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Tropicdoc

Cold hardy "coconut"

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Tropicdoc

Of course everyone wants that coconut look maybe for around a pool. I do anyway. Here are probably my top 2 9a coconut lookers.

post-7690-0-64926400-1418704379_thumb.jp

post-7690-0-96646700-1418704442_thumb.jp

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Tropicdoc

Which one wins out for you? I only have the one on the left..... Butia x parajubaea. I also have beccariophoenix Alfredii which I may be able to barely pull off under canopy. But, is the alfie even worth it considering possibly a butia x Parajub like the one above?

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Tropicdoc

Here's B Alfredii for comparison

post-7690-0-39557900-1418704947_thumb.jp

post-7690-0-65538300-1418704961_thumb.jp

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Alicehunter2000

To look like a coconut you gotta have a thin smooth trunk....which of these has that.....therein lies the problem. Like you this look is a priority to set the garden mood....any thoughts on the trunk?

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Alicehunter2000

Chad, how is your BP x PJC growing....fast? ... the crown of Patrick's looks the most coconuty

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Zeeth

To look like a coconut you gotta have a thin smooth trunk....which of these has that.....therein lies the problem. Like you this look is a priority to set the garden mood....any thoughts on the trunk?

In my opinion, Beccariophoenix alfredii is the closest thing that you can get to a coconut that's relatively cold hardy. Look at this habitat photo taken by Mijoro Rakotoarinivo. The other palms are beautiful in their own respect, but I don't think they look much like a coconut, neither does Parajubaea (which looks like a giant Lytocarium to me). The biggest downside of B. alfredii though is that it hates frost.

post-3598-0-63307800-1418740277_thumb.jp

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Cikas

I agree, Beccariophoenix alfredii is only real cold hardy alternative to coconut. These other palms are also beautiful, but they do not have that coconut look.

Edited by Cikas

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Alicehunter2000

Problem is that definition of cold hardy is not quite hardy enough for vast swaths of the US which is where I unfortunately live. B. alfredii is pretty much a 9b or above palm.....only middle section of Florida, some of lower Texas and parts of California apply. 9a/8b includes large sections of many states.

So I guess it all depends on the definition of cold hardy....my definition would be the point at which you can only grow non -crownshafted palms.

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Zeeth

Problem is that definition of cold hardy is not quite hardy enough for vast swaths of the US which is where I unfortunately live. B. alfredii is pretty much a 9b or above palm.....only middle section of Florida, some of lower Texas and parts of California apply. 9a/8b includes large sections of many states.

So I guess it all depends on the definition of cold hardy....my definition would be the point at which you can only grow non -crownshafted palms.

Very true. My parents recently moved from 10a (in the coconut zone) to 9b (outside of the coconut zone), which is where they'll be for good now, so my definition of cold hardy is pretty much whatever will survive in central Florida 9b, as that's what I have to work with until I complete medical school and buy my own house. Even here, coconuts grow pretty well for 10 or more years before something like 2010 blows through, but the lowest that this area saw was 28 F, so royals are still a long term palm here. That said, I still have lots of options on what to plant, and can get a pretty decent south florida-esque garden without too much hassle. B. alfredii as a long-term substitute for coconuts (though I still plan on experimenting with the 9 coconuts that I already have), Pritchardia beccariana instead of P. pacifica, Ptychosperma elegans instead of Adonidia, as well as Coccothrinax argentata, Roystonea, Attalea, etc. All things considered, I'm way better off than you, but it's very frustrating to be a 5 minute drive away from places closer to the water that coconuts are long-term!

That being said, I still stick with my original statement that there's nothing that's really hardy below 9b that looks very much like a coconut. The other palms are beautiful in their own right, but mature ones can't trick you like a well grown Beccariophoenix can! Just look at the one in this video with a coconut in the background. They could be easily confused.

http://youtu.be/ZlYy2X46_ho?t=3m49s

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Tropicdoc

David I have butia paraguayensis x pjc. I figure the trunk will be thinner than the odorata. It may take some vigorous trunk cleaning to get a nice look though. Propel clean trachycarpus trunks and get them smooth right?

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_Keith

David I have butia paraguayensis x pjc. I figure the trunk will be thinner than the odorata. It may take some vigorous trunk cleaning to get a nice look though. Propel clean trachycarpus trunks and get them smooth right?

You can borrow one of my 2 new chainsaws (funny story).

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Alicehunter2000

True.....true.....and lets hear the story....

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Sandy Loam

AliceHunter, you also forgot to mention southwestern Arizona, although only drought-tolerant palms need apply there. Southwestern Arizona has zone 9b and 10a. The Yuma, AZ region is zone 10a. That region receives the influence of hot air shooting up from the Sea of Cortez.

Tropicdoc, what is the palm on the right in your first post? It looks like it might be a parajubaea sunka. The palm on the left must be butia paraguanensis crossed with parajubaea cocoides.

Also, Tropicdoc, what is the palm in post #4?

If we talking about poolside landscaping, there are probably other considerations as well, such as finding the palm which has the most narrowest wingspan so that the pool isn't shaded out from the sun. Doesn't everyone want the sun beating down on their (unheated) pool so that it heats up nicely in the summer? If you're thinking about parajubaea sunka, I could be wrong but have read that its fronds can cover an extremely large area, meaning that until it gets a 12-foot trunk that you can walk underneath (years!) you might risk having fronds drooping over into your pool. And I suspect that a butia odorata x parajubaea cocoides (like the ones with Dick standing in the photo) would have an even larger wingspan. In other words, you probably can't really enjoy those as poolside palms unless you plant them 15 feet away from the pool, unfortunately.

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Alicehunter2000

Arizona didn't even come on my radar......that's somewhere out west right?....lol

I think the one on the right is JxS and the one on the left is BPxPJC?

Yes, all big palms...was curious which of the Patric hybrids have the skinniest trunk? On paper it would seem to be BPxPJC or even more slim would be QxPJC.

What would be the main differences between PJC, PJT and PJS ?

Oh...and I gotta have shade on the beach and by the pool...specially in the summer....my skin has taken a beating from the ol' lifeguard and surfing days. Luckily not a red head...or would have been in real trouble a long time ago.

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Zeeth

One hybrid that I'm actually very interested in seeing is the queen X Parajubaea. I think that one has the potential to look really pretty, so it's too bad that Tim Hooper disappeared, as now it might take quite a while until someone else sells them. I wonder why Patrick never tries it?

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_Keith

Or

post-7690-0-05003600-1418735519_thumb.jp

Sorry, I do look good by a pool, but I am not for sale. However, I may be for rent, payment in beer.

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Tropicdoc

Hah! That palm in post 4 is Keith and his yatay mule. The first pic is a Patrick bp x pjc. The second is j x s. It is my understanding that no one has successfully crossed parajubaea with syagrus. I paid Tim hopper for four of them and got nothing. I think it was a scam and they were all pure queen. (4 queens for $260 would have been better than nothing).

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Tropicdoc

Oh and any pa would be planted about 15 feet from the deck around the pool. I'm still torn between the alfie and the b x pjc. I have 2 of each. I just like the look of tropical resorts with repeated coconuts all around and would like replicate that. So I don't want to plant both. The two that lose out will go in the jungle area of the yard.

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Tropicdoc

Ps moved in today. Pics of the new place coming soon.

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mnorell

My own experiments with B. alfredii were major disappointments in Natchez, Mississippi (zone 9a). Below 25F was pretty much the death-knell and growth was slow in the hot, humid summers. They might survive for two or perhaps three years pushing up slowly (and this was with the meristem below ground-level, so kept much warmer in winter than would happen once the growing-point was airborne)...only to collapse. And xButyagrus seem to be damaged--sometimes heavily--in the upper teens in the type of extended freezes that happen in the Gulf south. After seeing how my own palms were damaged in Natchez after this past winter, I am guessing they as a rule would not survive southern USA continental winters that drop to the lower teens...and that's far from unheard of.

Remember that temperatures right down to the Gulf hit the 0-10F (or so) range ever fifty years or so. We are probably getting close to due again for this type of event (30 years since the several '80s freezes), and as much as we hope it might not come, it has happened over and over and over. The 1980s were a repetitious nightmare, 1940 was horrible, 1899 was horrific (with ice-flows emerging along the Mississippi well below New Orleans into the Gulf), and we still don't know exactly how cold it was in 1835 throughout the region, but from contemporary accounts it was about the worst you can imagine.

My own feeling is that only hardy, clustering palms have a fighting chance, and in the case of a coconut-like palm, I would suggest you consider Phoenix reclinata, or a hybrid including that species in its makeup. For many years in the 20th century, this species was used extensively in California for a "tropical island" feel, as it gave the leaning trunks, and the long, pinnate leaves held in a vertical plane, with good drought tolerance and the ability to grow in cool or warm weather, without significant damage down to around 20F. Granted, it was clustering and wasn't a perfect replica, but it was very popular because it was--and is--a strong, tough and elegant palm. These have been documented as returning from the roots during severe freezes, and I think will last long enough along the immediate upper Gulf Coast to give the desired effect between those massive cold-air invasions...with the root system intact and able to quickly replace the above-ground growth.

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Sandy Loam

Mnorell, I agree with you about Phoenix Reclinata. However, I am located in a similar climate to Tropicdoc's and my experience is that they are slow growers unless grown in full sun. The constant suckering might also be a factor that slows the growth. I have also noticed (and I could be wrong) that the phoenix reclinata grown in the very north of Florida (like Tropicdoc's climate) never seem to become gigantic like the ones grown in central Florida or points south of there. Yet, you can't achieve the "coconut look" until the phoenix reclinata actually grows gigantic, long and leaning trunks. It is possible to remove some of the trunks to create a the tree with only 3 or 4 trunks remaining, thereby augmenting the coconut look (once thinned out, the reclinata stops looking like a suckering tree and starts to look like individual leaning palm trees). However, I don't know how possible it is to achieve 20, 30 or 40 foot tall trunks in Tropidoc's region, like mine. I have resigned myself to accepting that my phoenix reclinatas will probably just peak out as medium-sized trees and will never achieve that "coconut look".

One of the best collections of giant phoenix reclinatas that I have ever seen was at a hotel I stay at accidentally for work. It was the Marriott Courtyard Bradenton Riverfront in Bradenton, Florida. If you are ever driving by downtown Bradenton, it is worth taking a look and you can simply enter the poolside courtyard (containing a dozen giant reclinatas) from the riverside walkway directly. A couple of those phoenix reclinatas were the biggest I have ever seen. They must have been planted in the 1970s and they absolutely had the "coconut look". From a distance, you have the impression that the hotel's courtyard is filled with tall, leaning coconut trees. Unfortunately, the hotel's website doesn't feature photos of any of the giant reclinatas -- only a small one right by the pool -- but if you ever go there in person, it is worth an inspirational look.

Basically, I agree with you, but I just don't know if we can ever achieve enough reclinata height in zone 9a to emulate a coconut-like appearance. Even if this were possible, waiting 20 or 30 years for a Phoenix Reclinata to get the "coconut look" requires a lot of patience, and it is unaffordable to have a giant reclinata shipped in and planted.

Edited by Sandy Loam

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Alicehunter2000

I was scared of being laughed at for suggesting Phoenix palms .....lol....but the thought has crossed my mind on a few occasions. There are a few Phoenix hybrids that might work....wish someone would reliably cross roebelini into various mixes. Should have bought one when had the chance a couple years ago.

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Zeeth

Michael, one of the things that I've noticed with B. alfredii is that their growth rate can be pretty variable when first planted. I think it has to do with what size the plant was actually planted. Of the 50 or so that I started with (I've since given away a little over half of them), all of the ones that I planted directly in the ground from 1 gallon pots (both shallow and deep tree-pot styles) grew incredibly slowly when they went into the ground. However, if I put them into a 7 gallon for a year first, they grew very quickly when planted in the ground. I'm not sure what caused this, but my fastest growing one of the bunch grew at the same speed as my african oil palm, which is generally considered a fast growing palm. Another one, from the same seed batch, took 3 years from sprouting to grow out of monofid leaves, and is now on the window-pane stage of growing. The taller palm is about 7 feet tall overall and the other is 1 foot tall, both were sprouted in 2009.

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Tropicdoc

In 50 years, I will be dead. If one of those 50 year freezes happen, oh well. We are talking about growing non-native plants for enjoyment. There is all kind of flora around here that will be gone in one of those freezes. Whether or not a palm regrows from the roots is not that important to me either. I just want a few years to look at some pinnate palm fronds and enjoy a margarita.

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Sandy Loam

I definitely agree that Beccariophoenix Alfredii is the closest thing to a coconut out there. I would experiment with it more if I knew that it was a lightning speed grower, but I haven't heard anything about its growth rate. That's why I'm growing six archontophoenix cunninghamianas up in northern Florida (similar climate to TropicDoc's). After only 3 years in the ground, they are huge and look great. If they die in 5 years because of a freeze, fine. I will just start over again because they really are that fast, even in shade (my shaded ones are a little slower, but they are still fast)

Although it doesn't look like a coconut, the same logic applies to a fishtail palm. They are supposed to be the fastest of the fast, so if they die, so be it. You can just start all over again and have a huge tree in a couple of years.

Does anyone know anything about beccariophoenix alfredii's growth rate? Let me rephrase that: Does anyone know about its growth rate when grown in shade (dense overhead canopy is a must for this palm in my climate) I used to own one, but it died for reasons unrelated to weather.

TropicDoc-- one more suggestion if you're looking for a real focal point near your pool, but this one isn't a palm at all. It's "Aloe Hercules" --- known to be very fast growing and it is WAY COOL looking. It would be a real attention-getter and a conversation piece too. There was a report of it taking 18 degrees Fahrenheit in Arizona with minimal damage. It also doesn't mind our humidity at all (mine was Palm Breach, FL grown and tolerated my humid summer with no problems, even during this exceptionally rainy summer). It will turn into a giant tree over time.

Edited by Sandy Loam

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Hammer

I definitely agree that Beccariophoenix Alfredii is the closest thing to a coconut out there. I would experiment with it more if I knew that it was a lightning speed grower, but I haven't heard anything about its growth rate. That's why I'm growing six archontophoenix cunninghamianas up in northern Florida (similar climate to TropicDoc's). After only 3 years in the ground, they are huge and look great. If they die in 5 years because of a freeze, fine. I will just start over again because they really are that fast, even in shade (my shaded ones are a little slower, but they are still fast)

Although it doesn't look like a coconut, the same logic applies to a fishtail palm. They are supposed to be the fastest of the fast, so if they die, so be it. You can just start all over again and have a huge tree in a couple of years.

Does anyone know anything about beccariophoenix alfredii's growth rate? Let me rephrase that: Does anyone know about its growth rate when grown in shade (dense overhead canopy is a must for this palm in my climate) I used to own one, but it died for reasons unrelated to weather.

TropicDoc-- one more suggestion if you're looking for a real focal point near your pool, but this one isn't a palm at all. It's "Aloe Hercules" --- known to be very fast growing and it is WAY COOL looking. There was a report of it taking 18 degrees Fahrenheit in Arizona with minimal damage. It also doesn't mind our humidity at all (mine was Palm Breach, FL grown and tolerated my humid summer with no problems, even during this exceptionally rainy summer). It will turn into a giant tree over time.

They are fast growers in my experience. Second only to my Bizzie in my SoCal 10a climate. BUT mine are in sun. These seem to really appreciate lots of light. If you look at habitat photos they seem to show even young ones in the sun. I had mine in three gallon pots for a year...by my pool. So the reflected light from the water and the heat from the pool deck was pretty extreme...in addition to full blazing sun. As long as they got a LOT of water they loved it. Lots of growth.

That's my experience. Perhaps others differ.

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Kailua_Krish

In shade I would say the growth is moderate. Not horrible but not lightning.

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Zeeth

I definitely agree that Beccariophoenix Alfredii is the closest thing to a coconut out there. I would experiment with it more if I knew that it was a lightning speed grower, but I haven't heard anything about its growth rate. That's why I'm growing six archontophoenix cunninghamianas up in northern Florida (similar climate to TropicDoc's). After only 3 years in the ground, they are huge and look great. If they die in 5 years because of a freeze, fine. I will just start over again because they really are that fast, even in shade (my shaded ones are a little slower, but they are still fast)

Although it doesn't look like a coconut, the same logic applies to a fishtail palm. They are supposed to be the fastest of the fast, so if they die, so be it. You can just start all over again and have a huge tree in a couple of years.

Does anyone know anything about beccariophoenix alfredii's growth rate? Let me rephrase that: Does anyone know about its growth rate when grown in shade (dense overhead canopy is a must for this palm in my climate) I used to own one, but it died for reasons unrelated to weather.

TropicDoc-- one more suggestion if you're looking for a real focal point near your pool, but this one isn't a palm at all. It's "Aloe Hercules" --- known to be very fast growing and it is WAY COOL looking. It would be a real attention-getter and a conversation piece too. There was a report of it taking 18 degrees Fahrenheit in Arizona with minimal damage. It also doesn't mind our humidity at all (mine was Palm Breach, FL grown and tolerated my humid summer with no problems, even during this exceptionally rainy summer). It will turn into a giant tree over time.

Here's 4 years of growth on one of my B. alfredii. This is with oak canopy high overhead, so probably about half day sun. It's about 7 feet tall overall in the second picture (not including the height of the pot of course).

DSC_0002.jpg

IMG_3318-1.jpg

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Tropicdoc

What about jubaeopsis? I chunked mine after spear pull from 21 F. Maybe I won't see 21 F again for 10-15 years (fingers crossed).

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Alicehunter2000

Hard to find with any size...slow....definitely coconut looking

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Explorer

Whats so special about coconut palms? You see them by the millions in Indonesia as I did, especially on Bali. Do me a Copernicia fallaensis instead.

Alexander

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Tropicdoc

For, me, I would like to recreate a tropical resort pool area in my backyard. And that is the look. Coconuts around the pool with some tropical flowers... maybe hibiscus or plumeria. That's why I want the look.

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_Keith

Whats so special about coconut palms? You see them by the millions in Indonesia as I did, especially on Bali. Do me a Copernicia fallaensis instead.

Alexander

Why any particular Palm? Why even palms at all? Some are going for a certain atmosphere. Some want to recreate a feeling they had when they were in the tropics. Others like to collect and still others get a thrill from a bargain, and on and on. People just like what they like for a wide variety of reasons.

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Palmaceae

Whats so special about coconut palms? You see them by the millions in Indonesia as I did, especially on Bali. Do me a Copernicia fallaensis instead.

Alexander

Sure there are millions of them around, but in my opinion it is one of the most beautiful palms God made. And when you think of the tropics or want that tropical look, nothing does it like a coconut palm.

And if you are in climate where you can't grow one, then a Beccariophoenix fits the bill.

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Brian Bruning

In the Azores one would be successful with Jubea, Parajubea, Beccariophoenix, Brahea, Sabals, Chamadoreas, Jubeopsis, Livistonas, Bismarkia and Phoenix. I grow those here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have the possibility of frost (last one was 1989) but you have no chance of frost unless at a high elevation.

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Sandy Loam

For, me, I would like to recreate a tropical resort pool area in my backyard. And that is the look. Coconuts around the pool with some tropical flowers... maybe hibiscus or plumeria. That's why I want the look.

Tropicdoc, not to get off-topic, but are you growing any hibiscus or plumeria? (since you mentioned those above) We can grow hibiscus in our climate, but can we grow plumeria? I have never seen any plumeria north of Orlando or Tampa. I just assumed that our occasional overnight freezing temperatures would do them in. Maybe there are some hardier varieties?

I'm with you --- I love plumeria. Every time I am down in Miami, I see them all over the place.

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Zeeth

For, me, I would like to recreate a tropical resort pool area in my backyard. And that is the look. Coconuts around the pool with some tropical flowers... maybe hibiscus or plumeria. That's why I want the look.

Tropicdoc, not to get off-topic, but are you growing any hibiscus or plumeria? (since you mentioned those above) We can grow hibiscus in our climate, but can we grow plumeria? I have never seen any plumeria north of Orlando or Tampa. I just assumed that our occasional overnight freezing temperatures would do them in. Maybe there are some hardier varieties?

I'm with you --- I love plumeria. Every time I am down in Miami, I see them all over the place.

I'm sure you could grow the in pots and overwinter them indoors, but I've found that they won't grow into "trees" unless they're in a 10a/10b area. They do okay in 9b, but they freeze to the ground in events like 2010.

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SubTropicRay

They'll freeze to the ground in 10a as well but those events are less frequent in that zone.

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Zeeth

They'll freeze to the ground in 10a as well but those events are less frequent in that zone.

That's true. The farthest north tree sized ones I've seen have been on Anna Maria Island, and I would call that a 10b microclimate. There are medium sized ones on the mainland in Bradenton and Sarasota, but they're not as big or old, so I think you're right.

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