1. NEW BROMELIAD FORUM
    Guest - Don't miss our new forum. Perhaps you have something to add or share with us.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Check out, join, and contribute to our Facebook Page. Help get more people to the Forum. NEW TROPISCAPE FACEBOOK GROUP
    Dismiss Notice

Beccariophoenix madagascarensis 'no windows'

Discussion in 'WIKI ARTICLE DISCUSSIONS' started by bepah, May 17, 2009.

  1. bepah

    bepah Active Member

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Brentwood CA 9b
  2. bepah

    bepah Active Member

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Brentwood CA 9b
    I have obtained 2 of these from a grower in SoCal. There was an extensive discussion regarding the differences between B. madagascariensis and B. alfredii.

    The problem, as I sorted in out, is the difference between the flowers and seed, as the mature trees look incredibly similar. The difference in immature trees is the growth rate, and the point where pinnate leaves begin, with alfredii having strap leaves on the plant for a much longer time.

    I am fascinated by all of this for a couple of reasons. The tree (actually, both of them) have an incredible potential for my area as a coconut palm 'replacement'. Second, having to do with getting one to grow successfully in a mediterrenean climate is the type of challenge I like.

    But the questions is begged, which one? Is alfredii better suited to this area or madagascariensis? If alfredii grows fast but is a little less cold hardy, what are the implications for commercialization? How much longer does the alfredii produce strap leaves, add ing to the hold and grow cost for the producer?

    I am focusing on this problem (until it bores me, of course) and I would appreciate input if you have any so I can sort this out.

    Once I have compiled enough 'hard' data, I'll put it in the wiki, hopefully with Dean's able assistance.
     
  3. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Hi John,
    I may just muddy things up a bit here but the alfredii and sp. no windows are disparate of one another. With the exception of the B. madagascariensis, I don't think too many people outside of Madagascar have witnessed the performance of sp. no windows and alfredii as reproducing adults. There may be growers in Australia that have older specimens of the two lesser known species. I would guess that we are all on the same learning curve.
    With regard to which might be best, I would think the alfredii might win out for your location. I say this on the hunch that it comes from a higher elevation than the other forms which I believe are near sea level in in cito culture.
    We currently have B. mad. and sp. no windows. We're getting the third form in this week from Jeff Marcus. We've had B. mad for less than ten years and the no windows for about two years. I can say already that B. mad. is faster to obtain height than no windows. The no winows has no stap or entire leaves as a seedling\young juvenile. We will report what we find over the next few years as well.
     
  4. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    I just looked at the encyclopedia for Beccariophoenix. I see that B. mad is listed as no windows. That's interesting. Here's a couple of pics from my yard with B. mad. in windowpane form. Is it me? Or are those windowpanes. So I guess that B. mad. is now the new no windows and the no windows is the new B. mad??? I would love to know the straight info on this. I also tossed in some pics of the no windows for the record.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. bepah

    bepah Active Member

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Brentwood CA 9b
    Thanks. The 2 that I have are without strap leaves as well (and only 18 inches tall). My challenge now, I guess, is to get some alfredii that are still strap leaved and ready to grow out.

    A bigger challenge for me will be to grow the 'windows' species, but I am ready to try. It could be very exciting to see how all 3 go.

    Thanks,

    John
     
  6. bepah

    bepah Active Member

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Brentwood CA 9b

    I believe that you've got it right........and now are just as confused as I!:D
     
  7. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Yeah John, I would love to see some peer reviewed lit. on the matter of the three forms of this genus. Where do the experts stand on this matter? I went to the Kew monocot list and they have not resolved this as well. In fact when you search any of the three for photo examples you get all three in each respective catagory. None the less John I wish you bon chance in insuring the three fill in the blank spp. for your area! Happy growing. -Justin
     
  8. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Here is my understanding.

    The 'no windows' form that has been around for over 10 years is the true B. mad. The 'windowed' form has recently been recognized as a different form, something that growers "knew" for many years, because they are night and day different as seedlings and juveniles - yet remarkably alike as adults. The rumor has it that the 'windowed' form will soon be named with some derivation of the Latin word for windows.

    B. 'alfredii' was only recently discovered and described. Differentiating between the 'alfredii' and B. mad. as small plants with no info is problematic, with many different clues used that people seem to think they have. Because they are so similar, my guess is their cold hardiness is as well.

    However, that is not the case with the "windowed" form. Growing the windowed form has proven very difficult to do well in SoCal. Mine struggled for ten years before I gave up on it. But the B. mad has grown to a trunking specimen just down the street from my Cal garden.
     
  9. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Sounds fair to me Dean. I do wish that a formal declaration be published along with the high peer support for this arrangement. It all seems a bit chaotic. I haven't seen such a paper yet and am surprised that in our times, clarity is elusive on this one. Especially considering the impending popularity for the genus. Why do folks Like Jeff Marcus hold out on the contrary to what you just stated in your post? Do you know on what info., folks like him are asserting their species assignment?
     
  10. bepah

    bepah Active Member

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Brentwood CA 9b
    Justin,

    Here is the designation as I understand it today:

    Windows - Beccariophoenix sp. (no species name as of yet)
    No windows - Beccariophoenix madagascariensis
    Alfredii - B. alfredii

    Speculation from those more informed than I, that the species designation will be a Romanization for windows or something like that.

    Nonetheless, even though the plant speciation appears to be settled, we still do not know how far north, south, east, west, etc. these things will thrive. I am still excited about the process.

    John
     
  11. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Hi John, I'm not sure if you caught Deans entry regarding the window form as being difficult for soCal.
    As I like to lift the veil of ignorance from my own eyes. I did a little scratching around and having spoken with Jeff Marcus today, I see a little more of this in a better light. If I understood Jeff correctly, he mentioned that one of Dransfield's descriptions of B. mad. was included with a misplaced photo of the window form from the Ranomafana population. Perhaps if this is the case, that's where the vaguery may have begun.
    I scoured the back issues of Palms and found that Dransfield's appearant first description of B. mad. of the Mantadia population (?) is in vol. 32 pages 59-68 1988. The on line issues aren't available for that far back yet.
    I found an article (vol.51 (2) 2007) for the description of alfredii that mentioned Allison Shapcott of USC Australia having done some DNA work that showed disparity between alfredii and B. mad.. I wonder if she peered into the two forms other than alfredii as well.
    And I might still contest that the window form having been cultivated for many years now, should have been assigned a name by now. But that's just an opinion.
     
  12. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Justin,

    You may be entitled to lamenting the lack of clarity regarding Beccariophoenix.

    However, you shouldn't play any favorites. Save some of your exasperation for some other mixups as well. JD has stated that the D. onilahenis complex is a mess. I am in the middle of several long running discussions involving the different forms of D. onilahensis. And I would suspect that murkiness will cross over into a few of the other MCDHP (moderate clumping Dypsis of the High Plateau), including the many types of D. baronii, albofarinosa, psammophila, oreophila, etc.

    And don't forget D. ambositrae, the fakey, the fine leaf. No name yet for it. As you heard in Jeff M's slideshow, R. sp. giant is yet unnamed. The confusion between D. sambiranensis, pink crown shaft, and pinnatafrons may be cleared up soon with a legitimate name. I could go on.

    It may be prudent to take things slowly. As the above examples illustrate, the placing of an incorrect name does much more "damage," and is much harder to correct than no name at all.
     
  13. bepah

    bepah Active Member

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Brentwood CA 9b
    Actually, despite my excitement to add to the data around these 3 species (assuming that nothing changes, of course), I have a not so hidden agenda.
    Where I live, there is no real substitute for a coconut palm, with regards to looks. The Queen Palm is ubiquitous and will become a weed status in the next couple of years, as the seeds develop, fall, stain the patios and sprout in the landscaping.

    If any one of the Beccariophoenix species is viable commercially, it will be a boon to the nursery trade in my area; and I would like to be part of it. The timing is perfect as it will take some time for this particular economic slowdown to work itself out and hopefully by then, the data and the plants will be in hand. A couple of well placed specimen palms will make the difference and the better mousetrap theory will be proved once again.

    Also, I really like the looks of these palms from the photos I have seen.
     
  14. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    To answer your latest post Dean, It's more surprise than exasperation. I and others in my area have regarded the window form as B. mad. for almost ten years now. Thanks to this site I see that's not the case. Most of my peers in my area are older than me and do not go on the internet much. So to suddenly realize that a palm that was first described in the early twentieth century, was described by Dr. Dransfield over twenty years ago and has only two species and one mystery form, has not been resolved to three distinct species, is odd to me.
    When you consider the undescribed form or species (window form) has been in cultivation as long or longer than the B. mad. no windows. You would think this would have garnered more attention. If hobbyists and collectors see striking differences as illustrated in my photos on this thread, it is again a surprise that this hasn't been looked into more closely. It didn't take long to resolve B. alfredii. So alas, I will put this to rest and just not question the methods of the palm gods.
    And Dean I haven't the mental prowess to even set foot in the Dypsis arena. Too many species and as you pointed out groups within the genus to try to wrap my head around at the moment. If Dypsis performed better around here I might be willing to invest time and energy to such things.
    I would, for my climate like to study Syagrus more closely. I have about twenty two sp. in the stable right now. I want to try to insure some of the lesser known spp. for commercial interests for here.
     
  15. bepah

    bepah Active Member

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Brentwood CA 9b
    This is not to disparage Dr. Dransfield or any of the folks that work with him; are there other folks working in the field that also contribute to the body of work?

    Is Kew the end all for nomenclature and establishing the species designation?

    I am just curious.

    My efforts for the next few years are more tilted toward commercial interests than scientific and I will not be going to Madagasgar in the foreseeable future, but I can also find my way around a lab, although I would be working with non-native grown specimens. However, I have no time to do any lab work. My output from this study will be oriented toward growing these 3 species in my area.

    I have asked for photos of all 3 species from the PalmTalk org. If any of you have them, I am compiling as many as I can. You will get full attribution. I need:

    Species
    Date of photo
    Estimated age
    Alive or dead today
    If dead, assessment of why

    Thanks!
     
  16. bepah

    bepah Active Member

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Brentwood CA 9b
    I can send you all of the Queens you want!:D
     
  17. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Hi John, For the record I would be happy to toss all of the Beccariophoenix I can find in my area, your way. We have some large specimens of the window form.
    With regard to Kew et al. I know they have embraced the Becc. cause for years now as it had fallen under their endangered or threatened plant watchlist. I know the one windowpane form has recovered from near extinction in cultivation. But at the time of it's discovery, I think the window form was believed to consist of one tree in the Ranomafana population. Which further begs my arguement; why does the poor thing have no name.
    I believe anyone can name a palm. But the person's declaration will then fall under the scrutiny of the academics like Dransfield, Henderson and others who play in the big leagues, in arenas like Kew Royal Botanic Gardens or Mongomery Botanic Gardens etc.. It seems to me that the person making the declaration would sbmit their work to the editorial staff at Palms of IPS. Anything that dosen't pass muster probably won't make it past there.
    I think it would be a good endeavor for you to explore the most successful form for your area. I have discussed this before with others, It dosen't matter what we palm people think of the Becc.'s used as a substitute for Coconuts, some bean counter will eventually grasp the fact that the Becc.'s will ultimately run less maintnance costs than the Coco. Once that takes hold I think, as you have stated the market will blow up for these things. I've also said it before that some tourist from the north country will not weigh such scrutiny on the Becc.'s. as any of us would for purely sentimantal reasons.
    So John, I think you're right to consider this one for commercial reasons. And being in a Mediterranean climate as your's is all the more reason to do so. And give Jeff Marcus a call if you're serious about getting the alfredii en mass. He is jazzed about this one. He claims it's a much faster growing palm than the no window form. And as Dean mentioned the window form has not performed well in soCal.. So for what it's worth consider the alfredii as your go to palm (trial wise) for what you have in mind. -Justin
     
  18. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Some related thoughts and observations (perceived or otherwise) from just a gardener and layman.

    -If you were involved with Dypsis and the other palms of Madagascar before POM came out, you would realize how upside down JD turned this whole group of palms, and the palm world in general. Hundreds were named that had none previously, and many more were renamed. The errors and omissions (for mostly good reasons) were probably less than 1% of the newly described and newly named species. Without John's work there would undoubtably be many hundreds of more mysteries and errors.

    -Having said that, in my experience there seem to be two things that hold back the sorting out of matters like what we are discussing.

    1) There seems to be a considerable amount of "secrecy" when it comes to new discoveries, new analysis, and new nomenclature. This "secrecy" does not help to advance the overall level of knowledge, and certainly does not speed up the dissemination of any newly acquired information. Things seem to stay under wraps until they see the light of day in a scientific release.

    2) There is a great divide between those that study in a lab and occasionally visit palms in their natural environment, but are rarely familiar with the nuances and interesting factoids and observations that a hands on grower comes across on a daily basis. There is a totally different level of familiarity with those that have observed palms in situ and gardens every few years, as opposed to those that watch a seed sprout, spend time as a seedling and juvenile, and mature into a trunking specimen. While both are equally valuable, the two don't seem to mesh very well. The simple gardener may look at the botanists with glazed eyes and language they don't understand, while the scientists could care less about the color transformations or other morphological differences between palms as they mature. After all, it's only about the ultimate detailed examination of the flower and seed --- right?

    So the two worlds of palm knowledge live apart. Jeff M. mentioned this in his presentation. Jeff recognized that those of us who would simply like to know the true ID of a particular species would probably benefit from a closer working relationship between the two.
     
  19. bepah

    bepah Active Member

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Brentwood CA 9b
    Dean and Justin,

    What is the best wat to contact Jeff Marcus? I am inspired to get going. This summer looks to be more mild than normal; optimal growing conditions IMHO.

    Thanks!
     
  20. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Hi John, You can either contact Jeff through his web site, floribundapalms.com. Or by way of 1-866-966-8003. He'll be stoked that you're interested in alfredii. I also looked at Toby's rarepalmseeds.com, he has seed for about $.85 ea. So if you're in it for the long haul seed is another option. I would suggest live plants first though.
    And Dean, I agree with you're encapsulation of the politics of palm botany. It's a shame the IPS, the hub of the palm world hasn't been more effective in harmonizing this dysfunction. Maybe they are made of the components that form the seperations you mentioned.
    I guess like all other things in life, we just need to draw from the resouces as they are and make the most of them. And maybe palm society meetings wouldn't be the same if everything was perfectly aligned. What would we argue about then?
     
  21. bepah

    bepah Active Member

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Brentwood CA 9b
    Thanks!

    Its on my list of things to do today.

    John
     
  22. bepah

    bepah Active Member

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Brentwood CA 9b
    Justin,

    You didn't warn me,

    I called Jeff Marcus today to discuss my needs for my project.

    1 hour later, I was still on the phone with him.

    We had a tremendous discussion.

    I hopefully convinced him to join in here on Palmpedia to contribute. He said that he would have to get off dialup and into broadband to do so, but felt he needed to keep in touch.

    At any rate I will be getting some B. alfredii and a couple of 'windows' for my own experimentation. I already have madgascariensis so that is covered.

    The project is on!
     
  23. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Hey John, Yes talking to Jeff is indeed an experience. I do hope you were able to make inroads for your project. If your ever interested in an incredible slideshow with Jeff talking away for almost two hours, go to the HIPS page here on Palmpedia. He presents a slide show to the members of the eastern (?) branch of the Hawaiian Island Palm Society chapter meeting. The audience at the meeting consisted of Bo Lundqvuist (current IPS prez.) and Dean from this site. The show covers Jeff and his Wife Suchin on their recent (last October I think) trip to Madagascar. They were led around the island by John Dransfield with others Like Randy Moore in tow. I just can't fathom such an experience. Anyway, it is an incredible slideshow. Jeff is a very knowledgeable guy and the slide show is visually impressive. So pop some popcorn grab a beverage and check it out.
     
  24. bepah

    bepah Active Member

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Brentwood CA 9b
    Already done it.......2 tubs of popcorn.......and an adult beverage too!
     
  25. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    John,

    Don't confuse the first slideshow "published" a while ago for the PSSC (with only a part #1) with the new and improved version that has yet to be formally unveiled. Justin is talking about a recent one presented here in Hawaii that I haven't yet posted any links to. I have been waiting until I can include it in the new online magazine I will be releasing soon.

    Part #2 has some pics and commentary about the "no windows" Beccario. So, if you are interested, and since it's not "top secret," you can see both parts here.
    http://www.palmpedia.net/wiki/index.php/MADAGASCAR_EXPEDITION_OF_JEFF_AND_SUCHIN_MARCUS_-_HIPS
     
  26. LJG

    LJG Active Member

    Messages:
    425
    In such a short time I have been into palms and cycads, I can tell you I no longer care about getting correct names for unnamed species. They always change. Look at the recent New Cal shake up. Look at two discussed here. I have heard the names of the Dypsis 'fine leaf' and Beccariophoenix "Windows". Who knows if they stick. What matters to me is I see the plant and register it in my mind. Then there are no doubts if it is truly 'Dark Mealy' or falsely 'Ovobontsira'. :)

    Also, I know why there is secrecy in plant naming (or any flora/fauna). Because you do not have to be a biologist or botanist to do so. So you hide what you know so you get the credit. Simple as that. Plant naming is big business. I also think they are all ego-maniacs. :)
     
  27. bepah

    bepah Active Member

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Brentwood CA 9b

    I would say, based on my knowledge, that the first 2 photos are of B. sp. 'Windows' and the 2nd 2 are B. madagascariensis.

    But who knows?

    Look at my photos in B. Alfredii discussion, or better yet, do a detailed inspection on the alfrediis you got from Florabunda. I am seeing some 'windows' aspect on mine.
     

Share This Page