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Chester B

Acoelorrhaphe wrightii

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Chester B

Has anyone had any experience growing Acoelorrhaphe wrightii in zone 8B?  I saw some of these in Florida in zone 9A and they looked pretty good and quite healthy.  I'd like to give it a try in my neck of the woods.  I'm assuming these need heat to grow at a normal rate?

Picture taken in Crystal River Florida in Feb.

acoelorrhaphe wrightii.jpg

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Jcalvin
2 hours ago, Chester B said:

Has anyone had any experience growing Acoelorrhaphe wrightii in zone 8B?  I saw some of these in Florida in zone 9A and they looked pretty good and quite healthy.  I'd like to give it a try in my neck of the woods.  I'm assuming these need heat to grow at a normal rate?

Picture taken in Crystal River Florida in Feb.

acoelorrhaphe wrightii.jpg

They grow here in 8b. But, our 8b isn't sustained freezes.

On the very rare occasion we reach below 20 degrees (last time was 4 years ago), it isn't long- maybe an hour or so at the most. This year we've seen one day below 30. Last year we saw 3 days at 24, and that was for a very short amount of time in the morning.

 

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Chester B
41 minutes ago, Jcalvin said:

hey grow here in 8b. But, our 8b isn't sustained freezes.

On the very rare occasion we reach below 20 degrees (last time was 4 years ago), it isn't long- maybe an hour or so at the most. This year we've seen one day below 30. Last year we saw 3 days at 24, and that was for a very short amount of time in the morning.

Pretty similar.  Below freezing events are usually short in duration, like 1-6 hours.  The last time we went below 25 was 4 years ago.   That was also the last time we had a daytime high fail to go above 32F.  Definitely is worth trying, I have an especially protected location with a lot of reflected heat so the growth habit of this palm might be just right.

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Jcalvin
2 hours ago, Chester B said:

Pretty similar.  Below freezing events are usually short in duration, like 1-6 hours.  The last time we went below 25 was 4 years ago.   That was also the last time we had a daytime high fail to go above 32F.  Definitely is worth trying, I have an especially protected location with a lot of reflected heat so the growth habit of this palm might be just right.

Looks like it will work good for you then!

 

I like them a lot. They have a tendency to look "snaky" down here. If I ever decide to plant one, I'll probably plant it in the corner of my yard. My yard already looks like a jungle, though. lol

 

Good luck!

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Estlander
6 hours ago, Chester B said:

Has anyone had any experience growing Acoelorrhaphe wrightii in zone 8B?  I saw some of these in Florida in zone 9A and they looked pretty good and quite healthy.  I'd like to give it a try in my neck of the woods.  I'm assuming these need heat to grow at a normal rate?

Picture taken in Crystal River Florida in Feb.

acoelorrhaphe wrightii.jpg

Wow, those in 9A look just as big and nice as they do in warmer zones. 

I think I need to try them out here in the panhandle 9A. Trouble is, I don’t know where I can get my hands on one. Never seen them for sale anywhere around here. 

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kinzyjr

@Chester B Nice specimen!  Thank you for sharing!

@Estlander I've not seen a bunch of them for sale, but if you want seeds and can wait until November I could probably harvest a ton of them.  As with most Florida natives, germination is a little sporadic and unpredictable.  I put a seedling in the ground to see how fast it would grow.  Seems like if you flood it with water daily (similar to native habitat) they are actually moderate-to-fast growers.  If you want a little color, look for the 'Azul' variety.  I got one from @TexasColdHardyPalms and love it! 

From some of the observations recorded in the Freeze Forums, it seems they can survive single digits, but they lose their canes and have to re-grow from the root ball under those circumstances.  Definitely a South Florida native that can survive well outside of its native range.

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Estlander
48 minutes ago, kinzyjr said:

 I've not seen a bunch of them for sale, but if you want seeds and can wait until November I could probably harvest a ton of them.  As with most Florida natives, germination is a little sporadic and unpredictable.  I put a seedling in the ground to see how fast it would grow.  Seems like if you flood it with water daily (similar to native habitat) they are actually moderate-to-fast growers.  If you want a little color, look for the 'Azul' variety.  I got one from @TexasColdHardyPalms and love it! 

I’d love some seeds and can wait till November, no problem.  I’m sure I would get quite a few of them to germinate from a handful of seeds. 
Thanks in advance!

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NOT A TA

I have fresh Acoelorrhaphe wrightii seed for sale, just listed them here in my online store. Catalog pages 3-4-5 all palmy stuff. Cheap, quick, and easy. Credit cards, paypal, etc. all run through secure service.  https://lab-14.myshopify.com/products/z-l-20-acoelorrhaphe-wrightii-seeds-paurotis-or-everglades-palm-fully-cleaned

If you see others you're interested in, you should be able to also include other small quantities of relatively small seeds that can go USPS first class for 3-4 dollars total shipping. Large quantities of bigger seeds get bumped up to Priority flat rate boxes because of volume & weight but you can get a lot of different seeds for only $4.00 total shipping. I'm still working on setting up the listings and getting the shipping correct so not all available seed is listed yet and if shipping doesn't look correct please let me know.

 

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Manalto

Thanks for bringing up this palm. I have a good spot for one (or two... or three...) 

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NOT A TA
57 minutes ago, Manalto said:

Thanks for bringing up this palm. I have a good spot for one (or two... or three...) 

If you have one, you'll have two, then three.........then....

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Estlander
47 minutes ago, NOT A TA said:

If you have one, you'll have two, then three.........then....

:floor2: ROFLOL

Edited by Estlander

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mnorell

This is a very cold-hardy species. I've grown it in Natchez Mississippi (average 9a but certainly capable of lower) and it handles without complaint right down to about 20F, along with a good hard freeze, before it starts burning...somewhere in the high teens it starts to die back to the ground depending on the length of the freeze. The coldest temperature mine experienced was 13F in 2018 and that killed most of it to the stems with subterranean buds. But it was quickly re-clothed in leaves and looking nice. I found documentation in an old Principes (the original name for the Palm Society journal) that said plants of this species came back from the roots without a problem after a 5F freeze in I think Dallas, in the brutal 1958 winter.

The only catch may be the difference in average temps, and also seasonal distribution, between Oregon and the more southerly states. Except that I can say I know of at least one tall old clump in Los Angeles, in a typically cool SoCal area (a block or two east of Beverly Hills); also right around the corner from me in Rancho Mirage in the super-hot Sonora desert. In Portland you may wind up with some problems similar to what people go through with needle palms in cooler-summer climates...though I think Portland actually gets quite hot during summer, isn't that right? But they're not the fastest grower anywhere I've ever observed them. But perhaps it would work. Think of 18-20F as the magic number. You will want to stay on the high side of that temperature if you want a nice big clump. and its adaptability is very nice. It loves heat, humidity, rain...but will put up with a lot less. The only negative I know about it from my experience with it in the Florida Keys is a general dislike of strongly basic substrate. However it is not averse to a nice dip in the sea every once in a while. It handled Irma beautifully on Big Pine Key and the saltwater seemed to somehow fertilize them. They actually looked better after the storm!

Perhaps there are some Bay Area or Central Valley folks here that could give you some anecdotes from central/northern California.

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Rickybobby

Love these palms. I have some seedlings. Your right about the sporadic germination. Had a  much pop at once. Then left the bag on heat and forgot about it for months and low abs behold another one popped. Can’t wait for them to get old enough to be in a pot. No one up north here has them 

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DAVEinMB

Welp, you guys got me searching for these now :D

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Chester B
10 hours ago, mnorell said:

he only catch may be the difference in average temps, and also seasonal distribution, between Oregon and the more southerly states. Except that I can say I know of at least one tall old clump in Los Angeles, in a typically cool SoCal area (a block or two east of Beverly Hills); also right around the corner from me in Rancho Mirage in the super-hot Sonora desert. In Portland you may wind up with some problems similar to what people go through with needle palms in cooler-summer climates...though I think Portland actually gets quite hot during summer, isn't that right? But they're not the fastest grower anywhere I've ever observed them. But perhaps it would work. Think of 18-20F as the magic number. You will want to stay on the high side of that temperature if you want a nice big clump. and its adaptability is very nice. It loves heat, humidity, rain...but will put up with a lot less. The only negative I know about it from my experience with it in the Florida Keys is a general dislike of strongly basic substrate. However it is not averse to a nice dip in the sea every once in a while. It handled Irma beautifully on Big Pine Key and the saltwater seemed to somehow fertilize them. They actually looked better after the storm!

Thanks for the info.  This palms seems to fly under the radar, you don't hear many people mention it.  As far as needle palms, I would say they grow pretty well here, much more adapted to our cool than a Sabal.  The bigger they are the faster they grow.  The largest one I have grows year round here and almost on pace with Trachycarpus if you can believe it.  As far as minimum temps I should be just fine, it's the hot and humid part of the equation that I will be missing.  I'll try it out in a hot spot and make sure I give it regular water, as the hotter it gets here the drier it gets.  We can see humidity into the teens during a heatwave.

It looks like jungle music sells them so this may be my easiest way to acquire some.

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OC2Texaspalmlvr

I'm curious why these havent gotten popular here in 9a Texas. I like the look and any clumping palm has a chance for long term. We definitely have the heat for them I wonder if they like gumbo clay ? 

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necturus

There is a huge clump at Enchanted Gardens in Booth TX (near Rosenberg). It is out in the open with little protection. Nearly all stems died in the big freezes a few years back, but it has came back with a vengeance. I have a smaller one that froze in the last bad freeze and is slowly coming back. These do not grow very fast. I would recommend planting them on the south side of a house or garage for all zone 9a’ers.

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NOT A TA

Thought I'd share some pics of smaller ones. I'm not a big fan of the tall gangley ones that bend over & twist for most uses in cultivated landscapes. Old tall ones do look cool in wide open natural areas though.

The clump in pic below gets little attention. A bit of maintenance to remove dried out fronds would make it a nicer looking IMO.

20200206_141710_zpsmanx2f5h.jpg

Wide clump in pic below would make for a nice natural privacy screen as long as the tall stems were removed before they get too tall.

20200206_141658_zpshcuzaljt.jpg

Pic below shows what they look like if landscape maintenance folks keep cutting the suckers to the ground yearly and only letting the original ones grow. Looks like the pruners will probably be there pretty soon to remove the little guys. I think the clumps would look better if they cut out one or two tall ones and let one or two young ones grow every couple years so the clump had crowns at different heights from ground level up to say 15'. 

20200206_141012_zps8ycbo8hh.jpg

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NOT A TA

This is how they look old if grounds maintenance continually cuts the suckers only allowing the original ones to continue growing. It's not a very attractive look IMO although it does make it easy for me to drive my pickup under them arching over and stand in the bed to pick seed. hahaha  The base of the clumps that are constantly trimmed isn't very attractive either IMO.

20191207_143356_zps1p6ll4ny.jpg

20191207_143423_zpsrfcwuvkl.jpg

20191207_143440_zpsstajgrr2.jpg

20191207_143513_zps7hzbv8v1.jpg

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Fusca
2 hours ago, OC2Texaspalmlvr said:

I'm curious why these havent gotten popular here in 9a Texas. I like the look and any clumping palm has a chance for long term. We definitely have the heat for them I wonder if they like gumbo clay ? 

I agree with you.  I believe there's a grower near Winnie that sells large specimens (can't remember the name).  Pretty sure they do fine in clay soil since they don't mind being in standing water.  There's a few plantings in Corpus that I'm aware of but haven't seen them grown in other areas of Texas much.

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Hillizard
16 hours ago, mnorell said:

This is a very cold-hardy species. I've grown it in Natchez Mississippi (average 9a but certainly capable of lower) and it handles without complaint right down to about 20F, along with a good hard freeze, before it starts burning...somewhere in the high teens it starts to die back to the ground depending on the length of the freeze. The coldest temperature mine experienced was 13F in 2018 and that killed most of it to the stems with subterranean buds. But it was quickly re-clothed in leaves and looking nice. I found documentation in an old Principes (the original name for the Palm Society journal) that said plants of this species came back from the roots without a problem after a 5F freeze in I think Dallas, in the brutal 1958 winter.

The only catch may be the difference in average temps, and also seasonal distribution, between Oregon and the more southerly states. Except that I can say I know of at least one tall old clump in Los Angeles, in a typically cool SoCal area (a block or two east of Beverly Hills); also right around the corner from me in Rancho Mirage in the super-hot Sonora desert. In Portland you may wind up with some problems similar to what people go through with needle palms in cooler-summer climates...though I think Portland actually gets quite hot during summer, isn't that right? But they're not the fastest grower anywhere I've ever observed them. But perhaps it would work. Think of 18-20F as the magic number. You will want to stay on the high side of that temperature if you want a nice big clump. and its adaptability is very nice. It loves heat, humidity, rain...but will put up with a lot less. The only negative I know about it from my experience with it in the Florida Keys is a general dislike of strongly basic substrate. However it is not averse to a nice dip in the sea every once in a while. It handled Irma beautifully on Big Pine Key and the saltwater seemed to somehow fertilize them. They actually looked better after the storm!

Perhaps there are some Bay Area or Central Valley folks here that could give you some anecdotes from central/northern California.

I have a clump in NorCal-Central Valley clay that does fine here in the winter. In my location it's the summer sun that scalds the fronds. I have a Sabal bermudana and a mule palm that provide it with some shade.

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mnorell

That's seems bizarre to me that yours gets scalded in summer in Northern California. The specimen in our neighborhood in Rancho Mirage (up to 120F or so in the summer!) looks as good (in certain respects, better) than those in our neighborhood at our Florida Keys house where all is limestone and highly basic irrigation water. The one I know in Rancho Mirage is something like 15+ feet tall, and all is hunky-dory! You might want to check your soil or water pH...this one is not at home with basic soil or irrigation water, and that may be your problem more than anything. I have seen horribly chlorotic specimens on Big Pine Key (all improved, however, after they were saturated with saltwater inundation in Irma). Their habitat is a little misleading since they are native in limestone areas (South Florida, Yucatan, et al.). But as far as I know they naturally grow in wet, low areas of accumulated black, peaty humus with lots of water about the roots, above the limestone substrate. But if you turn their environment highly basic, they will reward you with nasty, pale leaves and the whole nine yards.

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Collectorpalms

yI am in a very warm zone 8b Texas. Like most said most lost all their trunks 3 years ago including mine. They have terrible thorns and cluster badly. I hope it just dies, but since I have 1 and they are rather uncommon I'll keep it. It just looks like a med fan to most people. However do not expect it to ever look like the ones in the picture in zone 8b or 9a without getting zapped. Frankly a Phoenix reclinata is similar in hardiness ( 20)that does the same thing here for me. Terrible thorns but much prettier. 

Edited by Collectorpalms

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OC2Texaspalmlvr

I'm definitely gonna try some in a very warm 9a southeast Texas. Should be damn near bulletproof here =) 

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Matt N- Dallas

I love this palm but it is not reliably cold hardy in z8b/9A TX or z8b/9a along the Gulf Coast.  Small, non trunking ones can recover from more cold than ones w/ trunks.  I had two specimen clumps frozen to the ground by 20* lows in Tx.  Ive seen them frozen to the ground from 2018’s cold in TX, LA, and AL.  There are a few in the warmest parts of Houston that survived 2018. It is a slow growing palm that wants ALOT of water.  

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Hillizard
On 3/6/2020 at 7:05 PM, mnorell said:

That's seems bizarre to me that yours gets scalded in summer in Northern California. The specimen in our neighborhood in Rancho Mirage (up to 120F or so in the summer!) looks as good (in certain respects, better) than those in our neighborhood at our Florida Keys house where all is limestone and highly basic irrigation water. The one I know in Rancho Mirage is something like 15+ feet tall, and all is hunky-dory! You might want to check your soil or water pH...this one is not at home with basic soil or irrigation water, and that may be your problem more than anything. I have seen horribly chlorotic specimens on Big Pine Key (all improved, however, after they were saturated with saltwater inundation in Irma). Their habitat is a little misleading since they are native in limestone areas (South Florida, Yucatan, et al.). But as far as I know they naturally grow in wet, low areas of accumulated black, peaty humus with lots of water about the roots, above the limestone substrate. But if you turn their environment highly basic, they will reward you with nasty, pale leaves and the whole nine yards.

Actually, several different palm species I grow get burned fronds in the summer where I live. And I suspect my soil (and water) is more alkaline than acidic. Thanks for the suggestion about pH! :hmm:

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Silas_Sancona
1 hour ago, Matt N- Dallas said:

...It is a slow growing palm that wants ALOT of water.  

Would agree with Matt's thoughts. Fronds on seedlings i'd started in late 2015 are still un-divided. While steady growers, all 3 are much slower than Coccothrinax seedlings started at the same time. All of them ( Coccothrinax ) are putting out divided fronds, even the batch i need to divide from their com pot.   Two i stepped into 3 gals last summer really took off after re potting. Even pushed some growth through a relatively cool and wet winter here.

As someone else had mentioned, i also wasn't aware the Petiole on these were armed until we'd brought in a good sized 25gal for a client at the nursery i'd worked for in Sarasota.  For a second, wasn't sure it was a legit specimen until i asked where it was purchased. Anyway.. an amazing palm and will keep at least 2 of the 3 i have but only because once bigger (As slow as they seem to grow, i may have moved on by then, lol ) they do create beautiful silhouettes against the sky when casually thinned. Would look nice near a pond.  The mature specimen(s) located at Kopsick were always a welcoming sight when walking into the the rest of the collection.

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Estlander
On 3/11/2020 at 9:15 PM, Matt N- Dallas said:

I love this palm but it is not reliably cold hardy in z8b/9A TX or z8b/9a along the Gulf Coast.  Small, non trunking ones can recover from more cold than ones w/ trunks.  I had two specimen clumps frozen to the ground by 20* lows in Tx.  Ive seen them frozen to the ground from 2018’s cold in TX, LA, and AL.  There are a few in the warmest parts of Houston that survived 2018. It is a slow growing palm that wants ALOT of water.  

There is a large clump in Panama City - 9A that’s been doing great. They’ve been through several freezes (2010, 2014, 2018) and haven’t been cut back yet. Who knows how long they’ve actually been there. 
The google maps streetview image is from June 2011, the other two from September 2019. 

207497F7-5159-4CCC-905E-FA3B3500DC90.jpeg

A2F68DD9-FE8C-4A1B-88EA-C5774AC4D697.jpeg

A319ABE1-1574-45CB-A004-5C50E4F59E53.jpeg

Edited by Estlander
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ZPalms

I'm kind of tempted to try these here in 8A, I love how they look trimmed up but I also don't mind how bushy they get

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