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Archontophoenix cunninghamiana vs Kentiopsis oliviformis

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RedRabbit

acko.jpg.c97b5970659181661ff715cf7039ce9

 

Two tropical looking relatively hardy crownshaft palms are Archontophoenix cunninghamiana and Kentiopsis oliviformis. Kentiopsis oliviformis, the more recently cultivated of the two, has shown a lot of promise in recent years. The question begs to be asked, which of the two has the better cold tolerance? 

Here are a few relevant posts I found:

Walt reported his K.O. died from temps in the upper 20s, but he has many Archontophoenix (and not just cunninghamiana): http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/9661-kentiopsis-oliviformis/&do=findComment&comment=164498 

JimR reported his K.O. survived the 2010 winter when his Archontophoenix died: http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/9291-zone-9b-palm-list-expands-again/&do=findComment&comment=550707

 Xhoniwaters1 wrote his KO survived, albeit with some protection, a freeze into the low 20s in 2014 when his Archontophoenix died: http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/40127-florida-gulf-coast-deep-freeze-marginal-palm-report-2014/&do=findComment&comment=637074

 

So, what does everyone think? Is there a definitive answer to which has the greater cold tolerance? 

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Ben in Norcal

Not had the occasion to compare, so far...KOs are the prettier IMO but such slugs.

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The Steve

Archontophoenix purpurea is reported to be one of the hardiest Archontophoenix species, but they all grow well here, so I'm just going off of anecdotal evidence.  I've always thought K.O. and A.C were pretty simliar in terms of cold hardiness, but there's probably a little more to it than that.

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The Steve

Also, I would be curious as to ease of care between the two in Southern California, as I have thought about replacing my kings with them.

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quaman58

I think that KO is pretty similar in cultural requirements as the common king. They both love their water. Kentiopsis is a bit slower, but not bad. I love the upright crown on them. They are one palm that actually looks better with little to no trunk, than when it's well overhead. Steve, go 50/50 with KO & pyriformis when replacing your kings!

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The Steve
35 minutes ago, quaman58 said:

I think that KO is pretty similar in cultural requirements as the common king. They both love their water. Kentiopsis is a bit slower, but not bad. I love the upright crown on them. They are one palm that actually looks better with little to no trunk, than when it's well overhead. Steve, go 50/50 with KO & pyriformis when replacing your kings!

Funny thing you say that; I planted a little one in the front corner about 1 month ago.  There is also a few Chambeyronias and a B. alfredii in the planter.  Everything is very healthy, but the kings looks really poor (respectively at least).

 

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Silas_Sancona

 Agree that these are two great palms that seem to be very close in cold tolerance. If i had to choose between the two, K.O. would win out only because they seem to tolerate more sun as they grow and this was one of the first palms that caught my eye the first time i visited Kopsick back in 2010. The dark green-black, slightly bulging crownshaft, upright fronds, and ringed trunk have an edge, looks-wise, over most Kings i have seen..even if all Archontophoenix are great looking palms when well grown.

As far as growth, i've had a specimen i got from San Diego ( picked up as a 3 or 5gal,) since 2013 that has been a steady grower ..slow-ish, but no slug. Just my observation though. Summer heat does seem to speed up growth a bit.. along with ample water. On the other hand, my experiences with seedlings have me thinking these can be somewhat temperamental.. Seedlings id started last year made it to putting out their first couple pinnate fronds before tanking.  Hopefully there isn't a repeat with seedlings i have now.



 

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Eric in Orlando

I agree, in FL they seem to be about the same in cold hardiness. Archontophoenix cunninghamiana is a much faster grower. They can get to 20ft in 5-7 years. Kentiopsis is slow when young and gains a little speed as it ages but is not fast.

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DoomsDave

I'd go with Archies when in doubt. Much faster, and will recover better if hardiness is challenged by a freeze. Also seed more freely.

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Silas_Sancona

Growth of my older K.O. and a couple corrections to my last post. Looking through older pictures, i realized that i indeed picked up this specimen in September of 2012, and that it was actually in a tall 1gal pot, not a 3 or 5 as id originally thought. Anyway, not a rocket, but not bad for the roughly 3.5 years i have had it. Almost time to go into a bigger pot.

#1, Sept. 2012
#2 & 3 April 2016

570d4349e8142_IMG_2041(657x745).jpg.48dc570d436402ea7_DSCN1050(559x745).jpg.935a570d4372d155c_DSCN1051(559x745).jpg.ff10

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Zeeth

I agree with the comments above. I've grown K. O. from seed and it's almost comical how slow they are from seed. I collected these seeds in July of 2013 and their roots still haven't completely filled these 1 gallon tree-pots. They also seem to always be slightly chlorotic, despite receiving adequate water/fertilizer. I've got some seedlings in the ground from the same batch, and they're not any bigger either.IMG_4653.thumb.JPG.064f726102d7d7adb6aaa

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Palmə häl′ik

Give em iron keith.

Theyll greenup and zero spotting

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Cikas

Archontophoenix cunninghamiana is prettier in my opinion.

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RedRabbit

As it stands I've got 6 Archontophoenix and 1 K.O. for all the reasons mentioned above... As far as hardiness is concerned, from what I gather here it sounds like a draw. I'll report back my findings whenever the next big freeze comes along (hopefully no time soon!)

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RedRabbit

I was wondering, are there any other relatively similar palms? Roystonea obviously comes to mind (though much larger). I was thinking about carpentaria acuminata but I understand it isn't quite as cold tolerant. 

Edited by RedRabbit

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Zeeth
9 hours ago, RedRabbit said:

I was wondering, are there any other relatively similar palms? Roystonea obviously comes to mind (though much larger). I was thinking about carpentaria acuminata but I understand it isn't quite as cold tolerant. 

I've always thought Ptychosperma elegans looked pretty similar. 

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RedRabbit
4 minutes ago, Zeeth said:

I've always thought Ptychosperma elegans looked pretty similar. 

Ahh, yeah good thinking. There are a couple at a shopping center on Dale Mabry I thought were A. alexandrae at first. :unsure:

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Jim in Los Altos

I don't get all the responses about Kentiopsis being slow. My experience with mine so far is that they're at least as fast growing as any of my Archontophoenix and, in some cases, faster. I planted several small One gallon plants in the summer of 2015 and they all put out several new leaves, each much bigger than the previous. The pictures below represent plants that went from 12 to 15 inches tall to 4 to 6 feet tall in one year. IMG_1405.thumb.JPG.8c608e66caa0b26df0274IMG_1407.thumb.JPG.cd351d31788dadaed9391IMG_1410.thumb.JPG.807a7f0a94d311eb43e55IMG_1411.thumb.JPG.53d9c5e0ffa6ab09404e5

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Keith in SoJax

Clearly I need to torture a few of these here in frost hole.  I hat killing a k.o. Though.  Eventually cold wins here.  

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Palmə häl′ik

....for what it's worth, both of these palms have seen 23F in my garden here in Brandon, FL.   Frost free, so I dunno what frost plus 23F would do, but temp wise, they'll take it.  My guess is frost would ultimately be the demise of these crownshafted palms...

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Daryl

IMO KO is a better garden plant. Mainly because they take exposure and drought better than A,cunninghamiana. I can't really comment on the cold hardiness as our climate doesn't test them that way. However, KO looks nicer in 'open' garden conditions, while A,cunninghamiana looks at its best in rainforest...

DSC_5385.thumb.jpg.c6b7008a2b8d1b9385ada

Although the photo doesn't do it justice, and at the time it was under attack by Flying Foxes, this is the largest KO I have seen in cultivation in Oz...at Sydney Botanic Gardens...it is taller than it looks, and is still powering upwards despite the leaf damage...

DSC_8125.thumb.jpg.de0de239781e8e95e9238

 

 

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Walt

I forgot all about my original post (that was referenced at the start of this thread), and just stumbled upon this thread tonight. I lost my K. O., as well as a very nice D. mad. (window form), both from the same freezes. But both palms were not really all that defoliated. They weren't fried by any means, but they must have incurred too much cold damage, possibly dying of a fungal disease/bacterial bud rot.

I've since planted another K. O. Its been in the ground now for three winters with no damage. But my lows the past three winters were: 32, 31, and 30 (2015-16). My K. O. is planted back in a lightly wooded area for better frost protection and did not incur any damage. About 12 feet away I have two A. alexandrae palms planted. I also have a species of ficus (not sure of species) planted about 20 feet away, so together I will better be able to tell just how cold it gets in this area, as all three plants have about the same cold tolerance.

Like others have said, K. O. are good looking palms but very slow.

 

Starting at the 11:42 mark in the below video (taken back in July 28, 2015) you can see my small K. O. My K.O. isn't all that much bigger today. I will probably be dead of old age before this palm has a nice sized trunk (unless, of course, a bad freeze doesn't kill it).

 

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Dave-Vero

My little (6 foot leaf) Kentiopsis oliviformis surprised me by flopping over during this weekend's weak hurricane, despite being in a sheltered spot.  I've propped it up of course.  The one Archontophoenix cunninghamiana suffered no damage; one A. tuckeri (of three) has a broken leaf and a young A. maxima (around 10 feet tall) in an exposed spot is unharmed.  

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Sandy Loam

In my experience, Kentiopsis Oliviformis is more cold-hardy than Archontophoenix Cunninghamiana, and I am on the fine fringe of freezing cold, both far inland and at about 50 minutes south of the Georgia state line.  The big freeze of January 2018 killed all eight of my AC, but my two KO survived (I now have four of them). The KOs were unprotected and looked badly damaged for the following nine months, but they eventually came back.  On the coldest night of those two back-to-back freezes, the lowest temperature I had was 23.4 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Speed:  After a couple of years, my KOs have not grown.  However, I had ACs for six or seven years and, within that time, they went from small palms to overhead palms (i.e.  You could walk underneath).  ....very fast -- and that's in full, deep shade too. I wish I could say the same for KO, but they have been so slow for me.   Just pay the extra money and buy a big one.

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RedRabbit
21 hours ago, Sandy Loam said:

In my experience, Kentiopsis Oliviformis is more cold-hardy than Archontophoenix Cunninghamiana, and I am on the fine fringe of freezing cold, both far inland and at about 50 minutes south of the Georgia state line.  The big freeze of January 2018 killed all eight of my AC, but my two KO survived (I now have four of them). The KOs were unprotected and looked badly damaged for the following nine months, but they eventually came back.  On the coldest night of those two back-to-back freezes, the lowest temperature I had was 23.4 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Speed:  After a couple of years, my KOs have not grown.  However, I had ACs for six or seven years and, within that time, they went from small palms to overhead palms (i.e.  You could walk underneath).  ....very fast -- and that's in full, deep shade too. I wish I could say the same for KO, but they have been so slow for me.   Just pay the extra money and buy a big one.

Thanks for sharing! If 8 ACs died and 2 KOs lived that seems pretty conclusive that KOs are ultimately the hardier of the two.

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PalmTreeDude

Plant both! They both look great! I am still waiting for my Archontophoenix cunninghamiana seeds to pop... 

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FishEyeAquaculture
10 hours ago, RedRabbit said:

.....If 8 ACs died and 2 KOs lived that seems pretty conclusive that KOs are ultimately the hardier of the two.

And considering that report is coming from Gainesville, I feel like I need more KO!!!!!

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DoomsDave
On 10/1/2016 at 1:23 PM, Jim in Los Altos said:

I don't get all the responses about Kentiopsis being slow. My experience with mine so far is that they're at least as fast growing as any of my Archontophoenix and, in some cases, faster. I planted several small One gallon plants in the summer of 2015 and they all put out several new leaves, each much bigger than the previous. The pictures below represent plants that went from 12 to 15 inches tall to 4 to 6 feet tall in one year. IMG_1405.thumb.JPG.8c608e66caa0b26df0274IMG_1407.thumb.JPG.cd351d31788dadaed9391IMG_1410.thumb.JPG.807a7f0a94d311eb43e55IMG_1411.thumb.JPG.53d9c5e0ffa6ab09404e5

Interesting comment!

Maybe they like the cool better than the warm?

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Chris Chance

Being inland like me I have both but only look good with some canopy. My Kentiopsis performs well and seems to pick up speed in the summer heat. Archontophoenix like it a little more mild as well. As for cold my Kentiopsis growing under a queen hasn't shown much damage at all. I have a fully exposed king and it gets some damage but seems like the biggest issue is fungus. 

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Walt

My Kentiopsis oliviformis palm is a monumental disappointment in terms of growth speed. I did a screen save of my KO from the YouTube video I posted near the top of this thread, taken in July of 2015. Now, 3 years and 10 months later I see no discernible growth from my KO. I have this palm planted in a relatively protected area, and I've never observed any cold/frost damage to it.

This palm is a dud, IMO. I used to have another KO about 12 years ago, and it grew much faster, but was killed in 2010.

 

Below are two photos. The first is the screen save I took from my YouTube video taken in July of 2015. The second photo of my KO I took just late this afternoon for purposes of this reply posting.

I'm not condemning the KO species, just saying that my particular KO is a dud. I've grown many dud palms (different species) before, and still am. Some, for whatever reason, regardless of the best cultural practices,  just don't want to grow normally (growth speed) relative to the species in general.

 

Kentiopsis oliviformis.png

Kentiopsis_oliviformis_5-21-19.jpg

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Dave-Vero

My young Kentiopsis oliviformis that fell over due to hurricane Irma subsequently died.  A younger one that I gave a neighbor is thriving and should start trunking this summer.  The leaves are splendid.  

The mild 2018-19 winter left the Carpentarias (two  planted 2006 and third  just as tall that's a seedling from one of those)  in good shape.   They will be tested for participation in rope tricks next year.  The three seed-producing Archontophoenix tuckeri, trees, a younger non-flowering A. cunninghamiana, and an even younger A. maxima are doing well, although the A. maxima has slightly yellowish leaves (they should be deep green).   But a Lepidozamia cycad under it is finally greening up a bit.  I think decomposing roots of a deceased laurel oak (Quercus hemisphaerica) are contributing to the nutrient situation.  

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sonoranfans

I have KO and purpurea, myolensis, maxima, and alexandre.  I understand the cunninghamiana is a few degrees more cold hardy than those other archies.  My archies were more severely defoliated a couple years ago with a long 29-30 degree advective event.  they lost even the exposed spear, but they came back and are just now reaching full crowns.  Kentiopsis have a more waxy spear that survives cold better, my smallest, a seedling at the time, survived the 2010 28, 29 degree plus heavy frost two days in a row with spear intact with no overhead protection.  I never treated it for possible bud rot.  The bud was just a few inches above the ground so it saw lots of cold and frost in that radiational event that lasted ~8 hrs below freezing.  Other similar sized small palms like b alfredii, D pembana were fried, spear and all, I thought they were all goners but most recovered with the alfredii recovering fastest.  1/3 pembanas died after all had spear pull even though I went at them with peroxide/daconil every 2 weeks.  The surviving (2) pembanas had a slower recovery, faster than the KO, but notably slower than the BA.   I had larger royals and foxtails die with spear pull with buds 2-3 feet above the ground.   Larger royals in the neighborhood we less damaged(3/4 burn of the oldest leaves).  The issue with kentiopsis is slow recovery from cold, so if you get consecutive years with hard freezes, it might not recover at some point.  My alexandre were under frost netting and canopy in 2010 so they just got 90% burned, the spear survived.  In 2011 I planted 3 KO with 2-4' clear trunk.  Today they have 8-13' clear trunk.  After the cold event a few years ago are about 80% recovered after 20 months.  At first the leaves were shortened in response to the partial defoliation which in fairness happened a couple months after IRMA hit my yard.  At this time the leaves are full length and full recovery is in sight.   Im not sure how KO matches up against cunninghamiana cold tolerance wise, but they will likely have a less robust bud to frost, but recover much faster.  the real risk with KO is that they grow slowly when small, and even slower after getting hit by cold.  So my 3 gallon size seedling that was defoliated save the spear in 2010 is now about 15' overall with less than 2' of trunk.  This is one palm that I am glad I bought some specimens of because they are slow and I am not that young.   I chose not to buy cunninghamiana as I think its the least attractive king and certainly pales in comparison to KO which IMO is noticeably nicer looking than all my other archie species.  If you get a freeze every year, I'd go with the cunninghamiana due to its ability to come back quickly after being defoliated.

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sonoranfans

Walt, KO wants full sun to grow its fastest and look its best.  Its quite a slow palm from seedling stage anyway, but with part shade or limited water even slower.  I cranked up my watering regimen and noticed a difference in my sandy soil.  They can be tough in sandy soil if they aren't well watered.  But KO is just a slow to moderate growing palm, 5-6 leaves a year is fast for a KO.   Once they get some trunk they pick up a little, but in my experience they are easily my slowest crownshafted palm by a good margin. 

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Walt
1 hour ago, sonoranfans said:

Walt, KO wants full sun to grow its fastest and look its best.  Its quite a slow palm from seedling stage anyway, but with part shade or limited water even slower.  I cranked up my watering regimen and noticed a difference in my sandy soil.  They can be tough in sandy soil if they aren't well watered.  But KO is just a slow to moderate growing palm, 5-6 leaves a year is fast for a KO.   Once they get some trunk they pick up a little, but in my experience they are easily my slowest crownshafted palm by a good margin. 

My KO is not in full sun. Also, it does not get adequate water in my sandy soil when not in the rainy season. I realize sunlight and water are big factors. I know it is for a fact with respect to A. alexandrae palms. I grew for seed and planted about 12 of them at my driveway entrance about seven years ago. They don't get much water as I don't have irrigation there. I gave a neighbor down the street some A. alexandrae palm out of the same batch,  and her palms blew by mine in both height and trunk caliper diameter. But her palms are planted close to a 3 acre pond, and no doubt tapped into the water table. Same thing for a neighbor I sold A. alexandrae to that has daily irrigation. The palms grew many times faster, and the trunk diameters were fat. In some cases they had vertical splits in them from too much water.

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sonoranfans

or heavy wet soil better than dry sandy soil, just like archontophoenix.  They grow fastest in the heat for me (slow in winter) but then that is the wet season here too it coincides with the heat.  I think heavy, moisture laden soils are a big advantage for both species, and primarily sandy soils are very tough on them.  I top mulch my KO and archies every year, after 8 years, the soil is rich until 8" down where the sand starts.  I also have one KO in clay up hear the house, its the biggest.

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