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THE LEGEND OF SYAGRUS ABREOJOS


pogobob

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It was July, 1979, and I was in Baja California Sur Mexico 600 miles south of the border on a surf trip at a place called Punta Abreojos (open eyes) when I discovered the palm. On a cervesa run into town I noticed a lonsome palm tree planted in a truck tire. There were 15 ft of closely ringed trunk with hundreds of bottle tops for mulch in the coastal desert sand. This palm was very unique as only intrduced date palms and native Washintonias and Braheas are to be encountered in the arroyos and canyons. It was obvious to me that it was some sort of Syagus, as its trunk and seeds were similar. After purchasing a few cases of Pacifcos we stoped at the ice factory,as this town is a fishing villiage, and this is where we found the palm growing next to the loading area living on leaking ice bins, fish guts, piss and rusting bottle tops. What really caught my eye was the leaf structure, being extremely plumose, having about 3 times the number of leaflets of a normal queen palm (Syagrus Romanzofiana). This palm was wind blasted and stunted but loaded with large bunches of ripe fleshy fruit. There were no other of its kind around the villiage, and no one knew where this palm came from or how long it had been there. I collected 200-300 seeds and grew a good many to 5gal size. I planted one and sold or gave the rest away over the years. My palm is now about 30 ft tall and twice as robust as its mother, probably due to the better climate and culture here. Palm enthusiasts and casual plant lovers are always blown away by this beutyfull palm. Many collectors and knowlegeable palm experts have tried to identify her and so far no one can say with certainty what we are dealing with. The leaves are abou 20ft long and are endowed with about 3 times more leaflets and are much darker green than your average queen. The petiole is bare for the first 5ft. The fruits and seeds are larger and rounder and the whole fruiting bunch is considerably larger also. I recall a travel log storey on Palmtalk some time ago with photographs of some very simular syagrus growing in a mountain valley somewhere in South America. I think the author was from England. Anyway, to make a long storey short, and clarify any false hopes of finding the palm in Baja, unfortunatly the original has fallen victim to road expantion about 10yrs ago. This palm under a full moon on a windy and clear night is a breathtaking sight, a real eye opener, "Syagrus Abreojos"

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Robert de Jong

San Clemente, CA

 

Willowbrook Nursery

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That's a really good story, it deserves an illustration. :) Foto, por favor, señor Bob.

Kim Cyr

Between the beach and the bays, Point Loma, San Diego, California USA
and on a 300 year-old lava flow, Pahoa, Hawaii, 1/4 mile from the 2018 flow
All characters  in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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An excellent story...i love a good yarn, especially when they are true.

And you are correct, Bob, it is a striking palm.

Rusty

Rusty Bell

Pine Island - the Ex-Pat part of Lee County, Fl , USA

Zone 10b, life in the subs!...except when it isn't....

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Sounds like a fabulous palm. Do you ever sell/trade seeds?

Meg

Palms of Victory I shall wear

Cape Coral (It's Just Paradise)
Florida
Zone 10A on the Isabelle Canal
Elevation: 15 feet

I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus' garden in the shade.

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Here you go folks!!

syagrusabreojos2.jpg

syagrusabreojos4.jpg

syagrusabreojos1.jpg

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Dave Hughson

Carlsbad, Ca

1 mile from ocean

Zone 10b

Palm freaks are good peeps!!!!!

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Great story Pogo, but you forgot the most important part. Did you get any waves?

animated-volcano-image-0010.gif.71ccc48bfc1ec622a0adca187eabaaa4.gif

Kona, on The Big Island
Hawaii - Land of Volcanoes

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Would really like to have a couple of seeds...."along with everyone else"........you could

A. Sell them for profit :greenthumb:

B. Give them away to fellow lovers of palms in hopes perpetuating a rare beautiful mutation. :greenthumb::yay:

C. Hoard them and taunt every one with pictures of them fruiting :evil:

If you pick A. or B. I promise I'll never drop in on you.......(at least on the smaller set waves) :P

David Simms zone 9a on Highway 30a

200 steps from the Gulf in NW Florida

30 ft. elevation and sandy soil

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Do the seeds from yours appear to be the same size, shape, color, etc as the ones you got from the mother in Baja?

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" leaking ice bins, fish guts, piss and rusting bottle tops " Do you have to feed it this to look right ? :blink:

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Yes,those palms seen in Dave's stills are mouth watering and looks lot better than any regular queen's ever seen ! it's a collectors edition..item :drool:

And can anybody show me its trunk or base ? does this babee' put a decent sized trunk ? :rolleyes:

love,

Kris :)

love conquers all..

43278.gif

.

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Kris, I do not have a close up of the base of the trunk but it does have a nice fat trunk. As fat as any well watered queen would have. Like queens they are responsive to more water and nutrients and will "fatten up" with proper care.

Dave Hughson

Carlsbad, Ca

1 mile from ocean

Zone 10b

Palm freaks are good peeps!!!!!

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Great story! All palms should have such a backstory.

Jim Robinson

Growing in:

San Antonio, TX Z9a

Key Allegro, TX Z10a

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I searched in vain on Epalmetum.com to find a Syagrus that would even suggest it's a hybrid with S. romanzoffiana. No other Syagrus has long petioles and densely packed leaflets like that.

Now I'm regretting giving my only seedling to FreakyPalmGuy.

Zone 9b/10a, Sunset Zone 22

7 miles inland. Elevation 120ft (37m)

Average annual low temp: 30F (-1C)

Average annual rainfall: 8" (20cm)

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I searched in vain on Epalmetum.com to find a Syagrus that would even suggest it's a hybrid with S. romanzoffiana. No other Syagrus has long petioles and densely packed leaflets like that.

Now I'm regretting giving my only seedling to FreakyPalmGuy.

Terry, why would you have given your ONLY seedling away?

Dave Hughson

Carlsbad, Ca

1 mile from ocean

Zone 10b

Palm freaks are good peeps!!!!!

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Deez...

1) Not having a greenhouse, my success rate with palms that look like a blade of grass isn't so hot. 1 gallon palms I'm great with.

2) I've been divesting myself of a few palms I don't have a planned spot to plant. Not into selling, would rather give away.

3) FreakyPalmGuy lives in FreakingRiverside, and has less options than me. I think it might enjoy the extra heat.

Zone 9b/10a, Sunset Zone 22

7 miles inland. Elevation 120ft (37m)

Average annual low temp: 30F (-1C)

Average annual rainfall: 8" (20cm)

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Great story Pogo, but you forgot the most important part. Did you get any waves?

Yeah , Pogo How was the surf ?

Great strytelling, btw............

Melbourne Beach, Florida on the barrier island -two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean and 6 homes from the Indian River Lagoon

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Would really like to have a couple of seeds...."along with everyone else"........you could

A. Sell them for profit :greenthumb:

B. Give them away to fellow lovers of palms in hopes perpetuating a rare beautiful mutation. :greenthumb::yay:

C. Hoard them and taunt every one with pictures of them fruiting :evil:

If you pick A. or B. I promise I'll never drop in on you.......(at least on the smaller set waves) :P

In fact, none of us will ever drop in on you ever AGAIN!!!!!!!

Mike Hegger

Northwest Clairemont

San Diego, California

4 miles from coast

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I searched in vain on Epalmetum.com to find a Syagrus that would even suggest it's a hybrid with S. romanzoffiana. No other Syagrus has long petioles and densely packed leaflets like that.

Now I'm regretting giving my only seedling to FreakyPalmGuy.

Hola Terry,

You were way too generous. The S. abreojos seedling is being kept warm here at mi casa. Let me know when you pick out a good spot for her and I'll send her back your way.

Matt

Matt in Temecula, CA

Hot and dry in the summer, cold with light frost in the winter. Halfway between the desert and ocean

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Any idea about its cold-hardiness??

Jeremy Breland
itinerant public garden horticulturist
A native of the US Gulf Coast: USDA hardiness zone 8b-9b; AHS heat zone 8-9, Sunset climate zone 28; Trewartha climate classification: Cf-humid subtropical; Hot and humid summers with occasional droughts, warm and wet winters punctuated by cold snaps.

Currently in New Orleans, LA, zone 9b, heat zone 8

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" leaking ice bins, fish guts, piss and rusting bottle tops "

I GOT THE PERFECT SPOT! :greenthumb:

Don't forget to plant it in an old truck tire; THAT'S the key... :mrlooney:

SoCal and SoFla; zone varies by location.

'Home is where the heart suitcase is'...

_____

"If, as they say, there truly is no rest for the wicked, how can the Devil's workshop be filled with idle hands?"

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Zone 9b/10a, Sunset Zone 22

7 miles inland. Elevation 120ft (37m)

Average annual low temp: 30F (-1C)

Average annual rainfall: 8" (20cm)

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I searched in vain on Epalmetum.com to find a Syagrus that would even suggest it's a hybrid with S. romanzoffiana. No other Syagrus has long petioles and densely packed leaflets like that.

Now I'm regretting giving my only seedling to FreakyPalmGuy.

My guess is that's it's a cross between Queen and Syagrus Sancona, ( Columbian Foxtail). The queen being the parent plant because the inflorescence resembles the Queen. Stunning palm!!!! I wish i had a few seeds as well!!

BTW, i promise also that i'll never drop in on you, seeing i surf Cocoa Beach here in Florida, that's easy to promise!!

Orlando, Florida

zone 9b

The Pollen Poacher!!

GO DOLPHINS!!

GO GATORS!!!

 

Palms, Sex, Money and horsepower,,,, you may have more than you can handle,,

but too much is never enough!!

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Mark,

Several have suggested that it might be a Queen X S. Sancona and it could very well be, but the mystery is........how did it show up in Baja Mexico behind a liquor store in the middle of nowhere?? From the looks of the seed that Robert split open, it appears to be a hybrid seed and that might explain why so few germinate. It would be interesting to cross it with a Butia and see if any seeds set.

Mark, how is your Butia X Parajubaea progressing? Mine is the fastest growing palm in my yard, and has already put out 3 fronds this year, and we had a very chilly Spring. I bet yours is growing even faster than mine with your warmth.

Dick

Richard Douglas

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My guess is that's it's a cross between Queen and Syagrus Sancona, ( Columbian Foxtail). The queen being the parent plant because the inflorescence resembles the Queen. Stunning palm!!!! I wish i had a few seeds as well!!

BTW, i promise also that i'll never drop in on you, seeing i surf Cocoa Beach here in Florida, that's easy to promise!!

If this is the case, wouldn't one the hybridizers out there be in the works to be doing this cross as we write?

All these people not dropping in on you will make you "king of the set waves".............with all us backing off, be careful not to spaz :yay:

David Simms zone 9a on Highway 30a

200 steps from the Gulf in NW Florida

30 ft. elevation and sandy soil

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Pollen is not always readily available when you need it. Most people don't know how to collect it, dry it, prepare it and store it, and unfortunately most people don't want to be bothered with the process. In the SF Bay Area, there is only one Parajubaea that is still assessable and it's getting so tall that the inflorescenses are hard to reach. There is only one Jubaea that is assessable in the Bay Area and that's the one growing in my garden. It started blooming at an early age and is still reachable, but in another 5 years it will be to tall to reach without a cherry picker.

The female flowers are only receptive for about 48 hours, and you have to have pollen available when they reach anthesis. It's not an easy process.

Dick

Richard Douglas

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Hello Dick, good to hear from you!! My BXP is growing like a weed but it is a bit slower than the XButiagrus next to it! It grows all year long and next year i'll post a pic to show you the size.

I agree w/ you about the germination telling the fact about it being a hybrid, i've run across the same result many times myself. But it usually sets very little seed amount if that is the case.

Alice cooper!!!!

I am about the only hybridizer who lives in a tropical setting (that produces in mass quantity), and i don't have S.Sancona pollen readilly avaliable. Believe me, if i did, i would've used it on my Butia.Capitata and also one of my many Queens! I do have a Syagrus Sancona but it is going to be a few years before it is flowering. I had a flowering Sancona but Hurricane Charlie flattened it! I could'nt save all the palms due to the fact that i had to work on road crews to clear roads and such so i was too busy :rage: I wish i could've saved it! I've crossed many different Syagrus's and Sancona is one i would love to play with!! Remember that if you don't have a mature palm that you want pollen from, then it's difficult to hit the presice time to collect the inflorescence to extract the pollen. But who knows, maybe someone out there has done the cross intentionally!! If so, I hope he sells them, i would love to have a few!!

Orlando, Florida

zone 9b

The Pollen Poacher!!

GO DOLPHINS!!

GO GATORS!!!

 

Palms, Sex, Money and horsepower,,,, you may have more than you can handle,,

but too much is never enough!!

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Well then, I guess it adds to the mystery if it is this difficult to get a cross artificially.

If the palms don't occur naturally in Mexico or as a population near each other, or near the site this palm was found................, and they don't pop at the same time...... then it is highly unlikely that it is a natural cross.

So what are we left with......... Syagrus "Abreojos" is not a hybrid but just a freak of nature,as some have suggested, due to its unusual growing conditions.

Somebody needs to do a beer cap and urine test on a developing queen seedling......and I would add that it probably needs to be Mexican urine..........any volunteers?

David Simms zone 9a on Highway 30a

200 steps from the Gulf in NW Florida

30 ft. elevation and sandy soil

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All kidding aside..........has anyone ever thought to set up a pollen "bank" coordinating sources of both producers of pollen, and hybrid growers. Freezing pollen and possibly selling it for later use sounds like a way to get around issues like those being encountered in this thread. Kind of like a sperm bank........only for palms. Shipping could be overnight with dry ice. A little expensive........but maybe worth it to develop new and possibly lucrative hybrids.

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David Simms zone 9a on Highway 30a

200 steps from the Gulf in NW Florida

30 ft. elevation and sandy soil

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Actually, even though it's best to freeze fresh, dry pollen, it will remain viable at room temperatures for quite some while. Patrick Schafer stores his pollen in 35mm film canisters. We have wondered how the pollen is affected by repeated re-freezing. I suppose the pollen could be checked if some were sprinkled on an augar and inspected under a microscope.

When I used to hybridize Chamaedoreas, I would refigerate it, and it stayed viable for several weeks, and even for a couple of weeks at room temperature.

Dick

Richard Douglas

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  • 3 months later...

For what it's worth: I have a strap leafed S. abreojos seedling and it's grown at a good rate this summer, even with my cool nights. I have a couple of tropical Syagrus and they hardly move. Maybe S. abreojos is a super Queen and a mutation. I'll report later on how it does this winter.

Dick

Richard Douglas

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Weather it's a cross or not,, it's a BEAUTIFULL palm!! If i am lucky enough for Pogobob to sell me some seeds,, i promise it will be named,,, BOB!!! :winkie:

Orlando, Florida

zone 9b

The Pollen Poacher!!

GO DOLPHINS!!

GO GATORS!!!

 

Palms, Sex, Money and horsepower,,,, you may have more than you can handle,,

but too much is never enough!!

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