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Phoenix dactylifera Hardiness?

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TexasColdHardyPalms

These are pretty brutal even when young as you can't pick them up by the fronds and move them like CIDP without gloves.  Maybe they gain hardiness with age like Brahea super silver or Trachycarpus...???

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sonoranfans

theophrasti is reputed to be related to dactylifera but more moisture tolerant.  In a wet winter like texas it may be more "wet cold" tolerant.  Dactulifera are not tolerant of a wet cold.

 

 

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buffy

Here's our P. theophrastii. I purchased this from somebody, maybe Phil. Can't remember. The black on the cut fronds is due to our friendly yard guys spraying everything they cut with pruning dressing. It suckers a whole bunch. It is easily the prickliest Phoenix around. You can see some suckers at the base. Mean S.O.B. It is far less massive than the other big Phoenix. But this sucker is tough. Never lost a spear. It's quite a bit more silver than the picture shows. This is out in the country, so it may have seen a few degrees colder than my lows listed.  

theonasty.jpg

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Sandy Loam

Buffy, now that I see your photo, I am increasingly convinced that my mystery phoenix may be a Phoenix Theophrastii.  The frond structure is similar to mine -- spikey with the rows of spines pointing upward in four different directions.  I, too, have to keep removing the suckers from the bottom of the main trunk.  Mine also has an extremely silver frond colour, even though it is growing in deep shade.  (This palm will actually grow in the shade, unlike my phoenix reclinata)  

Your fronds are also fairly short, aren't they?  If this were a phoenix canariensis, it would have must longer fronds at this point in its maturity.  It seems that Phoenix Theophrastii is more like a phoenix sylvestris in this regard too.  

You can just tell from touching and looking at mine that it is impervious to cold.  It has certainly never been harmed by my coldest temperatures since it was planted (maybe in 2010??)  I have not made any formal experiments, but I would take a wild guess that this palm can be cultivated fearlessly as far north as the Carolinas --- at least anywhere that Sabal Palmetto and Trachycarpus Fortunei can be grown. 

TexasColdHardyPalms, perhaps the reason for your Phoenix Theorphrastii being so cold-sensitive is that you have a different variety???  Is there a green variety and a silver variety of Phoenix Theophrastii?  If so, my pure silver one appears to be bulletproof, as is Buffy's.     

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Laaz
On 12/2/2017, 11:20:37, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

Here is a pic of a 5g i just sold, 30 months from seed. 

20171202_221805.jpg

20171202_221732.jpg

20171202_221644.jpg

That is much greener than my Theo's. Mine have never had any issues with cold either.

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Sandy Loam

Me too.  To my eye, those fronds are green.  That's nothing like my "mystery" phoenix which I believe to be P. Theorphrastii with its silver-white fronds.

The fronds in the photo by TexasColdHardtPalms also look much softer than mine.  Mine are hard, rugged and simply don't bend easily in my hand.  Having said this, I am going by the appearance only.  It is hard to tell from just a photo how soft the fronds are.

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mdsonofthesouth

They tout p. heophrastii as being 8a hardy, might have to check one of these out! The only issue is when it gets older and unprotected the wet winters would most likely kill it. 

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TexasColdHardyPalms

These are not grown in full sun.  The leaflets are very stiff, very pointed and sharp. I'll take a side by side pics this afternoon. 

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Sandy Loam

Ok.  By the way, mine is super silver and has always been grown in deep shade. This palm is so silver that even a lack of light can't dull its colour --- well, not much, at least. This is why I am wondering if there is more than one variety of Phoenix Theophrastii.

MDSOFTHESOUTH, mine doesn't seem to mindd LOTS of rain, regardless of the time of year.   However, my winters are warmer than yours.

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Laaz

You could use these as spears... Deadly.

 

33p5y6w.jpg

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mdsonofthesouth
1 hour ago, Sandy Loam said:

Ok.  By the way, mine is super silver and has always been grown in deep shade. This palm is so silver that even a lack of light can't dull its colour --- well, not much, at least. This is why I am wondering if there is more than one variety of Phoenix Theophrastii.

MDSOFTHESOUTH, mine doesn't seem to mindd LOTS of rain, regardless of the time of year.   However, my winters are warmer than yours.

 

Yeah wish I had your winters. Ours are either mild or remind us that we are || close to the northeast and sometimes they send us some of their winter weather lol. Either way I have a chamerops that seems to be similar hardiness and from the same region and doesn't seem to mind my winters (time will tell though) so I might try one of these in a more sheltered location and see what comes of it. So far Im up to 7 to plant might not including the pinus taeda, pinus paulstrus, pinus elliottii(if I can find one) and musa I also have planned for march. Im pretty sure my wife is going beat me over the head with a frying pan when she hears that lol.

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PalmTreeDude
3 hours ago, mdsonofthesouth said:

 

Yeah wish I had your winters. Ours are either mild or remind us that we are || close to the northeast and sometimes they send us some of their winter weather lol. Either way I have a chamerops that seems to be similar hardiness and from the same region and doesn't seem to mind my winters (time will tell though) so I might try one of these in a more sheltered location and see what comes of it. So far Im up to 7 to plant might not including the pinus taeda, pinus paulstrus, pinus elliottii(if I can find one) and musa I also have planned for march. Im pretty sure my wife is going beat me over the head with a frying pan when she hears that lol.

Are Pinus taeda native to your area? They grow absolutely everywhere here and are very scrubby, but grown in full sun they can get quite wide. A lot of times I see them (in the wild) with no branches at the bottoms, only the tops. 

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mdsonofthesouth
16 hours ago, PalmTreeDude said:

Are Pinus taeda native to your area? They grow absolutely everywhere here and are very scrubby, but grown in full sun they can get quite wide. A lot of times I see them (in the wild) with no branches at the bottoms, only the tops. 

 

Yeah they alone make up like 15% of Maryland trees. They are all over here from clarksville east and there are a few strands west as well as tons of plantations. Taeda, paulstrus and elliottii are my favorite pines and taeda (paulstrus used to be hundreds of years ago before deforestation) is native so easier sell for the wife lol.

Edited by mdsonofthesouth

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PalmTreeDude
1 hour ago, mdsonofthesouth said:

 

Yeah they alone make up like 15% of Maryland trees. They are all over here from clarksville east and there are a few strands west as well as tons of plantations. Taeda, paulstrus and elliottii are my favorite pines and taeda (paulstrus used to be hundreds of years ago before deforestation) is native so easier sell for the wife lol.

It should do great for you then, I dig up little seedlings of them from where the area will be developed on and plant them. 

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sonoranfans

Phoenix theopharasti arent necessarily silver.  Dactyliferas also can be range of silver green.  Ive only seen one mature theophrasti in person(from IPS seed).  It has some silver, but ive seen dactylifera that were notably more silver in color.  Here are is a link with theophrasti in habitat.https://www.coldpalm.nl/media/pdf/Phoenix_theophrasti_var._Epidaurus.pdf

 

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sonoranfans

Long time Palm talker ED Brown had 5 of these and reported lots of variation in appearance.  He said the only way to differentiate from dactylifera was seed size.  There are lots of old discussions here from very knowledgable people who may not be around any more.  It pays to look in the archives.  They are apparently just as hardy as dactylifera and perhaps a little more.  But they are quite a bit better adapted to humidity so it may appear that they are even more cold hardy than dactylifera in non desert areas.  http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/6619-phoenix-theophrastii/

 

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TexasColdHardyPalms
2 hours ago, sonoranfans said:

Long time Palm talker ED Brown had 5 of these and reported lots of variation in appearance.  He said the only way to differentiate from dactylifera was seed size.  There are lots of old discussions here from very knowledgable people who may not be around any more.  It pays to look in the archives.  They are apparently just as hardy as dactylifera and perhaps a little more.  But they are quite a bit better adapted to humidity so it may appear that they are even more cold hardy than dactylifera in non desert areas.  http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/6619-phoenix-theophrastii/

 

Theo on top, dactylifera on bottom. The dacty were a little greener and grown from rps seed which is from Morocco. Cretan are faster growing than dacty and the seeds were about the size of cidp, except a little thinner.  The cidp i grow is from rps seed from the canary islands so shouldnt be your regular phoenix mutt

20171206_165345.jpg

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Sandy Loam

Speaking of colour, I should take back what I said earlier.  I hadn't looked at my mystery phoenix (maybe Theophrastii) for a while.  I just looked again and it is not as silver as is was when younger.  I can post some pictures later.  Frankly, I have no clue what type of phoenix it is.  It might be a hybrid of a hybrid.   

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sonoranfans

The most silver phoenix I ever saw was a dactylifera in phoenix arizona(there are tons of fruiting ones there).  Two palm species can make it in arizona(8" rain a year, 30 days of 108F+) as adults without supplemental water in neglected public landscape areas: washie filifera and the P dactilifera.  Board member Rod Anderson had a theophrastii with 3-4' trunk in phoenix.   I'd call it "natural barbed wire".   the wax on palm leaves is a plant mechanism for retaining water by preventing excessive solar heating.  I have had a number of silver palms that greened up after a cold winter including bismarckia, phoenix silvestris, brahea armata, chamaerops cerifera, copernicia alba silver, sabal uresana.  If you grow in limited sun or higher humidity, plants have a lower risk of dessication sothey may produce less wax.  One palm I have seen be very blue/silver in deep shade is serenoa repens silver in phoenix.  The most silver/blue palms I've ever had were in arizona.  Brahea armata just looks way better in very dry conditions as does chamaerops cerifera.  Bismarckia do well in florida, but need to be in sandy soil and infrequenly watered to look their most silver here.  Last, the color of silver palms is ALWAYS more silver with the sun to your back.  This has to due with percentage of light that you see that has NOT been transmitted through the leaf.  Once light has gone through the leaf, chlorophyll will give it a more green tint.  When the palm is between you and the sun, the transmitted light % is a lot higher.  Also night shots give lots of reflected light, night pics overemphasize the silver color.  P theophrastii are pretty uncommon and phoenix palms are the most prolific hybridizers of palms I know of.  Unlikely that you have happened onto pure phoenix theophrastii unless it came from seed either directly or indirectly from habitat.  I had a very tough time finding a real rupicola in phoenix arizona and florida, I had to get it from a grower who grew from RPS seed.

Edited by sonoranfans

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Matthew92

Observing over 10 years in the Western FL Panhandle, P. dactylifera usually did fine in the 9a or 8b winters, only losing fronds with the freezing rain event that accompanied 8b temperatures in 2014 (even some right at the coast). Otherwise, in a "dry" freeze slightly below 20: many don't get frond damage. However, I have noticed genetic variation as some get worse damage than others (some died in 2014, and others had more than 50% leaf brown in 2018 which wasn't even as bad as 2014). But if you can find a hardy cultivar, they're pretty solid there.

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NC_Palms

Last December I accidentally left some Phoenix dactylifera seedlings outside overnight when it dropped to 26ºF. Surprisingly, I had zero damage. 

Someone once planted mature P. dactylifera specimens in Ocean Isle Beach, NC. I doubt they are still alive, but I am curious to know how long they lasted. 

https://www.google.com/maps/@33.8836432,-78.451939,3a,75y,162.38h,101.85t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sQG6fihCRtkN3AXPn6OzXAw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

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Matt N- Dallas

My experience with theophrastii in Dallas, Austin and San Marcos, TX has been that they are much less cold tolerant (at least in these parts of TX) than dactylifera.  In 2011- I lost all 3 theos I had growing, while dactys and canariensis defoliated but regrew just fine.  Usually our cold blasts in Tx are preceded by rain, ice or both.  There is more to cold hardiness than the ultimate low- duration, precip and wind all take their toll.  

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UK_Palms

There's clearly a lot of variables. Theophrasti is also much better at dealing with prolonged wet-cold, as long as it isn't too extreme. So if the lows are 25F and the highs are only 35F, Theophrasti will deal with that a lot better than Dactylifera, which requires much more daytime heat. My Theo continued to put out new growth under those winter conditions back in January.

But I think Dacty is much better suited at dealing with extreme lows, down to 10-15F, providing the days are warming up to 50F. Which is often the case in dry, desert climates. So they don't seem as fazed by the extreme lows, providing the daytime temp is rebounding quite some. Theophrasti on the other hand doesn't like the extreme lows, but it fine dealing with wet-cold in the 20-40F range. So they both have their pro's and cons. Theophrasti is better suited to my cool, damp climate in the UK, whereas Dactylifera will be better suited to a cold winter/hot summer, dry climate inland in the more mountainous areas of southwest US.

Hardiness clearly varies by individual specimen though. I had two CIDP's endure a polar vortex in February 2018, with temps down to 12F and quite a bit of snow. One of the CIDP's was barely fazed with just minor frond damage, whereas the other specimen was completely defoliated and spear pulled. Both were sat within 4-5 feet of each other and the one that defoliated was actually the bigger of the two. Which just goes to show...

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Sabal_Louisiana

For some reason I've been seeing alot of full-grown Phoenix sylvestris around here lately. This must be the result of planting by some landscaping contractors. They look very nice right now because we barely had any freezing weather this past winter and will probably be okay long term as well but maybe they wont stay looking so robust forever. We had some get bad leaf burn in the 2018 freeze with these and those looked ugly for a while.

It is very rare to see any CIDPs die from cold around here even in the worst of freezes although frond burn may be extensive. Many old ones are quite large so they must have survived the historic freezes of the 80s.

 

Edited by Sabal_Louisiana
typo

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