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freakypalmguy

Beccariophoenix alfredii

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Collectorpalms

Had two die in a radiation freeze in Dec 09, after a low of 24 and under 50% shade cloth, but shade cloth does not protect from frost interestingly. Purchased a new one this year, 5 gallon size, and no damage under a canopy and two lows of 27 ( protected from frost).

Ryan

Edited by Collectorpalms

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sonoranfans

This palm apparently has a problem with frost. I have 3, the largest in the ground for 9 months took a big hit in our two night frost event(30, 28.5 lows). The other two smaller ones mostly covered(wind blew off a corner of the frost cloth) and in containers look OK, except for leaflets that were exposed. The one in the ground looks alive at the bud, new spear coming out. But the damage was about 70%, its ugly now, it looks like crap next to my butia and bismarckias, both of which laughed at the frost. If its a fast growing palm, it could make up for it. But if this thing is going to bronze up every year like this, I dont know if I want an eventually huge bronzed palm right off my nook window every year. Looks like this one is a bad choice for canopy here in the long run.

Edited by sonoranfans

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freakypalmguy

Parajubaea torallyi (seedling and 3 feet tall) were unfazed in the same area as my Beccario, and Parajub isn't a super cold hardy palm.

I'm with you Tom, if these don't improve as they get older, I will pull them and throw them on the mulch pile.

Edited by freakypalmguy

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Gallop

My plant has no overhead protection this year and has shown heavy frost damage. The palm is all bronze from a 23˙F night. I'll be digging this one up come spring, it's not going to grow here.

post-1473-014420500 1294495447_thumb.jpg post-1473-049618000 1294495460_thumb.jpg

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JEFF IN MODESTO

Here is a photo of mine showing the effects a freeze of 29f which occured about a month ago.

The palm is young and out in the open.... Without any protection.

The damage appears to be on par with the damage my Parajubea Cocoides also got. Though my p. cocoides is a much larger palm.

Jeff

post-116-005084000 1294510061_thumb.jpg

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BS Man about Palms

So far what I'm hearing is that it is a "Coconut looking palm" that will tolerate 8-10F lower than a real coconut before death....

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TropicalDude

So is B. Alfredii any hardier than A. Cunninghamiana? Any of you have similarly sized palms to compare them both?

From what you guys are saying it seems less hardy than the King. If frost in the upper 20s and lower 30s browns up the leaves it isn't hardy at all.

This palm apparently has a problem with frost. I have 3, the largest in the ground for 9 months took a big hit in our two night frost event(30, 28.5 lows). The other two smaller ones mostly covered(wind blew off a corner of the frost cloth) and in containers look OK, except for leaflets that were exposed. The one in the ground looks alive at the bud, new spear coming out. But the damage was about 70%, its ugly now, it looks like crap next to my butia and bismarckias, both of which laughed at the frost. If its a fast growing palm, it could make up for it. But if this thing is going to bronze up every year like this, I dont know if I want an eventually huge bronzed palm right off my nook window every year. Looks like this one is a bad choice for canopy here in the long run.

Were those temps from a few weeks ago this winter? That's not much warmer than what we experienced here in Orlando. I'm surprised having The Gulf to the NW didn't do much to keep your temps warmer???

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freakypalmguy

My King has less damage. My Sabal yapa has less damage. These are not what they were hoped they would be unfortunately. They can handle very brief periods of light frost, but not repeated hits with many hours below freezing. My low was around 28, but it stayed below freezing most of the night on one or two occasions. The most damaged are near the lowest part of my property which was probably 25F. They are dead for sure. No biggie, I'll move on to something different. Probably more hybrids.

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yachtingone

This is my Beccarophoenix alfredii.

It took 28f. about a week ago here in Corona, Ca. It is 5' tall.

It's still in growing mode. Kevin Weaver seen it today and said it's the biggest one he's ever seen!

post-1270-022672500 1294700127_thumb.jpg post-1270-093827000 1294700129_thumb.jpg

post-1270-096991700 1294700133_thumb.jpg

Randy

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freakypalmguy

Crispy plants do not lie.

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TropicalDude

nice ones there, but actual damage can takes weeks to show.

Since these palms have been in cultivation for a few years, aren't most seedlings from palms grown in Cali and Florida? The parent tree might have been in proximity to less hardy Beccariophoenix or maybe even another related palm when pollination occurred.

In the wild Alfredii is the only palm that grows in that isolated plateau. Those could be hardier than the ones we're getting here.

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cencalpalmguy

Those palms Randy shown are probably about the biggest ones grown in the U.S. and are not near old enough to set seed. All the seeds collected and germinated are from Madagascar. By the way those are some great looking palms Randy! Can't wait till mine get that big (and hopefully live).

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sonoranfans

So is B. Alfredii any hardier than A. Cunninghamiana? Any of you have similarly sized palms to compare them both?

From what you guys are saying it seems less hardy than the King. If frost in the upper 20s and lower 30s browns up the leaves it isn't hardy at all.

This palm apparently has a problem with frost. I have 3, the largest in the ground for 9 months took a big hit in our two night frost event(30, 28.5 lows). The other two smaller ones mostly covered(wind blew off a corner of the frost cloth) and in containers look OK, except for leaflets that were exposed. The one in the ground looks alive at the bud, new spear coming out. But the damage was about 70%, its ugly now, it looks like crap next to my butia and bismarckias, both of which laughed at the frost. If its a fast growing palm, it could make up for it. But if this thing is going to bronze up every year like this, I dont know if I want an eventually huge bronzed palm right off my nook window every year. Looks like this one is a bad choice for canopy here in the long run.

Were those temps from a few weeks ago this winter? That's not much warmer than what we experienced here in Orlando. I'm surprised having The Gulf to the NW didn't do much to keep your temps warmer???

Yep that last cold blast, 2 nights of freezing. The wind was still(less than 1 mph) most of the night after the temp dropped so even though the gulf is 8-10 miles west we didnt get much of the benefit, the parish weatherstation 7 miles east was the same temp(1 to 2 degree lower). It has been a weird winter, but typically my house is warmer in lows than central fla by 3-5 degrees. This year tarpon springs was about the same or warmer and that mostly isnt the case. I have a small Alabang which I protected on the porch. I saw and touched the frost 8' above the ground on my royals. I dont have any cunninghamiana, so I dont know if alfredii is more tolerant or less. I will look into cunninghamianas, I have I can say alfredii is not frost tolerant and needs to be under canopy here for the long term. Admittedly this winter and last are the coldest in a while, but I dont want a huge burnt alfredii to maintain.

Edited by sonoranfans

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Rafael

I have one alfredii facing west/sea winds/also north influence. This one exploded in growth until late autumn. Now, with 3 frost events, is showing 50% leaf damage, maybe more. I dont know if it will handle it.

I have another one, facing east (30 mts appart, with the house between), and receiving south influence, wich has grown much less than the other. But, surprinsingly, didnt get any frost damage. Off course i dont know how will it behave the next weeks...

But could it be a micro climate matter?

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spockvr6

Yep that last cold blast, 2 nights of freezing. The wind was still(less than 1 mph) most of the night after the temp dropped so even though the gulf is 8-10 miles west we didnt get much of the benefit, the parish weatherstation 7 miles east was the same temp(1 to 2 degree lower). It has been a weird winter, but typically my house is warmer in lows than central fla by 3-5 degrees. This year tarpon springs was about the same or warmer and that mostly isnt the case. I have a small Alabang which I protected on the porch. I saw and touched the frost 8' above the ground on my royals. I dont have any cunninghamiana, so I dont know if alfredii is more tolerant or less. I will look into cunninghamianas, I have I can say alfredii is not frost tolerant and needs to be under canopy here for the long term. Admittedly this winter and last are the coldest in a while, but I dont want a huge burnt alfredii to maintain.

This is good info as a palm buddy just gave me a real beaut of a B. alfredii and I surely want this thing to stay looking good. It sounds like this is not a good plam for planting in the open. Same Central FL story....different palm species! So many palms need full sun to look and grown their best, yet we cant give it to them.

As far as A. cunninghamiana, I do think they are more cold tolerant than say alexandrae, but not sure if they are any better with frost. I think all Archontos hate frost!

And as far as Gulf influence, sometimes the benefit of water proximity can be very limited to areas within earshot of the water. I know in the Palmetto/Bradenton area, one really needs to be west of US41 to be semi-safe (which is basically to say that one must be hugging the coast pretty good). If there is wind from the N or NW, then the water effects become more pronounced further inland. In Tarpon Springs where I am, even a dead N wind is OK as due to the coastline shape, this wind still passes over the Gulf. When the winds shift NE, then there is a problem :angry:

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sonoranfans

Yep that last cold blast, 2 nights of freezing. The wind was still(less than 1 mph) most of the night after the temp dropped so even though the gulf is 8-10 miles west we didnt get much of the benefit, the parish weatherstation 7 miles east was the same temp(1 to 2 degree lower). It has been a weird winter, but typically my house is warmer in lows than central fla by 3-5 degrees. This year tarpon springs was about the same or warmer and that mostly isnt the case. I have a small Alabang which I protected on the porch. I saw and touched the frost 8' above the ground on my royals. I dont have any cunninghamiana, so I dont know if alfredii is more tolerant or less. I will look into cunninghamianas, I have I can say alfredii is not frost tolerant and needs to be under canopy here for the long term. Admittedly this winter and last are the coldest in a while, but I dont want a huge burnt alfredii to maintain.

This is good info as a palm buddy just gave me a real beaut of a B. alfredii and I surely want this thing to stay looking good. It sounds like this is not a good plam for planting in the open. Same Central FL story....different palm species! So many palms need full sun to look and grown their best, yet we cant give it to them.

As far as A. cunninghamiana, I do think they are more cold tolerant than say alexandrae, but not sure if they are any better with frost. I think all Archontos hate frost!

And as far as Gulf influence, sometimes the benefit of water proximity can be very limited to areas within earshot of the water. I know in the Palmetto/Bradenton area, one really needs to be west of US41 to be semi-safe (which is basically to say that one must be hugging the coast pretty good). If there is wind from the N or NW, then the water effects become more pronounced further inland. In Tarpon Springs where I am, even a dead N wind is OK as due to the coastline shape, this wind still passes over the Gulf. When the winds shift NE, then there is a problem :angry:

The difference between cunninghamiana and alfredii is that cunninghamiana works well under canopy(natural environment), alfredii wants no overhead. Based on this, I would say cunninghamiana would be more adapted to my area, perhaps less cold hardy but less frost burn prone in its preferred microclimate.

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TropicalDude

Looking at the PWS during freezing events, lately it seems the temperatures don't vary so much between the metro areas in Central and S. Florida. Even western Miami-Dade and Broward dip to around freezing. Even the barrier islands are only 2 or 3 degrees warmer.

The Cunnihghamianas at Leu Gardens looked great a few days ago, but its hard to judge the real cold hardiness there because everything is planted so close together almost on top of each other and usually under canopy. I don't remember noticing any damage to the ones facing North towards the parking lot. But there's one that doesn't get much direct overhead protection, and talking to Eric before he said most of them are the Ilawarra variety, which is a bit more sensitive.

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TropicalDude

From the pics I've seen, there's something about the Alfredii's fronds that to me don't look as elegant, and nowhere as nice as a Cocos. I prefer the robust and neater look Cunninghamianas get in Florida.

Does Alfredii bear edible fruit? For me that would be the only thing this palm has going for it over the Cunning.

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spockvr6

Looking at the PWS during freezing events, lately it seems the temperatures don't vary so much between the metro areas in Central and S. Florida. Even western Miami-Dade and Broward dip to around freezing. Even the barrier islands are only 2 or 3 degrees warmer.

Dont let that fool you. Take a quick look at whats growing around Central FL and compare it to South FL. There are a few areas of St. Petersburg that wouldnt look out of place in South FL and some barrier island locales on the east coast, but the rest of the central FL region (Tampa/Orlando) does not share much visual similarity with South FL. Think of how excited you are when you see a Coconut or Royal alive in Central FL! One does not get the same feeling in South FL when one is sighted, as one can stand pretty much anywhere and within eyesight there will be many. How many street medians are lined with even Cocothrinax in Central FL? Not many....whereas if one dips down on the west coast to Cape Coral/Ft Myers they are commonplace. Even such things as simple shrubs like red tipped Cocoplum which are common hedges down south, are rare up here. I had a beautiful hedge of it until last January!

OK....enough of my pessimism/realism. The point is, it is easy to be fooled by temperature readings here and there but there is a reason that all the palm tree/tropical fruit tree farms are not located in Tampa or Orlando, but rather Homestead/Pine Island, etc.

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spockvr6

From the pics I've seen, there's something about the Alfredii's fronds that to me don't look as elegant, and nowhere as nice as a Cocos. I prefer the robust and neater look Cunninghamianas get in Florida.

Heck...why choose!!?!? Get a few of each!

I cant comment on the alfredii, but I can say that a small 3 gallon A. cunninghamiana I planted in 2005 has done great. It wasnt as speedy as the 3 gallon Vetichia I planted next to it by any means, but guess what......the cunninghamiana is still here and still totally green and the big Veitchia went to the curb in pieces last April!

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TropicalDude

You are right spockvr6, in fact I wrote my post too quickly and didn't express what I wanted very well. Tell me about it, I lived in Miami several years and the coldest I recall was one night in the upper 30s. There's no way an immature Cocos or Veichtia survives unprotected in the open in Orlando these past 3 winters, despite HD selling a ton as if it were Miami b/c all this talk of "getting warmer".

Despite microclimates I've heard many Ficus and Cocos around St. Pete got whacked and died last year. Was looking at another forum where some guy was showing freeze damage to his Mangos in west Broward that looks like Central FL damage in previous years. Cocos looking shabby even down in Dade, etc. It seems like outside urban concrete jungles, everywhere (north of the keys) has gotten too cold, damaging anything too tropical. I've heard last time such widespread damage happened was in 1989.

I don't want too many of these kind of palms, just one as a specimen perhaps in the front yard w/out looking crappy for months. There's a 15-20' foot Royal down the street barely recovering from last winter, and I don't know if it'll make it to the next one, it looks pretty bad. But yes what the heck I should just get one of each! That's the spirit! :D whichever looks bad first is out, or replanted somewhere else.

Would like to source a Cunninghamiana that's not Illawarra type, but that can be a bit tricky

Did you get any frost on your Cunni. the past 2 winters? Nice to hear it's green. What were your low temps? I'd love to see a pic (w/out upsetting anyone, I know this is about B. Alfredii)

Edited by TropicalDude

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spockvr6

Did you get any frost on your Cunni. the past 2 winters? Nice to hear it's green. What were your low temps? I'd love to see a pic (w/out upsetting anyone, I know this is about B. Alfredii)

All my weather data is uploaded to weather underground. You can search away back to May 2006.

http://www.wunderground.com/weatherstation/WXDailyHistory.asp?ID=KFLTARPO3

Ill have to see if I have a pic of any of the Archontos (some as alexandrae and some are cunninghamiana, and maybe some are hybrids......hard to tell).

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spockvr6

Despite microclimates I've heard many Ficus and Cocos around St. Pete got whacked and died last year.

The best spots are in the immediate downtown area (Albert Whitted) and the Old Northeast. Just a few miles away gets alot colder.

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spockvr6
I cant comment on the alfredii,

Here is a photo of my friend's alfredii which he says took 26F and frost last year. It definitely has a Coconuty look to it.

IMG00121.jpg

Edited by spockvr6

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Gallop

After seeing my B alfredii rapidly declining, I dug mine up yesterday and put it in the greenhouse to try and salvage it. I don't think it would have made it through the winter.

post-1473-037902300 1294927776_thumb.jpg

Edited by Gallop

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Sutter Bob

I have been optimistic about this palm but after reading all these posts I'm getting worried.

I have a number of seedlings scattered around with varying degrees of overhead cover.

I can certainly say they tolerate dry blazing summer heat and sun if given enough water.

We've had a few mild freezes this winter and the only thing that looked seriously stressed was an uncovered Burretiokentia happala.

This Monday we had a low of 27F with heavy frosts. The A. cunninghamianas all have considerable browning.

The little B. alfrediis all look ok for now but time will tell. I suspect many of the kings will survive and put on a lot of growth with the summer heat.

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Xenon

Two nights below freezing, minimum temperature of 25F, with highs in the 40s. No frost, doesn't appear to be damaged for now...

:) Jonathan

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Mike Evans

Approx half of these were in 1 gal containers during last winter record cold. I hit a low of 26 - 27. These were under moderate to light canopy, therfore did not see frost. They only had minor leaf spotting, which may not have even been contributed to cold. I think the alfredii can tolerate some pretty cold temps, but may be somewhat of a wimp in heavy frost while young. I like the coconut look to these & obviously are a hell of a lot more cold tolerant than coconuts. There are a lot of people around here that try to grow coconuts, & I believe this palm will be a good alternative. Time will tell as they mature. BTW, all my mature coconuts in the ground are now cardboard mulch.

post-112-033675000 1295098753_thumb.jpg

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Mike Evans

These alfredii's were in 3 gal containers during last winter, and did not show any distress at all. They were under light canopy, so I do not think they ever saw frost. Now they are in the ground located next the canopy of some taller Livistona decora's. They command a front row position!

post-112-075001900 1295099142_thumb.jpg

post-112-096243000 1295099146_thumb.jpg

post-112-088289700 1295099150_thumb.jpg

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Gallop

Mike I was growing my alfrdii protected by heavy canopy last year and showed No damage it saw no frost ,it's overall height was aprx 6' with the tallest limb, plant had been in the ground for three years and was bought as a 20gal from Jeff Searl. This past summer it put on some size and this winter it has no overhead canopy and got "toasted" by the frost. It saw lower temps last yr but no frost and did great ,so with my experience it's safe to say they don't like frost.

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TropicalDude

From my own perspective only, the only thing that really would make me want to grow coconuts in areas where it simply doesn't thrive long-term ie (inland Central Florida) is because of the delicious fruit.

Maybe I haven't seen a good picture of an Alfredii yet, but the fronds don't look as clean as Cocos and while there's a similarity, the alignment of the fronds looks different enough to me. It would be interesting to see how larger ones look in this area after harsh winters like the past 2. If they don't look any better after frezes than medium-sized Royals, A. Cunninghamianas and such, (in my opinion) is not worth having another chocolate brown looking palm that isn't any prettier than those two.

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TropicalDude

Gallop, what temps did your Alfredii experienced frost at? Frost can form above freezing. Do these get damaged with frost above freezing?

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sonoranfans

From my own perspective only, the only thing that really would make me want to grow coconuts in areas where it simply doesn't thrive long-term ie (inland Central Florida) is because of the delicious fruit.

Maybe I haven't seen a good picture of an Alfredii yet, but the fronds don't look as clean as Cocos and while there's a similarity, the alignment of the fronds looks different enough to me. It would be interesting to see how larger ones look in this area after harsh winters like the past 2. If they don't look any better after frezes than medium-sized Royals, A. Cunninghamianas and such, (in my opinion) is not worth having another chocolate brown looking palm that isn't any prettier than those two.

I think young cocos look great, then they slide to just very nice as they age, even in hawaii. My last trip to kauai'i, I actually preferred the lushness of the royals to the older coconuts. But the coconuts below 20' tall overall were simply gorgeous, stunning! However, if I could grow an alfredii like this one(4th pic), I wouldnt care if it was exactly like a coconut:

http://www.google.com/images?q=beccariophoenix+alfredii&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&oe=&rlz=1I7IRFC_en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=w_IyTZS4EIPHgAep9eSDCw&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=2&ved=0CC4QsAQwAQ&biw=1239&bih=520

Edited by sonoranfans

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Rafael

I have one alfredii facing west/sea winds/also north influence. This one exploded in growth until late autumn. Now, with 3 frost events, is showing 50% leaf damage, maybe more. I dont know if it will handle it.

I have another one, facing east (30 mts appart, with the house between), and receiving south influence, wich has grown much less than the other. But, surprinsingly, didnt get any frost damage. Off course i dont know how will it behave the next weeks...

But could it be a micro climate matter?

This is the first one, showing lots of frost damage (despite being covered)

post-3292-065312000 1295191741_thumb.jpg

The second one, with the same covering, but completely different

post-3292-083308200 1295191602_thumb.jpg

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Gallop

Tropical Dude, mine experienced frost @ 34 deg F and showed heavy bronzing . Like I mentioned earlier ,last yr it saw a week straight of temps below freezing low was 21 deg F temps never got above 40 deg F that week, but again it had heavy canopy saw no frost & showed zero damage, I had high hopes for it, but this year w/ no canopy has done it in.

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Collectorpalms

My update, after a couple lows of 27 and no damage, a new official low of 24, looks to have caused a good amount of damage. Right now it is just discolored, but it has been about a cool week, I expect after a warm up it will brown out. It was protected under a canopy and no frost. My conclusion is this is only reliable for a nearly frost free zone of 9b, and grows well with heat and humidity. I am not sure if they have a high salt tolerance like a coconut, so they may be limited where they will do well.

Ryan

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Jonathan

Intereseting thread...judging by everyone's reports here, it sounds like B. alfredii is similar to P. coccoides in frost tolerance - is that a reasonable statement? Coccoides planted in the wide open spaces at my place get 50% leaf burn, then grow out of it. So I wont be planting alfredii's in the open.

There seems to be confusion about this species requirements for sunlight vs shade (the same for Parajubaea). If you look closely at the habitat photo's in the link posted by Zeeth, it looks to me like a remnant group of palms in a degraded environment. A couple of the photo's show the palms growing in a patch of riparian forest which I would think is more representative of the original ecosystem there. It seems likely to me that the palms germinate under canopy and grow happily in the shade of the forest until they emerge as adults.

My B. alfredii and Parajubaea seedlings all grow happily under shadecloth and I suspect the full sun requirement theory is not the whole truth. Try growing them in light shade to avoid frost, and see how they go! Because a plant can tolerate full sun, it doesn't neccesarily follow that it absolutely requires it. A classic example is Howea f.

Cheers,

Jonathan

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Tyrone

I have a feeling that many are mixing up alfredii experiences with B madagascariensis and B sp windows. When you look at google images for alfredii, B madagascariensis images come up too for example. B alfredii has not been around for too long and so cultivated specimens are not going to be too large at this stage. Back in one of the posts it was commented that that was the biggest alfredii anyone has seen. That is likely alfredii, but anything with a trunk in cultivation certainly isn't. It hasn't been long enough. Also no one will have a fruiting specimen outside of Madagascar in all likelihood, so as all seed is coming from the wild, there is no chance of crosses being formed yet.

B madagascariensis (aka no windows, southern form) is a slow growing plant. B alfredii, also a no or small windows species is much faster than B madagascariensis, and B sp windows (eastern form) is also fast. Trunking specimens of Beccariophoenix at this stage in cultivation are likely to be B sp windows, as yet an undescribed species. The next trunking species in cultivation will likely be B alfredii, to be followed by the slower B madagascariensis.

As far as cold tolerance is concerned, I can't say with any accuracy because I don't ever go below 0C, but I would say that B alfredii and B madagascariensis are probably about the same. B sp windows is likely a bit higher than the first two coming from a rainforest habitat which is warmer and more humid than the southern sandy plains and low scrub land ( B madagascariensis) and open savannah mountain valley (B alfredii) habitats of the others.

As far as cool tolerance, well they all tolerate mild cool weather in my experience and don't require heroic efforts in my climate to get them through winter, unlike my Golden Malay Dwarf coconut.

Also, with the variance in survival/damage temps seen in this thread, there are a number of factors that come into play here including genetics, plant nutrition, and type of soil. Beccariophoenix just like a coconut, need very good drainage. So a dry freeze and a wet freeze will get different results and sand vs clay will likely give different results. Just like a coconut.

That's my thoughts for the little they're worth. biggrin.gif

Best regards

Tyrone

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