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MattyB

Chamaerops humilis var. agentea

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MattyB

I'm thinking about writting an article for the PSSC journal about this palm. I was just curious if you guys have any experiences you could share regarding this Chamaerops. It was called C. cerifera for a while. How come? Any and all pics and comments are welcome. I wanna learn as much as I can from you guys about this palm.

Thanks,

Matt

Here's one of mine that I'm pruning to try and keep to a single trunk. It suckers a lot so I'm constantly pruning the suckers. I just noticed that it's starting to flower too.

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grant b.

great looking tree. pruning it to keep it solitary will take a lot of work, but i'm sure will achieve a unique look worth the effort.

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drzoidberg1

Cerifera means wax-bearing, so I am assuming they named it that because of the waxy, glaucus substance/texture of the fronds that gives it the blue coloration. I have grown a lot of these and they have always been super easy. As I'm sure you know it is pretty drought tolerant, but does respond well to frequent irrigation. Easy to transplant, doesnt exhibit much shock, even when digging and replanting. I will post a few pics when I get a chance.

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Small palm

That is a good looking palm. Don't know too much about it, but I am interested in this species. I prefer the solitary look also

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MattyB

Cool. Post all the pics and experiences you've got. I wanna hear it. Thanks.

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sonoranfans

It looks very dense and happy matty. Why do you want to have only one trunk?

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Tassie_Troy1971

Great looking palm Matty !

My cerifera is still tiny and growing very slow in the ground !

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_Keith

Beautiful blue. You just can't get that color here. With our rainfall and humidity, they green up every time.

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palmaddict

Matt,

I have found this species to be one of the most variable in appearance. You can find many shades of blue. In addition, the plant morphology is all over the place. Some sucker rarely and others profusely. Even the leaf shape varies quite a bit among plants from the same seed batch. I seen a field of 250 fifteen gallon plants and there are just so many that appear different from each other. Its is a striking palm and looks particularly great when used in a succulent garden but I value it for setting off tropical palms as well. I have just never seen so much variation within a single species.

Patrick

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MattyB

Very interesting Patrick.

Keith, I have an un kempt one in the garden. I just wanted to see what this one would look like as a single.

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MattyB

Here's my unpruned one. Anyone else care to chime in? I want to hear your experiences

post-126-0-41360300-1379086065_thumb.jpg

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Geoff

I moved a fairly large one recently (bit bigger than yours) to a high desert climate (3000') in inland So Cal (near Palmdale) and it moved pretty well... but it still sulks 6 months later... wind is having its way with it... Moved some non-blue plants and they moved with a lot more vigor... so these don't move as well... but it's not dead... yet. Constant high wind eventually takes off most of wax on larger plants making them look disappointingly 'normal'. Definitely significantly slower grower than green form (about half as fast... if even that)... which as you probably know is INCREDIBLY variable.. some almost are as blue as these, though usually only on the underside. Though the green form is sensitive to overhead watering in cooler months (rots), this one is VERY sensitive to overhead watering and will even rot in good weather.. do NOT water the crown of these plants! Even stalks of this getting rainwater constantly dripped on their crowns from overhead palms/trees are prone to rot. At least overall palm seems to survive these rot episodes well, the plant looks sad if you let too many rot.

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MattyB

Thanks Geoff!

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LilikoiLee

Enjoyed seeing this post. Much to my husband's dismay I bought a 50 gallon one at our last local (Hawaii Island Palm Society) palm sale. I was looking for blue palms for the sunniest part of ourr garden. The problem was that the only spot that would hold a palm of that size was at the bottom of an 18' cliff. It was a complex process (of which he is very proud) to get it there without letting it fall or killing himself. I am sure he will be posting pictures soon...he is already working on a post of his planting struggles and successes.

Our is clumping really well - perhaps too well - so I am glad to hear that it can be trimmed into something easier to manage without sacrificing its look.

Lee

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_Keith

Enjoyed seeing this post. Much to my husband's dismay I bought a 50 gallon one at our last local (Hawaii Island Palm Society) palm sale. I was looking for blue palms for the sunniest part of ourr garden. The problem was that the only spot that would hold a palm of that size was at the bottom of an 18' cliff. It was a complex process (of which he is very proud) to get it there without letting it fall or killing himself. I am sure he will be posting pictures soon...he is already working on a post of his planting struggles and successes.

Our is clumping really well - perhaps too well - so I am glad to hear that it can be trimmed into something easier to manage without sacrificing its look.

Lee

Bravo. Why settle for the ordinary, whatever your ordinary may be. Can't wait for this pics.

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Palm crazy

This palm is turning out to be one of my favorite palms to grow and the easiest too. I would say for my neck of the woods it the second hardiest palm I can grow at 47N west coast. Much hardier than the green form and oh so pretty even if it is raining this morning.

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I have several of these but this one is the largest. Just starting a very raining few days here so not as bright as on a sunny day.

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Edited by Palm crazy

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Phoenikakias

I moved a fairly large one recently (bit bigger than yours) to a high desert climate (3000') in inland So Cal (near Palmdale) and it moved pretty well... but it still sulks 6 months later... wind is having its way with it... Moved some non-blue plants and they moved with a lot more vigor... so these don't move as well... but it's not dead... yet. Constant high wind eventually takes off most of wax on larger plants making them look disappointingly 'normal'. Definitely significantly slower grower than green form (about half as fast... if even that)... which as you probably know is INCREDIBLY variable.. some almost are as blue as these, though usually only on the underside. Though the green form is sensitive to overhead watering in cooler months (rots), this one is VERY sensitive to overhead watering and will even rot in good weather.. do NOT water the crown of these plants! Even stalks of this getting rainwater constantly dripped on their crowns from overhead palms/trees are prone to rot. At least overall palm seems to survive these rot episodes well, the plant looks sad if you let too many rot.

STRANGE, I have the exactly opposite experience with cerifera. It is imo more tolerant to overhead watering than other green forms and less prone to leaf fungus. In the almost all the time cool and moist UK, cerifera is the most reliable form.

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krishnaraoji88

STRANGE, I have the exactly opposite experience with cerifera. It is imo more tolerant to overhead watering than other green forms and less prone to leaf fungus. In the almost all the time cool and moist UK, cerifera is the most reliable form.

I've had the same experience here in Florida. The green forms all rot for me after a few months of suffering while var. agentea does much better. Of course the silver color is quickly lost here so only new leaves have the color but its still interesting.

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Geoff

Here is a shot of mine before the move (sans about three trunks which all rotted off from overhead watering)... and a few of the unhappy plant in the vicious winds of Acton

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turfpro01

This is one of my favorite palms, In full sun central CA they get so blue, people love them when they see a proper grow one.I have 50 in 25g pots, There is some variation in color, length of leaf stems, shape of leaves, amount of suckers, ect. I have one with long leaf stems and very few suckers, I cut them off since it seems to want to be single trunk. They are prone to root from water in the crown, Ive seen a couple suckers die from it. If your going to dig them, it needs to be done in spring or summer, I know a local nursery who grew several hundred in the ground and dug them in the winter, he lost almost all of them.

There seem to be other Chamaerops that are being grown in the Uk, but seed is hard to find, Ive got volcano but they are appearing to grow like normal chamaerops, time will tell. Locally ive found a few 15-20' single trunk chamaerops, They all seem the same age, and no suckers get removed, They just grow single trunk. Two of them are planted 30-40' apart here with no other chamaerops I can find in the area, One is 100% male the other %100 female, Last year seed didn't pollenated very good but I got a few seeds and they are growing now. This year its loaded with fat seeds.

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LilikoiLee

Matt,

I have found this species to be one of the most variable in appearance. You can find many shades of blue. In addition, the plant morphology is all over the place. Some sucker rarely and others profusely. Even the leaf shape varies quite a bit among plants from the same seed batch. I seen a field of 250 fifteen gallon plants and there are just so many that appear different from each other. Its is a striking palm and looks particularly great when used in a succulent garden but I value it for setting off tropical palms as well. I have just never seen so much variation within a single species.

Patrick

Very timely news for us Matt, we're currently planting succulents in the same area as our Chamaeops. Ours suckors proficiently but so far we like it.

Lee

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Harry

Here are my observations about this palm:

1) A lot of variability in type (length of petiole, size/ stiffness of fans, colour, speed
of growth, thickness of trunk etc)

2) Seedlings start off green and acquire silver colour gradually after about two years


3) Responds well to deep and frequent watering in summer even though it is extremely
drought tolerant


4) A sheltered, full sun planting position will produce the best specimen


5) Silver wax washes or rubs off due to high rainfall or strong winds


6) Small suckers tend to rot easily if the base of the plant is inundated or if it receives frequent
overhead watering (main stem more tolerant however)


7) More "hairy" trunk compared to a green form

8) Mini palm - does well long term in a pot. Can be treated like a pet!!



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Harry

Seedlings starting to acquire colour after about a year in the ground (3 years from seed).

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Harry

A 3-year old growing at a much faster rate (as fast as green form) and already trunking.

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Mandrew968

I believe humidity causes them to produce less wax on the lower leaves--maybe in a drier climate the wax prevents water loss. They still keep the silver on the tops and that might be to help with full sun exposure. I hear they are also twice as slow as the green form and can take ultimate lows better than the standard form. I have one in a container. I think there is one down the road and I will try to remember to take a couple shots on a drive by, this week...

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ghar41

These grow very well here in the dry parts of inland Northern California. They would easily do well without additional irrigation and would thrive with only seasonal rains in our fertile valley soils. This one in my front yard was chosen for its thin, fine leaflets.

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ghar41

Looks good next to Serenoa repens

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ghar41

This larger plant is in my backyard has wider leaflets

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ghar41

Argenta leaflet

Hey Matty have you seen the silver form of Nannorhops? Even the small plants that I've seen have an even whiter leaflet than Argenta

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MattyB

I have the silver Nannorhops but I've had a real hard time growing it. I planted it out and it almost died, I have no idea why. So I dug it up and put it in a pot and rehabilitated it over the next few years, getting it up to a nice 5 gallon root ball and it was suckering with several stems. This year I finally planted it back out again and it's stopped growing and just sits there. I just don't get it. Why won't this damn thing grow in the ground? In the pot it seemed to like lots of water and I didn't like to dry out. I know, that sounds weird for Nannorhops, but I swear it. So now that I've planted it out I only water it once a week, so maybe that's why it's not happy. I have it heavily mulched to try and retain moisture. This palm is just sucky for me.

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ghar41

I have the silver Nannorhops but I've had a real hard time growing it. I planted it out and it almost died, I have no idea why. So I dug it up and put it in a pot and rehabilitated it over the next few years, getting it up to a nice 5 gallon root ball and it was suckering with several stems. This year I finally planted it back out again and it's stopped growing and just sits there. I just don't get it. Why won't this damn thing grow in the ground? In the pot it seemed to like lots of water and I didn't like to dry out. I know, that sounds weird for Nannorhops, but I swear it. So now that I've planted it out I only water it once a week, so maybe that's why it's not happy. I have it heavily mulched to try and retain moisture. This palm is just sucky for me.

That does suck. Funny how even the most xeriscapic plants dig lots of water (with good drainage.) Ive heard with enough heat is it fast growing.

Oh and looking back at my old notes, the second C h argenta in the photos with the wider leaf was grown from seed that I purchased from Inge Hoffman back in the day, when this palm first came on to the scene.

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JasonD

Lyon Arboretum has a spectacular silver specimen, and it's one of the wettest botanical gardens in the US.

I guerrilla planted two 3-gallons last fall near my house in native sand soil. No irrigation. After December they barely had any soaking rains, and they're still alive...barely.

Our wholesale nursery has them planted in the ground in Murrieta where they grow slowly, yet I've seen others in the ground in cooler, moister climates grow a bit faster.

Cistus Nursery in Portland, Oregon, has it planted side-by-side with the green form and it shows clearly greater cold-hardiness, having survived below 10F temperatures where the green form had to resprout from side shoots.

Check the European Palm Society website for photos of trunked specimens in cemeteries in Morocco or Algeria, where goats do not browse them.

I've come to think of it along the lines of a Cedrus atlantica rather than a Nannorhops or Brahea.

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Vic

Matty. here in the UK cerifera is a better option that green humilis, it seems to have at least a degree or two more cold than the green var making it probably the hardest palm we can grow here excluding T.fortunei.

They are not planted enough IMO, fantastic plants and quite variable as others have mentioned.

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MattyB

Thanks Vic! What a beautiful picture you've posted, I love it!

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DallasPalms

Old post but here is a looker I found around town. This male fades to green but still has an amazing presence boasting excellent form and beautiful stringy leaves. My little Cerifera has chubby stiff fingers...

20200722_135439.jpg

Edited by DallasPalms
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Phoenikakias
2 hours ago, DallasPalms said:

Old post but here is a looker I found around town. This male fades to green but still has an amazing presence boasting excellent form and beautiful stringy leaves. My little Cerifera has chubby stiff fingers...

20200722_135439.jpg

When argentea loses then waxy layer loses also much of its appeal. I prefer more the glauca form, which is besides slightly reminiscent of Copernicia alba.

FB_IMG_1606370085666.thumb.jpg.af368c7b0c85bf34ec33341d26b9a800.jpg

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DallasPalms

I wonder about self pollination. Someone mentioned in another old post that chamaerops can pollinate a second time and produce bisexual flowers. Does that mean they reset annually producing the primary flower in round 1 usually? Anybody know?

I'm sure traits could be strengthened over time. I have seeds on the way of Cerifera and Vulcano would be an interesting cross

 

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aztropic

Not self pollination but I have a 6 ft tall standard green that I grew from seed and have been using it's pollen to produce seeds on other female trees for several years.It is the only male med fan for a mile around me.Just this spring,instead of producing pollen,it put out all female flowers! I was shocked and amazed that a plant could change sex but I truly saw it happen right in front of me.It will definitely  be interesting to see what it does next year.

 

aztropic

Mesa,Arizona

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Phoenikakias
21 minutes ago, aztropic said:

Not self pollination but I have a 6 ft tall standard green that I grew from seed and have been using it's pollen to produce seeds on other female trees for several years.It is the only male med fan for a mile around me.Just this spring,instead of producing pollen,it put out all female flowers! I was shocked and amazed that a plant could change sex but I truly saw it happen right in front of me.It will definitely  be interesting to see what it does next year.

 

aztropic

Mesa,Arizona

I am well aware of this ability and I have observed it also on Trachycarpus.

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Vic

Good topic! There are so many excellent forms of Chamaerops. 
 

I have a 16 year old plant which is a stiff leaf argentea type palm, that for the previous 6 years has produced pollen, so very clearly a male. Last year it produced a few viable  seeds!!?? This year it has also produced both male and female flowers and again produced around a dozen seed. 
 

 

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