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Pal Meir

Lytocaryum: Syagrus insignis vs. S. weddellianum

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Pal Meir

Syagrus insignis vs S. weddelliana

Between 1995 and 2010 the species Lytocaryum insigne (now again Syagrus insignis) was treated as synonym for the "correct" term Lytocaryum weddellianum (now Syagrus weddelliana). In this thread I am trying to document the differences between these two species during their first years since germination.

Literature discussing the genus Lytocaryum (Noblick & Lorezi 2010) and its transfer to Syagrus (Noblick & Meerow 2015) can be downloaded as pdf:
http://www.palms.org/palmsjournal/2010/v54n1p5_17.pdf
http://www.researchgate.net/publication/281374491_The_transfer_of_the_genus_Lytocaryum_to_Syagrus
(or via IPS)

It would be very nice if also other members could contribute their photos which show the characteristic differences between these two species or their similarities when they have pinnate leaves.

My first sketch shows the typical habit of adult trees. I regret that I don’t have my own photos which I could post here. The next photos document that it can be impossible to distinguish their seeds: Seeds of S. insignis may be smaller or bigger or of the same size.

The other photos document the differences between the seedlings, beginning with photos of half a year old juvenile plants. All Syagrus weddelliana germinated in April 2013, all Syagrus insignis in February and March 2014.

Here the sketches: Actually S. insignis (here from Espírito Santo) is much taller than S. weddelliana (here Rio de Janeiro) and its trunk is also much thicker:

563a3da70194f_01_Lytocaryum_weddellianum

Two seeds looking totally alike:

563a3dabd1dba_02_Lytocaryum_Seeds_201120

All seeds of S. insignis which germinated in 2014 were smaller than the average of L. weddelliana:

03_Lytocaryum_Seeds_IMG_8238.thumb.jpg.0

And here three seeds of actually germinated palms:

04_Lytocaryum_Seeds_IMG_8246.thumb.jpg.0

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Pal Meir

The following four photos show both species in the same age: (1) half a year, (2) 9 to 11 months, (3) 1 year, and (4) 1 year and a half old.

563a416d02b76_05_N14011301_IMG_7994a.thu

563a4176a72f5_06_N13001400_911_months_IM

563a417f2c6b3_07_N1404-1302_1year_P10003

563a418ad470f_08_Syagrus_weddellianainsi

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Pal Meir

And next three photos of S. weddelliana together with S. insignis. Both palms have almost the same number of leaves, although S. weddelliana is ca. 10 months older:

(1) S. wedd. shows tip of 8th leaf, S. insignis the spear of 5th leaf. Both palms in 12cm pots.

(2+3) S. wedd. with 9th leaf and S. insignis with 8th. The size of the pots is 14.8cm Ø and 17.4cm H.

563a437357d5b_09_N13041401_2015-05-09_P1

563a437eae7f4_10_N13041401_2015-11-04_P1

563a43889bfa0_11_N13041401_2015-11-04_P1

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Kai

Great documentation Pal! These are my favorite species.

I've seen the same differences between the 2 species as you. I also found the insignis seedlings very fussy in their soil requirements. I'm having a very hard time growing them. I see that you don't have these troubles like very light green new leaf coloration and trouble to get them rooted properly. I have 3 struggling seedlings left which I am trying to save with new higher quality soil. These problems were completely absent with weddelliana which I have grown so many times with great succes.

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Pal Meir

Great documentation Pal! These are my favorite species.

I've seen the same differences between the 2 species as you. I also found the insignis seedlings very fussy in their soil requirements. I'm having a very hard time growing them. I see that you don't have these troubles like very light green new leaf coloration and trouble to get them rooted properly. I have 3 struggling seedlings left which I am trying to save with new higher quality soil. These problems were completely absent with weddelliana which I have grown so many times with great succes.

Kai, I had exactly the same problems with my S. insignis in 2011. I had used the same soil mix as for S. weddelliana, following the recommendation of RPS: "It will tolerate light frosts and grows best in humus-rich, acidic soil." All three palms were growing at first healthily (pic 1), but after the 3rd leaf they got yellowish etc. The last one died after growing only 6 leaves. Here two photos, documenting their decline (pic 2):

563a4a99b1297_12_N1103-01_2011-10-08_IMG

563a4c14cd45b_13_N1101_2012-10-01_IMG_69

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Kai

Could you give me some soil specifics on which insignis might thrive?

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Zeeth

Interesting! insignis definitely has more Syagrus characteristics at a young age. 

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Pal Meir

After studying the natural habitat of Syagrus insignis I saw that this species is only growing on steep rocky slopes. This means it needs very quick drainage and (when adult) it does not need any humus or other organic matter at all (pic 1+2). So I used in 2014 for my ten seedlings from the beginning a totally different soil mix, with the result that all 10 plants are thriving very healthily (pic 3) even now after more than one and a half year (the last photo still all 10 together: pic 4).

14_Soil_Syagrus_insignis.thumb.jpg.f8a2d

563a53d3798e0_15_N1401_2015-04-26_IMG_82

563a53e4200b0_16_N1400_IMG_8057.thumb.jp

563a53ec5e10f_17_N1400_2015-08-31.thumb.

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Kai

Thank you Pal. I hope seeds become available again in the near future. In that case I'll have this mixture present.

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Alberto

Nice photos! I read that S. insigne grows in a kind of white sand soil.

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Pal Meir

Nice photos! I read that S. insigne grows in a kind of white sand soil.

Yes, that is reported in the article by Noblick & Lorenzi (2010). Usually it grows on rocky slopes. Both sites (rocks and sand) are mineral and not "humus-rich" as was written in the description from RPS (and now also on Palmpedia). – As you have a S. insignis which has already pinnate leaves it would be very interesting if you too could post photos which show the contrast between these two species.

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Gileno Machado

Very interesting indeed. I've always tried the same soil mix for both, with similar results, decaying insigne in times more often. Thanks for sharing the information.

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Pal Meir

Very interesting indeed. I've always tried the same soil mix for both, with similar results, decaying insigne in times more often. Thanks for sharing the information.

Another matter is, that S. insignis doesn’t like standing water ("wet feet") at all, but needs regular watering. So the soil mix must not get soggy or hold the water too long time. (All my experience is restricted to pot growing and indirect [I have not been there myself] observations of the sites in their habitats.)

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Pal Meir

When I was asked some time ago by another Palmtalk member who had similar problems with his S. insignis I had compiled a short list counting off most conditions which are essential for both S. insignis and S. weddelliana and which can also explain why both species don’t grow side by side together in their habitats:

site conditions:

S insignis

S weddell.

can grow:

mineral soil: rock ±weathered, sand

+

insig

low canopy forest or shrubby vegetation

+

insig

temporary direct sun

±

insig

short dryness

±

insig

organic, humus-rich

+

wedd

forest with high canopy, no direct sun

+

wedd

much regular rainfall

+

+

insig wedd

quick draining soil

+

+

insig wedd

soil base silicate, no carbonate

+

+

insig wedd

tropical, even at high altitudes frost-free

+

+

insig wedd

 

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Pal Meir

Even if the eophylls (first leaves) of both species are lanceolate they are quite different in size and texture (pic 1). In case of S. insignis the eophylls are always undivided lanceolate and leather like (pic 2) and of S. weddelliana also undivided and paper like or already pinnate. In my batch from 2002 59/63 = 94% had entire first leaves (pic 3).

563b8141c4e90_18_Syagrus_weddellinsignis

19_Syagrus_insignis_2014-07-31_IMG_7962.

563b81743d605_20_Syagrus_weddelliana_200

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Alberto

My 2 oldest L. insigne (originated from Espírito Santo state) came from Harri Lorenzi and were planted in little bags filled with a not well draining kind of clayish soil. I didn´t remove this soil and planted them in my sandy acid loam and they are growing fine. All the other seedlings (from "e-jardim" - state of Rio de Janeiro population)  also are planted in sandy acid loam and growinf fine.....

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Pal Meir

My 2 oldest L. insigne (originated from Espírito Santo state) came from Harri Lorenzi and were planted in little bags filled with a not well draining kind of clayish soil. I didn´t remove this soil and planted them in my sandy acid loam and they are growing fine. All the other seedlings (from "e-jardim" - state of Rio de Janeiro population)  also are planted in sandy acid loam and growinf fine.....

Hello Alberto, I think the soil mix of the seedlings you got from Lorenzi is similar to that one you can see on the photos taken by Caixeta and posted in an earlier thread and also on Palmpedia: http://www.palmpedia.net/wiki/Lytocaryum_insigne

That mix looks like a lateritic clay resulting from weathering gneissic rocks as it is typical also for the tropical Mata Atlântica. It is free of any organic matter (humus). I think this mix may be ideal for healthy (older) plants with strong roots. The problems with first and still very weak seedlings without strong roots is that you can overwater them or let them dry out. To avoid this risk I composed a mix which you can not overwater even if you water the seedlings daily when you avoid "wet feet“. And as you can see with my seedlings from 2014 no one had any problems at any time, although they were grown up only on a window sill inside a normal living room without further protection: https://www.flickr.com/photos/palmeir/albums/72157658000127651

Another problem with your (or Lorenzi’s) soil mix is that you can not get it everywhere or buy it in a market. In the past I tried to get some weathered coarse granitic loam from mountains in my vicinity. But I learned that it is forbidden here to "steal“ soil from your natural environment.

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Jamesasb

Well, I will explain my experiance with l insignie. 

I purchased seeds from rps in winter 2014/15, pleased with fast germination 

I potted the seeds in coir and they grew very long healthy taproots so i was convinced it was ok. 

Then they grew very slowly and such tiny leaves, I repotted them in a mix of perlite, fine sand with a little iron sulphate and a small amount of peat today and the long taproots were still healthy but there was little branching. one had many roots as had used my topsoil (ran out of coir) but was still very small in size.

Here is a picture of my best seedling  10 months old , I really am dissappointed. but hopefully they should start growing bigger nowtiny_l_insigne.thumb.jpg.f0ea44f85558956tiny_l_insigne.thumb.jpg.f0ea44f85558956

Edited by Jamesasb
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Pal Meir

Well, I will explain my experiance with l insignie. 

I purchased seeds from rps in winter 2014/15, pleased with fast germination 

I potted the seeds in coir and they grew very long healthy taproots so i was convinced it was ok. 

Then they grew very slowly and such tiny leaves, I repotted them in a mix of perlite, fine sand with a little iron sulphate and a small amount of peat today and the long taproots were still healthy but there was little branching. one had many roots as had used my topsoil (ran out of coir) but was still very small in size.

Here is a picture of my best seedling  10 months old , I really am dissappointed. but hopefully they should start growing bigger now.

Hello James, what is the size of your pot? It seems to be too large for the seedling. Or is the seedling so tiny, more looking like a Lytocaryum weddellianum. It should be now ca. 9 months old: When you look at the 1st photo in my 2nd post there is a seedling half a year old, growing in an 8×8×9cm plastic pot.

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Pal Meir

Now I had a look at the enlargement of your photo and it seems that the 3rd leaf will become pinnate. This fact, the tiny size (I think your pot is not wider than 12 cm) and the general appearence of the seedling make me guess that your palm is L. weddellianum and not L. insigne. You said that you have more seedlings than this one, are they all so tiny? What is the larger leaf in the background? – If your tiny seedling is L. weddellianum your new soil mix is totally inadequate.

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realarch

Amazing photographs and chronology. Appreciate the effort and detail.

Tim

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Jamesasb

 

Now I had a look at the enlargement of your photo and it seems that the 3rd leaf will become pinnate. This fact, the tiny size (I think your pot is not wider than 12 cm) and the general appearence of the seedling make me guess that your palm is L. weddellianum and not L. insigne. You said that you have more seedlings than this one, are they all so tiny? What is the larger leaf in the background? – If your tiny seedling is L. weddellianum your new soil mix is totally inadequate.

There were 2 leaves which got totally sun/wind burned and it grew again so i think its putting out its 5th leaf. They are all this size or even smaller the pot is 9x9x20 cm and i cant use a smaller one because the tap root is very long. The seeds were bought from rps as l insignie. surely  L. weddellianum would have been happy in coir?

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Jamesasb

it largest_insignie.thumb.jpg.d3a1beb8230ca

it does appear to be going pinnate soon which is rediculous for such a small palm. would too much sun dwarf a l wedd into this size? isee palmiers l insigne are not pinnate with at least 6 leaves so could such stress make l insignie go pinnate early?

Edited by Jamesasb

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Pal Meir

it largest_insignie.thumb.jpg.d3a1beb8230ca

it does appear to be going pinnate soon which is rediculous for such a small palm. would too much sun dwarf a l wedd into this size? isee palmiers l insigne are not pinnate with at least 6 leaves so could such stress make l insignie go pinnate early?

James, it is difficult to make a diagnosis per web, but seeing your photos both Lytos look to me like Lyto weddellianum: I guess (I haven’t done it myself so long) that L weddellianum seedlings exposed to direct sun or when planted too deep below soil level tend to get undivided leaves as long as possible. – The problems you had with these Lytos when still planted in coir may result (1) from direct sun, (2) from planting too deep (?), (3) from using to large pots which hinder quick drainage, (4) from using pure (?) coir which doesn’t drain fast. I was using for young L. weddellianum seedlings a mix of 1/3 pine bark (1cm), 1/3 Seramis (burnt clay), and 1/3 coir (Kokohum), which results in an excellent drainage.

There was also another PalmTalk member who got a Lyto weddellianum from RPS as "L insigne" …

 

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Flow

I have bought Lytocaryum insigne seeds twice from RPS.

When I bought the first batch in late 2014, I did some reading here on palmtalk and emailed Pal since I was under the impression he was quite knowledgeable about Lytocaryum. He gave me his soil mixture recipe and some additional tips and as a result all 8 germinated seeds quickly developed their first leaf. They are not very fast but growing nicely. I subesquently gave many away to some EPS members, both from the frist and the second batch and only kept two from the first batch and two from the second.

Soon, I began to realize that the seedlings from the second batch looked different, i.e. they had a pinnate first eophyll. I have come to the conclusion that the second badge were weddelianum. I emailed RPS but got no answer.

The L. insigne on the picture was outside this summer. The other remaining one stayed inside and grew a bit faster but also a bit etiolated.

DSC_0107.jpg

Edited by Flow
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Pal Meir

I have bought Lytocaryum insigne seeds twice from RPS.

When I bought the first batch in late 2014, I did some reading here on palmtalk and emailed Pal since I was under the impression he was quite knowledgeable about Lytocaryum. He gave me his soil mixture recipe and some additional tips and as a result all 8 germinated seeds quickly developed their first leaf. They are not very fast but growing nicely. I subesquently gave many away to some EPS members, both from the frist and the second batch and only kept two from the first batch and two from the second.

Soon, I began to realize that the seedlings from the second batch looked different, i.e. they had a pinnate first eophyll. I have come to the conclusion that the second badge were weddelianum. I emailed RPS but got no answer.

The L. insigne on the picture was outside this summer. The other remaining one stayed inside and grew a bit faster but also a bit etiolated.

DSC_0107.jpg

Thanks for your contribution, Flow. This is also a very nice picture showing the differences between the two species during their juvenile state.

The left seedling seems to be from the same batch as my L. insigne from 2014, and the right one looks like coming from that batch as the seedlings of James bought in winter 2014/15. – I hope that your L. weddellianum will survive the first years although it has been planted in the "special" L. insigne mixture. :greenthumb:

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Josh-O

great job pal.

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Flow

The weddelianum is actually growing at a fair pace, Pal and it has deep green leaves. Looking healthy so far. I will leave it in this soil unless it starts to dislike it.

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Pal Meir

The weddelianum is actually growing at a fair pace, Pal and it has deep green leaves. Looking healthy so far. I will leave it in this soil unless it starts to dislike it.

Perhaps this insigne-mix is better also for L. weddellianum than my standard weddell-mix? I didn’t try it yet for L. weddellianum:huh:

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Pippo

Thank you for this great documentation. It's really very interesting.

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Jamesasb

Well, if I have L wedd i will be disappointed because there are plenty of large wedd avaliable to purchase.

The only reason I purchased seeds of insigne are because i wanted to grow one in too much sun for wedd.

I have a 4m high heated polytunnel  for several to grow with pure sand soil so it would be perfect for insigne 

So my seedlings are minature because they had too much sun I think. They are probably not l.insigne 

I will wait till more seeds are avaliable at RPS or if anyone knows another source pleaselet me know

Regards

James

 

Edited by Jamesasb

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Alberto

Nice photos! I read that S. insigne grows in a kind of white sand soil.

Yes, that is reported in the article by Noblick & Lorenzi (2010). Usually it grows on rocky slopes. Both sites (rocks and sand) are mineral and not "humus-rich" as was written in the description from RPS (and now also on Palmpedia). – As you have a S. insignis which has already pinnate leaves it would be very interesting if you too could post photos which show the contrast between these two species.

Here are 2 of the first L. insigne that came from seeds of Vargem Alta - Espírito Santo state

DSCN0001.JPG

DSCN0002.JPG

DSCN0003.JPG

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Pal Meir

Nice photos! I read that S. insigne grows in a kind of white sand soil.

Yes, that is reported in the article by Noblick & Lorenzi (2010). Usually it grows on rocky slopes. Both sites (rocks and sand) are mineral and not "humus-rich" as was written in the description from RPS (and now also on Palmpedia). – As you have a S. insignis which has already pinnate leaves it would be very interesting if you too could post photos which show the contrast between these two species.

Here are 2 of the first L. insigne that came from seeds of Vargem Alta - Espírito Santo state

:greenthumb:Fantastic! :wub: And not only the palms …

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Alberto

Younger palm (from e-jardim) originated from the population of the st. of Rio de Janeiro

DSCN8074.JPG

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