Washingtonia robusta

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Washingtonia robusta

Post Number:#1  Postby DesertDweller » Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:13 am

Thought I'd share just because I found the pics. This is a W. robusta that grew from seed (by chance not choice!) a few years back. It was in such a perfect spot that I left it alone and watched it grow. The growth rate has been staggering. I have another that came with the house when we bought it, which must be close to a decade older than one. It has since eclipsed that inherited palm and is now my largest, both in diameter and height (that's a 6' block wall in the pics), and by no small margin. Wish I had more seedlings from wherever in the neighborhood these blew in from. :D

And no, I don't dare fertilize this monstrosity. This is how it behaves on tap water and native soil. :shock:

March 2012:
Picture 3331 (Medium).jpg
W. robusta
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March 2016:
IMG_6626.JPG
W. robusta
IMG_6626.JPG (160.01 KiB) Viewed 580 times
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Re: Washingtonia robusta

Post Number:#2  Postby Geoff » Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:37 am

based on the color of the petioles looks like it has a lot of Washingtonia filifera in it, though trunk diameter is more consistent with robusta.. may be a hybrid.
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Re: Washingtonia robusta

Post Number:#3  Postby DesertDweller » Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:01 am

Geoff wrote:based on the color of the petioles looks like it has a lot of Washingtonia filifera in it, though trunk diameter is more consistent with robusta.. may be a hybrid.


Interesting. That might explain the difference from the other, which I assume the previous owner must have planted. I imagine there are lots of hybrids abounding in the Phoenix area given how many palms are out there. I typically have dozens of seedlings crop up in the yard. I try to save a few, but as you know they don't transplant well at that stage. Have two in the hopper now, which seem to have started growing again in their pots, so fingers crossed that I get some that grow as fast as this guy.

I should add, I've never been really clear on the distinction between robusta and filifera. I have tried to find some good side by side detail, but have come up short. If you have anything like that, please feel free to add to this thread. Might be of use? I can try to get better pictures of this palm as well, if that might help to ID it.
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Re: Washingtonia robusta

Post Number:#4  Postby Viegener » Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:03 pm

These keep seeding themselves on my hill, and they are remarkable in their vigor. I suspect that they are filifera x robusta hybrids - they fit all the descriptions, including more rapid growth than either.

But of course for me it's a borderline weed...
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Re: Washingtonia robusta

Post Number:#5  Postby DesertDweller » Wed May 24, 2017 1:08 am

Realized I had a couple more recent pics, so why not update?

April 2017:

IMG_2546.JPG
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IMG_2545.JPG
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Re: Washingtonia robusta

Post Number:#6  Postby Viegener » Wed May 24, 2017 11:31 pm

I have a few W. robustas or robusta x filifera (see a botanical description here, claiming that the hybrids will supplant either species in the long run) which self seeded on my hill and they grow like wild, about 1' a year. I'm trying to remove some because if I left them there would be too much shade...
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Re: Washingtonia robusta

Post Number:#7  Postby toditd » Wed May 24, 2017 11:59 pm

For the last four years or so, each spring I'd have these strange "weeds" pop up in my yard. I'd pull most of them up, but I'd let one or to grow, without any help on my part, to see if I could figure out what they were. They always died as the late spring/early summer heat came on. It was only after joining Agaveville and seeing photos of palm seedlings that I realized that these "weeds" were actually palm seedlings. I have no idea what kind, but they've never survived past May.
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Re: Washingtonia robusta

Post Number:#8  Postby DesertDweller » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:32 pm

Another update, this is the trunk as of Sept. 2017! :shock:

IMG_4435.JPG
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IMG_4436.JPG
IMG_4436.JPG (112.54 KiB) Viewed 127 times


Tried my best to wrap a tape measure around the base at the widest point, 60" tape only made it about half way. This thing is growing scary fast. :eek:
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