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Cycad cones and flushes

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Tracy
On 10/11/2020 at 12:37 PM, Merlyn2220 said:

What are you planning to use for pollen?  I haven't seen any Laurentianus x (something), so I have no clue what they might hybridize with.  I have a Gratus x Whitelockii that is really neat, with the draping Gratus style leaves but twice as long as normal. 

Hopefully these girls will be in a "family way" in short order.  Round one of dosing occurred today and just to mix it up, I impulsively decided to grab some pollen from an E nat x horridus which I used on the cone to the far right in the last photo.  As planned I used the sclavoi pollen on the back cone and haven't decided what to use on the one to the far left yet but need to decide tonight.  If you look closely, you can see the cracks between some of the scales.  I think these super large scales on the female cones of this species make it easier to see when they are opening up.

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Tracy
On 10/21/2020 at 5:33 PM, Tracy said:

I impulsively decided to grab some pollen from an E nat x horridus which I used on the cone to the far right in the last photo.

Last week I saw the pollen on the E nat x horridus just screaming to be collected and used.  Who could resist a cone that looked like this, just begging.

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Tracy

I'm collecting pollen from these three amigos.  Not sure where to use it, but I'm sure something will come to mind.

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Merlyn
On 10/21/2020 at 8:33 PM, Tracy said:

Hopefully these girls will be in a "family way" in short order.  Round one of dosing occurred today and just to mix it up, I impulsively decided to grab some pollen from an E nat x horridus which I used on the cone to the far right in the last photo.  As planned I used the sclavoi pollen on the back cone and haven't decided what to use on the one to the far left yet but need to decide tonight. 

There's a local grower here that says he has Gratus x Laurentianus and they are very fast growers.  I am not sure if they are GxL or LxG, but I am going to take a look in a couple of weeks.  It could be an interesting hybrid!

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freakypalmguy
On 11/13/2020 at 4:25 AM, Tracy said:

I'm collecting pollen from these three amigos.  Not sure where to use it, but I'm sure something will come to mind.

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Hi Tracy,  Do you freeze your pollen for long term storage, I’ve let a lot of pollen go to waste, I’ve been thinking about starting to store some, since the timing of cones in my garden never seems right?

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Tracy
15 hours ago, freakypalmguy said:

Hi Tracy,  Do you freeze your pollen for long term storage, I’ve let a lot of pollen go to waste, I’ve been thinking about starting to store some, since the timing of cones in my garden never seems right?

Yes on the freezing.  I put the pollen in a labeled envelope that isn't sealed just folded closed, then put that in a zip lock before putting it in a freezer.  I think to really do it properly for preservation, you would want a freezer that goes significantly lower than a household one, but I use what I have.  Fortunately, we have an extra refrigerator in the garage so I have space in that freezer for my baggies.  I hate letting female cones go to waste when the timing is off, which is why I've started saving pollen.  I wrote earlier this year about my Cycas debaoensis being a little off timing and my Cycas thouarsii x cupida male being way behind the female of the same cross.  No guarantees that my pollen will be viable a full year later if the females cone again, but better to have something to try.

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freakypalmguy

Excellent Tracy, thank you for the info. I’ve been saving palm a Cycad pollen in the fridge for short periods but need to save for next season like you mentioned.

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Coasta

I love this thread!! I am hoping this is my first encephalartos flush!!! Something is creeping out! Any thoughts on if I am lucky :). 20201119_084327.thumb.jpg.fe04c6467b4ec48bda9ddf905f72c90c.jpg20201119_084411.thumb.jpg.96c91c9f09925e21fa23060592114eb0.jpg

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Tracy
On 11/19/2020 at 7:08 PM, Gas man said:

Ceratozamia  hildae 

 

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Female.

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Tracy

A hat for this girl.  Since its raining and she just got pollinated I don't want the rain to wash out the pollen.  It gives a nice perspective on how big the cone is too.

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Sr. Califas

Late 2020 flush started October 20ish. You can see the progression, things looking real good and exiting. Then... we got an early November frost :badday::(  :crying:

Still looking beautiful and blue despite the cold spots! :)

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Post frost pictures. Please cycads, don't flush in the middle of a heat wave or frost.  :)

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Manalto

It's eerily beautiful. Nice photos!

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buccaneers37

First time my natalensis has coned, and it's a female. My female concinus is also conning.

Concinus cones.jpg

Natalensis cone.jpg

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Tracy
On 12/28/2020 at 6:47 PM, Tracy said:

A hat for this girl.  Since its raining and she just got pollinated I don't want the rain to wash out the pollen.  It gives a nice perspective on how big the cone is too.

Her hat is off now.  Had a little oozing from where she was injected with the pollen, but that only served to seal up the wounds so that the rain is sealed out.  The big pup and the main caudex are pumping up the juices for a flush.  The main caudex flush which is still building below the surface like a volcano has push clearly pushed the cone off center.  This is Encephalartos horridus x woodii is always at the top of my revolving favorites list.

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gtsteve

This Macrozamia communis is quite colourful, now that it is falling apart.

Do they always develop like this even if not fertilized?

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Tracy
On 3/19/2021 at 9:12 PM, gtsteve said:

This Macrozamia communis is quite colourful, now that it is falling apart.

Do they always develop like this even if not fertilized?

Yes Steve, visually they look the same whether pollinated or not.  That is why you have to do float tests and open up a few seeds to see if the embryos are developing even if you pollinate to determine if they are viable.  Looking at a decaying cone doesn't tell you anything about whether the cone has been pollinated.  I don't know what the extent of the range is for the natural pollinator for these is in Australia but perhaps someone else there knows if they are present where you live.

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Merlyn

I was thrilled to see this big Hildebrandtii starting a flush a couple of weeks ago.  In early January the tree guys lost a 40' long piece of an 80' tall pine tree, and it fell over the entire bed of cycads.  The trunk landed on the center of the Hildebrandtii and broke about half of the fronds off.  I had to cut off pretty much everything on the side towards the camera.  It responded with an early flush of around 22 fronds!  The Zamia Picta/Variegata on the right has put up 1 or 2 fronds from the 4 caudexes, so it looks like it'll recover soon.  The unknown small Zamia on the bottom left was completely defoliated by the pine, and hasn't shown signs of motion yet.  But hopefully soon!

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edbrown_III

wow

 

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Tracy

First cone on this Cycas szechuanensis ssp fairylakea which is clearly male.  I just hope it isn't as fragrant as Cycas thouarsii, as it is right outside my wife's bedroom window and she doesn't like the smell of thouarsii cones.

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DippyD
On 1/24/2021 at 11:27 AM, Tracy said:

Her hat is off now.  Had a little oozing from where she was injected with the pollen, but that only served to seal up the wounds so that the rain is sealed out.  The big pup and the main caudex are pumping up the juices for a flush.  The main caudex flush which is still building below the surface like a volcano has push clearly pushed the cone off center.  This is Encephalartos horridus x woodii is always at the top of my revolving favorites list.

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What did you juice her with???

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DippyD

Snagged this little Gem the other day....

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Palm Tree Jim

Walking through my garden and found this laurentianus starting to flush. A little early but I won't complain!

 

 

IMG_3940.jpg

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Cycadsavy
On 3/26/2021 at 11:39 PM, DippyD said:

Snagged this little Gem the other day....

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What is this?

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amh
On 3/25/2021 at 1:08 PM, Tracy said:

First cone on this Cycas szechuanensis ssp fairylakea which is clearly male.  I just hope it isn't as fragrant as Cycas thouarsii, as it is right outside my wife's bedroom window and she doesn't like the smell of thouarsii cones.

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Do you know the cold hardiness of Cycas szechuanensis?

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Tracy
16 hours ago, amh said:

Do you know the cold hardiness of Cycas szechuanensis?

No, but there is probably some information out there on it.  I seem to recall that the habitat is a little different for the two main sub-species, so you would also want to research that if you have a specific target range.

 

22 hours ago, Palm Tree Jim said:

Walking through my garden and found this laurentianus starting to flush. A little early but I won't complain!

 

 

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Jim, my experience with this species is that it can pop at any time.  Mine pushed it's last flush after coning last summer, so the flush was just going above the wall next to it as we hit winter temps, wind and rain.  It was the perfect storm for damaging the upper half of the flush.  Hopefully as yours pushes out we will be out of the nasty weather so you get a clean looking flush.  Mine is holding two flushes plus the 3 big cones, but I'm already looking forward to a mid-summer flush this time so I can cut off the trashy looking last flush.  As we say, just one flush away from beauty again.

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Palm Tree Jim

Tracy,

In the past this cycad always flushed late in the year and it never would look it’s best.

My guess is the new flush could be close to 12 feet, and that’s based on the last flush.

Let’s hope for some luck with this flush.

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DippyD
On 3/29/2021 at 5:52 PM, Cycadsavy said:

What is this?

not completely certain but i believe this is a Lat x Hor. only a few have been made and this plant fits the size for the time they were made. 

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Merlyn

Here's one of my Laurentianus, starting what looks like a 4 leaf flush.  It put up 3 fronds late last summer, about 8-10' long.  They were somewhat damaged with 28F and frost, then 31F and heavy frost in January.  So it'll be nice to see a new set on this one.  That's the fronds of a vaguely-ID'd Cycas photobombing from the right side. 

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And here's another one that I've been hoping for a flush.  It got completely defoliated by the pine tree, except for about 8 inches of one frond.  Theoretically it's an E. Manikensis "Choala," though I haven't confirmed the ID yet.  And yes, I really need to get out there and weed!

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And another that was 99% defoliated in the pine tree debacle.  This unknown Zamia looks like it is growing from almost all heads, I think about 10 spots.  It's kind of a Furfuracea / Loddigesii thing.  Once the fronds finish I'll have to post a few photos and see if anyone can ID it.

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Tracy
On 3/31/2021 at 9:18 AM, DippyD said:

not completely certain but i believe this is a Lat x Hor. only a few have been made and this plant fits the size for the time they were made. 

Interesting.  I know there are some E horridus x latifrons, but not aware of the opposite cross.  Usually the mother plant is the more rare in crosses unless someone just can't get the right male pollen to do the "pure" pollination (e.g. E latifrons x latifrons).  I never asked George Sparkman about his E horridus x latifrons hybrids and if it was his own pollination or if he acquired the seedlings from the person who did the cross, but I was aware he had some.

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Merlyn

I was at Leu Gardens today and found this big coning Dioon Mejiae.  It was brilliant white, and probably 10" in diameter. 

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