Subspecies of Windmill palms in British Columbia

Discussion in 'Outdoor Tropicals' started by Denis, Sep 21, 2003.

  1. Here are the subspecies growing in British Columbia:

    Trachycarpus fortunei is the regular Windmill palm that is the only Trachycarpus known to the general public on British Columbia's coast.

    Trachycarpus wagnerianus ("Waggie") is a form of the windmill palm that is more attractive and * tolerant of high winds *.
    Fronds are jaunty and smaller. If someone sees a Waggie and a T. fortunei, he will prefer the Waggie.

    T. wagnerianus X fortunei is a hybris palm tree. There is one in North Vancouver and another in Victoria, BC. Fronds larger than Waggie but the Waggie stiffness is preserved. Interesting palm.

    Trachycarpus takil is larger in all its parts than T. fortunei.
    It is a little more cold hardy than a regular Windmill palm not that it really matters when you live in Victoria or Tofino, BC.

    The rare Trachycarpus princeps is only in seedling form in BC. It is new and rare. This is the most sought after palm in British Columbia as palm enthusiasts can't wait to test it.

    Trachycarpus martianus is a more delicate and exotic looking palm but it is borderline for SW BC. People on Saltspring and Victoria can grow it but be cautious of coldest winter spells when it may require protection just like a Tasmanian tree fern.

    Trachycarpus martianus x fortunei. One specimen in Victoria growing well with zero protection like T. fortunei. Fronds have a more waxy look. More leaflets that T. fortunei. Leaves more wind-tolerant.

    Trachycarpus nanus: New to BC as seedlings. Probably the cold hardiest of Trachys but they are short palms like Sabal minor.
    Grow them where T fortunei is borderline.

    Trachycarpus lastisectus and oreophilius are not tested yet.
    T. latisectus has large fronds. That's why some BC palm enthusiasts want to try them.
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Any insight on other species in these parts? At the nursery I get lots of calls from the Palm society members looking for some. ie. Butia Capitata, Jubaea chilensis are two.
     
  3. Den_Vic

    Den_Vic Member

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    Palm trees wanted by IPS members in British Columbia

    Hello Paul

    Yes, Jubaea Chilensis is a favorite but as you already know its not the cheapest of palms.
    Butia Bonnetti is a Butia that is sought after as many believe that it is the cold hardiest Butia without hybridization.

    If you order Butia X Jubaea they will probably go fast but they are rare. One gardener in Victoria, BC had Butia X Jubaea seeds given to him by folks in Florida. Did you know? Jubaeas do poorly in Florida. Go figure.
    Jubaeas survive at lower temps than Butia thats why folks like the cross with Butia not to mention a hybrid grows faster than a Jubaea.
    A hybrid looks more like a coconut palm. Jubaea is a relative of the coconut palm but a pure Jubaea gets way bigger in all its parts. Ironically they can take low temps. Jubaea is the cold hardiest feather leaf palm.
    Too bad that they are slower and more expensive but as demand increases, Chile will probably start exporting many.

    Trithrinax campestris is a hardy palmate from South America.

    Some folks want to try Parajubaea torallyii (I think that it is a borderline palm for SW BC). But folks are looking for it.

    Sabal riverside
    Brahea armata or B edulis
    Rhapidophyllum hystrix (Needle Palm)

    A pure Trachycarpus Takil will sell like a hot cake.
    All T wagnerianus palms that you order will sell.
    Just a friendly reminder: If you have Trachycarpus palms that are not T. fortunei, IPS members will want them.

    Phoenix theophrasti (Cretan date palm)

    Chamaerops humilis var cerifera (Blue Med fan palm)
    C. humilis var volcano

    Some folks are looking for Nannorrhops ritchiana.

    If you have tiny Trachycarpus princeps seedlings they will all sell.
    No nursery could ever have enough T princeps seedlings or juvenile palms.

    The more serious IPS members that come to your nursery would freak out to see a Juania australis. I think that such a palm is hard to get anywhere.

    ** Cordyline indivisa a real one with large wide leaves.
    Many C Australis (regular Cordy) are labeled as C Indivisa.
    Trust me if you have real C. indivisa, customers will grab them.

    Cheers
     
  4. Palm Nut

    Palm Nut Active Member 10 Years

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    Blue Dracaena (cordyline indivisa)

    I bought one of these in 95 from a place on Arbutus St in Vancouver. The store was called Terra Plants (or something like that ?) its gone now. I was living in an apartment downtown which faced west. It was on my balcony and it never really grew much. The first couple of years for the winter I wrapped all my palms in burlap. When I moved to our current house, I planted it in the ground in the front yard which faces north and it started to flourish. but not quite to the point where it has seeded or whatever it is they do....
    I've never been able to find another one since. Are they that hard to find?
     
  5. Den_Vic

    Den_Vic Member

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    Cordyline indivisa is a hard find

    There's a nice specimen in Victoria. They grow as big as the regular Cordyline australis but as you have probably noticed, the leaves are wider. A big specimen looks very tropical. It is very difficult to find a Cordyline indivisa. Your best bet is to check out the annual PNW Palm & Exotic Plant Society's annual plant sale in Vancouver. I've heard that cold hardiness is similar but it does not grow as fast as the regular C. australis. My regular C. australis specimens grow faster than my friend's C. indivisa but his specimen looks more exotic.
    I often see C. australis labelled C. indivisa by Monrovia.
    C. indivisa does not look like a regular Cordy.
    Yes, C. indivisa will seed if it become large enough.

    Cheers
     
  6. Wes North Van

    Wes North Van Active Member 10 Years

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    c. indivisa

    Denis,
    I have heard c. indivisa is not as hardy as c. australis. Hence the reason why you see a lot more c. australis here in Vancouver.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2004
  7. Den_Vic

    Den_Vic Member

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    Wes: More palm trees for Victoria

    The C. indivisa that I've seen here in Victoria is an impressive specimen because of its wide leaves. It looks so tropical. The owner tells me that the crown cannot be chopped or frozen since the trunk will not branch like a regular C. australis.
    I wonder if it sprouts from the roots once the plant freezes -or cut down.
    The specimen in Victoria handled the cold snap in Jan. But Vic saw less cold than Van or Nanaimo.

    It's a shame that there are so few C. indivisa specimen around.

    Victoria and Saanich have plans to add more palms.
    Oak Bay has declined to plant street palms but the owners of Winchester Galleries planted 3 fair size Trachys on their new property. I wonder if the Jubs coming to Vancouver will sell quickly. I'd like to see Jubs at the Empress Hotel. That would turn heads. The T. manipur seeds have arrived in Canada. I should receive my seeds pretty soon. I want to try T. manipur and T. princeps. I think that Waggies will take the place of many regular Trachys in nurseries once they are more available.

    There’s a small palm field in Saanich ( north of Victoria ) close to the Pat Bay Hwy. I spotted a palm with 2 variegated fronds. The palm was one of a few Trachys that looked like a Waggie crossed with a T. fortunei. Jeff found 3 Waggies in that field and bought them. The wholesale nursery in Saanich had bought palms from CA and planted them in the ground in rows. The idea of rows of palm trees in Canada sounds very interesting. Well, this is BC. Why not? I wonder why local retail nurseries in Victoria buy from CA when they can get thousands of small local Trachys from Keith or get big Trachys from the Saanich palm field. Would it cut down palm prices? Maybe it’s just too logical.

    It’s cheaper to buy palms in Vancouver than Vic. Vancouver has a better selection also. I had to travel to Vancouver to find Waggies. I bought five of them. Hopefully one is a female. There’s a theory out there that a Waggie with bowl-shaped fronds is a male. I’m out of luck if that’s a fact. A female would have flatter fronds. I prefer the look of bowl-shaped fronds. I noticed that female T. fortunei specimen tend to produce a larger crown and a fatter trunk than the male specimen. I think that there are only a few gardeners in Victoria who can tell the difference between a male and a female Trachy by looking at the flowers on inflorescence bracts. That’s the proper ID method.

    The T. fortunei x martianus with it’s glossy fronds ( here in Victoria ) has produced male and female inflorescence. That is as strange as the bifurcated palm in Victoria. I collected seeds from that palm. I’ll attempt to germinate the seeds. I found Waggie seeds in Vancouver back in October. A few have germinated. We should attempt something strange ( in the future –hopefully not too distant ) and cross pollinate a T. princeps with a Waggie to see what happens. I’m positive that the resulting palm would be strange. The Waggie X fortunei in Victoria looks interesting.
     
  8. Wes North Van

    Wes North Van Active Member 10 Years

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    t. manipur

    Denis,
    I too am looking forward to receiving my seeds of t. manipur.
    I have to look at the nurseries this spring to pick up a waggie. I have 6 fortunei and one latisectus and that is it for trachycarpus species.
    I checked my sabal palmetto seeds today and they have produced their first fronds. I was pretty excited and took a picture of them, see attached. Sabal palmettos are definetly one of my favourite palms and I believe they will become a long term palm here.
    I hope t. manipur proves to be a long term palm like waggies and fortunei. It sounds promising and with Nigel's success with 100% germination, I can't wait to get started.
    There are two c. indivisa here in lower North van that alos made it through the cold spell. I am about a mile from Ambleside beach in West Vancouver and I am only 6 feet above sea level so my temps are similiar to Victoria.
     

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  9. Den_Vic

    Den_Vic Member

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    Ambleside Park

    There are nice Trachys in Ambleside Park. A nearby condo has a few tall Trachys. The palms at Beacon Hill in Victoria are hidden from view. Folks must walk right by them to spot them among other trees. The Trachys in Ambleside Park are very visible by the water. Vito showed me around by the water from North Van to West Van. We probably passed near your garden without knowing it. I spotted quite a few mature palms in North Van. Palms seem to be planted as far up as there are homes.

    The new plantings in Victoria are visible compare to the older hidden plantings. Crystal Gardens was the exception. It seemed as if downtown Victoria was shy to show its palms until 2003. If Victoria plants palms in the Inner Harbour, then they’ll get their wish to promote their climate. That’s the objective of the plantings. Then folks would really notice them. Oak Bay has interesting gardens but many are hidden as wealthy folks want to hide their properties from view with high hedges.
     
  10. Palm Nut

    Palm Nut Active Member 10 Years

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    I ordered these seeds from rarepalmseeds and now question whether they will sprout/survive here. I see no mention of these here or on a couple of other palm message boards I've found through Google.

    Rhapidophyllum hystrix (Needle Palm);
    Nannorrhops ritchiana (Mazari Palm);
    Phoenix theophrastii (Cretan Date Palm);
    Sabal minor (Dwarf Palmetto);
    Trithrinax campestris (Blue Needle Palm);
    Butia eriospatha (Woolly Jelly Palm)


    Anyone have any idea or thoughts about these palms?
     
  11. Wes North Van

    Wes North Van Active Member 10 Years

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    Palm seeds

    Rhapidophyllum hystrix is a very hardy palm and will survive here but not thrive. The reason is we do not get enough hot days for it to really grow. This palm is native to the southeast coast of the USA and they get really hot summers. If you have a greenhouse this will help them get to a good size before you plant them in the garden.
    Nannorrhops ritchiana is also very hardy but suseptable to fungus and molds. This makes it difficult to grow here. It can stand our fairly mild winters but does not like moisture. It is native to desert areas around Afganistan.
    Sabal minor is a palm I want to try. It is hardy here but is a slow grower. Very easy to germinate the seeds. I believe this is a long term palm in Vancouver. If you have a south facing window or greenhouse this will help speed up the growth. They are also native to the southeast of the USA and do like the heat. Keep well watered however as they do like to be kept moist. This is a trunkless palm but does produce 6 foot high fronds.
    Trithrinax campestris is also very hardy and I believe this is also a long term palm here in Vancouver. Nigel who is on the Northwest palm discussion board has experience with this species. It has proven hardy in England but again a very slow grower. Direct your question at Nigel specifically on this palm. Europe seems to have more experience with this palm even though it comes from South America.
    Butia eriospatha I have no knowledge on. However Butia capitata has proven to be hardy here with protection to the crown of the palm.
    This last freeze has done some damage to this species in Vancouver and Victoria. It will need protection during the winter.
    B. eriospatha maybe even more hardy, I just don't know.
    Good Luck Kyle.
     
  12. Palm Nut

    Palm Nut Active Member 10 Years

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    re order

    I cancelled my order. :( I felt I made the wrong choices for our climate. Back to the drawing board.
     
  13. Palm Nut

    Palm Nut Active Member 10 Years

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    I "aquired" some Trachycarpus fortunei seeds from downtown. Do I have to soak them or anything or can I just put them in soil?
     
  14. Palm Nut

    Palm Nut Active Member 10 Years

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    Blue Dracaena (cordyline indivisa)

    or so that's what I wrote in my book it was... I was going to add the picture on the post above, but with new format its not possible to edit previous posts. so here is what it looks like. Photo taken moments ago.
     

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  15. Wes North Van

    Wes North Van Active Member 10 Years

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    Trachy seeds

    Kyle,
    Soak them in clean water for 24 hours, after that peel off the soft tissue, then in a ziplock baggie put 50% peat moss and 50% perlite, put the seeds in the mixture which should be moist but not soaked and close the baggie. Put it in a dark spot and check on them in a few weeks. Once you see a root and a small frond transfer them to a 3" pot with sterile potting soil. Put in a sunny location indoors until our weather warms up.
    Watch them grow.
     
  16. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Active Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    Not to be frivolous or anything, but I'm actually on vacation in Costa Rica right now and given what I've been seeing here, the palms here make me laugh at what we attempt in the Vancouver area. They also make me laugh at myself for ever thinking I "knew" plants. Man, am I humbled by the diversity down here! I do have a few pictures, which I hope to post on my return, and I hope some of you interested palm people can help me out with identifications.

    I am sitting under a palm tree right now!
     
  17. Palm Nut

    Palm Nut Active Member 10 Years

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    if anything will grow here, maybe some seeds can 'find' their way here.. for research...yeah, that's it .. for research!
     
  18. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Esteemed Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I can say with absolute certainty that nothing will "find" its way to Canada, considering numerous international laws and agreements would be broken by doing so. I realize you're joking, but I'd like to draw your attention to this news story from today:

    http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040213/NEWS/402130642/1060

    The fallout continues for Selby Botanical Gardens. You can read more on the topic here:

    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/weblog/cat_interesting_links.php#000050

    and

    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/weblog/cat_other_botanical_gardens.php#000086
     
  19. Palm Nut

    Palm Nut Active Member 10 Years

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    I know... the laws regarding plants and their products are there for a reason.
     
  20. Den_Vic

    Den_Vic Member

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    Palm Nut: That's not a Cordy (Draceana)

    That’s definitely a Yucca. Not a Cordyline of any kind. Some Yuccas are very cold hardy. I assume that your Yucca (plant on your picture) breezed through the cold snap. A Cordyline indivisa has much wider and longer leaves. Many in Victoria confuse Cordylines with Yuccas. Some think that Cordys are palm trees. Yes, they resemble palms when they get 15 feet tall.

    I don’t know why folks in Vancouver order Trachycarpus fortunei palm seeds. It’s too easy to get seeds from public plantings. I collect seeds from my palms or public plantings.
    I sow them outside in about 2 inches of soil. I wait 3 to 4 months and hundreds of seedlings appear. They are regular Trachy seeds. Mother Nature does the work. I just add water. I hand out seedlings to those who are patient enough to cultivate them into palms. Trachy seedlings progress at a slower rate outside than in a greenhouse. At 1 gal size a trachy speeds up in growth until it reaches 5 gal. After 5 gal, growth increases again. As a mature specimen (when it flowers), a Trachy will put from 8 to 12 in of new growth a year unless you’re a Palm Society member and you have experience with palms then you may get more growth.

    Palms will most likely become more and more common on Vancouver Island after a progressively (very) slow start. Vancouver nurseries over on the mainland all carry Windmill palms for the most part. I bet that Vancouver will plant 1000 Trachys easy in the spring/summer of 2004. Monrovia in California grows thousands destined for places like Vancouver.

    A fellow in Saanich grows rows of palm trees in the Victoria area. You can select larger palms from his small palm field. I wonder if that’s the location of the mature palms that Vic Parks bought for public plantings scheduled for this spring or summer. They may have been bought from California at a cheaper wholesale price. I’ve seen Trachys in So Cal and they look pitiful. They hate hot sun and dry conditions. Waggies also look limp in So Cal. Once folks in Vancouver realize that Waggies exist, they’ll want to buy them over regular Trachys. They’ll no longer be palms just for the people in the know. Since Victoria retail nurseries know little about palms, I had to drive over to Vancouver to get 5 Waggies. Someone in Vancouver cultivated 100 Waggies from seed. Then buddy field grew them for a few years but close together which hindered some Waggies. Then they were sold as regular Trachys. I got the tail end as Palm Society members knew and told me. I bartered for the Waggies and the seller treated them like T. fortunei. The seller noticed that his Trachys were selling as hot cakes a few years ago. So he raised the price from 33 to $38 for 5 gal specimens. (I bartered with him down for 5 specimens. One had root check and the remaining few specimens that I did not purchase suffered heavy root check.) No guff Sherlock. He should have realized that the particular looking palms were hot cakes and not his regular Trachys. Maybe he did not pay attention and his employees either. Hard to get Waggies on a silver platter while back in Victoria T. wagnerianus is something that’s not in the books and “doesn’t existâ€. Gotta love Vancouver. I wonder how big the Jubs will be once they arrive in Vancouver. Well, that’s if Canada customs lets the big Jubs in. A bunch of small Jubs are on the way by air freight if they aren’t already in Lotus land. I bet that folks in Vancouver will pay $5000+ for big Jubs.

    I harvested Jub seeds is So Cal. I irritated some folks by not selling the rare Butia x Jubaea seeds that I collected in CA. I distributed them to BC palm enthusiasts. As you can imagine, I had seed requests from all over the world where cold hardy palms are grown.

    BTW, the Butia palms in Victoria had minimum damage this winter. I know that some in Vancouver had extensive damage. That’s because Victoria had milder temps –as usual during the outflow but this time our temps were noticeably better. Why don’t folks in Vancouver order Butia bonetti? They are the hardiest Butias but I’ve heard that they are a bit slower. I’m going to plant some here if I can find some for sale. A specimen in Victoria has done well in two outflows.

    If my T. manipur and princeps seeds germinate, I’ll place some outside for next winter. My regular Trachy seedlings breezed through the cold snap. We’ll see if these babies are tough cookies. T. takil and nanus are suspected of being T. fortunei hardy if not hardier. But let’s wait until they get some testing in BC before we draw conclusions. I think that T. oreophilus is more of a test subject for Victoria. T. lastisectus and T. martianus look borderline in Victoria as juvenile palms. The T. fortunei x martianus palm in Victoria was not phased by the last outflow like all of the regular Trachys around. It has glossier leaves. Leaflets not as deeply divided. Waggies did perfect. I’m not surprised. The wind does not tatter leaflets. Awesome palms for the BC coast. I’ll propagate Waggies once mine produce. I hope that I have at least one that will turn out as a female Wagg. In the meantime, I’ll just harvest regular T. fortunei seeds and plant them by the thousands to hand hundreds of seedlings for the cultivation of future palms.
     
  21. Palm Nut

    Palm Nut Active Member 10 Years

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    Too bad...

    The picture was taken moments before I posted. It did extremely well during our cold snap. I'm proud of it even if its not a cordyline. It seems to love the location as last year alone it grew quite a bit.

    I just sown half of my Trachycarpus fortunei palm seeds the other day, and will do the rest. Someone suggested doing them at different times. In total I got 47 seeds. so hopefully, some will sprout. If they all do, then I've got an orchard to plant in our typical south vancouver postage size lot.
    I'd love to get my hands on waggies. The thing about starting from seed is, although I like to see it sprout and take pride in watching them grow, on the other hand I am too impatient and want them established and ready to enjoy.

    I do wish that Vancouver planted more palms in areas other than the west end. As I've mentioned elsewhere, Cambie Street is a perfect place. Its a heritage boulevard and would look just as nice as famous street in LA. It should be a city bylaw. Every new tree planted must be a palm. Any new house built must include a palm tree in its landscape.
     
  22. Ian

    Ian Active Member

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    The real Cordyline indivisa

    Here is a pic of Cordyline indivisa in a private garden on Vashon Island. This plant froze in Dec 1998 and did not recover.
    http://www.angelfire.com/bc/eucalyptus/iansplants/gallery/41/b.html
    Unlike any Yucca, C. indivisa has a prominent orange midrib like this plant in my garden:
    http://www.angelfire.com/bc/eucalyptus/iansplants/gardenAtoZ/c/cordyindlvs.jpg
    This plant was heavily damaged last winter but is recovering. Unlike C. australis it does not seem to freeze all the way to the ground if the bud is damaged.
     
  23. Palm Nut

    Palm Nut Active Member 10 Years

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    This has finished flowering for the 1st time. now what do I do with if?
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2004
  24. Wes North Van

    Wes North Van Active Member 10 Years

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    Palm nut

    You can cut the flower stock right off. Mine are still full of flowers so I will wait a bit longer.
     

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