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Could it be? - Butia odorata x Cocos nucifera F1


Jonathan Haycock

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One of the main reasons I emigrated to Australia (from UK) was to indulge a passion for growing palms and to have a crack at creating cocoid hybrids. We landed in Adelaide June 2019 and I immediately got to work producing Butia odorata x Jubaea chilensis F1, Butia odorata x Parajubaea torallyi var torallyi F1, and Butia odorata x Syagrus schizophylla F1. We moved to the Gold Coast, Queensland January 2022, where I've since made Butia odorata x Syagrus coronata F1 and what I hope is Butia odorata x Cocos nucifera F1. 

There are a few reports/threads online that claim to have a cross with Cocos nucifera, but they tend to be quite vague and inconclusive. The objective of this thread is to document the process and provide ongoing updates until the hybrid is either confirmed or dismissed. 

I should state at this stage that I believe the Butia odorata x Cocos nucifera F1 hybrid attempt has been a success, therefore from this point forward I will call it Buticocos nathanii.

 

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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I used 3 sources of pollen, the first being Cocos nucifera "Dwarf Malay".

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Edited by Jonathan Haycock
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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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The other two pollen sources came from Paul Latzias's previously owned Cocos nucifera (Red and Green Samoan Dwarfs).

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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The Cocos nucifera flowers were dried, blitzed in a spice blender, and sieved over a 150 micron mesh. The pollen was combined and placed in a freezer until required.

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Edited by Jonathan Haycock
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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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22nd November 2022, Butia odorata flowers reach anthesis.

Roughly 2 weeks prior, the spathe opened and inflorescence was emasculated, then washed and covered with a hypoallergenic pillow case protector.

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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The inflorescence was pollinated 3 days in a row (22nd, 23rd, and 24th November 2022). Method involved mixing pollen with distilled water and using a sprayer to apply. The hypoallergenic pillow case protector was replaced immediately after each application, and left on for a number of weeks until stigmas turned brown. Photos show infructescence 3rd December 2022. 

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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18th December 2022, fruits developing.

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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31st December 2022, minimal fruit drop. 

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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26th January 2023, fruits almost ripe. Believe they were harvested mid-February. 

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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Photo 24th February 2023. Only 1 viable seed from circa 500 fruit. After drying for a week or so, I cracked it in a vice to see what was inside (looked promising). The remainder were just stones (solid endocarp). 

I pollinated a further 3 x inflorescence with Cocos nucifera that season and got 100% stones (i.e. not a single viable seed).

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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Those of you that have germinated Butia before know how hit and miss they can be, so I didn't hold much hope that this single Buticocos nathanii would pop. Well to my surprise it did!!! Took a fair amount of time though (photo 25th September 2023). 

One thing that struck me about it at this stage was the thickness of the plumule, being considerably girthier than pure/other hybrid seedlings from the same parent. 

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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A couple weeks later (11th October 2023), the Buticocos nathanii seedling is growing faster than I would expect a pure Butia to, and is bright green (pure Butia odorata tend to be more glaucous/dull green). 

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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As of today, the Buticocos nathanii is growing well. Looking forward to seeing it develop. 

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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This could be another 9b 'cold hardy coconut'? With some differing qualities, perhaps some more favorable qualities than Beccariophoenix alfredii

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40 minutes ago, Aceraceae said:

This could be another 9b 'cold hardy coconut'? With some differing qualities, perhaps some more favorable qualities than Beccariophoenix alfredii

Imagine a "cold hardy coconut" that actually looked like a coconut. If possible, it'll be a game changer for warm temperate/Mediterranean regions. 

Edited by Jonathan Haycock
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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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That was an enjoyable essay to read. Well done! I (and I'm sure many other cocoid hybrid enthusiasts) wish you the best of luck in your meticulous pursuit. It goes without saying, that I'm sure you'll keep us apprised of your progress. I look forward to seeing how that seedling, and hopefully many others, develop. 

BTW, I immediately applied to join your FB group.

 Hi 87°, Lo 49°

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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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1 hour ago, Tom in Tucson said:

That was an enjoyable essay to read. Well done! I (and I'm sure many other cocoid hybrid enthusiasts) wish you the best of luck in your meticulous pursuit. It goes without saying, that I'm sure you'll keep us apprised of your progress. I look forward to seeing how that seedling, and hopefully many others, develop. 

BTW, I immediately applied to join your FB group.

 Hi 87°, Lo 49°

Appreciate your kind words Tom, and welcome to Pommy Palms 😀.

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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Amazing 

Love your work Jonathan 

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Old Beach ,Hobart
Tasmania ,Australia. 42 " south
Cool Maritime climate

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Nicely done! Great documentation, I'm very curious to see how the resulting seedling grows over the years. 

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Keith 

Palmetto, Florida (10a) and Tampa, Florida (9b/10a)

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Thanks for sharing your photo diary of this project. Much work for low yield. No doubt the F1 will receive intensive care until it produces a characteristic leaf.

Cheers -

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Will be amazing if it turns out to be the real deal, many have tried.  Can't wait to see what future growth will reveal.

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

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Fantastic!  This post is exactly what the topic of Butia X Cocos hybridization needs!  There have been other reports on PalmTalk, but none with this level of detail and continuity.  Looking forward to more reports!

Edited by awkonradi
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Andrei W. Konradi, Burlingame, California.  Vicarious appreciator of palms in other people's gardens and in habitat

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It's amazing! how do one know which palm species that one can cross? Could coco nycifera cross with Parajubaea? 

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@Jonathan Haycock

Interested to see the look and unique attributes of the offspring.  Nice work!

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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11 hours ago, Palmfarmer said:

Can you basically cross "all palms" together? 

Species have to be fairly closely related to hybridise. Even then there’s no guarantee. The attached photo should give you a reasonable idea of what (in theory) is possible.

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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10 hours ago, Zeeth said:

Nicely done! Great documentation, I'm very curious to see how the resulting seedling grows over the years. 

Thanks Keith. 

As things progress, I will update this thread. 

For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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10 hours ago, SeanK said:

Thanks for sharing your photo diary of this project. Much work for low yield. No doubt the F1 will receive intensive care until it produces a characteristic leaf.

Cheers -

My pleasure Sean.

That’s the hybridisation game; lots of work for low yield. 

I check on this one multiple times a day, and it is protected from rodents at night 😂.

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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7 hours ago, Xerarch said:

Will be amazing if it turns out to be the real deal, many have tried.  Can't wait to see what future growth will reveal.

One thing I promise Ammon, if it turns out to be a dud, I’ll post the fact and not go quiet on everyone. Whatever the outcome, it’s all good fun.

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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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Hi Jonathan I hope you enjoy living in the best country in the world in my belief you certainly have done your homework on palms good to see I look forward to seeing more of your palms as we say lucky to be an Australian 

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2 hours ago, Maximum said:

Fascinating!
If it reaches maturity could it produce viable seeds on its own?! 
 

A lot of first generation (F1) cocoid hybrids tend to be self-sterile. However, introducing external pollen can yield viable fruit.

Edited by Jonathan Haycock
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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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2 hours ago, awkonradi said:

Fantastic!  This post is exactly what the topic of Butia X Cocos hybridization needs!  There have been other reports on PalmTalk, but none with this level of detail and continuity.  Looking forward to more reports!

You’ve nailed the intention of this thread Andrei. I believe it is a Butia x Cocos hybrid, but I’ll continue the thread to its conclusion, either way. 

Edited by Jonathan Haycock
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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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11 minutes ago, Jonathan Haycock said:

My pleasure Sean.

That’s the hybridisation game; lots of work for low yield. 

I check on this one multiple times a day, and it is protected from rodents at night 😂.

I suspect that even in a family with "cousins", like Butia, Syagrus, Parajubaea, etc, some are more genetically similar than others.

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29 minutes ago, happypalms said:

Hi Jonathan I hope you enjoy living in the best country in the world in my belief you certainly have done your homework on palms good to see I look forward to seeing more of your palms as we say lucky to be an Australian 

Thanks Richard.

I certainly feel privileged to be here that’s for sure, although I’m not an Aussie yet, just permanent resident (citizenship 2024).

I chose SE Queensland as it’s possible to grow a Cocos nucifera and Jubaea chilensis side by side 😂.

Edited by Jonathan Haycock
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For those of you that frequent Facebook, I’ve set up a group called “Pommy palms”, where many of the palms I’ve seen since emigrating to Australia have been documented. If you wish to be a member, copy and paste “Pommy palms” into Facebook to view the page and click “Join group”.

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Does the seedling above, Jonathan's Buticocos nathanii, look more "tropically" bright green than does a typical Butia odorata seedling to anyone?

-John

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