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PalmatierMeg

Phoenix species ID requested

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PalmatierMeg

The little Phoenix in the photos below has struggled in the past but is now healthy and happy. Despite being 4-5 years old it is only about 24" tall and just this season developed its signature spines. I germinated it from a batch of RPS seeds labeled as Phoenix roebelenii (Mekong) and described as follows, "the wild, unhybridized form of Phoenix roebelenii has a much daintier appearance than the commonly cultivated form, with thin, heavily clustering trunks and very finely pinnate, wispy leaves."

Only two seeds germinated, one died and the survivor is the palm in the photos. It grew excrutiatingly slowly for a Phoenix but after a couple years went pinnate. I planted it in a box on my garden lot. There it went into a slow decline even though I hand watered it during dry season. I realized it would soon croak in that spot so I repotted it. It lingered for months doing nothing, then slowly began to grow again. This spring I repotted it in a 3g size pot and placed it where it got sun and irrigation. It is finally taking off and has developed its signature spines.

My question is what species is this little Phoenix? It hasn't clustered in 5 years so it's likely not a Mekong roebelenii. In all those years it has grown to only ~24" tall. So, is it a garden variety solitary roebelenii? A hybrid? Something else? Whether I keep it or not depends on the answer.

Phoenix sp for ID

5b8414f04e74e_Phoenixsp0108-27-18.thumb.5b8414fd9b2c1_Phoenixsp0208-27-18.thumb.5b84150a3d9ac_Phoenixsp0308-27-18.thumb.5b84151a746ed_Phoenixsp0408-27-18.thumb.5b841528255d0_Phoenixsp0508-27-18.thumb.5b84153ac50e2_Phoenixsp0608-27-18.thumb.

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Eric in Orlando

P. roebelenii. We have several planted out from a batch of the Mekong River clustering form but none have clustered, even after 8-10 years.

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PalmatierMeg
27 minutes ago, Eric in Orlando said:

P. roebelenii. We have several planted out from a batch of the Mekong River clustering form but none have clustered, even after 8-10 years.

Thanks, Eric. Does it look like a "pure" roebelenii? So many Phoenix sourced in FL are hybrids. Did your Mekong River roebelenii palms seem to grow much slower than the "human-intervention" variety?

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Stevetoad

I agree, looks like pure P.roebelinii to me too

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Pal Meir

Yes, it looks like a nicely grown pure Ph roebelenii, but if it will be clustering (»Mekong«) you can see only after a couple of years.

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Eric in Orlando
4 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

Thanks, Eric. Does it look like a "pure" roebelenii? So many Phoenix sourced in FL are hybrids. Did your Mekong River roebelenii palms seem to grow much slower than the "human-intervention" variety?

So far the only difference is they have been slower growing. Appearance wise they look the same as Florida nursery trade specimens.

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PalmatierMeg

Definitely slow. I'll keep the little guy/girl. I'm not the world's most enthusiastic Phoenix fan but I've developed a soft spot for this one after all its struggles to survive.

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