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Brahea Axel

B. Alfredii under-rated

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Stevetoad

Just to add some more pics here is quamans windows form. I have a tiny Alfredii that will be no help so ill just post Brett's.

post-5835-0-33460600-1365895413_thumb.jp

post-5835-0-64025700-1365895460_thumb.jp

post-5835-0-85066700-1365895497_thumb.jp

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Moose

http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=141569

This one is from Jeff's garden is Beccariophoenix sp. 'Coastal Form' which may be a variant or an undescribed species. Mike Harris (Waykoolplantz) has the most robust Beccariophoenix sp. 'Coastal Form' I have seen. I can't locate a photo of it. Perhaps he will be kind enough to do so.

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Jonathan

These are not emerging canopy palms, so for success they will need exposure sooner then later is my guess.

Interesting thread...but Len - what do you base this statement on?

The habitat photo's posted above, which have been bandied around for several years and are admittedly the only ones I've seen (are there any others?), show what looks likely to be a badly altered and eroded landscape, as is much of Madagascar, maybe due to overgrazing and other human related activites. If this is the case then there's no way of knowing whether these palms were originally growing in the shelter of a closed forest or not.

Palms are often left alone when other natural vegetation is destroyed by farming - people seem to like them and maybe goats cant reach the canopy! Livistona decora in N. Queensland is a classic case, as is Ceroxylon in Colombia. If the only photo's you'd ever seen of C. quinduiense were the classic shots of the open Andean hillsides studded with 200' palms, you'd make the same assumption about that species - which we can safely assume to be rubbish, due to the proximity of the surrounding cloud forest.

Maybe in the drier climate of central Madagascar the potential for desication of deforested hillsides is higher than in the humid areas where Ceroxylon live, resulting in the landscape you see in the B. alfredii habitat shots. As anyone who has visited palms in dry area habitats would know, once they get their feet into the ground water they are bloody hard to kill!

The larger palms in those photo's could easily have germinated and lived a large proportion of their lives under canopy. Your guess may be right - but it may just as easily be wrong.

My general opinion about this whole thread would be to agree with whoverer it was who said earlier that theres no point giving too much of a damn about other peoples growing experiences unless they basically live next door to you.

There are too many variabilities, soil, humidity, temperature, air movement, canopy type or lack off, etc. etc.

Just try it and see if it grows - if it doesn't something else will!

Cheers,

Jonathan

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Brahea Axel

The knowledge we have about Beccariophoenix reminds me a lot of the knowledge about parajubaea. At first there was just cocoides, then torralyi showed up, then macrocarpa, then sunkha. All of these have different degrees of adaptability.

So if I were to summarize what I've learned so far, it's that:

1) Beccariophoenix has three distinct recognized species at this time, with possibly two more:

- Beccariophoenix madagascariensis, or "No Windows", which seems to have some frost resistance and grows in California

- Beccariophoenix 'Windows', which apparently comes from one lone tree in Madagascar, most tender of them all

- Beccariophoenix alfredii blue-green form with green petiole

The additional possibilities are:

- Beccariophoenix alfredii brown/purple petiole form, which may be a result of more shade, but not known for sure. Associated with more pointy seeds?

- Beccariophoenix sp. 'Coastal Form', not sure I understand where this one fits in

Did I get this right?

2) As Len pointed out, many of the pictures floating around the internet are often mis-identified, mostly it seems people borrow "windows" pictures to sell "Alfredii", so they're not really Alfredii but Windows. "No Windows" pictures seem less suitable because they are much more upright.

3) There's no guarantee that any Beccariophoenix are actually full sun Savana trees (my wrong assumption comparing it to bismarckia) since much of the area where they grow have been deforested. That actually seems to support the frost readings, which come in high for canopy plants but low for fully exposed specimens. Although one doesn't imply the other, it's pure speculation.

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LJG

These are not emerging canopy palms, so for success they will need exposure sooner then later is my guess.

Interesting thread...but Len - what do you base this statement on?

The habitat photo's posted above, which have been bandied around for several years and are admittedly the only ones I've seen (are there any others?), show what looks likely to be a badly altered and eroded landscape, as is much of Madagascar, maybe due to overgrazing and other human related activites. If this is the case then there's no way of knowing whether these palms were originally growing in the shelter of a closed forest or not.

Palms are often left alone when other natural vegetation is destroyed by farming - people seem to like them and maybe goats cant reach the canopy! Livistona decora in N. Queensland is a classic case, as is Ceroxylon in Colombia. If the only photo's you'd ever seen of C. quinduiense were the classic shots of the open Andean hillsides studded with 200' palms, you'd make the same assumption about that species - which we can safely assume to be rubbish, due to the proximity of the surrounding cloud forest.

Maybe in the drier climate of central Madagascar the potential for desication of deforested hillsides is higher than in the humid areas where Ceroxylon live, resulting in the landscape you see in the B. alfredii habitat shots. As anyone who has visited palms in dry area habitats would know, once they get their feet into the ground water they are bloody hard to kill!

The larger palms in those photo's could easily have germinated and lived a large proportion of their lives under canopy. Your guess may be right - but it may just as easily be wrong.

I have never seen any place stripped of vegation that leaves a massive strain of natural palms in one place and nothing else around. These palms were undetected and in a remote area or they would have been described years prior. Also, the fact this palm handles full sun at a very yound age tells me it is no emerging canopy palm. So I'll stick with my assessment - which certainly could be wrong. I guess we will let the people that have been there tell us for sure. No sense arguing it.

My general opinion about this whole thread would be to agree with whoverer it was who said earlier that theres no point giving too much of a damn about other peoples growing experiences unless they basically live next door to you.

There are too many variabilities, soil, humidity, temperature, air movement, canopy type or lack off, etc. etc.

Just try it and see if it grows - if it doesn't something else will!

Cheers,

Jonathan

Jonathan, no offense here, but to me this is a rediculous statement when you think going it alone is better then working off the experience of others. Why read post on PT about grower experience at all? Why share your experience with what you grow if no one will take the advice? I prefer to take what knowledge I can to give me a better understanding of what I am trying to grow for its ultimate success. If you prefer to waste such a limited resource as time, that is your choice. I don't. I have learned so much from other people's growing experiences around the world and my garden shows it. Even zone pushers will use other people's experience and they are found all over the world - not next door to each other. Again, not trying to offend you, but I just don't get the "Just try it and see if it grows - if it doesn't something else will!" There is so much more to growing palms then sticking something in the ground and many of the tips for its success can come from someone not living next door to you. What if I told you I have never meet one person that has said Alfredii does better in full shade then in full sun as a larger plant? Should I discount all those experiences and throw one in shade? Certainly not telling you not to, that's your own choice. I chose to plant mine in full sun based off Peter Balasky and Jeff Searle's advice. Glad I did.

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richnorm

Axel, there are two recognised species. Beccariophoenix alfredii and B. madagascariensis.

The windows form has yet to be named but I understand is likely to achieve species status (B. fenistralis was rumoured at one time).

There may be other forms like "pointy seed" which may yet get recognition by the botanists but this might be a very long way off.

Variation in petiole or leaflet colour in alfredii is insignificant, but sometimes is a helpful aid to ID.

A friendly word of advice. Please don't event think about getting into Dypsis or you will end up in an asylum!

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sonoranfans

I went back and looked over the freeze damage thread on this palm and found some interesting trends: 8/19 palm talkers growing these palms initially reported "no damage" right after the event, then weeks later came back with a contrary report of bad damage or death. Several of these that survived had spear pull when no damage was the initial report. Several members that reported survival of a cold event/frost did not follow up(their data is suspect unless given a follow up). Quite a few members put seedlings out into some pretty nasty cold, both freshly planted and in pots. this was probably due to the advertized cold hardiness, unfortunately. A few members had numbers seedlings in the open and under cover. those under cover rarely had bad damage, those in the open mostly died. Overall I would say there is not a significant discrepancy in frost tolerance between posters. Since most of these plants were small seedlings, we can expect that small seedlings are frost sensitive, but can take temps well under freezing. So these palms should not be planted out as small seedlings unless under cover. Of the larger specimens, the only one to die was subjected to frost and 21F out in the open, and this is what I would expect of a 9b palm. I think B alfredii had such promise as the cold hardy coconut that many plunged right in and subjected small palms to some pretty bad conditions. As a solid 9b palm it could still be a great palm. Many palms that do well in 9b are tender as seedlings. I routinely keep most of my palms in pots and protected till they are 5-10 gallon size because of this.

Edited by sonoranfans

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Jonathan

My general opinion about this whole thread would be to agree with whoverer it was who said earlier that theres no point giving too much of a damn about other peoples growing experiences unless they basically live next door to you.

There are too many variabilities, soil, humidity, temperature, air movement, canopy type or lack off, etc. etc.

Just try it and see if it grows - if it doesn't something else will!

Cheers,

Jonathan

Jonathan, no offense here, but to me this is a rediculous statement when you think going it alone is better then working off the experience of others. Why read post on PT about grower experience at all? Why share your experience with what you grow if no one will take the advice? I prefer to take what knowledge I can to give me a better understanding of what I am trying to grow for its ultimate success. If you prefer to waste such a limited resource as time, that is your choice. I don't. I have learned so much from other people's growing experiences around the world and my garden shows it. Even zone pushers will use other people's experience and they are found all over the world - not next door to each other. Again, not trying to offend you, but I just don't get the "Just try it and see if it grows - if it doesn't something else will!" There is so much more to growing palms then sticking something in the ground and many of the tips for its success can come from someone not living next door to you. What if I told you I have never meet one person that has said Alfredii does better in full shade then in full sun as a larger plant? Should I discount all those experiences and throw one in shade? Certainly not telling you not to, that's your own choice. I chose to plant mine in full sun based off Peter Balasky and Jeff Searle's advice. Glad I did.

Len, you are absolutely right - I should have clarified myself there. Of course theres a lot of general good advice about growing palms that can be taken from the collective experience of a forum such as this.

I've learned heaps about propagation techniques, fertilizer and water requirements, where to source seedlings and seed, etc. - general very useful horticulture stuff.

But I stand by my statement in regards to growing individual species in a certain climate or location. The experience of growers in Southern California does not often translate to my experience in Tasmania. Even the experience of

fantastic growers like Darold Petty and Jim in Los Altos from climates that are superficially similar to mine are often not particularly comparable...I get far more heat than Darold in summer, but lower night temps in winter, Jims climate is hotter in summer, but might be subject to the occasional continental freeze. These factors are game changers when it comes to what will grow where as I'm sure you're aware.

"Just try it and see if it grows - if it doesn't something else will!" ....If I read on Palmtalk that a particular species has failed in Nth California or NZ, I'm not going to run out into the greenhouse and destroy all my seedlings. I'm going to put them in the ground and see if they will grow at my place. If they do - great. If they dont something else will take their place. Which isn't to say that I'm just "sticking something in the ground" as you so succinctly put it...even down here in the Antipodes we understand the importance of soil ammendmends, shelter, shade, etc. etc.

Call me a dangerous radical, but I also believe that 'conventional wisdom' is as often unhelpful as it is helpful. For example, for years I've read here that palms should be planted in spring when the soil warms up, but that flies in the face of my experience with other plants in my climate. I've always sown/planted Australian natives, lucerne, clover, ryegrass and other pasture species on my little farm in autumn while the sand is still warm but the rains are not too far away. Its dry as hell in summer, so spring planting means a running dog fight to keep a plant alive until its roots get established. Autumn planting alleviates this problem for me, given appropriate attention to shelter requirements, but I also understand that my experience may not be translatable to other places and climates.

One final (hopefully more on topic) point about sun/shade growing: my experience with Parajubaea coccoides is leading me to treat B. alfredii in a similar manner, ie. a small plant growing under canopy will be alive and healthy at the end of winter, and therefore able to continue growing the following summer. A small plant grown in the open at my place will be monstered by frost and take all of the next summer to recover its strength. It may not be an issue for you in Sth California, I dont know, but it's a no-brainer for me. The plants are surviving now that I've corrected my initial mistake, and will eventually outgrow the canopy trees and prosper, I hope.

Cheers,

Jonathan

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LJG

My general opinion about this whole thread would be to agree with whoverer it was who said earlier that theres no point giving too much of a damn about other peoples growing experiences unless they basically live next door to you.

There are too many variabilities, soil, humidity, temperature, air movement, canopy type or lack off, etc. etc.

Just try it and see if it grows - if it doesn't something else will!

Cheers,

Jonathan

Jonathan, no offense here, but to me this is a rediculous statement when you think going it alone is better then working off the experience of others. Why read post on PT about grower experience at all? Why share your experience with what you grow if no one will take the advice? I prefer to take what knowledge I can to give me a better understanding of what I am trying to grow for its ultimate success. If you prefer to waste such a limited resource as time, that is your choice. I don't. I have learned so much from other people's growing experiences around the world and my garden shows it. Even zone pushers will use other people's experience and they are found all over the world - not next door to each other. Again, not trying to offend you, but I just don't get the "Just try it and see if it grows - if it doesn't something else will!" There is so much more to growing palms then sticking something in the ground and many of the tips for its success can come from someone not living next door to you. What if I told you I have never meet one person that has said Alfredii does better in full shade then in full sun as a larger plant? Should I discount all those experiences and throw one in shade? Certainly not telling you not to, that's your own choice. I chose to plant mine in full sun based off Peter Balasky and Jeff Searle's advice. Glad I did.

Len, you are absolutely right - I should have clarified myself there. Of course theres a lot of general good advice about growing palms that can be taken from the collective experience of a forum such as this.

I've learned heaps about propagation techniques, fertilizer and water requirements, where to source seedlings and seed, etc. - general very useful horticulture stuff.

But I stand by my statement in regards to growing individual species in a certain climate or location. The experience of growers in Southern California does not often translate to my experience in Tasmania. Even the experience of

fantastic growers like Darold Petty and Jim in Los Altos from climates that are superficially similar to mine are often not particularly comparable...I get far more heat than Darold in summer, but lower night temps in winter, Jims climate is hotter in summer, but might be subject to the occasional continental freeze. These factors are game changers when it comes to what will grow where as I'm sure you're aware.

"Just try it and see if it grows - if it doesn't something else will!" ....If I read on Palmtalk that a particular species has failed in Nth California or NZ, I'm not going to run out into the greenhouse and destroy all my seedlings. I'm going to put them in the ground and see if they will grow at my place. If they do - great. If they dont something else will take their place. Which isn't to say that I'm just "sticking something in the ground" as you so succinctly put it...even down here in the Antipodes we understand the importance of soil ammendmends, shelter, shade, etc. etc.

Call me a dangerous radical, but I also believe that 'conventional wisdom' is as often unhelpful as it is helpful. For example, for years I've read here that palms should be planted in spring when the soil warms up, but that flies in the face of my experience with other plants in my climate. I've always sown/planted Australian natives, lucerne, clover, ryegrass and other pasture species on my little farm in autumn while the sand is still warm but the rains are not too far away. Its dry as hell in summer, so spring planting means a running dog fight to keep a plant alive until its roots get established. Autumn planting alleviates this problem for me, given appropriate attention to shelter requirements, but I also understand that my experience may not be translatable to other places and climates.

One final (hopefully more on topic) point about sun/shade growing: my experience with Parajubaea coccoides is leading me to treat B. alfredii in a similar manner, ie. a small plant growing under canopy will be alive and healthy at the end of winter, and therefore able to continue growing the following summer. A small plant grown in the open at my place will be monstered by frost and take all of the next summer to recover its strength. It may not be an issue for you in Sth California, I dont know, but it's a no-brainer for me. The plants are surviving now that I've corrected my initial mistake, and will eventually outgrow the canopy trees and prosper, I hope.

Cheers,

Jonathan

Of course a lot of plant growing advice should be taken with a grain of salt. And who gives the advice should be weighed differently as well. I certainly agree that there are too many factors to really equate one expereince to the next however I will always seek advice from those with experience. It doesnt mean I have to take it, and I can always tweek it, but it certainly has helped shrink my learning curve over the years. I dont think taking advice changes the ability for one to experient either. You can do both. I always fall back on the proverb "A wise man learns by the experience of others; a fool, by his own." :)

As far as how you plan to grow Alfredii in your area, I would think it the best option too. A slow growing protected seedling is always better then a dead one. Lucky for me my climate is not as harsh as yours. Good luck with this plant by the way! :greenthumb:

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Jonathan

These are not emerging canopy palms, so for success they will need exposure sooner then later is my guess.

Interesting thread...but Len - what do you base this statement on?

The habitat photo's posted above, which have been bandied around for several years and are admittedly the only ones I've seen (are there any others?), show what looks likely to be a badly altered and eroded landscape, as is much of Madagascar, maybe due to overgrazing and other human related activites. If this is the case then there's no way of knowing whether these palms were originally growing in the shelter of a closed forest or not.

Palms are often left alone when other natural vegetation is destroyed by farming - people seem to like them and maybe goats cant reach the canopy! Livistona decora in N. Queensland is a classic case, as is Ceroxylon in Colombia. If the only photo's you'd ever seen of C. quinduiense were the classic shots of the open Andean hillsides studded with 200' palms, you'd make the same assumption about that species - which we can safely assume to be rubbish, due to the proximity of the surrounding cloud forest.

Maybe in the drier climate of central Madagascar the potential for desication of deforested hillsides is higher than in the humid areas where Ceroxylon live, resulting in the landscape you see in the B. alfredii habitat shots. As anyone who has visited palms in dry area habitats would know, once they get their feet into the ground water they are bloody hard to kill!

The larger palms in those photo's could easily have germinated and lived a large proportion of their lives under canopy. Your guess may be right - but it may just as easily be wrong.

I have never seen any place stripped of vegation that leaves a massive strain of natural palms in one place and nothing else around. These palms were undetected and in a remote area or they would have been described years prior. Also, the fact this palm handles full sun at a very yound age tells me it is no emerging canopy palm. So I'll stick with my assessment - which certainly could be wrong. I guess we will let the people that have been there tell us for sure. No sense arguing it.

I have though ("seen any place stripped of vegation that leaves a massive strain of natural palms in one place and nothing else around"). Heres a photo I took near Ayre in Nth Queensland; Livistona decora, and not much else for miles, except the bare fields of a sugar cane or sorghum farm. Man altered environment. Remnant palm population - nothing natural here.

post-1935-0-05576500-1365993866_thumb.jp

And a stolen pic from the net to illustrate my point about Ceroxylon - same deal, isn't it? How is this different to the B. alfredii pics, other than the different environmental conditions?

post-1935-0-93834900-1365994156.jpg

Finally, heres what the "people that have been there tell us". From the IUCN Red List of threatened species:

Year Published: 2012 Assessor/s: Rakotoarinivo, M. & Dransfield, J. Reviewer/s: Baker, W.J. & Beentje, H.J.

Habitat and Ecology:

Grows in gallery forest, on sands and quartzite rocks along a river.

This species is the dominant element in the gallery forest at its

occurrence site.

Major Threat(s):

Threatened by increasing frequency of fires and through the

harvesting of seeds for horticulture which might impact future

regeneration.

I'm certainly not going to argue with those people, and they are telling me that this palm grows in Gallery Forest.

You would naturally assume they would germinate and grow in the same, wouldn't you?

Cheers,

Jonathan

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quaman58

Jonathon,

I remember reading the IPS journal about the Kew sponsored trip to go find the source of the palms that were being cultivated by horticulturist Alfred Razafindratsira (sp?). It was the June 2007 issue I think. These palms were a long way off the beaten path; not saying that man has had no impact on them, just that it appeared to be minimal considering the remote location relative to major human population centers. It's interesting that one of the "major threats" listed above is "increasing frequency of fires". I wonder what that assertion is based on.

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LJG

These are not emerging canopy palms, so for success they will need exposure sooner then later is my guess.

Interesting thread...but Len - what do you base this statement on?

The habitat photo's posted above, which have been bandied around for several years and are admittedly the only ones I've seen (are there any others?), show what looks likely to be a badly altered and eroded landscape, as is much of Madagascar, maybe due to overgrazing and other human related activites. If this is the case then there's no way of knowing whether these palms were originally growing in the shelter of a closed forest or not.

Palms are often left alone when other natural vegetation is destroyed by farming - people seem to like them and maybe goats cant reach the canopy! Livistona decora in N. Queensland is a classic case, as is Ceroxylon in Colombia. If the only photo's you'd ever seen of C. quinduiense were the classic shots of the open Andean hillsides studded with 200' palms, you'd make the same assumption about that species - which we can safely assume to be rubbish, due to the proximity of the surrounding cloud forest.

Maybe in the drier climate of central Madagascar the potential for desication of deforested hillsides is higher than in the humid areas where Ceroxylon live, resulting in the landscape you see in the B. alfredii habitat shots. As anyone who has visited palms in dry area habitats would know, once they get their feet into the ground water they are bloody hard to kill!

The larger palms in those photo's could easily have germinated and lived a large proportion of their lives under canopy. Your guess may be right - but it may just as easily be wrong.

I have never seen any place stripped of vegation that leaves a massive strain of natural palms in one place and nothing else around. These palms were undetected and in a remote area or they would have been described years prior. Also, the fact this palm handles full sun at a very yound age tells me it is no emerging canopy palm. So I'll stick with my assessment - which certainly could be wrong. I guess we will let the people that have been there tell us for sure. No sense arguing it.

I have though ("seen any place stripped of vegation that leaves a massive strain of natural palms in one place and nothing else around"). Heres a photo I took near Ayre in Nth Queensland; Livistona decora, and not much else for miles, except the bare fields of a sugar cane or sorghum farm. Man altered environment. Remnant palm population - nothing natural here.

attachicon.gifL. decora Ayre.jpg

And a stolen pic from the net to illustrate my point about Ceroxylon - same deal, isn't it? How is this different to the B. alfredii pics, other than the different environmental conditions?

attachicon.gifCeroxylon.jpg

Finally, heres what the "people that have been there tell us". From the IUCN Red List of threatened species:

Year Published: 2012 Assessor/s: Rakotoarinivo, M. & Dransfield, J. Reviewer/s: Baker, W.J. & Beentje, H.J.

Habitat and Ecology:

Grows in gallery forest, on sands and quartzite rocks along a river.

This species is the dominant element in the gallery forest at its

occurrence site.

Major Threat(s):

Threatened by increasing frequency of fires and through the

harvesting of seeds for horticulture which might impact future

regeneration.

I'm certainly not going to argue with those people, and they are telling me that this palm grows in Gallery Forest.

You would naturally assume they would germinate and grow in the same, wouldn't you?

Cheers,

Jonathan

The difference to me is twofold. 1) The area where Alfredii comes from is isolated (from what those that have been there said) and not stripped due to farming or logging like the pictures you post above. 2) It is a "Gallery" forest by description - "a narrow strip of woods or forest along the banks of a watercourse flowing through open country." This describes the pictures from the wild exactly. Not the vast forest you see "emerging canopy" palms like many of the eastern Mad palms or most NewCals for example. The pictures I see from the wild have the palms growing in exposed areas or along the fringes. Simply type "beccariophoenix alfredii" in Google images and see exposed plants. I highly doubt anyone logged out the few trees that would have provided canopy. So I stick with my assumption.

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richnorm

Is that surrounding grassland not anthropogenic?

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LJG

Is that surrounding grassland not anthropogenic?

Doesn't look like it to me. Looks natural.

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Brahea Axel

I agree with Jonathan, I've had the same experience. other people's experiences are interesting and valuable, but in the end, the only thing that really extrapolates to my own climate is what's been done next door. In all honesty, most of the horticultural common knowledge tends to be hogwash, to the point that the hogwash is printed and published in books but it's still crap. I can think of many examples. For instance, here in Northern California, it's published and written everywhere that Oro Blanco grapefruit and Trovita oranges are the choice fruits for cool Summer areas. This is crap! They are the worst, most unsuitable citrus for cool Summer areas. But it's printed and published everywhere. The result is that most people in cooler climate eat crappy citrus from their garden. Bahahaha! like sheep just jumping off the cliff by following the masses.

People all over mis-treat their plants and when they don't grow, they blame the climate. What I've learned is that in 95% of the cases, climate has nothing to do with it, it's a lack of understanding for how to make something grow. We clock more than 600 hours of chill in Santa Cruz County, yet nurseries still bring in mostly low chill cherries which bloom too soon and just get blossom rot. The best advice to give to anyone is, don't believe what people say, try it and learn how to grow it by observing it. If you fail, learn from the failure and try again.

Back to b. alfredii, unless someone has measured their temperature in their garden at 6 feet off the ground and with a proper radiation shield, whatever frost report they make can be thrown out the window, no pun intended. It's basically useless. Variations in temperatures around the garden can be enormous. Using someone else's weather station is not going to work. I've learned this from growing rare fruits and rare palms for 15 years now. And when it comes to growing alfredii under shade, let me say that I've grown plenty of p. cocoides in the shade with most excellent results. Just to see, I planted one alfredii in full shade, one fully exposed and one in partial shade. The most likely outcome is that I will end up with three wonderful alfrediis.

People who ignore other's experiences are missing out, but people who rely on other people's experiences rather than paying close attention to their own experiences are just lemmings and won't reap the rewards of following their own instincts.

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LJG

Axel, if your Alfredii's die, will it be because your "lack of understanding for how to make something grow" or the 5% chance it was climate related? ;)

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Jonathan

Is that surrounding grassland not anthropogenic?

Doesn't look like it to me. Looks natural.

This is an interesting development. How do you tell whether something looks natural? I tend to agree with Richard, but I dont know for sure either.

As far as proximity to human habitation goes, goats, pigs and other feral animals tend not to care about where people reside.

In Australia you can add camels, donkeys, horses, water buffalo, the list goes on - and they've penetrated every remote corner of the country including the deep central deserts, resulting in massive changes to nearly every natural habitat you can name. I was of the understanding that Madagascar's ecosystems are under serious pressure from similar factors that have devastated Australia over the last 200 years.

Increased fire hazard is often a symptom of reduction in humidity, this may be a side effect of deforestation due to feral grazing?

Cheers,

Jonathan

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Jonathan

Is that surrounding grassland not anthropogenic?

Len, if this assumption is true (which it may be) then the Gallery Forest itself may not be a natural feature, rather than the reduced remnant of a formerly contiguous forest.

Either way it doesn't change the fact that some of the palms are growing in a forest, be it through open land or not. Which, again, leaves open the probability that they can and some must germinate and grow at least for a period of some years below a canopy within that forest.

I don't understand your resistance to this idea. I'm not arguing whether or not they will grow better for you in full sun or not, merely that there is some likelyhood that they will also grow satisfactorily, if somewhat slower maybe in partial shade.

As a fairly new palm to cultivation we wont really know for a few years yet I would think.

Cheers,

Jonathan

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Brahea Axel

Axel, if your Alfredii's die, will it be because your "lack of understanding for how to make something grow" or the 5% chance it was climate related? ;)

I would conclude I am screwing up something first before I would conclude its climate related. I don't get enough frost to test it's hardiness limit, i was mostly concerned with it being tolerant of cold Summer nights, but it's known to be a cool grower, so at this point if it doesn't grow it's going to be something I am not doing right.

As you can see, I do pay attention to what others have experienced. For example I won't bother with a coconut and if Alfredii didn't grow well in SoCal I would not bother with it either unless it was the heat that did it in.

Btw I also agree with what you said. I don't think what you and Jonathan are saying are mutually exclusive.

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LJG

Jonathan , I am not going to continue to debate about a place you and I have never been. We both can read and see and I don't have the same conclusions as you. Also, I never said this plant won't grow in shade. You seem to be twisting my words that got you started on your quest. "These are not emerging canopy palms, so for success they will need exposure sooner then later is my guess." I said it was my guess. It was an educated guess coming from habitat photos, garden tours and my own experience. Others can make their own judgement call.

Take care.

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Jonathan

Jonathan , I am not going to continue to debate about a place you and I have never been. We both can read and see and I don't have the same conclusions as you. Also, I never said this plant won't grow in shade. You seem to be twisting my words that got you started on your quest. "These are not emerging canopy palms, so for success they will need exposure sooner then later is my guess." I said it was my guess. It was an educated guess coming from habitat photos, garden tours and my own experience. Others can make their own judgement call.

Take care.

Thats fair enough Len.

My 'quest' is for improved understanding on my part and nothing more really...challenging peoples opinions is a good way to generate lateral thought and find new ideas.

Personally I've enjoyed a good discussion today.

Cheers,

Jonathan

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Stevetoad

I lost track of what was going on but ill throw my 2 cents in anyway. I've had a b. alfredii in the ground for about 3 years. It was a small one gallon. It's now about 3 feet tall and starting to go pinnate . Every year it shows frost damage but only a little bit. This year it saw 26f and showed a little more damage but still nothing major. It also yellows around winter time like others have said. So far I haven't been overwhelmed with this palms growth in my climate. But it still grows and never looks to bad so it will stay put.

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Alberto

Were is the thread with the superb high resolution pics from the highlands of Madagascar that shows the B.alfredii growing near streams, in gallery forests ?

I really like my young B.alfredii, the weeping fronds, beautifull collor and fast growth. It´s certainly one of my best palms and nobody will be deceived planting them!

Alberto, your green petiole alfredii looks superb. Didn't that thing already get exposed to some pretty decent frost at your place? I thought I had read something about you hitting -3C or something like that. Can you share what you noticed? The blue-green seedling with green petiole that I have didn't even flinch being pulled from the heated greenhouse in February, and grew right through nights in the low 40's (4-6C). They don't seem at all to mind the high diurnal temperature swings we get. The other two came from an unheated greenhouse where bismarcks got fried but these didn't even blink.

I planted my 1 gallon seedlings straight in the ground, planning to protect them the first years in frosty nights. I planted some at my house in Carambeí ,25ºsouth,1030 meters altitude (3,379 feet) and planted some in Tibagi, at the farm, thats is a warmer county (750 m or 2461 feet altitude)

They were exposed to -5°C at ground level in a frosty night that wasnt expected and I could not protect the young B.alfredii. I don´t know how cold it was in Tibagi, but at my place all were defoliated and only 3 survived) , with exception of a "purple petiole" growing near the forest that was unfazed (young Urbenville king nearby had 20% leaves burned).

The one growing in Tibagi suffered some minor leave burnings on lower fronds, but regrew fine and fast.

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Gtlevine

I have three of them in full inland southern california sun and they are nails, never yellowing at all and are very robust. Len must be burning his with too much fertilizer or his son is sabotaging it, lol. I say it is one of the toughest palms for so cal and easiest to care for.

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Alberto

Were is the thread with the superb high resolution pics from the highlands of Madagascar that shows the B.alfredii growing near streams, in gallery forests ?

I really like my young B.alfredii, the weeping fronds, beautifull collor and fast growth. It´s certainly one of my best palms and nobody will be deceived planting them!

http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/19736-beccariophoenix/

Thanks for posting the link! The habitat photos are incredible. I specially like the one with the creek, showing little palms growing in full sun in a very rocky place.

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richnorm

Is that surrounding grassland not anthropogenic?

Doesn't look like it to me. Looks natural.

This is from from the Palms article http://www.palms.org/palmsjournal/2007/v51n2p63-75.pdf , not explicit but possibly implying altered habitat, not sure really:
"Manalazina belongs
to the zone of the western slope of the
Domaine Centrale defined by Humbert (1955).
The primary vegetation is formed of
sclerophyll forest with Uapaca bojeri and
members of Sarcolaenaceae (Humbert & CoursDarne 1965), but the current vegetation of the
area consists mostly of a scrubby savannah"

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Alberto

This habitat photos of B.alfredii look very familiar to me. The riparian forests (mata ciliar) along streams and the low "campos" vegetation here, and the savannah vegetation between the riparian forests at Madagascar´s tableland , both have a very similar look. It is said that our campos here has antropogenic origin , with fires that indians made thousands of years ago. Maybe it´s also true for Madagascar

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Mike Evans

Here are a few pics of B alfredii that I have in the garden. I grow 100s of these and have to agree w/ Lens comments, except maybe not as forceful. I have to admit that I hear a lot of people getting the most of them mixed up. The pics shown in Kopsick Palm Arboretum in St Pete (post 50) are what I believe to be B madagascariensis. They have been growing pretty slow and upright compared to alfredii & "sp. windows" , which is the fastest. The last 2 pics are B sp. windows that are in the garden.

post-112-0-45635100-1366067738_thumb.jpg

post-112-0-72756700-1366067741_thumb.jpg

post-112-0-57601500-1366067744_thumb.jpg

post-112-0-63516400-1366067747_thumb.jpg

post-112-0-65904500-1366067750_thumb.jpg

post-112-0-42058500-1366067773_thumb.jpg

post-112-0-33848500-1366067776_thumb.jpg

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Jonathan

Is that surrounding grassland not anthropogenic?

Doesn't look like it to me. Looks natural.

This is from from the Palms article http://www.palms.org/palmsjournal/2007/v51n2p63-75.pdf , not explicit but possibly implying altered habitat, not sure really:
"Manalazina belongs
to the zone of the western slope of the
Domaine Centrale defined by Humbert (1955).
The primary vegetation is formed of
sclerophyll forest with Uapaca bojeri and
members of Sarcolaenaceae (Humbert & CoursDarne 1965), but the current vegetation of the
area consists mostly of a scrubby savannah"

Richard, I reckon if you took a gun, a spade and a box of matches into those hills you could live on wild goat and pig hangi's for years on end!

Seriously though, it reminds me of the anthropogenic buttongrass plains of Western Tasmania - 40,000 years of burning by Aboriginal people to open the forests for hunting wallabies.

The climax forest type here is also wet sclorophyll, grading to rainforest. You often come across bands of gallery forest surrounded by open buttongrass plains.

I wonder whether some similar factors could be at work in Manalazina? Really makes you want to go there and have a good look!

Cheers,

Jonathan

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LJG

Things went from someone not particularly liking me guessing Alfredii is not an emerging canopy palm, to confirming these plants come from gallery forest (which pictures clearly showed too), to guessing it grows naturally in an anthropogenic landscape, to pointing out the fact some places around the globe are anthropogenic and the influence started over 40,000 years ago. So to tie it all back together let me ask, when does an emerging canopy palm that has had it's natural vegetation whipped out by humans and now must grow exposed, no longer become a "emerging canopy palm"? How long does natural selection take to where a few seedlings out of thousands sprouting grow to handle an exposed growing environment they must now survive in? 1000 years? 500 years? My guess is that it is pretty fast considering we see second and third generation palms around SoCal that are stronger growers then seed collected plants in sutu.

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Brahea Axel

Things went from someone not particularly liking me guessing Alfredii is not an emerging canopy palm, to confirming these plants come from gallery forest (which pictures clearly showed too), to guessing it grows naturally in an anthropogenic landscape, to pointing out the fact some places around the globe are anthropogenic and the influence started over 40,000 years ago. So to tie it all back together let me ask, when does an emerging canopy palm that has had it's natural vegetation whipped out by humans and now must grow exposed,

no longer become a "emerging canopy palm"? How long does natural selection take to where a few seedlings out of thousands sprouting grow to handle an exposed growing environment? 1000 years? 500 years? My guess is that it is pretty fast considering we see second and third generation palms around SoCal that are stronger growers then seed collected plants in sutu.

Evolution takes places on the scale of a million years, 40,000 years is a blink of an eye for evolution, just about barely enough for alfredii to begin to develop an adaptation. Either way, they would still retain their genes from being an emerging canopy palm.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_evolutionary_history_of_life

Three generations does pretty much nothing even worth noting other than favoring seeds from one origin versus another.

If you look at the pattern of where the palms still remain, they've managed to survive in canyons where there is water. That's a classic burn survival pattern. You see the same thing in the Big Sur Wilderness, all the green stuff is down in the canyons and tends to survive the fires very well.

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LJG

Things went from someone not particularly liking me guessing Alfredii is not an emerging canopy palm, to confirming these plants come from gallery forest (which pictures clearly showed too), to guessing it grows naturally in an anthropogenic landscape, to pointing out the fact some places around the globe are anthropogenic and the influence started over 40,000 years ago. So to tie it all back together let me ask, when does an emerging canopy palm that has had it's natural vegetation whipped out by humans and now must grow exposed,

no longer become a "emerging canopy palm"? How long does natural selection take to where a few seedlings out of thousands sprouting grow to handle an exposed growing environment? 1000 years? 500 years? My guess is that it is pretty fast considering we see second and third generation palms around SoCal that are stronger growers then seed collected plants in sutu.

Evolution takes places on the scale of a million years, 40,000 years is a blink of an eye for evolution, just about barely enough for alfredii to begin to develop an adaptation. Either way, they would still retain their genes from being an emerging canopy palm.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_evolutionary_history_of_life

Three generations does pretty much nothing even worth noting other than favoring seeds from one origin versus another.

Disagree. Bacteria and viruses can evolve in days. Some insects develop immunity to pesticides in a single generation. You think way to macro.

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Sutter Bob

I don't know what'll happen to my survivors as they get bigger, but I've proven to my satisfaction that young plants (at least to two or three feet tall) won't make it through the winter in the open here. On the other hand, one in dense cover/canopy is ticking along very nicely after three winters. Medium cover so/so.

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Jonathan

Things went from someone not particularly liking me guessing Alfredii is not an emerging canopy palm, to confirming these plants come from gallery forest (which pictures clearly showed too), to guessing it grows naturally in an anthropogenic landscape, to pointing out the fact some places around the globe are anthropogenic and the influence started over 40,000 years ago. So to tie it all back together let me ask, when does an emerging canopy palm that has had it's natural vegetation whipped out by humans and now must grow exposed,

no longer become a "emerging canopy palm"? How long does natural selection take to where a few seedlings out of thousands sprouting grow to handle an exposed growing environment? 1000 years? 500 years? My guess is that it is pretty fast considering we see second and third generation palms around SoCal that are stronger growers then seed collected plants in sutu.

Evolution takes places on the scale of a million years, 40,000 years is a blink of an eye for evolution, just about barely enough for alfredii to begin to develop an adaptation. Either way, they would still retain their genes from being an emerging canopy palm.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_evolutionary_history_of_life

Three generations does pretty much nothing even worth noting other than favoring seeds from one origin versus another.

Disagree. Bacteria and viruses can evolve in days. Some insects develop immunity to pesticides in a single generation. You think way to macro.

Yeah, but these are complex lifeforms, not single celled organisms, or insects that spawn 100 generations a year!

Wow - do you really believe that palm seed collected in California would be displaying adaptation characteristics within 3 generations?

You don't think that maybe people have worked out how to grow them better through trial and error? Surely that particular adaptation is human ingenuity, not natural selection.

You'll be telling me you're a Lamarckian next...Darwin would spin in his grave!

Cheers,

Jonathan.

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richnorm

I'm way out of my depth with this stuff but possibly what Len is observing is epigenetics in action rather than evolution. As I understand it, put very simplistically, we have lots of genes which are not used or expressed unless particular events trigger them. Once turned on the characteristics displayed can be passed on. There is no change in the genome just different switches are flicked. This is important for humans because kids who get a tough start might actually pass on (genetically) some of the adverse side-effects to their offspring.

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LJG

Things went from someone not particularly liking me guessing Alfredii is not an emerging canopy palm, to confirming these plants come from gallery forest (which pictures clearly showed too), to guessing it grows naturally in an anthropogenic landscape, to pointing out the fact some places around the globe are anthropogenic and the influence started over 40,000 years ago. So to tie it all back together let me ask, when does an emerging canopy palm that has had it's natural vegetation whipped out by humans and now must grow exposed,

no longer become a "emerging canopy palm"? How long does natural selection take to where a few seedlings out of thousands sprouting grow to handle an exposed growing environment? 1000 years? 500 years? My guess is that it is pretty fast considering we see second and third generation palms around SoCal that are stronger growers then seed collected plants in sutu.

Evolution takes places on the scale of a million years, 40,000 years is a blink of an eye for evolution, just about barely enough for alfredii to begin to develop an adaptation. Either way, they would still retain their genes from being an emerging canopy palm.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_evolutionary_history_of_life

Three generations does pretty much nothing even worth noting other than favoring seeds from one origin versus another.

Disagree. Bacteria and viruses can evolve in days. Some insects develop immunity to pesticides in a single generation. You think way to macro.

Yeah, but these are complex lifeforms, not single celled organisms, or insects that spawn 100 generations a year!

Wow - do you really believe that palm seed collected in California would be displaying adaptation characteristics within 3 generations?

You don't think that maybe people have worked out how to grow them better through trial and error? Surely that particular adaptation is human ingenuity, not natural selection.

You'll be telling me you're a Lamarckian next...Darwin would spin in his grave!

Cheers,

Jonathan.

It's called picking seed from genetically superior specimens. Do you know what genetic variation is? Next your going to tell me there are no genetically superior plants and passing on their progeny comes with no benefits?

I am not telling you some tropical plant will all of a sudden grow in your backyard in a few generations by the way. But I have no doubt you can find a plant in a group in the wild that is stronger and more readily able to handle a change in environment - like a new requirement to handle full sun due to deforestation for example.

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Jonathan

I'm way out of my depth with this stuff but possibly what Len is observing is epigenetics in action rather than evolution. As I understand it, put very simplistically, we have lots of genes which are not used or expressed unless particular events trigger them. Once turned on the characteristics displayed can be passed on. There is no change in the genome just different switches are flicked. This is important for humans because kids who get a tough start might actually pass on (genetically) some of the adverse side-effects to their offspring.

My god - then maybe Lamarck was right after all - I'll have to reconsider my position!

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SanDimas

Quick question...

Where does the B. sp. pointed seed fit into all these?

window? non windows? alfredi?

I have the window and this pointed seed species.

The pointed seed in gallon pot and still bifid leaf.

Info greatly appreciated.

Cheers! Ritchy

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