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The good old Bismarckia nobilis photo


happypalms

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The ever popular Bismarck palm if you have enough room to grow this impressive palm truely a spectacular palm a true die hard tough as nails iam sure the Palm community are familiar with this popular palm fairly easy to propagate being a remote germinating palm a good one to learn how to propagate for other more trickier remote germination palms 

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I agree one of my favorite palms!!! Here’s a couple of pictures of some of mine I have 16-17 in the ground the second picture there are actually 3 in that picture!!

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Pray you dont get the female, it drops at least 300lbs of fruit every year in addition to a dozen or more leaves..  

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Formerly in Gilbert AZ, zone 9a/9b. Now in Palmetto, Florida Zone 9b/10a??

 

Tom Blank

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1 hour ago, 96720 said:

I agree one of my favorite palms!!! Here’s a couple of pictures of some of mine I have 16-17 in the ground the second picture there are actually 3 in that picture!!

IMG_2313.jpeg

IMG_2315.jpeg

Nice palms it’s always good to see another garden 

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3 hours ago, 96720 said:

I have 16-17 in the ground

🤯How big is your property? I agree , you cant go wrong with the very stately Bizzie. 

T J 

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T J 

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11 hours ago, 96720 said:

2.5 acres 

That's awesome Bizzies are perfect for your climate I would imagine. 

T J 

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T J 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/2/2023 at 2:05 PM, 96720 said:

I agree one of my favorite palms!!! Here’s a couple of pictures of some of mine I have 16-17 in the ground the second picture there are actually 3 in that picture!!

IMG_2313.jpeg

IMG_2315.jpeg

How old are the palms in these photos?

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I might be in the market for a Bismarckia at some point (to replace my aging Caryota) and have a few lingering questions. Maybe here's a good spot to ask...

1) Are there different "forms" of Bismarckia?
I see "Bizzies" sometimes at Home Depot, but also saw some at Jungle Music. Are these basically the same plant (other than the Jungle Music ones likely getting more TLC)? I like to support specialty palm growers, but if I can get the exact same plant for less money (as well as a one year guarantee, in case it doesn't survive the transplant), it would be tempting to get the less expensive HD one. But if there's a more beautiful variety of Bismarckia out there, I would happily pay extra (and/or raise it from a smaller size). The super-white ones especially catch my eye (like the gorgeous one in the above photo).

2) How badly does it NEED full sun?
I've heard Bizzies love full sun, but the spot I currently have reserved for one (because it has enough room to accommodate a huge palm) is only part-sun. Is that ok, assuming I don't have a good "full sun" alternative? My concern is partly about growth rate, but my main worry is that it will only develop the beautiful white color if it's placed in full sun. Is that the case... or can these still look good in a (less than ideal) part-sun placement?

3) Are males a LOT less messy?
I hadn't heard that until I read this thread, but the amount of maintenance required if we add a Bizzie is something I'm considering. Sounds like there's no way to find a (assumedly less messy) male one, correct? And is the maintenance on these (generally) THAT bad? Ideal would be if it would require less frequent maintenance than our mature Queen palms required (the maintenance hassle was one reason we got rid of them).

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Stacey Wright  |  Graphic Designer

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2 minutes ago, iDesign said:

I might be in the market for a Bismarckia at some point (to replace my aging Caryota) and have a few lingering questions. Maybe here's a good spot to ask...

1) Are there different "forms" of Bismarckia?
I see "Bizzies" sometimes at Home Depot, but also saw some at Jungle Music. Are these basically the same plant (other than the Jungle Music ones likely getting more TLC)? I like to support specialty palm growers, but if I can get the exact same plant for less money (as well as a one year guarantee, in case it doesn't survive the transplant), it would be tempting to get the less expensive HD one. But if there's a more beautiful variety of Bismarckia out there, I would happily pay extra (and/or raise it from a smaller size). The super-white ones especially catch my eye (like the gorgeous one in the above photo).

2) How badly does it NEED full sun?
I've heard Bizzies love full sun, but the spot I currently have reserved for one (because it has enough room to accommodate a huge palm) is only part-sun. Is that ok, assuming I don't have a good "full sun" alternative? My concern is partly about growth rate, but my main worry is that it will only develop the beautiful white color if it's placed in full sun. Is that the case... or can these still look good in a (less than ideal) part-sun placement?

3) Are males a LOT less messy?
I hadn't heard that until I read this thread, but the amount of maintenance required if we add a Bizzie is something I'm considering. Sounds like there's no way to find a (assumedly less messy) male one, correct? And is the maintenance THAT bad? Ideal would be if it would be less maintenance than our mature Queen palms required (the maintenance hassle was one reason we got rid of them).

A few answers:

1) I'm aware of 2 forms. Silver and green.

2) They grow faster in full sun, but do well with half shade.

3) The floral mess seems to be restricted mainly to females dropping hundreds of seeds. I think it's impossible to ID their sex before they bloom.

Hi 98˚, Lo 72˚

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Casas Adobes - NW of Tucson since July 2014

formerly in the San Carlos region of San Diego

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On 9/2/2023 at 5:09 PM, sonoranfans said:

Pray you dont get the female, it drops at least 300lbs of fruit every year in addition to a dozen or more leaves..  

That's my biggest complaint. All four of my bismark palms in my back yard (I have more in other areas) drop profuse amounts of seeds. Hitting them with my lawn mower propels them (luckily they haven't broke out a window on my house). Further, there are 100s of seedlings coming up in my back yard. I just mow over them and they eventually die. 

Bismarckia palms.JPG

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Mad about palms

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@Bennie I have no idea how old they are maybe 12-15 years!! @iDesign I don’t know how you could pick the color unless you bought an older one I have a lot of Bismarckias and color varies a lot I also love the white ones if I could tell the color when they were young that’s all I would have, also if you could choose the sex I would only have males!! I have a jungle so I don’t worry about the seeds I hope they don’t just start popping up everywhere!! I think they are a pretty easy palm to take care of when they get older they pretty much drop their fronds so you may have a few dead fronds but nothing like a Washingtonian!! None of mine are in shade but I don’t see any reason why it would be a problem maybe not as white!!

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10 hours ago, Tom in Tucson said:

A few answers:

1) I'm aware of 2 forms. Silver and green.

2) They grow faster in full sun, but do well with half shade.

3) The floral mess seems to be restricted mainly to females dropping hundreds of seeds. I think it's impossible to ID their sex before they bloom.

Hi 98˚, Lo 72˚

The green ones seem to be z10b only, not seen much north of Miami. The blue form is reliable into some areas of z9b. The blueish silver color a waxy coating, like Chamaerops "cerifera".

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On 9/14/2023 at 5:22 AM, Walt said:

That's my biggest complaint. All four of my bismark palms in my back yard (I have more in other areas) drop profuse amounts of seeds. Hitting them with my lawn mower propels them (luckily they haven't broke out a window on my house). Further, there are 100s of seedlings coming up in my back yard. I just mow over them and they eventually die. 

Bismarckia palms.JPG

DSCN2001.JPG

Yes, those seeds can do some damage too when they are flung by the blade.  Even pieces of seeds with enough velocity can injure you.  You have my sympathies walt!  My One female drops seeds at least 9 months a year almost continuously so cleaning it up gives a temporary clean.   And they rot and can smell pretty bad.  You must get well over 1000 lbs of seeds a year with (4) fruiting ones. 

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Formerly in Gilbert AZ, zone 9a/9b. Now in Palmetto, Florida Zone 9b/10a??

 

Tom Blank

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I guess that’s the advantage to living in the desert not enough moisture to rot them and make them smell! Also the advantage to having a jungle with no grass around the palms!!

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On 9/13/2023 at 10:59 PM, iDesign said:

I might be in the market for a Bismarckia at some point (to replace my aging Caryota) and have a few lingering questions. Maybe here's a good spot to ask...

1) Are there different "forms" of Bismarckia?
I see "Bizzies" sometimes at Home Depot, but also saw some at Jungle Music. Are these basically the same plant (other than the Jungle Music ones likely getting more TLC)? I like to support specialty palm growers, but if I can get the exact same plant for less money (as well as a one year guarantee, in case it doesn't survive the transplant), it would be tempting to get the less expensive HD one. But if there's a more beautiful variety of Bismarckia out there, I would happily pay extra (and/or raise it from a smaller size). The super-white ones especially catch my eye (like the gorgeous one in the above photo).

Generally speaking the super silver-white types are very purple-ish when they are young.  So if you are shopping for a plant that's under a 10 gallon size, chances are the red or purple fronds will grow up to be the most silver.  If they are pale greenish (with a hint of silver) at a 10 gallon size, chances are they'll never grow into a silvery adult.

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I agree with Todd - the younger bizzies with the purplish color tend to be the most silver and more cold hardy.  I believe that full sun gives them the most silver color and part sun will lessen the degree of silver.

As far as telling the males from the females, it might be possible to tell at the seedling stage if the Bismarckia seedlings act like Phoenix seedlings.  I remember a post by @Phoenikakias with documentation showing that the female Phoenix seedlings will twist while the males stay straight.  In the photo below the fourth seedling from the left (or second from the right) in the first row of Bismarckia seedlings is showing this twisting trait and might be a female.  I don't know if this holds true or not but it might be something to consider.  It will certainly take several years to test this characteristic.

On 9/2/2023 at 1:39 AM, happypalms said:

IMG_6856.jpeg

 

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Jon Sunder

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22 hours ago, sonoranfans said:

Yes, those seeds can do some damage too when they are flung by the blade.  Even pieces of seeds with enough velocity can injure you.  You have my sympathies walt!  My One female drops seeds at least 9 months a year almost continuously so cleaning it up gives a temporary clean.   And they rot and can smell pretty bad.  You must get well over 1000 lbs of seeds a year with (4) fruiting ones. 

I'm sure I get at leasts 100s of pounds of seeds. I rake the seeds towards the trunk bases, then load them on my dump cart and dispose of them in a vegetative dump area. I have two clumps of 100s of seedlings coming up where I have dumped seeds in past years.

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Mad about palms

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Stacey, you may want to consider buying one from Joe Palma. Pretty sure he has them from 15g up to large 25g. Last time I checked at HD surprisingly the prices weren't as great as I would have expected. I purchased a small 15g from Joe about a year and a half ago that was super purple, and as I have heard from many, sure enough it turned out the nice white and silver that I was hoping to achieve. As for the sun exposure, I wish mine was in all day sun but it sees full afternoon sun and is doing trucking right along so you should be fine. Hope all is well.

P.S. for being neighbors I've been lagging on taking up the garden tour offer. Hope to come check it out sometime.

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Here’s mine from a small 20G I planted out 2yrs ago. It was about 5ft to the tips and it’s roughly 12ft tall now so it grows great. Full sun, plenty of water.  Can’t see it much cuz the blood leaf is getting out of hand. Adding planter so it’s a bit under construction. 
 

@Billy & @iDesign, I need to swing by and visit both your places. I’m down that way all the time. 🤨

-dale 

 

IMG_6355.thumb.jpeg.c0fef19df3fdee838a63f1f5fa699818.jpeg

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Love this color combo! Bloodleaf is such a great option for a splash of color.

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Stacey Wright  |  Graphic Designer

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On 9/13/2023 at 7:59 PM, iDesign said:

I might be in the market for a Bismarckia at some point (to replace my aging Caryota) and have a few lingering questions. Maybe here's a good spot to ask...

1) Are there different "forms" of Bismarckia?
I see "Bizzies" sometimes at Home Depot, but also saw some at Jungle Music. Are these basically the same plant (other than the Jungle Music ones likely getting more TLC)? I like to support specialty palm growers, but if I can get the exact same plant for less money (as well as a one year guarantee, in case it doesn't survive the transplant), it would be tempting to get the less expensive HD one. But if there's a more beautiful variety of Bismarckia out there, I would happily pay extra (and/or raise it from a smaller size). The super-white ones especially catch my eye (like the gorgeous one in the above photo).

2) How badly does it NEED full sun?
I've heard Bizzies love full sun, but the spot I currently have reserved for one (because it has enough room to accommodate a huge palm) is only part-sun. Is that ok, assuming I don't have a good "full sun" alternative? My concern is partly about growth rate, but my main worry is that it will only develop the beautiful white color if it's placed in full sun. Is that the case... or can these still look good in a (less than ideal) part-sun placement?

3) Are males a LOT less messy?
I hadn't heard that until I read this thread, but the amount of maintenance required if we add a Bizzie is something I'm considering. Sounds like there's no way to find a (assumedly less messy) male one, correct? And is the maintenance on these (generally) THAT bad? Ideal would be if it would require less frequent maintenance than our mature Queen palms required (the maintenance hassle was one reason we got rid of them).

I picked up a big healthy 20 gallon from HD that was twice the size and less than half the price for what JM charges for theirs.

It was a lucky and random find for me. Usually in the past I purchased two from Palm Plantation. Which is local for me and has great prices compared to a lot of other private growers. 

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On 9/13/2023 at 10:59 PM, iDesign said:

I might be in the market for a Bismarckia at some point (to replace my aging Caryota) and have a few lingering questions. Maybe here's a good spot to ask...

1) Are there different "forms" of Bismarckia?
I see "Bizzies" sometimes at Home Depot, but also saw some at Jungle Music. Are these basically the same plant (other than the Jungle Music ones likely getting more TLC)? I like to support specialty palm growers, but if I can get the exact same plant for less money (as well as a one year guarantee, in case it doesn't survive the transplant), it would be tempting to get the less expensive HD one. But if there's a more beautiful variety of Bismarckia out there, I would happily pay extra (and/or raise it from a smaller size). The super-white ones especially catch my eye (like the gorgeous one in the above photo).

2) How badly does it NEED full sun?
I've heard Bizzies love full sun, but the spot I currently have reserved for one (because it has enough room to accommodate a huge palm) is only part-sun. Is that ok, assuming I don't have a good "full sun" alternative? My concern is partly about growth rate, but my main worry is that it will only develop the beautiful white color if it's placed in full sun. Is that the case... or can these still look good in a (less than ideal) part-sun placement?

3) Are males a LOT less messy?
I hadn't heard that until I read this thread, but the amount of maintenance required if we add a Bizzie is something I'm considering. Sounds like there's no way to find a (assumedly less messy) male one, correct? And is the maintenance on these (generally) THAT bad? Ideal would be if it would require less frequent maintenance than our mature Queen palms required (the maintenance hassle was one reason we got rid of them).


Over here these are one of the most common yard trees.   They grow fast in the sun with no care and don’t even need irrigation here.  

Neighbor to the left…. (I cant believe how tiny this looks in pictures, it’s probably 50 feet tall)

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924EFE42-72EA-4EA6-B77D-703CFF99329E.thumb.jpeg.235a36ea8315de96cd278b66631d2744.jpeg

 

Neighbor to the right…1122D406-2C8A-4001-9C39-5EC84FB093B3.thumb.jpeg.cdb13f90d91778da87a48fad02b2eea6.jpeg

The piles of seeds ferment and stink.  The foxtails next door drop similar seeds, in large amounts.   They don’t stink as bad though.   Squirrels and rats crack open a few, and distribute others to sprout later, but they must not be tasty, as they leave them mostly to rot and sprout.  

Here you can walk into any Home Depot or Lowes or any nursery and get a decent silver one.   Adults on the block here are like all “silver” palms, ranging from pale green to blinding white depending on their genetics.   Here’s the entrance to the Lowes down the road….
52C1DE36-BCE6-4FEC-90D3-37820037C97D.thumb.jpeg.f86179fac54870e3c18a755a5a676304.jpeg

Edited by Looking Glass
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22 hours ago, Fusca said:

I agree with Todd - the younger bizzies with the purplish color tend to be the most silver and more cold hardy.  I believe that full sun gives them the most silver color and part sun will lessen the degree of silver.

As far as telling the males from the females, it might be possible to tell at the seedling stage if the Bismarckia seedlings act like Phoenix seedlings.  I remember a post by @Phoenikakias with documentation showing that the female Phoenix seedlings will twist while the males stay straight.  In the photo below the fourth seedling from the left (or second from the right) in the first row of Bismarckia seedlings is showing this twisting trait and might be a female.  I don't know if this holds true or not but it might be something to consider.  It will certainly take several years to test this characteristic.

 

I doubt it, unless only males sprout in my yard.   I’ve yanked many of these from the yard and bushes, and never saw a twisted one.  

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@Merlyn & @Fusca (and anyone else who might know) - Is the purple feature (that might be a clue to it bring more silver someday) considered a different form, meaning someone might have a batch of purple bizzies? Or is it an anomaly that just pops up sometimes, meaning a batch of Home Depot bizzies might have a purple one?

Stacey Wright  |  Graphic Designer

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5 minutes ago, iDesign said:

@Merlyn & @Fusca (and anyone else who might know) - Is the purple feature (that might be a clue to it bring more silver someday) considered a different form, meaning someone might have a batch of purple bizzies? Or is it an anomaly that just pops up sometimes, meaning a batch of Home Depot bizzies might have a purple one?

I recall reading about the purple coloring here, probably 3 or 4 years ago.  When I went out looking for Bizzies I specifically looked for the most red/purple petioles and that unusual sort of chalky-red on the leaves.  The ones I picked have turned out very silvery.  Because it's a waxy coating, the daily torrential thunderstorms here mean they are not ever as silver-white as they are out West.  This was a 1 gallon palm in 2018 and I planted it as a 3g in September 2019.  This is the only (really bad) photo I have when I planted it, but you can see the fronds are a nice blueish color and the petioles are a red-purple.

P1050450Bismarckplanted.thumb.jpg.b2e9f6bd4fea4b2de43c58d59fc75132.jpg

And here's today from the opposite direction:

20230916_142313Bismarck091623.thumb.jpg.cca3b12b526e93f285a9ba21771fe900.jpg

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For what it’s worth, mine was purple when I got it. I personally don’t think it has anything to do with eventual color rather acclimating to a new environment in the Nursery. But I don’t know…

 

-dale 

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All the little seedlings in the yard seem to come up purple.  The parents on either side of me  are quite silver.   Across the street is a more pale silver-dull green male.  Over the house across the street, on the next street is a “super white” one.   It glows blinding, bright, crazy white.   All grow under the same conditions.   

It reminds me of trying to find the ultimate white Copernicia hospita in many ways, but perhaps easier.  Maybe it’s better to get one that has just a little size, where it is showing its true colors.  There’s just a sea of genetic variability out there.   I’d say most of the ones I see are quite silver though.  An occasional paler green one, and an occasional blinding “super white”.  Look at those babies I posted up there.  I think they’ll be pretty silver as adults?  

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This one was very purple for along time I actually went out to take a picture to show how long they can stay purple and was surprised to see it wasn’t purple anymore it is not very white!

IMG_2353.jpeg

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5 hours ago, Billy said:

P.S. for being neighbors I've been lagging on taking up the garden tour offer. Hope to come check it out sometime.

 

4 hours ago, Billeb said:

@Billy & @iDesign, I need to swing by and visit both your places. I’m down that way all the time. 🤨

 

Happy to have visitors anytime (I work from home). My yard will look a lot more interesting a year from now, when a lot of the palms will be in the ground. But I have a few nice areas… and a pretty substantial ‘potted palm ranch’ to geek over.

For some reason my other neighbors’ eyes glaze over when I show them things in my yard. And I’m sure they would do horribly in a debate over factors that affect bizzie color 🤣

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Stacey Wright  |  Graphic Designer

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47 minutes ago, 96720 said:

This one was very purple for along time I actually went out to take a picture to show how long they can stay purple and was surprised to see it wasn’t purple anymore it is not very white!

That looks unusually stretched out for that size.  Is it in shade most of the day?

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2 hours ago, iDesign said:

 

Happy to have visitors anytime (I work from home). My yard will look a lot more interesting a year from now, when a lot of the palms will be in the ground. But I have a few nice areas… and a pretty substantial ‘potted palm ranch’ to geek over.

For some reason my other neighbors’ eyes glaze over when I show them things in my yard. And I’m sure they would do horribly in a debate over factors that affect bizzie color 🤣

Hi Tracy I have one friend who thinks iam crazy 😜 for spending good money on rare and exotic plants 🌱 only to be at a dinner party one night and she complained about her generic chain store garden saying how horrible it looked and needed new exotic (in her mind not expensive) plants looking at me wanting me to supply her with plants from my collection when I had been advising her all along she has even dug out lytocarum palms wanting to change  her garden back to chain store plants and then asking me why the plants died eventually I will share my stock with her only if she stops digging out what I give her chain store plants give you instant affect low budget (but not necessarily cheap generic plants) but quality rare and exotic plants take years to mature to get the tropical look but if you wait you get a much better garden that the neighbours will look at and go wow 

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