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In depth analysis of the Athens Riviera climate and palm potential


Manos33
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Hello everyone!

So as a resident of the Athens Riviera I am really puzzled about the true palm potential of south Athens! I mean even in here I have read so many misconceptions on the climate of south Athens (even from Greeks) and coupled with a widespread lack of motivated gardeners in the country that I can not really assess the true palm potential of the Athens Riviera. But I would like to start from what I think I am generally good at: climatology and meteorology. So the Athens Riviera (basically anything south of Nea Smyrni) has a semi-arid climate. Annual rainfall varies from around 330mm in Piraeus to just below 400mm in Nea Smyrni. The mean annual temperature is around 20C according to the most recent data of the past decade or so. This makes the Athens Riviera the warmest area in continental Europe annually (closely followed by Seville in Spain).

Now let's talk about some major misconceptions about the winter climate in the Athens Riviera. There is a widespread belief even among Greeks that the Athens Riviera is actually colder in the winter compared to western Greece. I have even read here that some people believe cities like Pyrgos have milder winters when in fact south Athens has almost 3C or 4C higher winter mean minimum temperatures. This is obviously because of the huge Urban Heat Island Athens as a whole experiences. Also many people confuse the wonderful snowfalls of the northern suburbs of Athens with the climate in the Athens Riviera. So many are left with the impression that the Athens Riviera gets a lot of snow. While it is true that the whole of Attica is much more prone to ''prosinemos'' weather cold snaps compared to west Greece and indeed every around 15 years even the Athens Riviera sees settled snow on the streets, these instances are generally very short-lived in south Athens (1-2 days at most) compared with the rest of the city.

You see Athens has one of the most complicated climates in the world! The city spans a huge area, surrounded by 5 mountains from all directions, countless hills and an altitude ranging from 500+ meters in the extreme north suburbs to 0 meters in the Athens Riviera. It is obvious that you will see huge climatological differences between different Athenian suburbs. And that's where the confusion sets in. 

Below you can find the most recent met data from Nea Smyrni which is the warmest met station in Athens according to the data from the National Observatory of Athens.

558117518_Screenshot2021-12-17at12_17_41AM.thumb.png.5b3651273cd932a4a2026b31f1c5dddc.png

I chose this station in order to explore the extreme boundaries of what can actually grow in south Athens! The absolute minimum temperature in the Nea Smyrni NOA station is -0.4C and the average of absolute minimum temperatures is +2.0C which makes the area a 10b zone if my calculations are correct!

So could cocos survive in very sheltered areas of the Athens Riviera? Can Royal, or King palm trees survive in the long run? The Athens Riviera in the past was full and I mean full of palm trees but as the years passed populations have dwindled, even though some areas still remain very palmy....But my question to people who are more experienced is what do you think of the true palm potential of the Athens Riviera? How much can we push the boundaries here?

 

Edited by Manos33
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2 hours ago, Manos33 said:

Hello everyone!

So as a resident of the Athens Riviera I am really puzzled about the true palm potential of south Athens! I mean even in here I have read so many misconceptions on the climate of south Athens (even from Greeks) and coupled with a widespread lack of motivated gardeners in the country that I can not really assess the true palm potential of the Athens Riviera. But I would like to start from what I think I am generally good at: climatology and meteorology. So the Athens Riviera (basically anything south of Nea Smyrni) has a semi-arid climate. Annual rainfall varies from around 330mm in Piraeus to just below 400mm in Nea Smyrni. The mean annual temperature is around 20C according to the most recent data of the past decade or so. This makes the Athens Riviera the warmest area in continental Europe annually (closely followed by Seville in Spain).

Now let's talk about some major misconceptions about the winter climate in the Athens Riviera. There is a widespread belief even among Greeks that the Athens Riviera is actually colder in the winter compared to western Greece. I have even read here that some people believe cities like Pyrgos have milder winters when in fact south Athens has almost 3C or 4C higher winter mean minimum temperatures. This is obviously because of the huge Urban Heat Island Athens as a whole experiences. Also many people confuse the wonderful snowfalls of the northern suburbs of Athens with the climate in the Athens Riviera. So many are left with the impression that the Athens Riviera gets a lot of snow. While it is true that the whole of Attica is much more prone to ''prosinemos'' weather cold snaps compared to west Greece and indeed every around 15 years even the Athens Riviera sees settled snow on the streets, these instances are generally very short-lived in south Athens (1-2 days at most) compared with the rest of the city.

You see Athens has one of the most complicated climates in the world! The city spans a huge area, surrounded by 5 mountains from all directions, countless hills and an altitude ranging from 500+ meters in the extreme north suburbs to 0 meters in the Athens Riviera. It is obvious that you will see huge climatological differences between different Athenian suburbs. And that's where the confusion sets in. 

Below you can find the most recent met data from Nea Smyrni which is the warmest met station in Athens according to the data from the National Observatory of Athens.

558117518_Screenshot2021-12-17at12_17_41AM.thumb.png.5b3651273cd932a4a2026b31f1c5dddc.png

I chose this station in order to explore the extreme boundaries of what can actually grow in south Athens! The absolute minimum temperature in the Nea Smyrni NOA station is -0.4C and the average of absolute minimum temperatures is +2.0C which makes the area a 10b zone if my calculations are correct!

So could cocos survive in very sheltered areas of the Athens Riviera? Can Royal, or King palm trees survive in the long run? The Athens Riviera in the past was full and I mean full of palm trees but as the years passed populations have dwindled, even though some areas still remain very palmy....But my question to people who are more experienced is what do you think of the true palm potential of the Athens Riviera? How much can we push the boundaries here?

 

I don't know about the coconut palms, but king palms and royal palms will do fine as long as the temperature rarely drops under 28F and never under 23F.

 

Oh, and for royals, you are going to need more water than that amount of rainfall. 

Edited by Jimbean
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Brevard County, Fl

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Hello,

if you consider your zone 9b (as in fact it is) you can safely grow all the palm trees considered in this climatic zone, then if you have a sheltered area of the garden south facing you can try species on the edge of zone 10a. The USDA method cannot be applied to the letter for the Mediterranean areas, as has been said several times, but must be corrected to take into account the winter months with average low temperatures. For comparison these are the temperatures of the coast of Palermo:

2116022691_Palermoclima.jpg.e7f632d466c170993a8e21f30cf2cdcb.jpg

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Regards,

Pietro Puccio

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Hi together,

if you look around in Athens you'll find a couple of tropical/subtropical plants, including that Roystonea we already discussed in another thread (https://www.google.com/maps/@37.8371014,23.7702939,3a,75y,2.04h,79.69t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s2AE81-T2fClw_r4LjzcB5Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656) or the Archotophoenix Palms planted in seaside bars. Taking the climatological data into account you will see, that it makes perfectly sense. Nearly all coastal parts of the Attica Peninsula have an optimal climate for many many palms (except of the little amounts of rain). It's just a few days during the time from December to March, that prevent the tender tropicals from being widely spread in the private gardens or public parks.

Btw:

19 minutes ago, pietropuccio said:

Hello,

if you consider your zone 9b (as in fact it is) you can safely grow all the palm trees considered in this climatic zone, then if you have a sheltered area of the garden south facing you can try species on the edge of zone 10a. The USDA method cannot be applied to the letter for the Mediterranean areas, as has been said several times, but must be corrected to take into account the winter months with average low temperatures. For comparison these are the temperatures of the coast of Palermo:

 

The Athens Riviera is at least Zone 10a, if you take the definition in that way, that you refer the Zone to the absolute minimum temperature ever recorded (in this case -0.4°C). If you take the mean value of the absolute minimum temperatures measured of that station, it is 10b (2,5°C). There are other weather stations around, that differ only little to those values. Yes, there are recorded absolute minimum temperatures of 9B, but again, if you take the mean value of the absolute minimum temperatures of each year, these stations are 10A or 10B.

A big restriction to these data is, that the values of these stations do not meet the standards to define a climate. That is just because these stations are relatively new. From the Nea Smyrni station I have the records of just 7 years. Nevertheless I assume the Athens Riviera is really 10A, considering the plants you find there and even some non-native animals from central America, central Africa and far east Asia, that live there for many years now. 

 

If I had a property there, I would just try out the wildest things, even a coconut. Just to see it myself, if it's possible or not.

 

 

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I hope that great effort is made to expand the tropical plantings throughout the Mediterranean. The lack of freezing temperatures is certainly part of the equation. My only concern is the overall lack of winter heat. Hopefully there are micro climates that will allow a coconut at the incredibly high latitudes!

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What you look for is what is looking

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2 hours ago, Janni said:

. That is just because these stations are relatively new. From the Nea Smyrni station I have the records of just 7 years. Nevertheless I assume the Athens Riviera is really 10A, considering the plants you find there and even some non-native animals from central America, central Africa and far east Asia, that live there for many years now. 

You can find the whole 10 years data so far for Nea Smyrni from the NOA bulletins here:

https://www.meteo.gr/Monthly_Bulletins.cfm

or you can search directly from the database

http://meteosearch.meteo.gr/

In both cases you will need to use google translate if u dont speak Greek. 

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8 hours ago, Janni said:

Hi together,

if you look around in Athens you'll find a couple of tropical/subtropical plants, including that Roystonea we already discussed in another thread (https://www.google.com/maps/@37.8371014,23.7702939,3a,75y,2.04h,79.69t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s2AE81-T2fClw_r4LjzcB5Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656) or the Archotophoenix Palms planted in seaside bars. Taking the climatological data into account you will see, that it makes perfectly sense. Nearly all coastal parts of the Attica Peninsula have an optimal climate for many many palms (except of the little amounts of rain). It's just a few days during the time from December to March, that prevent the tender tropicals from being widely spread in the private gardens or public parks.

Btw:

The Athens Riviera is at least Zone 10a, if you take the definition in that way, that you refer the Zone to the absolute minimum temperature ever recorded (in this case -0.4°C). If you take the mean value of the absolute minimum temperatures measured of that station, it is 10b (2,5°C). There are other weather stations around, that differ only little to those values. Yes, there are recorded absolute minimum temperatures of 9B, but again, if you take the mean value of the absolute minimum temperatures of each year, these stations are 10A or 10B.

A big restriction to these data is, that the values of these stations do not meet the standards to define a climate. That is just because these stations are relatively new. From the Nea Smyrni station I have the records of just 7 years. Nevertheless I assume the Athens Riviera is really 10A, considering the plants you find there and even some non-native animals from central America, central Africa and far east Asia, that live there for many years now. 

 

If I had a property there, I would just try out the wildest things, even a coconut. Just to see it myself, if it's possible or not.

 

 

There is an immense variation of microclimate along the whole south coast. The coastal line on the foothills  of Mt Hymettus is 2 to 1 degrees C warmer all year around that the rest coastal line up to Cape Sounion. Again land patches after Cape Sounion in Poseidonia are officially included in zone 10B.  The other part of the southern coast, which is also 10 B is a land patch near Piraeus  extending to Perama and Skaramanga.

Sicily is unbeatable for several reasons, even the volcanic soil being one of them.

Edited by Phoenikakias
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1 hour ago, Phoenikakias said:

There is an immense variation of microclimate along the whole south coast. The coastal line on the foothills  of Mt Hymettus is 2 to 1 degrees C warmer all year around that the rest coastal line up to Cape Sounion. Again land patches after Cape Sounion in Poseidonia are officially included in zone 10B.  The other part of the southern coast, which is also 10 B is a land patch near Piraeus  extending to Perama and Skaramanga.

That is absolutely true, as it is for most other places around the world. I see this microclimatic variations here where I live or where my parents live. I have marginal plants in my frontyard thriving and growing fast, where the same species struggle in my backyard and are merely half the size of the others in the frontyard. Those variations surpass occasionally a whole Zone Number. That‘s why I don‘t like the interpolated colored zone maps. They can never display the true spatial distribution of a climate zone. You just get an estimation of what you can expect :lol: 

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7 hours ago, Manos33 said:

You can find the whole 10 years data so far for Nea Smyrni from the NOA bulletins here:

https://www.meteo.gr/Monthly_Bulletins.cfm

or you can search directly from the database

http://meteosearch.meteo.gr/

In both cases you will need to use google translate if u dont speak Greek. 

Thanks for the links. I have all my data from the second link. I exported all weatherstations there are in that database. 

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6 hours ago, Phoenikakias said:

There is an immense variation of microclimate along the whole south coast. The coastal line on the foothills  of Mt Hymettus is 2 to 1 degrees C warmer all year around that the rest coastal line up to Cape Sounion. Again land patches after Cape Sounion in Poseidonia are officially included in zone 10B.  The other part of the southern coast, which is also 10 B is a land patch near Piraeus  extending to Perama and Skaramanga.

Sicily is unbeatable for several reasons, even the volcanic soil being one of them.

Some areas of Piraeus, especially downtown areas should have the highest winter minimums in Attica.  I mean we do see this behavior in the summer nights in Piraeus with the land breezes bringing all of the Athenian heat to the coastal areas and the same applies during the winter, coupled  of course with Athens's huge UHI. The long term met data from Piraeus (1981-2010) confirm that the area has the highest winter means in Attica at least in terms of climate normals (30 year period).

Nea Smyrni's data on the other hand are only for 10 years but they seem to be very promising. Nea Smyrni NOA station actually beats the winter minimums compared to all Piraeus NOA stations and I bet this has to do with the UHI of the area.

Edited by Manos33
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6 hours ago, Janni said:

That is absolutely true, as it is for most other places around the world. 

Well, when it comes to Athens I would take it a couple of notches up. The orography and geomorphology of the Athens basin is one of the most complicated in the world. For its size the Attica Peninsula has a very intriguing climate. We do get huge variety of climates and microclimates even across neighbouring Athenian suburbs. The countless hills, mountains surrounding the peninsula, even the existence of Salamina play a huge role on the peninsula's climate. So true 10B zones in south Attica and the Athens Riviera are not surprising.

If we compare for example downtown Athens with the warmest areas of the Athens Riviera then we do get significant differences both in winter mins but also winter maxes. 

Below are the recent climate normals for downtown Athens (Thiseio historical met station) for comparison. The differences seem very pronounced when compared to the Athens Riviera data.

49626940_Screenshot2021-12-18at4_12_47AM.thumb.png.fad523f61cf447410d7ecda9994fb0fe.png

Edited by Manos33
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On 12/17/2021 at 10:35 AM, pietropuccio said:

Hello,

if you consider your zone 9b (as in fact it is) you can safely grow all the palm trees considered in this climatic zone, then if you have a sheltered area of the garden south facing you can try species on the edge of zone 10a. The USDA method cannot be applied to the letter for the Mediterranean areas, as has been said several times, but must be corrected to take into account the winter months with average low temperatures. For comparison these are the temperatures of the coast of Palermo:

2116022691_Palermoclima.jpg.e7f632d466c170993a8e21f30cf2cdcb.jpg

USDA zones had been created based on certain measurements. Period. Trying to 'adjust' those divisions to the Mediterranean or any other climatic region (ie UK) can only lead to confusion. Whether those zones are safe enough for the selection of plants in other regions than North America, this is a very different story and insofar I agree with Pietro.  I regard much safer the use of 'canaries' that is the survival or thrive of certain plant spp. Only problem is that exotic and tropical plants are still far from widespread in Attica. Pietro, could you name please some plants (not necessarily palms) as indicators for zones 9B, 10A and 10B respectively, as you conceive them...

Edited by Phoenikakias
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On 12/18/2021 at 3:44 AM, Manos33 said:

Some areas of Piraeus, especially downtown areas should have the highest winter minimums in Attica.  I mean we do see this behavior in the summer nights in Piraeus with the land breezes bringing all of the Athenian heat to the coastal areas and the same applies during the winter, coupled  of course with Athens's huge UHI. The long term met data from Piraeus (1981-2010) confirm that the area has the highest winter means in Attica at least in terms of climate normals (30 year period).

Nea Smyrni's data on the other hand are only for 10 years but they seem to be very promising. Nea Smyrni NOA station actually beats the winter minimums compared to all Piraeus NOA stations and I bet this has to do with the UHI of the area.

I still remember a very tall Ficus lyrata in the front yard of a condo next to the Chrysostomou Smyrnis sq.  It had been there since my childhood and was fried to the ground during the 2004 cold spell. This was really an every 50 years or so cold event. If we can accept that every half a century (sub)tropical landscaping is going to be reset, then why not taking advantage of the rest 49 years?

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1 hour ago, Phoenikakias said:

I still remember a very tall Ficus lyrata in the front yard of a condo next to the Chrysostomou Smyrnis sq.  It had been there since my childhood and was fried to the ground during the 2004 cold spell. This was really an every 50 years or so cold event. If we can accept that every half a century (sub)tropical landscaping is going to be reset, then why not taking advantage of the rest 49 years?

Actually the 2004 cold spell is an even rarer  event for south Athens. From the Ellinikon HNMS data covering 67 years so far the absolute min was recorded in 2004. So I think the 2004 cold snap for the Athens Riviera is around once in a century give or take.  

Edited by Manos33
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I can remember a thread by Janni regarding his travels to Rhodes. I was highly surprised by the large number of tropical specimens together with their excellent condition. This included large Ficus, mangoes, papaya and numerous other tropical specimens. The palms were less impressive, primarily Phoenix, but I believe he even commented that this related out of lack of palm enthusiasts and supply.

The extremely high low temperatures combined with the long-term lack of frost and freezing temperatures bodes well for numerous palm species. One only has to look so far as California to see the numerous palms from beneficent climates that would flourish (NZ, Australia, Lord Howe Island) through out the Athenian Riviera and Greek islands. I know Maurice and others have palm collections that already demonstrate what can be accomplished.

in reviewing the climate data, my only concern about truly tropical palms, like Cocos nucifera, is the lack of winter heat. In California, the Coconut Palms that have flourished were primarily in the desert, where a relatively high level of winter heat exists. That stated, the longest surviving Coconut Palm in California was located in Newport Beach, which is more in line with the climate of the Athenian Riviera. 

Given the incredibly large nature of the micro-climates in your area, there must be some area where the winter high temperatures are greater than the upper 50s and low 60s Fahrenheit. I believe that is where your search for the perfect micro climate to grow the Athenian Riviera/Greek Island coconut should be focused.
 

 

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2 hours ago, Phoenikakias said:

Only problem is that exotic and tropical plants are still far from widespread in Attica. ...

But I don't think this is due to climate though. My understanding is that not many people show active interest in exotic and tropical plants in Greece. It is really demotivating to be honest...and then again its a question of politics. For some reason we are used to green neglect in Attica, the Municipality Green service for example is pretty much worthless in Athens and most greek municipalities for that matter. We are even used to seeing stupid political reactions when local authorities have tried to implement tropical plants projects for aesthetic reasons in Athens. Its really laughable and I don't understand it to be honest. As if there is some perpetual fear or inferiority complex among many ordinary greeks and politicians that stipulates turning Athens into a tropical paradise would make the city less ''European'' or ''Western''...and god forbids if we appear more ''Eastern'' or ''oriental''. I mean come on...

And it is a pity really. The climate of the Athens Riviera and Attica in general is so robust and complex (probably the most complex and varied in the world for its size) that we have a climatological treasure going to waste. We are talking about the warmest area in Continental Europe annually here, why not take advantage of this? In fact I was checking the most recent sunshine data for the Athens Riviera and the area averages above 3000 hours of sunshine annually the past few years.  Last year for example we had almost 3200 hours of sunshine in South Athens. Even the semi-arid climate of coastal areas in South Athens allows for some desert like flora in many areas. Why not combine the best or more pronounced elements of the Athens Riviera climate (the highest annual heat in continental Europe and the aridity) to create something unique in the Athens Riviera? Sure enough, we will need to water exotic plants more often than most other areas but with dedicated people we can do it! Why let areas in 10B zones in the Athens Riviera go to waste? I don't get it...

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I just checked Newport Beach, California and the average high temperature in January is 66°F and the average low 49°F. I believe attention in the Athenian Riviera/Greek Islands for coconut locations should be centered on these temperatures. By the way, numerous other specimens can easily be grown with your climate that resemble or look better than coconuts!

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6 minutes ago, bubba said:

I just checked Newport Beach, California and the average high temperature in January is 66°F and the average low 49°F. I believe attention in the Athenian Riviera/Greek Islands for coconut locations should be centered on these temperatures. By the way, numerous other specimens can easily be grown with your climate that resemble or look better than coconuts!

Are you sure about the January maxes? According to wiki the mean max Jan T is 63F/17C which is not that far off from the south Greek islands (61F/16C). The average low in Kasos for example in January is even higher with around 53F/12C.

Edited by Manos33
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I got this information from a Google search and there are likely numerous sites within the Newport beach area. My guess is that the more marine temperatures ( lower highs) are closer to the Pacific.

The Newport Beach coconut was very close to the Pacific. Accordingly, it is highly possible that your data is more accurate than my initial Google search.

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So if Newport Beach did it, then it is entirely possible the mildest Greek islands in the winter (mainly Kasos and Karpathos) will also do it. Now for the Athens Riviera cocos might be a stretch but If I had the opportunity I would even try cocos 

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2 hours ago, Manos33 said:

So if Newport Beach did it, then it is entirely possible the mildest Greek islands in the winter (mainly Kasos and Karpathos) will also do it. Now for the Athens Riviera cocos might be a stretch but If I had the opportunity I would even try cocos 

With winter max temps around low 60sF/16C I wouldn’t bother with Cocos. Absolute best case you might get it to survive for a while with added protection but it likely won’t ever look great. With the climate data presented, there are heaps of cool palms to try to zone push a bit that might do really well. Many Dypsis, possibly some Cuban species, New Caledonians for sure if you keep the water up in Summer, etc. 

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Patterson Lakes, bayside Melbourne, Australia

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2005 Minimum: 2.6C,  Maximum: 44C

2005 Average: 17.2C, warmest on record.

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For a long time, in this and many other forums, the possibility of growing coconut in a given area has been periodically discussed. Coconut is perhaps the most readily available tropical palm, both as a plant and as a seed (at the supermarket), so why not try it? Then the results can be discussed. In the maps of Europe, zones 10b abound, if they are intended as USDA zones 10b, then just look at what grows in zones 10b of the USA. Miami (Florida) is rated 10b, so all palm trees (and plants) that thrive in Miami should similarly grow in the Mediterranean Europe. Unfortunately this is not the case, absolutely, I have been to Florida several times, but it is not necessary to have been there, just having seen a movie set in South Florida or looking online for photos of the Fairchild Tropical Garden to realize it. The reality is that in Mediterranean Europe there is no zone 10b, nor even 10a, except in particular microclimatic situations. The reason, as has been repeatedly said by many, is that although there are not particularly cold temperatures, the long period with average low temperatures prevents the cultivation of many plants that vegetate without problems, for example, in the 10b areas of Florida.

Konstantinos,
for almost 50 years (I am very old :D) I try and (kill) palms and tropical plants, limited to palms I have certainly tried more than 600 different species (not synonyms), many failures, but some happy surprises, in the list that follows some for example, the species above the double line, tested repeatedly, are those that died already at the beginning of winter, the 10a (9b upper limit), die in the coldest winters in the open position, but survive with some damage in a sheltered position, for all the others no problem.

Cocos nucifera 10b

Licuala grandis 10b

Pritchardia pacifica 10b

Syagrus amara 10b

Adonidia merrillii 10a upper limit

Livistona rotundifolia 10a

===================================

Areca triandra 10a (9b upper limit

Dictyosperma album 10a (9b upper limit)

Hyophorbe lagenicaulis 10a (9b upper limit)

Roystonea regia 9b upper limit

Licuala ramsayi 9b upper limit

Phoenix paludosa 9b upper limit

Dypsis pembana 9b upper limit

Wodyetia bifurcata 9b upper limit

Arenga pinnata 9b

Bismarckia nobilis 9b

Chambeyronia macrocarpa 9b

Dypsis decaryi 9b

Jubaeopsis caffra 9b

Kentiopsis oliviformis 9b

Sabal mauritiiformis 9b

Phoenix roebelenii 9b

Pritchardia hardyi 9b

Syagrus sancona 9b

Syagrus schizophylla 9b

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Pietro Puccio

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13 hours ago, pietropuccio said:


For a long time, in this and many other forums, the possibility of growing coconut in a given area has been periodically discussed. Coconut is perhaps the most readily available tropical palm, both as a plant and as a seed (at the supermarket), so why not try it? Then the results can be discussed. In the maps of Europe, zones 10b abound, if they are intended as USDA zones 10b, then just look at what grows in zones 10b of the USA. Miami (Florida) is rated 10b, so all palm trees (and plants) that thrive in Miami should similarly grow in the Mediterranean Europe. Unfortunately this is not the case, absolutely, I have been to Florida several times, but it is not necessary to have been there, just having seen a movie set in South Florida or looking online for photos of the Fairchild Tropical Garden to realize it. The reality is that in Mediterranean Europe there is no zone 10b, nor even 10a, except in particular microclimatic situations. The reason, as has been repeatedly said by many, is that although there are not particularly cold temperatures, the long period with average low temperatures prevents the cultivation of many plants that vegetate without problems, for example, in the 10b areas of Florida.

Konstantinos,
for almost 50 years (I am very old :D) I try and (kill) palms and tropical plants, limited to palms I have certainly tried more than 600 different species (not synonyms), many failures, but some happy surprises, in the list that follows some for example, the species above the double line, tested repeatedly, are those that died already at the beginning of winter, the 10a (9b upper limit), die in the coldest winters in the open position, but survive with some damage in a sheltered position, for all the others no problem.

Cocos nucifera 10b

Licuala grandis 10b

Pritchardia pacifica 10b

Syagrus amara 10b

Adonidia merrillii 10a upper limit

Livistona rotundifolia 10a

===================================

Areca triandra 10a (9b upper limit

Dictyosperma album 10a (9b upper limit)

Hyophorbe lagenicaulis 10a (9b upper limit)

Roystonea regia 9b upper limit

Licuala ramsayi 9b upper limit

Phoenix paludosa 9b upper limit

Dypsis pembana 9b upper limit

Wodyetia bifurcata 9b upper limit

Arenga pinnata 9b

Bismarckia nobilis 9b

Chambeyronia macrocarpa 9b

Dypsis decaryi 9b

Jubaeopsis caffra 9b

Kentiopsis oliviformis 9b

Sabal mauritiiformis 9b

Phoenix roebelenii 9b

Pritchardia hardyi 9b

Syagrus sancona 9b

Syagrus schizophylla 9b

Very unusual classification even for the standards of SoCAn growers. Unless European and US growers are isolated in separated discussion boards, it can lead to great confusion.As you see the list of suitable for z9 spp is very limited, much more than the potential for Attica's southern coast. No Kentia, no Archontophoenix, no Chambeyronia, not even Phoenix roebelenii, which actually grows easily and readily in pots outdoors in coffee shops and bars along the whole coast up to Varkiza.

20211220_135807.thumb.jpg.6aa01650dad9da408909785c8e824f54.jpg

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Hi, this is an old largely incomplete list before splitting into a and b, in practice it mainly refers (and perhaps cautiously) to zone 9a palms, except for the Kerriodoxa which is 10a (9b upper limit).

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Regards,

Pietro Puccio

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On 12/19/2021 at 11:45 PM, tim_brissy_13 said:

With winter max temps around low 60sF/16C I wouldn’t bother with Cocos. Absolute best case you might get it to survive for a while with added protection but it likely won’t ever look great. With the climate data presented, there are heaps of cool palms to try to zone push a bit that might do really well. Many Dypsis, possibly some Cuban species, New Caledonians for sure if you keep the water up in Summer, etc. 

Exactly that is what I am talking about! You could try a whole bunch of other species. There already are a few best practice examples, what you can grow in Athens. Despite of that Roystonea and a couple of Archontophoenix, there are a few reported papaya- and mango-trees. The Dragon Fruit is sort of the latest fashion in Greece. According to a greek facebook group, where people show their own grown tropical fruits, this fruit is grown all around the frostless parts of greece, including Athens.

 

On 12/19/2021 at 2:12 PM, bubba said:

I can remember a thread by Janni regarding his travels to Rhodes. I was highly surprised by the large number of tropical specimens together with their excellent condition. This included large Ficus, mangoes, papaya and numerous other tropical specimens. The palms were less impressive, primarily Phoenix, but I believe he even commented that this related out of lack of palm enthusiasts and supply.

I've been to many places in greece and I always find surprising species that grow there. Even there, where my family lives, in the cold parts of north greece (around Kozani and around Edessa for those who know), I find unexpected plants.

Recently I'm reading more and more often in greek fb-groups of people willing to try tropicals. In most cases it just turns out, that they can grow whatever they want, if they live in the frostless parts of Greece. Even there, where temperatures drop every year for a few nights slightly below freezing, you find nice subtropical plants, like huge fruiting bananas, plumerias, etc. In Crete there is a nursery-guy who claims to have grown the first Jack-Fruit in Europe. The only thing I didn't see from his pictures is, if the tree grows all year round under canopy or if it is only during the colder months. One thing that is certain is that it grows completely without additional heating.

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25 minutes ago, Janni said:

... In Crete there is a nursery-guy who claims to have grown the first Jack-Fruit in Europe. The only thing I didn't see from his pictures is, if the tree grows all year round under canopy or if it is only during the colder months. One thing that is certain is that it grows completely without additional heating....

Just to be correct: I found a short video of that guy in that very moment. The jack-fruit tree is growing completely inside a greenhouse. Although it is unheated, you have optimal conditions inside that greenhouse. Maybe the Jack-Fruit wouldn't survive outside.

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one more word to the USDA Zones: I do not believe these Zones are suitable for the European Climate. Neither in the Mediterranean area, nor in central Europe, where I live. We have completely different weather patterns, wind directions and variabilities in our seasons. The area where I live is considered to be 7b/8a - in most winters it's 8a. But I could never grow a Washingtonia without heavy winter protection and additional heating. The reason for that is the prolonged cool/cold weather conditions with highs and lows at the freezing point.

On the other hand, I haven't found any other climate classification table yet, that is so easy to use, like the USDA-Zones... 

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Think Newport Beach and find some extra high temperatures! Your minimum low/high temperatures (above 50F) are significant because Cocos nucifera stops photosynthesis at temperatures under 50° F. I believe you have a good shot if you can find a micro climate that maintains a bit higher high winter temperatures.

What you look for is what is looking

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Ok, 

3 hours ago, Janni said:

Just to be correct: I found a short video of that guy in that very moment. The jack-fruit tree is growing completely inside a greenhouse. Although it is unheated, you have optimal conditions inside that greenhouse. Maybe the Jack-Fruit wouldn't survive outside.

I have seen in f/b people in Cyprus harvesting jackfruit. I have seen also a guy in Malta growing successfully coconuts in pots on his terrace. I have seen also Maurice cultivating a very promising juvenile coconut in his garden in Rhodes.  

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5 hours ago, Janni said:

one more word to the USDA Zones: I do not believe these Zones are suitable for the European Climate. Neither in the Mediterranean area, nor in central Europe, where I live. We have completely different weather patterns, wind directions and variabilities in our seasons. The area where I live is considered to be 7b/8a - in most winters it's 8a. But I could never grow a Washingtonia without heavy winter protection and additional heating. The reason for that is the prolonged cool/cold weather conditions with highs and lows at the freezing point.

On the other hand, I haven't found any other climate classification table yet, that is so easy to use, like the USDA-Zones... 

Sunset zones, but there should be  various plants, that have been used already as canaries. Surely the every 50 or 100 years total reset does not help to this direction and the general lack of interest in tropical plants culture as well. I can name a few reasons for that lack...

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6 hours ago, bubba said:

Think Newport Beach and find some extra high temperatures! Your minimum low/high temperatures (above 50F) are significant because Cocos nucifera stops photosynthesis at temperatures under 50° F. I believe you have a good shot if you can find a micro climate that maintains a bit higher high winter temperatures.

The highest mean min Jan T in Greece is currently in Kasos with around 12C. That's the best Greece (and geographical Europe for that matter) can do. Maybe a well sheltered area in Kasos, provided there is frequent watering since the climate in Kasos is semi-arid, could do the trick when it comes to cocos.

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10 hours ago, Janni said:

 In Crete there is a nursery-guy who claims to have grown the first Jack-Fruit in Europe. The only thing I didn't see from his pictures is, if the tree grows all year round under canopy or if it is only during the colder months. One thing that is certain is that it grows completely without additional heating.

Never say you are the first or the only one, you immediately discover that you are the last of a long series :D. Jackfruit is grown outdoors by enthusiasts in the far south of Italy and coastal Sicily. Artocarpus heterophyllus is to be considered 9b upper limit, for other information:

https://www.monaconatureencyclopedia.com/artocarpus-heterophyllus/?lang=en

 

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Pietro Puccio

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35 minutes ago, pietropuccio said:

Never say you are the first or the only one, you immediately discover that you are the last of a long series :D. Jackfruit is grown outdoors by enthusiasts in the far south of Italy and coastal Sicily. Artocarpus heterophyllus is to be considered 9b upper limit, for other information:

https://www.monaconatureencyclopedia.com/artocarpus-heterophyllus/?lang=en

 

Frateli Franz?

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 12/17/2021 at 12:35 AM, Manos33 said:

Below you can find the most recent met data from Nea Smyrni which is the warmest met station in Athens according to the data from the National Observatory of Athens.

558117518_Screenshot2021-12-17at12_17_41AM.thumb.png.5b3651273cd932a4a2026b31f1c5dddc.png

I chose this station in order to explore the extreme boundaries of what can actually grow in south Athens! The absolute minimum temperature in the Nea Smyrni NOA station is -0.4C and the average of absolute minimum temperatures is +2.0C which makes the area a 10b zone if my calculations are correct!

An interesting observation for Nea Smyrni, while examining the USDA Hardiness Zones as adjusted for Greece according to Gouvas (2012), it appears that Nea Smyrni has an average of +2.3C according to the Gouvas(2012) formula which again confirms that South Athens falls clearly in the 10b zone.

Below is the USDA formula adjusted for Greece:

PH = 1,16*{ [Tmn(Jan) + Tmn(Feb) + Tmn(Mar) + Tmn(Dec)] /4 } - 2,6

http://hardiness.inforest.gr/intro.html

Edited by Manos33
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10 hours ago, Manos33 said:

An interesting observation for Nea Smyrni, while examining the USDA Hardiness Zones as adjusted for Greece according to Gouvas (2012), it appears that Nea Smyrni has an average of +2.3C according to the Gouvas(2012) formula which again confirms that South Athens falls clearly in the 10b zone.

Below is the USDA formula adjusted for Greece:

PH = 1,16*{ [Tmn(Jan) + Tmn(Feb) + Tmn(Mar) + Tmn(Dec)] /4 } - 2,6

http://hardiness.inforest.gr/intro.html

I fear that delimitation of A and B subzones in each  zone in this system is rather incomprehensible.  In the USDA classification system subzones are defined pretty clearly, 1.7 C is the lower threshold for 10B zone, period! In the Greek version I have come across areas with an aver. abs. min of 2 C  or even above and yet they are included in to 10A zone.  Also my garden has been defined to have an aver. abs. min. of 0.0 C and classified in to 10A zone, while the garden of a friend in Glyfada (a few meters above the Vouliagmenis avn) has been defined to have an aver. abs. min. of -0.2 C (also 10A). Yet the Glyfada garden is consistently considerably warmer than my own one and it reflects also on the growth speed of the cultivated palms.

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It is very hard to make inter-continental comparisons but at face value the climate that @Manos33 describes for the Athens Riviera in a very interesting analysis, is not too different in broad classification, at least, to the areas close to the coast of southern and westerrn Portugal in terms of temperature at least - albeit one major difference is the Atlantic influences in the SW med regions.. These coastal fringes of Portugal and into southern spain are officially classified into zone 10 and extend about 50kms inland (very roughly approx) I am situated on the cusp of 9/10 and have extended some of my palm collection to  include a selection of these within the category @Phoenikakias has provided

On 12/20/2021 at 12:35 PM, Phoenikakias said:

 

Wodyetia bifurcata 9b upper limit

Bismarckia nobilis 9b

Chambeyronia macrocarpa 9b

Kentiopsis oliviformis 9b

Phoenix roebelenii 9b

Syagrus schizophylla 9b

I have other 'less cold hardy' palms such as Latania lontaroides  regular Queens,  Chamaedorea seifrizii and both Archontophoenix  Alexandrae and Cunninghamiana 

Collecting palms such as many of those listed also appeals to me as they appear relatively less prone to red palm weevil, (if Phoenix species and maybe Bismarckia are excluded in this respect) Many of the cold hardy palms that came with me to Portugal are at least risk from occasional cold spells but at far more risk to RPW.

This is a climate analysis, but it can be argued that the weevil is a bigger threat to palm selection that any climate pushing with many of the palms listed circa zone 9/10 - and that looks to be very much the case for the Athens Riviera.

Though I am new to where I live and only have the experience of a full summer and part of this winter to go off, I still personally feel more confident managing the welfare of my own palms from a climate/weather point of view to accommodate occasional cold snaps (which do happen) than threat from devastating pests like the palm weevil and i would guess, notwithstanding some of the differences and differing climatic influences, that such a sentiment could apply within the Athens Riviera.as in most other parts of the Mediterranean that are outside of any zone 9/10 and are more prone to Zone 8/9 colder conditions in winter   Consideration of rarity of freezing minima in winter also means that the weevil cycle is better sustained into the next growing season based on winter, as such, being so short.

Attempting to grow Coconuts has the double whammy of lack of true tropical conditions but also it is highly susceptible like the Phoenix palms and others to the weevil.. Madeira and the Azores islands off mainland Portugal might be another matter.

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10 minutes ago, petiole10 said:

Latania lontaroides  regular Queens,

??

Regards,

Pietro Puccio

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4 minutes ago, pietropuccio said:

??

Can you elaborate?  This really doesn't help much at all.

  

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What do you mean by this name, a variety? But I am not aware that it exists. Do you have a picture?

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Pietro Puccio

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