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Trying Sabal Minor in the Four Corners region


Southwesternsol

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Over the last couple years I've been setting up my yard with native plants. Various cactus, desert shrubs, yuccas etc. I quite like palms though, and obviously there are no shrubby palms native to the southwest. So it seems the next best thing is Sabal Minor. Here's hoping it will survive.

 

image.thumb.jpeg.733022b1bd09c537dc52c7aa1b8606cd.jpeg

Ignore my half finished path way...

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20 hours ago, Southwesternsol said:

Over the last couple years I've been setting up my yard with native plants. Various cactus, desert shrubs, yuccas etc. I quite like palms though, and obviously there are no shrubby palms native to the southwest. So it seems the next best thing is Sabal Minor. Here's hoping it will survive.

 

image.thumb.jpeg.733022b1bd09c537dc52c7aa1b8606cd.jpeg

Ignore my half finished path way...

It should do well there! It manages a zone 7b there!

Lucas

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2 hours ago, Little Tex said:

It should do well there! It manages a zone 7b there!

7A where I'm at. I don't think the overall temperatures we get will be a problem, but we get regular cold nights in the teens from December into February. Though the days average about 45.

48 minutes ago, westfork said:

water  water  water

For sure, I've even messed up native shrubs watering inadequately. Will make sure to keep on top of this one.

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3 hours ago, Southwesternsol said:

 

For sure, I've even messed up native shrubs watering inadequately. Will make sure to keep on top of this one.

We are out on the Great Plains, far less arid than you, and I find myself letting things dry out too easily.  And plants that require "good drainage, full sun, and low moisture" in the eastern Midwest and South need more pampering out here.  At least the range of Sabal minor extends to central Texas so it should be able to adapt to the lower humidity.  But a good thing is we can grow agaves and western yuccas which is difficult to do in the humidity farther east.

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Good luck with the minor, you should be ok depending on your elevation, I’ve seen a few Washingtonia filifera around Lake Powell, I suppose you’re probably a little higher up than that. 

Corpus Christi, TX, near salt water, zone 9b/10a! Except when it isn't and everything gets nuked.

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On 4/29/2023 at 6:58 PM, Southwesternsol said:

Over the last couple years I've been setting up my yard with native plants. Various cactus, desert shrubs, yuccas etc. I quite like palms though, and obviously there are no shrubby palms native to the southwest. So it seems the next best thing is Sabal Minor. Here's hoping it will survive.

 

image.thumb.jpeg.733022b1bd09c537dc52c7aa1b8606cd.jpeg

Ignore my half finished path way...

Have you considered a Nannorhops  ritchiana? Hope I spelled it right. They are native to desert regions , clumping and cold tolerant . Bonus, some varieties are silver to blue. 

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12 hours ago, N8ALLRIGHT said:

Have you considered a Nannorhops  ritchiana? Hope I spelled it right. They are native to desert regions , clumping and cold tolerant . Bonus, some varieties are silver to blue. 

I've considered, but they're pretty hard to get ahold of. I'm also a little wary about introducing a potentially invasive species. I'd have to have some reassurance that Nannorrhops isn't or couldn't be invasive in the west. Sabal should pose no risk here in that regard.

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13 hours ago, Xerarch said:

Good luck with the minor, you should be ok depending on your elevation, I’ve seen a few Washingtonia filifera around Lake Powell, I suppose you’re probably a little higher up than that. 

Yeah, I'm higher elevation. Lake Powell is pretty warm for it's elevation, I think it's like a zone 8 or 9.  There's a lot of elevation on the Colorado Plateau, average is about 4-6 thousand but as low as 2 thousand and as high 12 thousand feet. So there's a lot of variance in what you can grow here.

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1 hour ago, Southwesternsol said:

I'm also a little wary about introducing a potentially invasive species. I'd have to have some reassurance that Nannorrhops isn't or couldn't be invasive in the west.

Nannorrhops stand no chance naturalizing in 7a. They will need protection 

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Lucas

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I was able to direct seed sabal minor in my courtyard in Rio Rancho NM.  They would eventually die after a season or two.  I blame my lack of watering skills.

As far as I can tell, they do not like to dry out at all as seedlings. 

Good luck. 

They are around these parts and were the only palm with green leaves intact after 2011 and it's below zero weather.

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38 minutes ago, jwitt said:

As far as I can tell, they do not like to dry out at all as seedlings. 

Yeah, that's definitely one of the main problems with Sabal out here. However we did have one of the coldest wettest winters as far back I can remember, so there's pretty good soil moisture right now on top of my watering. 

 

41 minutes ago, jwitt said:

They are around these parts and were the only palm with green leaves intact after 2011 and it's below zero weather.

That's good to hear

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  • 1 month later...

Got my mom a Sabal to try out. Will be interesting to see if there is any difference in hardiness since she's on top of a hill and has a more protected location. Usually would be quite late for planting, but it's been an unusually cool and wet spring/summer.

Also USPS took forever to ship and beat the hell out of the package, so it's a little rough looking but doing better now that it's in the ground.

IMG_20230603_125049276_HDR.jpg

Edited by Southwesternsol
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  • 4 weeks later...

Just a small update. Sabal has so far done quite well with our dry and sunny weather. No signs of distress, or struggle even though sometimes I only water a couple times a week. However, as mentioned it's been quite cool this year. We're finally getting up into the high 90s, so we'll see how well it does once the heat kicks in. 

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  • 2 months later...

Good luck! Yeah, I'd worry about Mazari palms becoming invasive too. On the other hand, I've struggled to find a clear connection between the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Madre Oriental no matter how hard I've tried, so it may just be that they're two separate mountain ranges and not an obstacle to subtropical plant species; indeed, there are numerous Sabal species native both east of the Madre Oriental and west of it.

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I'm just a neurodivergent Middle Tennessean guy that's obsessively interested in native plants (especially evergreen trees/shrubs) from spruces to palms.

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Hi 4-Corners.... Im just over in Central Utah and I think a Minor will do great in your area.   I recently went to BLuff UT...and I was surprised at how much warmer the climate in Bluff is compared

Blanding which is just 20 miles to the North.    Here in my area I have a sabal minor that is on its 3rd year in the ground.  I even flowered this summer.    For winter protection I do intertwine some heat tape through the middle of the plant and during severe cold snaps i do cover it with bubblewrap.

 

I also have 2 washingtonias in the ground, and a  9 foot tall trachycarpus.   I use similar protection for all during the winter.

If you have any questions shoot me a message.

Good luck!

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1 hour ago, Gator said:

Hi 4-Corners.... Im just over in Central Utah and I think a Minor will do great in your area.   I recently went to BLuff UT...and I was surprised at how much warmer the climate in Bluff is compared

Blanding which is just 20 miles to the North.    Here in my area I have a sabal minor that is on its 3rd year in the ground.  I even flowered this summer.    For winter protection I do intertwine some heat tape through the middle of the plant and during severe cold snaps i do cover it with bubblewrap.

 

I also have 2 washingtonias in the ground, and a  9 foot tall trachycarpus.   I use similar protection for all during the winter.

If you have any questions shoot me a message.

Good luck!

Yeah, there's a lot of range around here leading to a lot of microclimates and zones depending on which city you're in. But I think all the desert cities in the area such as Bluff, Farmington, Blanding, Cortez, and Shiprock are worth trying Sabals in. Or even a needle palm, but I think Sabal looks better with native plants here. 

Overall, I don't think the temperatures we get alone will be a problem for Sabal Minor, but due to the elevation and aridity the nights and early mornings are consistently pretty brisk. So we'll if that's a problem for Sabal.

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31 minutes ago, Southwesternsol said:

Overall, I don't think the temperatures we get alone will be a problem for Sabal Minor, but due to the elevation and aridity the nights and early mornings are consistently pretty brisk. So we'll if that's a problem for Sabal.

Use of  a larger rock dampens this concern on both aridity(mulch) and temperature (mass) in borderline climates/zones. 

This technique has been used for centuries in these parts.  Probably thousands of years. 

I believe it is a major factor allowing me to successfully grow filifera from seed(in place) in my 7b climate.

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9 hours ago, L.A.M. said:

Good luck! Yeah, I'd worry about Mazari palms becoming invasive too. On the other hand, I've struggled to find a clear connection between the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Madre Oriental no matter how hard I've tried, so it may just be that they're two separate mountain ranges and not an obstacle to subtropical plant species; indeed, there are numerous Sabal species native both east of the Madre Oriental and west of it.

Because of the Chihuahuan Desert, Rockies are more connected w/ the Sierra Madre Occidental ( S. M. Occ. )  than the S. M. Orie.  Obviously, there have been some plant exchange between the Rockies and S.M. Orie.,  but, when you look at the majority of flora in both the Rockies, S.M. Occ  and S.M.Orie. there has been much more exchange of plant genera between the first two, rather than the more distant Sierra Madre Oriental, which terminates ..For the most part,  in Coahula and Nuevo Leon, just south of the Rio Grande in TX.  It has influenced plant diversity in the eastern U.S. more than in the west..

One can extend the reach of plant life that originated in the Sierra Madre to both the Great Basin ( and associated Deserts in the region ), and as far wast as both S. Cal ( possibly further north ), and part of the Sierra Nevada ( say roughly south of Lake Tahoe ).. 

At the opposite end of the spectrum,  the Rockies ( ..and Sierra Nevada / Mountains north of there in the Pac. N.W.  ) helped extend the reach of plants from the Neararctic into the mid latitudes. ( You can find a few plant genera you'd be more likely to encounter in the N. Rockies, mixed in with more tropical-in-origin stuff in the Mountains of Northern and Central Chihuahua / Sonora, and Far northern Durango )

Mex. Plateau has, for the most part, limited plant exchange / migration between the two mountain ranges in Mexico ..at least to this point.  In a warmer world, that may change, as i'm sure it has fluctuated the past.

As fa as Sabal sps are concerned, only one sp west of the Chihuahuan Desert, S. uresana,  ...Noth of Sinaloa at least.   S. mexicana ..and pumos...  do occupy territory along the western / Southwestern side of Mexico though. Much warmer down there, so it would be easier for seedlings that originated from plants on the eastern side of the country to spread west toward the Pacific side, and then north up the coast, until they reach a boundary created by either heat / cold, or drought. Only those Sabal sps ..or other plants.. that can tolerate 1,  ..or all three..  of those limiting factors would be able to cross ..and evolve to continue moving north..  beyond said barrier(s). 

Mountain islands, like the " Sky Islands " here in AZ and N.M. ( I personally include the mountain ranges in S. Cal in the Sky Island definition also ) can help things hop scotch across the flatter, less hospitable areas between the Sierra Madre Occidental and the Rockies / Sierra Nevada but, overall climate, as you move north, will add more limiting pressure to how well something subtropical can survive as it tries to migrate further and further north.

Reverse is true for Neararctic sps / genera that moved south during the last Ice Age ...You'll find that stuff confined to ideal microclimate areas in middle and high elevations here in AZ / neighboring N.M., and N.W. Mexico only.
 

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21 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

At the opposite end of the spectrum,  the Rockies ( ..and Sierra Nevada / Mountains north of there in the Pac. N.W.  ) helped extend the reach of plants from the Neararctic into the mid latitudes. ( You can find a few plant genera you'd be more likely to encounter in the N. Rockies, mixed in with more tropical-in-origin stuff in the Mountains of Northern and Central Chihuahua / Sonora, and Far northern Durango )
 

An interesting example is the quaking aspen, which is found from Alaska all the way down through Mexico

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Those aspens thrive 3 miles east of this picture @9000', but here at 5200' they die within ~5 years.  This one is dying 3 years in....

Just happened to be sitting in front of one, which are attempted here, but never succeed. 

20230908133012.jpg

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31 minutes ago, jwitt said:

Those aspens thrive 3 miles east of this picture @9000', but here at 5200' they die within ~5 years.  This one is dying 3 years in....

Just happened to be sitting in front of one, which are attempted here, but never succeed. 

20230908133012.jpg

They seem to barely manage here. But often they look kinda scraggly and crispy. I've mentioned a time or two before, but I really don't understand why they're planted down here. I don't hate em, but I'd rather see Junipers, Cypress', Mesquites, Desert Willows, Joshua Trees or any other of the wonderful trees we have in the desert southwest.

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43 minutes ago, Southwesternsol said:

An interesting example is the quaking aspen, which is found from Alaska all the way down through Mexico

Aspen is a great example.. 

A couple years ago, some researchers re- exploring an area of the Rincons that hadn't been surveyed in ...decades.. found some really unique plant sps more associated w/ the N. Rockies in a couple areas. Many were thought to have been extirpated from the area. They also found -at least- one Orchid species more associated w the southern half of the Sierra Madre Occidental.

https://tucson.com/news/local/lost-plants-found-in-tucsons-saguaro-national-park/article_62dac9a8-daeb-11ec-899d-2776d5e08613.html


On my first exploration of Madera Canyon last year, i found Richardson's Geranium growing in the area i was hiking through. Is another " near Arctic " species more associated with higher latitudes than closer to the Tropics yet, it too grows all the way to Central America..

Just south of the AZ. / Mex. Border, it likely can be found growing alongside ..at least.. one sp of Begonia whose range extends to a " Sky Island "  just 25 miles south of Naco.



..A big reason S. AZ is my favorite area of the state to explore.  You could easily stumble uponon a hillside at say 3-5K ft near the border where near arctic stuff like the Geranium mentioned, is growing alongside the Begonia ( B. gracilis ),  ..or maybe an un-documented observation of Dahlia sherffii  ..and/ or some wildly exotic looking bulbs like Tigridia pavonia,  Milla biflora, and/ or Nemastylis tenuis.   Some really wild looking ..and summer growing / flowering " Mexican " Calochortus ( Mariposa Lily ) sps grow  fairly close to the AZ / Mex. border as well..


Scenery is hard to beat either, esp. this time of year ( ...When it rains, lol.. )

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21 minutes ago, Southwesternsol said:

They seem to barely manage here. But often they look kinda scraggly and crispy. I've mentioned a time or two before, but I really don't understand why they're planted down here. I don't hate em, but I'd rather see Junipers, Cypress', Mesquites, Desert Willows, Joshua Trees or any other of the wonderful trees we have in the desert southwest.

If you ever want seed of Desert Willow, Little Leaf Palo Verde, ..and / or  pure-sourced Honey, Velvet, or Screwbean Mesquite to trial up your way, feel free to let me know..

While it typically stays kind of small and bushy ( though it can be trained more formally ) Desert Hackberry is another great ..and tough small " Desert " tree.. While you'd have to collect a lot to get anything meaningful from them, fruit are supposedly edible too.

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5 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

If you ever want seed of Desert Willow, Little Leaf Palo Verde, ..and / or  pure-sourced Honey, Velvet, or Screwbean Mesquite to trial up your way, feel free to let me know..

While it typically stays kind of small and bushy ( though it can be trained more formally ) Desert Hackberry is another great ..and tough small " Desert " tree.. While you'd have to collect a lot to get anything meaningful from them, fruit are supposedly edible too.

I grew some Desert Willow from seed once, but I messed something up and they died in the pots. Someday I'll try again. I've been curious about Palo Verde, sources say they're a Z8+ tree, but I wonder if anyone has even bothered to try them in a colder area. 

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1 minute ago, Southwesternsol said:

I grew some Desert Willow from seed once, but I messed something up and they died in the pots. Someday I'll try again. I've been curious about Palo Verde, sources say they're a Z8+ tree, but I wonder if anyone has even bothered to try them in a colder area. 

Oh i've had my wits tested trying to grow Desert Willow, lol... Got the last batch past their first winter, only to have them croak soon after.. Was growing them in grit too. 
 

That's a good question.. Blue and " Palo Brea / P.  Praecox " might be too frost sensitive,  but " Desert Museum ",  and esp. Little Leaf / Foothill P.V. might be tougher..  I see Foothill P.V.s in areas here where it occasionally snows and/ or can get pretty cold at times in the winter.  I also see them growing out of solid rock on steeper slopes ..where you'd assume they would never be able to access moisture. 

Parkinsonia aculeata  is fairly tough as well, ( supposedly grows in Dallas < iNat. Observations >  ) though it is quite messy and an aggressive pioneer on disturbed sites.

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7 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Oh i've had my wits tested trying to grow Desert Willow, lol... Got the last batch past their first winter, only to have them croak soon after.. Was growing them in grit too. 
 

That's a good question.. Blue and " Palo Brea / P.  Praecox " might be too frost sensitive,  but " Desert Museum ",  and esp. Little Leaf / Foothill P.V. might be tougher..  I see Foothill P.V.s in areas here where it occasionally snows and/ or can get pretty cold at times in the winter.  I also see them growing out of solid rock on steeper slopes ..where you'd assume they would never be able to access moisture. 

Parkinsonia aculeata  is fairly tough as well, ( supposedly grows in Dallas < iNat. Observations >  ) though it is quite messy and an aggressive pioneer on disturbed sites.

Yeah, looking at iNat Aculeata grows in southern Nevada, southern NM, and central/north east Texas making it a good candidate.

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4 hours ago, Southwesternsol said:

I grew some Desert Willow from seed once, but I messed something up and they died in the pots. Someday I'll try again. I've been curious about Palo Verde, sources say they're a Z8+ tree, but I wonder if anyone has even bothered to try them in a colder area. 

I would direct sow the seeds in place(not pots). Water once and forget. They will come up in spring and the incredible tap root will drill down. You damage that tap root and they die.  They don't handle pots well and the ones seen for sale in pots I believe are from cuttings.  

They all(pink, lavender, burgundy , white)survived -10f here in 2011.  I personally know of pink ones that survived -17f in 1971. 

White is native here.  Pink and lavender have naturalized here, although pink is native ~30 miles south. 

Happy to gather seeds from my street, pink, lavender, white, possibly burgundy(nearly seedless).  Just pm me. 

They grow in sand, light(smaller) gravel. 

Edited by jwitt
Soul
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55 minutes ago, jwitt said:

I would direct sow the seeds in place(not pots). Water once and forget. They will come up in spring and the incredible tap root will drill down. You damage that tap root and they die.  They don't handle pots well and the ones seen for sale in pots I believe are from cuttings.  

They all(pink, lavender, burgundy , white)survived -10f here in 2011.  I personally know of pink ones that survived -17f in 1971. 

White is native here.  Pink and lavender have naturalized here, although pink is native ~30 miles south. 

Happy to gather seeds from my street, pink, lavender, white, possibly burgundy(nearly seedless).  Just pm me. 

They grow in sand, light(smaller) gravel. 

I think part of the problem is my mother's greenhouse that I was using has poor lighting for stuff that needs a lot of sun, which is basically everything native to the desert southwest. They got kind of etiolated and weak. Once I have a better growing setup and am looking to expand my yard I'll try again. ABQ sourced seeds would be ideal

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1 hour ago, jwitt said:

I would direct sow the seeds in place(not pots). Water once and forget. They will come up in spring and the incredible tap root will drill down. You damage that tap root and they die.  They don't handle pots well and the ones seen for sale in pots I believe are from cuttings.  

They all(pink, lavender, burgundy , white)survived -10f here in 2011.  I personally know of pink ones that survived -17f in 1971. 

White is native here.  Pink and lavender have naturalized here, although pink is native ~30 miles south. 

Happy to gather seeds from my street, pink, lavender, white, possibly burgundy(nearly seedless).  Just pm me. 

They grow in sand, light(smaller) gravel. 

Not all.. I know of 3 nurseries in Tucson that start a majority of their stock from seed and then step up into 5 or 15gals when ready. 

As far as the various colors,  all are naturally occurring color forms found within the two sub sps. that occur in the Southwest U.S. ( Chilopsis linearis,  and  C. l. var. arcuata

There's a 3rd subspecies, C. l. var. tomenticaulis,  but it apparently only occurs in a localized area in the mountains southwest of Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas. Could be in cultivation / involved in any cultivar- created crosses though.

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23 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Not all.. I know of 3 nurseries in Tucson that start a majority of their stock from seed and then step up into 5 or 15gals when ready. 

As far as the various colors,  all are naturally occurring color forms found within the two sub sps. that occur in the Southwest U.S. ( Chilopsis linearis,  and  C. l. var. arcuata

There's a 3rd subspecies, C. l. var. tomenticaulis,  but it apparently only occurs in a localized area in the mountains southwest of Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas. Could be in cultivation / involved in any cultivar- created crosses though.

 

I should have been more clear.  I was speaking to the ones that grow in my mile high elevation.   Maybe, most likely resembling the four corners region. 

 That said, I have a hunch this plant is (over)used more here, than any other city or area in the US.  

The cultivars sold here are mostly from cuttings as they are cultivars developed that are seedless, or nearly so.  

 

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5 minutes ago, jwitt said:

 

I should have been more clear.  I was speaking to the ones that grow in my mile high elevation.   Maybe, most likely resembling the four corners region. 

 That said, I have a hunch this plant is (over)used more here, than any other city or area in the US.  

The cultivars sold here are mostly from cuttings as they are cultivars developed that are seedless, or nearly so.  

 



More " sort of "  seedless for sure. ...Like the the " supposedly seedless " Mesquites ( not at all, lol, ) " Seedless " Desert Willow cultivars are grown everywhere here and produce quite a bit more seed than assumed by  hyped advertisement by X grower. 

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35 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Seedless " Desert Willow cultivars are grown everywhere here

Comparing desert willows in PHX vs ABQ  is like comparing washies between the two. 

Huge difference.

ABQ wins the desert willow category.  And yes, some are very near(if not completely) seedless. Here.  Actually developed, or improved upon, to grow in this climate, out of NMSU/USDA research in Los Lunas.

Not Monrovia or such.

As far as colors, not not all are "naturally" occuring, including throat color. 

But at the end of the day, I think the OP would be best suited to grow by direct seeding vs. pot in their climate for this species.  My opinion. 

And I can point to specimens growing in zone 5 locally.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by jwitt
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41 minutes ago, jwitt said:

Comparing desert willows in PHX vs ABQ  is like comparing washies between the two. 

Huge difference.

ABQ wins the desert willow category.  And yes, some are very near(if not completely) seedless. Here.  Actually developed, or improved upon, to grow in this climate, out of NMSU/USDA research in Los Lunas.

Not Monrovia or such.

As far as colors, not not all are "naturally" occuring, including throat color. 

But at the end of the day, I think the OP would be best suited to grow by direct seeding vs. pot in their climate for this species.  My opinion. 

And I can point to specimens growing in zone 5 locally.

 

 

 

 

 

Monrovia? ..Yuck, lol..



You might have missed this:

 


Not sure ABQ, " wins " anything ..  Everyone does..





 

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12 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Monrovia? ..Yuck, lol..



You might have missed this:

 


Not sure ABQ, " wins " anything ..  Everyone does..





 

Nice post. Kind of weird everybody is for the most part unsuccessful growing these in pots, from seed. 

I'd refer back to my original post to the OP and recommendations for growing from seed, especially the second sentence, as you personally reported death from this plant due to this. 

A little thing about the "Hope" variety and it's yellow throat. , it is named for Hope,NM,  There is a pure white form that is native to the north side of the Albuquerque metro, and somewhat rare.   That is the only "native" one here in my locale, although others have naturalized.

Also weird is a poster in your link also claims seedless varieties exist, which you dismiss....

And having lived in both ABQ and PHX and being in both cities yearly for over 45 years, there is a difference concerning this plant, everything from size, quantity, and visually looking.  Sorry, that is the truth. 

One of the "few" plants that may be, just maybe, performs better in the high Chihuahuan desert.  At least to my inexperienced eye.

 

 

 

 

 

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My main concern would be the palm getting adequate moisture.  They do tend to grow faster in shade.  You might be disappointed in the slow growth.

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12 minutes ago, jwitt said:

Nice post. Kind of weird everybody is for the most part unsuccessful growing these in pots, from seed. 

I'd refer back to my original post to the OP and recommendations for growing from seed, especially the second sentence, as you personally reported death from this plant due to this. 

A little thing about the "Hope" variety and it's yellow throat. , it is named for Hope,NM,  There is a pure white form that is native to the north side of the Albuquerque metro, and somewhat rare.   That is the only "native" one here in my locale, although others have naturalized.

Also weird is a poster in your link also claims seedless varieties exist, which you dismiss....

And having lived in both ABQ and PHX and being in both cities yearly for over 45 years, there is a difference concerning this plant, everything from size, quantity, and visually looking.  Sorry, that is the truth. 

One of the "few" plants that may be, just maybe, performs better in the high Chihuahuan desert.  At least to my inexperienced eye.

 

 

 

 

 

Yep, that is correct...  Have had similar challenges with some other " touchy " desert things,  Perennial / Yellow Devil's Claw in particular,   until recently,  when instead of repeating the same eventual failure to get them going in 1gals / smaller pots,  i tossed a bunch of partially shelled seed in a wide 3gal pot, filled w/ grit i'd kept in a spot that gets half day sun, where they get dribble from the lawn sprinklers, ..and or rainfall ( Not that it has rained much here this year )  and let them do their thing.. So far, so good w/ those  and may apply the same idea to Desert Willow seed next year.  May try them in 1gals again too,  just situated in the same manner the Devil's Claw were ..and see what happens.  Want to try cuttings off a couple of my favorite specimens next year also.

As said, after looking over ..countless specimens of all sizes / cultivars in and out of Nurseries here / in Tucson / CA < What few cultivars were offered out there in years past >, i've yet to find one that was completely devoid of pods.. So yes, the claims may exist,  but what i have seen speaks of a different perspective that is worth questioning the assumed " idea " of complete seedless-ness.. 

Since it is colder out your way, totally possible the " Seedless " cultivars remain ..pretty much seedless.  which is more climate related than the particular cultivar actually being completely sterile..  Anything is possible though  i just may not have laid eyes on it ..yet.

Whether a Washingtonia, Mesquite, Taxodium, or Olive Tree ..when i see those things growing in different areas, they're the same plant.

Morphological things like height / structure / flower / fruit seasons  may vary a bit in each location, but, those are things influenced by  -in one way or another-  by x area's particular growing environment.   Washingtonia in El Paso, look exactly like those here, in Tucson,  or back in San Jose.. They  might be shorter / fatter in a cooler area due to what climate-related challenges they may ...or may not have to deal with while growing though..   Genetically,  they're the same leafy green thing.. 

I'm sure if i saw Desert Willow growing in ABQ, they'd resemble 95% of the specimens i see in the neighborhood ..or at the Oasis.  As for Phoenix, proper?  don't roam around that part of town, so i can't say how well ..or ugly  specimens might look over there.   

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Desert willow are not as large or numerous out your way as opposed to this way.

Both in town and surrounding areas.

Probably several factors. 

Yes, same plants. 

Are they shorter lived in the lower desert, or are they a newer plant selection for your area as opposed to here?  I am not sure.

That said, my areas plant pallette is much more limited than yours.  Especially concerning "desert" trees.  My hunch, is they survived the -17f in 1971 here.

I know in the late 70's they were pushed heavily at the nursery I worked and large one existed in the landscape in 1976.

Many cultivars were produced and improved upon thirty miles south of me.  So you may be exactly right concerning the seedless situation/colder climates.  That is a several time(s) in my lifetime -20f area. 

Maxed out height wise washies are common in the valley of the sun. Not so much in El Paso.  

Kind of the same thing with desert willow here.

Desert willows dominate the (tree)landscape here, locally. 

But hey, times are changing, and plants that bloom for quite some time in the hot season, with minimal watering, come into favor. 

Being deciduous is probably another drawback or hesitancy in it's past use in PHX.  My hunch. 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Deleted - see proper reply!

Edited by Desert DAC
I forgot to quote the comment I replied to
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On 9/8/2023 at 11:33 PM, jwitt said:

Comparing desert willows in PHX vs ABQ  is like comparing washies between the two. 

Huge difference.

And I can point to specimens growing in zone 5 locally.

Where do you know zone 5 desert willows in your locality, or even where there's zone 5 locally in ABQ?

I remember some shrubby Chilopsis in Denver, namely at their botanic gardens, which die back hard most years. (prob a bipolar z 5b-6a in central and western Denver, not 5) As well as "dwarf desert willows" I chuckled at in z 6a Boulder 30 years ago - probably dwarf without a long, hot summer with a 210 day growing season like where native in central NM in ABQ or Socorro. I do know the native Chilopsis stand SW of Santa Fe, which recovered nicely from the Feb 2011 uber-freeze.

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