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Cycas Diannanensis surprising cold hardiness

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TexasColdHardyPalms

I have a few mature cycas outside and one that really surprised me this year is diannanensis. We dropped down to 16-17degrees two days in a row with 44 hours below 30 degrees and 30-40mph gusts which torched the foliage of panzhihuaensis, taitungensis, revoluta, debaoensis hybrids, basically every cycas except my male Diannanensis. This plant looks wind tattered, but not freeze damaged, which is amazing. The temperature will be in the 70's over the weekend which should really bring out any damage.  Pics to follow.

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Tracy
On 12/22/2016, 8:39:04, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

We dropped down to 16-17degrees two days in a row with 44 hours below 30 degrees and 30-40mph gusts which torched the foliage of panzhihuaensis, taitungensis, revoluta, debaoensis hybrids, basically every cycas except my male Diannanensis.

I'm not familiar with Cycas diannanensis, but sounds like its a winner for the cold you are experiencing!  I was a little worried about some cold fronts we have had pass through in the last couple of weeks, but everything seems to be surviving it fine.  Three of my Cycas thouarsii are flushing right now along with my smaller Cycas thouarsii x cupida.  I guess as long as it doesn't get any colder than the storms we have had, I will be ok.20161224-104A4925.thumb.jpg.aa39fda3d25020161224-104A4926.thumb.jpg.cd8d63e58353

20161224-104A4923.jpg

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Update time.  While the leaflets didn't burn the petioles were compromised by the cold and the high wind collapsed them today.  Same thing has happened to Cycas Debaoensis hybrids as well. 

Dioon Edule Rio verde and angustifolia in the ground and large pots look completely unharmed.  A Ceratozamia Latifolia in a pot that froze solid looks completely fine and didn't burn.  The 1G Coontie that I left out in a pot beside the latifolia is completely burned and defoliated.  I don't think it will live. Ceratozamia Kuesteriana is unburned, and was in a pot that froze solid as well. I have 600+ Dioon Edule Rio Verde in 1G to 5G pots. About 10% of them bronzed on some of the older leaves. All of them were frozen solid.

Macrozamia Communis under heave Pindo (forrest) canopy 50% burn on the newer leaves, older leaves are kind of bronzed.  Communis in more open area were 100% burned.  Macrozamia Johnsonii - 100% burned, under same Pindo forrest.

Encephalartos ferox located 10' away from the Cycas Diannansis is 100% burned.  Arenga engleri 3' away beside a wall of a house will be 100% burned.

On another note - I am starting to believe that cycads are able to increase their leaf hardiness.  I know this sounds crazy but I have a mature C. Revoluta female outside here at the house.  She was purchased from a couple that germinated and grew her in zone 8a its entire life and since being planted here at my house she seems to sustain less and less cosmetic damage than the year before.  For instance, it currently has less than 25% burn when every other Revoluta in the area is completely burned. There five larger (3-5' trunk) revolute that are as close as 5' to it that are completely burned.  This female used to burn during quick drops to the low 20's in past years and it just produced 500+seeds this year so I know it expelled a tremendous amount of energy and isn't 100%.   This freeze should have completely burned the plant but it didn't an I don't have another explanation.

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Tracy
10 hours ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

I am starting to believe that cycads are able to increase their leaf hardiness.  I know this sounds crazy but I have a mature C. Revoluta female outside here at the house.  She was purchased from a couple that germinated and grew her in zone 8a its entire life and since being planted here at my house she seems to sustain less and less cosmetic damage than the year before.  For instance, it currently has less than 25% burn when every other Revoluta in the area is completely burned. There five larger (3-5' trunk) revolute that are as close as 5' to it that are completely burned.  This female used to burn during quick drops to the low 20's in past years and it just produced 500+seeds this year so I know it expelled a tremendous amount of energy and isn't 100%.   This freeze should have completely burned the plant but it didn't an I don't have another explanation.

Interesting thought, which needs a little more research.  Another possibility, is that it was just a more hardy plant within a normal distribution of the population.  From the tail of the distribution on the cold side, if you will.  It will be interesting to see how your seeds from this plant behave in cold as you grow them.  Since you mention that it was germinated and grown in zone 8a, what zone are you in Mansfield?  Are you creating a market in Texas for landscape planting of some of the more cold hardy plants you grow?

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Palm Tree Jim
On 12/22/2016, 8:39:04, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

I have a few mature cycas outside and one that really surprised me this year is diannanensis. We dropped down to 16-17degrees two days in a row with 44 hours below 30 degrees and 30-40mph gusts which torched the foliage of panzhihuaensis, taitungensis, revoluta, debaoensis hybrids, basically every cycas except my male Diannanensis. This plant looks wind tattered, but not freeze damaged, which is amazing. The temperature will be in the 70's over the weekend which should really bring out any damage.  Pics to follow.

Those cold temps with that duration seems like it really hit the cycads.......sorry to hear.

Keep us updated on what else you discover.

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Tracy, I have transplanted very large sago's from the Houston area and they always burn the first year up here when most other revoluta sustain zero cosmetic damage. After a few years here they seem to acclimate and no longer burn during similar cold spells.  I always attributed most of this to a plant in a weakened state.  However I purchased a large amount of potted, well rooted revoluta from the Houston area to which will help me eliminate this variable.  

The Revoluta that I mentioned above used to completely burn during a quick drop to 20F when I first planted it in the ground. Frost and mid 20's would burn the top leaves.  To now have the same plant 8-9 years later sustain minimal damage during this very cold spell that we had is very puzzling and I have to think that something else is going on. 

I have also noticed that E. Ferox will be exhibit more cosmetically hardiness to not only frost/cold in the winter but summer sun burn on the leaves.  I have seen this on the plants that I purchased from California a few years back.  The real test is to see if the Ferox caudex will survive this winter as I have the first mature specimen in the ground unprotected.

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Aforementioned Revoluta is at an 8B at my house in Mansfield.

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Palm crazy

This is good new since most cycad site say it’s only hardy to 9a and even Dave’s garden says 10a, lol. This cycad is still pretty new so it good to know it can handle that much cold. I wonder if your long hot summer help it to survive colder winter, more sugar buildup. 

Edited by Palm crazy

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Palm crazy
6 hours ago, Palm crazy said:

This is good new since most cycad site say it’s only hardy to 9a and even Dave’s garden says 10a, lol. This cycad is still pretty new so it good to know it can handle that much cold. I wonder if your long hot summer help it to survive colder winter, more sugar buildup. 

OK, I see you did have some damage, Let us know if it flushes again come spring/summer.  So far my one cycad hybrid has endure 4” of snow, Low’s at 23F, 24.8F, 26.6F shows no sign of damage. Has gotten lower than those temps before with no damage….cycas taitungensis x guizhouensis is a winner in 8a. 

Edited by Palm crazy

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edbrown_III

I have been growing it since 95 its pretty tough --- very vigorous I have it growing all over he yard  as pure C. diananensis and mixed with other Cycas ---- back crossed a bunch of times to 3/4 C. diananensis x  C. revoluta-taitugensis   --- really tough plant --- I was tryiing to get some thing to take 12F like we had in 1985 that actually hurt the C revoluta here in Florida ---- it was more the combination of the gail force winds and 12 F that did the damage 

 

I do occaisionally get some leaf damage ----- from cold but its situational ------ 

best regards

 

Ed

 

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Tracy
7 hours ago, edbrown_III said:

I have it growing all over he yard  as pure C. diananensis and mixed with other Cycas

Hi Ed,  I would love to see a photo or two of your pure Cycas diananensis, as it is a Cycas I don't recall seeing before, or if I did, I didn't know what I was looking at.

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TexasColdHardyPalms

The wind seems to have been the real killer here, coupled with the temperature as it completely negated all of the radiational soil heat that was built up from the week in the 70s. Unfortunately I will have a lot of data for the freeze damage forum this spring.  Right now I think i lost a lot of 3gallon potted dioon edule as their caudex is already softening. I think the moral of the dioon story may turn out to be: if the leaves burn at all the plant is dead. 

On another negative note- a lot of palms look aweful too.  The big surprise was a nice sized 25g butia eriospatha that almost completely burned and may not make it...???? The mule beside it looks much better than the eriospatha.  

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TexasColdHardyPalms
On 12/28/2016, 1:05:17, Palm crazy said:

This is good new since most cycad site say it’s only hardy to 9a and even Dave’s garden says 10a, lol. This cycad is still pretty new so it good to know it can handle that much cold. I wonder if your long hot summer help it to survive colder winter, more sugar buildup. 

I sure hope so. Most everything likes our summer as long as it is being watered.  Still odd that the diannansis leaflets are more hardy than the petiole. 

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Palm crazy
14 hours ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

 Still odd that the diannansis leaflets are more hardy than the petiole. 

I’m not sure why that happens on some plants but it happens to my plants sometimes also. See it in many type of exotic plant in my garden when it gets really cold. 

 

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edbrown_III
On 12/29/2016, 8:48:19, Tracy said:

Hi Ed,  I would love to see a photo or two of your pure Cycas diananensis, as it is a Cycas I don't recall seeing before, or if I did, I didn't know what I was looking at.

 

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Tracy
1 hour ago, edbrown_III said:

IMG_5039ekectrucak.jpg

IMG_5041ekectrucak.jpg

Thanks Ed!  Those leaflets are distinctive with the curled droopy tips.  The amount of the rachis which doesn't bare leaflets is substantial as well.  I'm actually surprised at the cold tolerance of this Cycas, given how thin and frail appearing the leaflets are compared to some others of this genus.  It is a nice looking plant, and a bit more tropical appearing than I was expecting.

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edbrown_III

its pretty tough and I have been hybridizing it with othe species to make a bit tougher plant but then it has really warmed up in this part of FLorida since the 1990s

 

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yeye

You have female and male side by side ?

So it is diannannensis seedlings at the bottom ?

 

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edbrown_III

yes 

 

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