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Beccariophoenix Alfredii not a slow palm

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sonoranfans

Yeah they start out slow from a 3 gallon, but here is mine after 10 years in all day direct sunlight.  Theis view over the 7' fence helps one to understand what a person walking down the trail in back sees over that fence and its not a small tree at the 10 yr point.  they are big enough now that I have to leave the yard to see how tall they are lest my wide angle lens scrunch up the height.  Pictured are my sabal causiarum and the bigest alfredii which are now within 2' or so in height at 25+ either one.  They were both planted within 9 months of each other, the alfredii was in the ground that much longer and both started life at the same 2' height overall.  The causiarum is a fast palm, a bit faster than BA but not that much faster.  The beccariophoenix now stands taller than my livistona decora, livistona chinesis(almost 10' taller).  Any body else have growth in time for your BA?  At the 10 yr point I can walk under it easily without touching leaflets wich are 2-3' overhead, I dont think that is slow.  The alfredii is closer so it looks taller than the causiarum but other view points say they are very close, (~2')edge for the sabal for now.  I have 3 BA and when I planted them I was asking do I really want 3?  Today I am so glad I did as they are stellar performers in cold and in wind.  Some have reported some tilting at a smaller size but my wide in the open windblown palm, 20' overall at the time, did not tilt at all in IRMA and neither did the ~17' middle sized one in part shade.  The deeper shade palm (with extra windbreak)  that was about ~12' in 2018 did tilt a bit during IRMA with its less established root system and smaller diameter(half the large one) trunk.  These palms do not elongate in part shade when I look at my 3, the longest leaves(~20') are on the biggest palm in full sun and the other two have leaves shorter and according to their overall height.  The big one is about 30' wide in the crown, perhaps a tad(<2') wider than the causiarum.  These are big palms when they are happy and trunking.  We could help those who dont have an alfredii see what they can expect as this tree has been in cultivation only 15 years or so.

BA1_SCausiarum.jpg

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OC2Texaspalmlvr

What an awesome view for your neighbors :yay: Alfie and a Causiarum in the same landscape scene what a dream!!! 

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sonoranfans
3 hours ago, OC2Texaspalmlvr said:

What an awesome view for your neighbors :yay: Alfie and a Causiarum in the same landscape scene what a dream!!! 

HAHA just outside the view are copernicia fallaensis 20'+ on the left and a 45' royal that towers over all of them.  Past the fallaensis is a 15' copernicia baileyana and a bismarckia just shy of 30' tall so yes they have great views, better than mine looking out on their mostly grass.  But because they dont have much at all planted the palms in my yard are visible from 500' down the road.  Here is a stormy front yard view including more palms with the causiarum on the right, bailey view is completely blocked by the fallaensis in center.  I get to live in it, they get to have a view that few have around here.

FrontYDstorm.jpg

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Merlyn

My ~9 foot tall Alfie fell over in Irma, it was planted about a year before.  The other 4 were slightly loose, but reasonably stable.  The main reason that one fell over turns out to have been a dripper that popped out of a dripline next to the base.  It was aiming a full blast 30psi stream of water directly under the root initiation zone every day for some indeterminate length of time before Irma.  So it was not well supported.  A Queen on the West side of my house tilted over in Irma too, so the wind and rain were pretty strong.  All 5 of mine are still very slightly loose in the base, and range from 10 to 14 feet overall.

Regarding growth rate, I planted 5 of them in full sun, out of I think 7g pots.  In the ground they were 5 to 7 feet tall.  They were planted in July 2018.  I transplanted one to the front yard in April 2019.  I'd have to take a tape measure out there to be sure, but growing 5 to 7 feet in height in 2.5 years is pretty quick.  It is not a rocket like my Caryota Mitis or Dypsis Pembana (3 feet to 12 feet in 1.5 years) but they are certainly much faster than my Sylvesters, Chinensis and Butia.  In my yard of ~216 palms, so far the only faster growers are the Caryota Mitis, Dypsis Pembana, Bismarck, Queens and Foxtails.  I think Ptychosperma Macarthurii and Dictyosperma Album will be fast here too, if they survive the cold...

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OC2Texaspalmlvr
1 hour ago, sonoranfans said:

HAHA just outside the view are copernicia fallaensis 20'+ on the left and a 45' royal that towers over all of them.  Past the fallaensis is a 15' copernicia baileyana and a bismarckia just shy of 30' tall so yes they have great views, better than mine looking out on their mostly grass.  But because they dont have much at all planted the palms in my yard are visible from 500' down the road.  Here is a stormy front yard view including more palms with the causiarum on the right, bailey view is completely blocked by the fallaensis in center.  I get to live in it, they get to have a view that few have around here.

FrontYDstorm.jpg

If I were to ever happen to drive by yourself I would be inclined to stop and introduce myself haha Very lucky neighbors !!! We definitely have the same taste in palm species =) 

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Merlyn
10 hours ago, sonoranfans said:

Here is a stormy front yard view including more palms with the causiarum on the right, bailey view is completely blocked by the fallaensis in center.

Somewhat off-topic, but what is the age difference between the nearly invisible Bailyana and the Fallaensis?  I have both in the ground, planted at the same time from 3g pots.  My Fallaensis is about twice the size, but the Bailey was in 50% shade.  But they are both very young, only about 2-3 feet tall overall.

Back on topic, here are the two SE yard B. Alfredii when I planted them in August 2018.P1030863.thumb.JPG.f1f600135818a6c4605fc4edad694df2.JPG

And the two next to the house, planted a week later.  I moved the left hand one up to the front yard the following spring.

P1040041.thumb.JPG.0624b89504dc13519e24804d57fe81d6.JPG

And my 5th in the SW, also planted around August 2018.

P1040162.thumb.JPG.8a7454da11d8157b4b7aeb2a67b4ad5d.JPG

I'll see if I can get photos from the same angle, so you can see the results of ~2.5 years of growth.

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Merlyn

This is the front one in early April 2019, right after I transplanted it.  I have since moved the Bottle on the left back to a semi-sheltered spot near the house.  The Butia on the right was planted in late February 2019:

586488288_20190401_083918Alfredii.thumb.jpg.ab0d734bc91289dfe3c349e81df902cf.jpg

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sonoranfans

There apears to be lots of space for your alfies, they re going to be stunning!  The ones in the SE backyard appear to be close to those butias but as long as they are butias and not a jubaea hybrid, the BA's should grow up over the butias.  Probably another growing season and the roots will be well established and they should increase in growth from there.  On the other topic, my fallaense was a 9-10' overall juvenile when planted in sept 2011 by none other than Ken Johnson, the "copernicia whisperer".  It was elongated and somewhat wilting of lower leaves from being in shade and the leaves, were about half the size(width) they are today.  The bailey was a 5(?) gallon that was "all roots" a little over 1' tall.  The bailey is at least as fast as the fallaense, possibly faster.  the bailey also seems more susceptible to potassium deficiency.  Both were hammered in IRMA, lost 1/3 of the foliage, but the fallaense recovered faster possibly because the bailey had fungan infection problems in the spear after wind damage.  The infection is gone now and the bailey is growing faster than ever.  They each produce 10+ leaves a year at this time.  The copernicias are much slower than aflies in my yard ~half the speed.  Alfredii is a clear winner in 9B, my biggest pleasant surprise in my yard after 10 years.  Just because they start out slow establishing roots, dont be fooled.  But for best results in florida, put them in the sunniest spot you have with good drainage, they love direct sun and grow huge root systems in good drainage.  When I ask why some have had slower growth, my guess is lack of sun and root system development.  the soil on top of mine(4-5") is lots of organic material followed by 2' of sand  and then gradually a sand/clay mix that has about half clay at 3' depth but it still drains very well.  In florida we are fortunate that the rains rinse hardness from the soils if you add humic acid and I am a big proponent of that ammendment for all my palms.

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Jimbean

I took a picture of the UCF ones a couple of days ago

 

 

IMG_20210107_171705.jpg

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chad2468emr

@sonoranfans You have excellent taste in palms, my friend! I’m most excited to get my fallaensis, BA, and causiarum in-ground so I can watch those suckers get large and in charge. 

That being said, I’m real nervous about the fallaensis in particular because it’s zone 10 according to anything I’ve read online and I’m in 9b. I’ve seen fellow PTers have mixed success with the species in my area. What are your observations regarding its overall cold-sensitivity or lack there of? I see you’re in Palmetto which I believe is 9b but I imagine on the warmer side due to proximity to the gulf. 

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Merlyn
8 minutes ago, chad2468emr said:

That being said, I’m real nervous about the fallaensis in particular because it’s zone 10 according to anything I’ve read online and I’m in 9b. I’ve seen fellow PTers have mixed success with the species in my area.

My Baileyana and Fallaensis took 28F and medium frost, and 11 hours of 31-33F the next night with no noticeable damage.  They are only about 2 feet tall, but frost definitely formed on them at 28F.  A pair of Hyophorbe Lagenicaulis (Bottle) 2 feet away from my Bailey were completely burnt to a crisp.  Both also had 35F and frost twice earlier in December, with no damage. 

Kinzyjr's spreadsheet shows about 50% damage at 24-26F for Baileyana.  Fallaensis appears to be about the same on the sheet, though there aren't very many reports.  So far I'd wager they are both a good 9b palm choice.

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chad2468emr
7 minutes ago, Merlyn said:

My Baileyana and Fallaensis took 28F and medium frost, and 11 hours of 31-33F the next night with no noticeable damage.  They are only about 2 feet tall, but frost definitely formed on them at 28F.  A pair of Hyophorbe Lagenicaulis (Bottle) 2 feet away from my Bailey were completely burnt to a crisp.  Both also had 35F and frost twice earlier in December, with no damage. 

Kinzyjr's spreadsheet shows about 50% damage at 24-26F for Baileyana.  Fallaensis appears to be about the same on the sheet, though there aren't very many reports.  So far I'd wager they are both a good 9b palm choice.

This is just about the best news I’ve heard all week! (Though let’s be honest, this week set the bar pretty low there haha) All your experimentation with palms in this area and that paradise of a yard of yours is really helping me narrow down what’s going in-ground vs staying pot-bound when I finally get a yard of my own. Thank you for that! 

It’s funny how a lot of palms are said to be zone 10+ only but SO many do well enough to live in 9b, either taking only frost damage to fronds or in this case, nothing at all at temps well below what you’d see in zone 10. 

I keep meaning to dig into this spreadsheet of Kinzyjr’s, but I always end up using this forum on my phone and as such, forget when I’m in front of my desktop. Haha 

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sonoranfans
6 hours ago, chad2468emr said:

@sonoranfans You have excellent taste in palms, my friend! I’m most excited to get my fallaensis, BA, and causiarum in-ground so I can watch those suckers get large and in charge. 

That being said, I’m real nervous about the fallaensis in particular because it’s zone 10 according to anything I’ve read online and I’m in 9b. I’ve seen fellow PTers have mixed success with the species in my area. What are your observations regarding its overall cold-sensitivity or lack there of? I see you’re in Palmetto which I believe is 9b but I imagine on the warmer side due to proximity to the gulf. 

Basically they gave fallensis a 10a since they didnt know as it was rare for a while.  I have never seen cold damage at a warm 9B.  I am going to guess they are like the bailey in cold tolerance.  Mine is in the cold spot, N by NW exposure with no nearby canopy or protection from other trees.  Everything I have read suggests they take about 25F and frost is not as damaging against a waxy leaf palm like bismarckia or fallaesis.  That wax layer insulates from the frost.  Just remember that coldhardiness is not leaf hardiness.  Leaves may die at 25F and the palm can still recover.  

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PalmTreeDude

I love these palms, they’ll make a lot of places look really tropical! 

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Merlyn
5 hours ago, sonoranfans said:

When I ask why some have had slower growth, my guess is lack of sun and root system development.  the soil on top of mine(4-5") is lots of organic material followed by 2' of sand  and then gradually a sand/clay mix that has about half clay at 3' depth but it still drains very well.  In florida we are fortunate that the rains rinse hardness from the soils if you add humic acid and I am a big proponent of that ammendment for all my palms.

My soil is probably similar to yours, at least on the East side of the house.  I haven't gone deeper than 2' so as far as I know it may all still be sand below that.  The West side is much higher in organics, it doesn't transition to pure sand at 5" down.  I suspect that's why the Queens I planted on that side went from 10' to 30' tall in 2.5 years.  None of my Alfies are in soil that rich, but the one I transplanted had put out a large number of 0.5" diameter roots over the winter. 

Here's the 5 Alfies today, starting with the transplanted one.  I replaced the Bottle with a Chamaerops sorta-Cerifera type on the left, and added a smallish triple Chinensis in the foreground left.  The Butia is basically still the same size, just with 4 or 5 more fronds and a bit larger trunk diameter:

1479401508_P1070319Alfredii.thumb.JPG.253b5630140d8df7b95fd56d0b47de88.JPG

The backyard two have overtaken the Butias and are now slightly taller.  The one on the right fell over in Irma, but didn't seem to care at all. 

1723355230_P1070317Alfrediix2.thumb.JPG.a3a1d9b8b94c99d62b5d0a6cc6dd0d0f.JPG

The one next to the house is the biggest, it is about 8-10' slightly downhill from a downspout.  So it probably gets twice as much water as the others.  It is around 14' tall, you can see the torched frond on the Bottle in front of it, while it took zero damage at 28F and frost.  The Dypsis Lutescens clump on the left side had a few burnt fronds, and the top of the Caryota Mitis to the left behind the Alfie has a couple of frost burned leaves at the top:

557424210_P1070318Alfredii.thumb.JPG.ba782f9dc0e69e2228d90126bc840c26.JPG

And the last is on the SW side, I think around 12' tall overall.  It is approximately centered in the bed left-to-right and the bed is about 15' across.

1527609772_P1070316Alfredii.thumb.JPG.f384f241ba56fa5f664f247aa262e178.JPG

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sonoranfans

Enjoy your great views while you can merlyn, in a few years you will be standing inside the grove, unable to see the view.  They throw nice shade, move gracefully in the wind, and will be admired by your neighbors and flying observers.  When they get large you should give us some drone shots.  Yours look really happy, you probably should plan on further tree removal as these get large.  If I had known they have the 30' crownwidth, I'd have planted mine differently.  One is too close to the house @ 9'(corner though), and the smallest is going to grow up into 3 nearby palms including Livistona decora which I may remove because of it.

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Merlyn

I didn't realize that they grew a really broad crown either.  I planted all 5 of them, and then looked up photos of mature ones.  If I'd done that in the reverse order I probably would have planted the one near the house a few more feet away.  But that's why I transplanted the one that was near the well equipment.  It only had about 5' space between the trunk and the reserve tanks, and that was just going to be a disaster for access later.  The other one I left in place, it is about 10' from the side wall and the garage wall (to the right in that photo).  I figured that I would just trim that one a little tighter than the others.  I'm looking forward to some 20' tall fronds, hopefully by this summer!

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sonoranfans

The last 3 years shows some fast browth for my Beccariophoenix alfredii.  First is 2018 oct, second is 2021 today.  Its currently getting rained on again, wet day here.   This one was planted in august 2010 dug up 3 months later and relocated then frost burned to the ground in dec 2010. BA1DawnOct2018.thumb.jpg.df77b51c75d7c8f239337032f60fd63a.jpgAlfrediiSept2021.thumb.JPG.08c154c3e88725b6e98a6bb20e540945.JPG

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OC2Texaspalmlvr
7 hours ago, sonoranfans said:

The last 3 years shows some fast browth for my Beccariophoenix alfredii.

This palm is an absolute stud ,I wonder how far away yours is to producing seeds. Also what are the palms on each side of it in the current pic ? 

T J 

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ahosey01

@sonoranfans any input on the cold tolerance of these in dry climates?  Assume they're a 9b palm but never actually asked anyone.

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GottmitAlex
2 hours ago, ahosey01 said:

@sonoranfans any input on the cold tolerance of these in dry climates?  Assume they're a 9b palm but never actually asked anyone.

A dry 9a palm (California/AZ) or a wet/humid 9b palm (FL). 

 

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Merlyn
9 hours ago, ahosey01 said:

any input on the cold tolerance of these in dry climates?  Assume they're a 9b palm but never actually asked anyone.

I'm not sure about AZ cold tolerance, but my five in the ground took essentially no damage at 28F with frost and later 30F with heavy snow-like frost.  One of the five had a little spotting on one frond, but that was about it.  On reading through Kinzyjr's spreadsheet it looks like 9a is a stretch, but definitely 9b capable.  There are various reports of death at 24, and defoliation at 21-23, and also no damage at 25.  So it's definitely variable.

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sonoranfans
10 hours ago, OC2Texaspalmlvr said:

This palm is an absolute stud ,I wonder how far away yours is to producing seeds. Also what are the palms on each side of it in the current pic ? 

T J 

No idea about seeding of my ALfredii but this palm is ~4 years younger than the one that is flowering at Jeff Searles former nursery.  So probably 4-5 years away from setting seed.  ON the left of the Alfredii is  Borassus ethiopum in the light silver green color.  Its a beastly palm that is growing scary fast after taing 7 years to form the underground meristem.  It is a bit too close to both the alfredii(15') and my house(~10'). On the right is what was sold to me as phoenix rupicola, and its a triple.  My thoughts are that palm is as slow as a rupicola(~same age as the alfredii) and its got the red/orange fruit of a rupicola and the bendy thorns, but the trunk bases are a bit thick at 14-16".  That is a few inches too thick for pure rupicola I think.

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ahosey01
2 hours ago, Merlyn said:

I'm not sure about AZ cold tolerance, but my five in the ground took essentially no damage at 28F with frost and later 30F with heavy snow-like frost.  One of the five had a little spotting on one frond, but that was about it.  On reading through Kinzyjr's spreadsheet it looks like 9a is a stretch, but definitely 9b capable.  There are various reports of death at 24, and defoliation at 21-23, and also no damage at 25.  So it's definitely variable.

I think this is probably a period survivor in my area that would get cracked by a cold winter every 10-15 years then… lol

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redant

These guys really need FULL sun to grow at a decent speed. Mine are all somewhat slow for sure.

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KDubU

I want one of these but saw this past winter that a couple for sale had some bad frond burn when we got down to 28. Granted they were at a nursery out in the open but was surprised they browned as bad that. They came back fine and in April was eyeing one when they got scooped up by someone else. These had trunk of 4-5’ and fronds another 6-7 above that.

I’m in 9a surrounding by water and the nursery was just inland about a mile or two.

Edited by KDubU

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sonoranfans
18 hours ago, KDubU said:

I want one of these but saw this past winter that a couple for sale had some bad frond burn when we got down to 28. Granted they were at a nursery out in the open but was surprised they browned as bad that. They came back fine and in April was eyeing one when they got scooped up by someone else. These had trunk of 4-5’ and fronds another 6-7 above that.

I’m in 9a surrounding by water and the nursery was just inland about a mile or two.

A potted palm is not as protected as one in the ground as the roots cool much faster.  Still you are north of jacksonville and I expect its 9a.  Cold in the east lasts longer than out west in palmy places.  So our palms cant take as low an absolute temp since they will stay cold much longer than out west (US).  So out west they do well in 9a where the cold is brief.  Same is true of other palms cold tolerance, its about plant tissue temperature which is mostly not equal to air temperature uness its an extended cold.  Also a big alfredii will cool off slower in the cold so it will be more cold tolerant.  IF I was going to try an alfredii near you I would make sure it has plenty of other palms around it,  I might stick it in there with some mules, BxJ, and bismarckia.  Palms stay warmer in a group than stand alone.  If bismarckia cant take your cold, alfredii cant either as its just a tad less cold hardy than bismarckia.

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sonoranfans
21 hours ago, ahosey01 said:

I think this is probably a period survivor in my area that would get cracked by a cold winter every 10-15 years then… lol

I dont know about that.  AZ cold was very short duration.  My bismarckias took 21F in Gilbert AZ, but it was just for an hour and just 5-6 hrs below freezing.   But yes if you cant grow a bismarckia, you wont be able to grow one of these.  I'd say cold tolerance/survival is within 1-2F for these two.  Alfredii may burn more, but my little frost burned (to the ground including spear) seedling really came back strong.  The damage looked so devastating I was sure it would die but by july it had 4 new leaves.  Similar to bismarckia they have huge underground root systems and this helps with cold hardiness.

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KDubU
4 hours ago, sonoranfans said:

A potted palm is not as protected as one in the ground as the roots cool much faster.  Still you are north of jacksonville and I expect its 9a.  Cold in the east lasts longer than out west in palmy places.  So our palms cant take as low an absolute temp since they will stay cold much longer than out west (US).  So out west they do well in 9a where the cold is brief.  Same is true of other palms cold tolerance, its about plant tissue temperature which is mostly not equal to air temperature uness its an extended cold.  Also a big alfredii will cool off slower in the cold so it will be more cold tolerant.  IF I was going to try an alfredii near you I would make sure it has plenty of other palms around it,  I might stick it in there with some mules, BxJ, and bismarckia.  Palms stay warmer in a group than stand alone.  If bismarckia cant take your cold, alfredii cant either as its just a tad less cold hardy than bismarckia.

These two were field grown and temporarily in the ground until someone purchased them. Not sure when they were put there as it may have been later in Fall and they had not got a chance to root at all. A bizzie would be fine here and I am on the lookout for one now as I have a large area that I think it would fill in nicely. 
 

Tks for the info!

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ahosey01
4 hours ago, sonoranfans said:

I dont know about that.  AZ cold was very short duration.  My bismarckias took 21F in Gilbert AZ, but it was just for an hour and just 5-6 hrs below freezing.   But yes if you cant grow a bismarckia, you wont be able to grow one of these.  I'd say cold tolerance/survival is within 1-2F for these two.  Alfredii may burn more, but my little frost burned (to the ground including spear) seedling really came back strong.  The damage looked so devastating I was sure it would die but by july it had 4 new leaves.  Similar to bismarckia they have huge underground root systems and this helps with cold hardiness.

Perhaps worth a try then… 

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