 9-11' tall.  That part of LA is as hot and humid as you're going to get in the summer and the rainfall is around the highest of anywhere in the Southeast US.

I have sold seedling and 3-5G Theos for the last two years.  

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AZPalms

I bought a 5g Theo from Texascoldhardy. It’s noticeably more “prickly” than my Dacty or Sylvester. It’s been slow so far but I think it’s just settling in. Overall it looks more similar to the Dacty but has a different look to it. I look forward to it growing! I think next year when the heat rolls around it will pop. 

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GaDawg

Can some of you guys post pictures, if you have them? 

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Steve in Florida

I've grown them from seed from several localities.  The most resistant to highly humid conditions is the form from Crete. This one reportedly has it's origins from Crete.

IMG_5406.JPG

Edited by Steve in Florida
typo
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kinzyjr

There is also a blue form that I've seen in person at Kopsick Palm Arboretum.  There are several photos in multiple threads on this site showing it.  One of the best pictures was taken by @SubTropicRay on this thread: http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/8892-cfpacs-at-gizella-kopsick-palm-arboretum/&do=findComment&comment=149083

I don't personally have any of the blue variety, unfortunately.

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Laaz

Here's two of mine. They were planted from 5 gallon size.

A few years in.

n2hoih.jpg

First flowering.

16aa3vm.jpg

 

I'll have to get some new photos later.

 

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Swolte

" Why aren’t there more of these being utilized here in the US? "

I actually just did some semi-extensive reading last week on these palms and one consideration, other than the somewhat variable reporting in hardiness, may ALSO be that they have a lot of very nasty/dangerous spines. They tend to sucker as well which makes the spines a pain to remove. This also restricts where you can put them. I should have one coming my way from TCHP soon in a few days, so I am curious to try them here in 8b college station, Texas. It's typically less humid here than Houston, so maybe it will survive. I have a visible yet somewhat isolated spot in mind. We'll see!

~ S

Edited by Swolte

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Laaz

Another shot of two of mine from a couple years ago. Yes the spines are wicked.

 

23vm6gw.jpg

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kinzyjr
52 minutes ago, Laaz said:

Another shot of two of mine from a couple years ago. Yes the spines are wicked.

Gorgeous theos, Laaz.  You keep them well trimmed, so you should get a medal of honor for that.  You said you got them as a 5G.  Any idea on combined age in pot and in ground?

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GaDawg
2 hours ago, Laaz said:

Another shot of two of mine from a couple years ago. Yes the spines are wicked.

 

23vm6gw.jpg

How old are these, Laaz? 

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Laaz

I bought them when I bought the house in 2004. They went in the ground right away. They are larger than that now.

Edited by Laaz
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Austinpalm
5 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

For anyone that would be interested in a condensed list of hardiness observations for Phoenix theophrasti, I've attached a spreadsheet of the observations I've found posted on this site with links to each of the threads.

201811300000_PhoenixTheophrasti_PalmtalkObservations.xlsx

Thanks for grouping and summarizing the various cold hardiness reports on P. theophrasti.  I planted a nice 5-gallon theo this summer I bought from TCHP. Am looking forward to seeing it take off. On a side note. I am hoping to see this species in habitat in Greece this coming spring while on vacation.

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kinzyjr
1 minute ago, Austinpalm said:

Thanks for grouping and summarizing the various cold hardiness reports on P. theophrasti.  I planted a nice 5-gallon theo this summer I bought from TCHP. Am looking forward to seeing it take off. On a side note. I am hoping to see this species in habitat in Greece this coming spring while on vacation.

You're welcome.  For some reason, I've favored this palm since I was introduced to it.  It would be awesome to see them growing in their native habitats in Greece, Crete, and Turkey.  Is the palm that you got of the green or blue-ish variety?

From reading the threads listed in the spreadsheet, it appears there is a significant variance in cold hardiness and appearance between the different populations of this species.

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Austinpalm

Was only able to find the green variety.

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Yort

The green 'variety' turns blue in summer and the blue 'variety' turns green in winter:lol:

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Love them palms

15463849850176293516190682163424.thumb.j

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Love them palms

My 2 Phoenix theophrasti have their first strap leaf, they are about 8-7 inches long. anyone know when the second leaf will start

Edited by Love them palms

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kinzyjr
3 minutes ago, Love them palms said:

My 2 have their first strap leaf, they are about 8-7 inches long. anyone know when the second leaf will start

It's normally not long after they have their first leaf the whole way out. 

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Marius

My two theos are two years old from seed. Both growing outside since the first pinnate leaf appeared. It’s very dry here. I water them every day in the late afternoon. 

image.jpg

image.jpg

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Fusca
20 hours ago, Marius said:

My two theos are two years old from seed.

Looking good Marius!  Here is mine that I bought as a 3-gallon plant back in March. 

 

001.JPG

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Marius
27 minutes ago, Fusca said:

Looking good Marius!  Here is mine that I bought as a 3-gallon plant back in March. 

 

001.JPG

It’s a beautiful specimen. It appears to be about thrice the size of my two. I wonder how old it is. Any idea? 

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Fusca

I'm not sure of the age - I bought it from Joseph @TexasColdHardyPalms  I'm sure he could tell you but I believe he grew it from seed.  At the time back in March he was about to pot it up to a 5-gallon container.  I really like it but it is a prickly one!

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Matt N- Dallas

In my experience w/ ph. theophrastii in Dallas and San Marcos, Tx- I’ve found them to be no hardier to cold than dactylifera.  In Dallas, I lost one with a ft of trunk after Feb, 2011 and had dactylifera survive.  In San Marcos- leaf hardiness has been the same as dactylifera and the theos have been slow growers.  Maybe, in a drier climate their cold hardiness would be better.  They seem to be more spiny than dacty’s and canariensis. 

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kinzyjr
28 minutes ago, Matt N- Dallas said:

In my experience w/ ph. theophrastii in Dallas and San Marcos, Tx- I’ve found them to be no hardier to cold than dactylifera.  In Dallas, I lost one with a ft of trunk after Feb, 2011 and had dactylifera survive.  In San Marcos- leaf hardiness has been the same as dactylifera and the theos have been slow growers.  Maybe, in a drier climate their cold hardiness would be better.  They seem to be more spiny than dacty’s and canariensis. 

They are definitely more spiny than dactylifera.  I have 4 seed-grown dactylifera and there aren't any of them that are as spiny as any of my theophrasti.

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dekaoxtoyra

hello and happy new year 2019

interesting ,and good looking palm

i have one from seed ,it was suffer a winter as i

but recover

i think plants and palms also like humans are living entities ,is not only the cold or the humid

but also a stressing environment can harm a plant or a palm

there also many theories  that plants bloom more when talk to them in a warm good way 

when love them finally

so also about palms

thanks

George tsopozidis

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UK_Palms

Here's my Theophrasti here in the UK, which is in need of a major trim and tidy up...

The browning of the fronds and damage is from the summer when it incurred drought damage...

large.IMG_0013.jpg.83f517d18bc46cd3da8d8large.IMG_0018.jpg.2307150000fcb00521addlarge.IMG_0019.jpg.c74c649f66d91539a47d3

I cannot understate just how much water these things require in the summer. By far the heaviest drinking palm I have ever seen! During summer they require constant access to water, with continuous irrigations and constantly wet soil. Some people may say that is not good for phoenix palms and promotes rot, but from my experience, Theophrasti demands extreme levels of water from June - August, and quickly kicks up a fuss if it doesn't get it. Canariensis has a similar water requirement during the summer, and kicks up a fuss if it doesn't get enough water as well, but no where near to the extent that Theo's do. I would go as far as saying that Theo's require 2-3 x as much water as CIDP's do, from my observations.

I didn't water my potted Theophrasti for a whole week in June, thinking it would be okay, since it is a relative of Dactylifera. However, I quickly noticed the fronds browning off and dying, and all-around growth grinding to a halt. All in the space of a week. I began heavy irrigations on a daily basis, but the knock on effects of not receiving any irrigations for a week, resulted in continuous die back of fronds right into July. Growth also remained minimal, until I was able to rectify the issue by placing its pot in a large water tray, and keeping the tray constantly topped up with water so it had access to water 24/7. On top of that I was still watering the pot from above each day. Only then did I see growth levels resume and the fronds stop dying. The sheer volume of water that thing was guzzling down was unbelievable.

If you look at Theophasti's native range, it is always growing along streams and rivers, in valleys right down to the beachfront. No doubt the extensive root system taps into the subterranean streams and water sources. In fact you rarely, if ever, see Theophrasti growing away from a water source in its native range. I even saw some in Crete that were partially submerged in water, around the base, and growing fine. The native range also receives around 20 inches of rain a year, which is fairly high, at least in comparison with the 4-5 inches of rain that Dactylifera and Canariensis may be accustomed to in their native ranges. Dactylifera survives in areas that receives 1-2 inches of rain a year even. They might be of the same Phoenix family, but the 3 palm species are actually very different, especially when it comes to water requirements. I can't stress this enough and I won't fall victim to this next year. My CIDP didn't get watered either during that week in June, and had little to no ill effects, whereas the Theo suffered badly, which just goes to show the difference in water requirements...

Vicious spines on this thing...

large.5c30d786bc9c6_Theo1.jpg.3282f036f4

large.5c30d23abc9b5_Theo2.jpg.c1d2b99d6a

Strong spear...

large.IMG_0022.jpg.6fd480e6f0616285f56d0

Another observation I have made regarding cold hardiness is that while my Canariensis has stopped its growth and gone dormant, now that we are deep into winter, the Theophrasti on the other hand is continuing to push out new spears and fronds! This leads me to believe that Theo's will actively grow in cooler conditions than CIDP. It looks like Canariensis requires warmer temperatures than the Theophrasti does to actively grow, so for me there is a benefit that Theophrasti may continue to grow year-round in my climate, whereas CIDP only grows for 9-10 months of the year here. 

Of course this doesn't necessarily have a bearing on actual cold hardiness. Both are pretty hardy. I had a one off low of 23F a few weeks back and neither showed the slightest bit of damage. The Canariensis has survived 12F in a pot, sat on my patio last winter, so it is a right hardy SOAB. Grown from seed and gradually accustomed to my climate though, no doubt. My Theophrasti has yet to be tested at such low temperatures, since I got it in April, but I have heard reports of the blue Theo variant surviving 15F unscathed in Turkey and down to 10F with some damage. I'm pretty sure mine is of the blue variant, as it looks distinctively different to other Theo's that I have seen, which were much greener. The green ones are supposed to be 5F less hardy, roughly.

I will continue to monitor my Theo over winter and make observations...

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