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Which is hardier, S. romanzoffiana, or B. nobilis?


Teegurr

Which is hardier overall, Syagrus romanzoffiana, or Bismarckia nobilis?  

17 members have voted

  1. 1. Which is hardier overall, Syagrus romanzoffiana, or Bismarckia nobilis?

    • S. romanzoffiana
      12
    • B. nobilis
      5


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A question I have pondered for a while...

For many of you the answer may be obvious, for some, not so much.

Of course, it is variable.

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Overall, the hardiest queen palms are slightly more hardy than the hardiest Bismarckia imo. There is not a huge difference in bud kill temperature between the hardiest forms; I've seen established Bismarckia recover from 17F (duration dependent).

The factor that really puts the queen above even the hardiest forms of Bismarckia is the overall recovery speed of the queen palm. With good care, a queen palm can recover from complete defoliation in one season while a Bismarckia would take twice as much time or longer. Bismarckia is not really a palm that wants to see low 20s every year or even every 3 years, and it never really looks good in such climates if it doesn't die outright.

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Jonathan

Katy, TX (Zone 9a)

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16 minutes ago, Xenon said:

Overall, the hardiest queen palms are slightly more hardy than the hardiest Bismarckia imo. There is not a huge difference in bud kill temperature between the hardiest forms; I've seen established Bismarckia recover from 17F (duration dependent).

The factor that really puts the queen above even the hardiest forms of Bismarckia is the overall recovery speed of the queen palm. With good care, a queen palm can recover from complete defoliation in one season while a Bismarckia would take twice as much time or longer. Bismarckia is not really a palm that wants to see low 20s every year or even every 3 years, and it never really looks good in such climates if it doesn't die outright.

I agree...

...but I will say, that the slower growth of the Bismarckia allows the growing point to stay underground longer and thus protects it from freezing more/longer.  I was able to keep a silver Bismarckia alive in Austin for about 10 years by removing all dead above ground portions, treating with fungicide, and walking away.  The palm returned to life from ground cutting on 3 separate occasions.  It never got bigger than a Sabal minor, but hey, I had a silver bismarckia.  Queens, I could maybe cut back once before the growing point would get about the ground and killed by cold.  The queen would look better sooner after a major freeze if it survived.  But at some point i had to dig it up and replace with a new living plant.  Trade offs.....

Edited by Austinpalm
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Clay

South Padre Island, Zone 10b until the next vortex.

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And if you throw in the green variation of Bismarckia into the equation it's not even that close.

Jon Sunder

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5 minutes ago, Fusca said:

And if you throw in the green variation of Bismarckia into the equation it's not even that close.

There are tender silver Bismarckia that burn at 30F too. There was an old silver Bismarckia (probably planted mid-late 90s?) in Galveston that was one of the more tender forms, had quite a bit of burn at 26F. 

Thankfully what is sold in Texas nowadays seems to be the hardiest form.

Edited by Xenon
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Jonathan

Katy, TX (Zone 9a)

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1 hour ago, Fusca said:

And if you throw in the green variation of Bismarckia into the equation it's not even that close.

I think bud hardiness is the same, but I might be wrong.

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I have 3 Queen Palms and 3 Bismarcks in N. Florida zone 8B.  Every year the queens have spear pull and the fronds are half burnt after winter.  They get a dose of copper fungicide and multiple treatments of peroxide to help recover.  The Bismarcks have frost damaged fronds at the 3 & 9 position - just clip those off and peroxide on the trunk and crown if it was a wet winter.  My experience leans toward Bismarck, even though The big box stores in Lake City carry Queens and have never seen a Bismarck for retail in that area.  Right now my Bismarck look beautiful, and the queens look OK.  Maybe with age and more than 3 winters under my belt with this collection my opinion may change.  My pygmy date palm is totally fried after every winter but comes back strong by May/June for some more comparison.  

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Queens have a better chance of survival , albeit much larger sample size. 2 out of 4 Bizzies survived palmageddon in my yard with protection. Zero Queens have made it in my neighborhood. Queens have been decimated 3 out of the last 5 winters here. I won't plant a queen but I'll keep trying Bizzies which have way more WoW factor in your yard. Just my 2 cents =)

T J 

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T J 

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So far I haven't seen any big Bismarckia with new growth in Houston. :( I'm still holding out hope... we're just starting to get really hot.

I've seen a few trunking queens with green growth in SW Houston , but I'm not convinced they're going to survive.

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I finally saw a collapsed Bismarckia in far west Houston. They take a long time to die! Some others are still standing straight with stiff spears... I haven't checked on the ones growing in/around Central Houston since the freeze 

The farthest west queen palms I've seen with reasonably "healthy" new growth are a pair growing right by the western interchange of I-10 and BW8 on the south side of a building 

Edited by Xenon
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Jonathan

Katy, TX (Zone 9a)

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Besides my own Bizzies that survived w/ protection. I have only found 1 so far to show new growth. It has about 10' clear trunk. Still no queens alive in the area tho =/ 

T J 

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T J 

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