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Old 01-04-2011, 10:01 AM
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More pics from Brownsville..

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Old 01-04-2011, 10:18 AM
Location: Atlanta and St Simons Island, GA
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VERY interesting pics of Brownsville. I had no idea that it was so lush.
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:02 PM
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Washingtonia robusta, Mexican Fan Palm dominates the skyline of Rio Grande Valley on the same level as SoCal
Almost impossible not to see one in any direction in Cameron County...

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Old 01-04-2011, 01:14 PM
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More palms....they're everywhere...
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by United_Caps_Skins_Fan View Post
LOL! That is absolutely laughable and absolutely false. Palms are definitely NOT grasses, nor closely related to them. Bamboo, yes, Palms? No.
Yes, palms are related to grasses. They both belong in the same family, along with bromeliads, gingers, bananas, and spiderworts. They are monocots, one of the two groups of flowering plants, the other being woody plants or trees. So they are much more akin to grasses then true trees.
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:41 PM
Location: San Francisco
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Very impressed by far South Texas. I never get to see any pictures of if, let alone of palm trees.

Before this record cold winter and last year's absolutely brutally cold winter, NE FL was beginning to look fairly tropical itself. People were planting foxtail palms, royal palms, and even coconut palms in micro climates all over the place. For tropical looking palms in today's harsh winter reality, we are limited to Bismarck Palms (becoming really popular...we have one by our front drive), all of the various date palms, all of the fan palms, all of the sabal palms, and Queen palms (one of the most popular).

Here are some tropical foliage pictures I have taken (during the winter) in the past year. Wish I got actual plant photos before the winter of 2009-2010 before everything died. I love gardening and plants, but I never really take any pictures of them. These are taken mainly in Jacksonville city proper (inland) and a few in St. Augustine. The beaches are warmer during the winter months, and they are beaches, so they look a lot more tropical and have far more palm trees/tropical plants.

King Sago (Jacksonville area is about as far north as it can grow)

The following pictures are survivors of the worst winter in the last 50 or so years.

Not a palm, but a common tropical Florida non-native tree called a Norfolk Island Pine:

No idea what this is.

Most riverfront homes in Jacksonville are more toned down with northern/European style gardens. The following 3 homes didn't get the memo.

Happened to catch a small baby Bismarck in the ancient Springfield neighborhood.

Queen = 3rd most popular palm tree in Jacksonville.

A lone Washington Fan Palm. Looks kind of like a scene from urban LA to me.

So typically Florida with the 120 year old with those huge glasses and a track suit walking by.

Here is a medium sized Pony Palm (not a true palm, but tropical nonetheless).

Australian Pine. Extremely invasive, Jacksonville is only warm enough in the winter for one of the three species. Australian pine has ravage coastal Florida from the Keys all the way up to Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville.

Foxtail palm barely holding on after last winter. Don't know what spurred me to take this.

Very common palm in NE and Central Florida. Senegal Island Date Palm.

More Australian Pine.

Majesty palms are also fairly popular and are relatively cold hardy (down to about 28-29 degrees for short bouts), but I don't have any pictures of them.
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:03 PM
Location: Pasadena
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Zone 13; those are great photos of palm trees and shows that there are many more varieties than most people even realize.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:28 AM
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I'm surprised Jacksonville Beach has Australian pines there (it's Casuarina glauca by the way, the same one you see in South Texas and the upper 2/3 of the FL peninsula). They freeze to the ground in severe cold but can regenerate by root sprouts. One on the north side of San Antonio last winter surprisingly only froze back to the main trunk.

And yes South Texas is full of palm trees

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Old 01-05-2011, 09:05 AM
Location: San Francisco
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Most of the FL Peninsula is pretty inundated by non-native, invasive tropical species. I doubt TX has the same problem or at least the same extent of the problem we have here. Jax may be colder in the winter than most of the Peninsula (warmer than the Panhandle, though), but it's still warm enough in many areas to see these plants and animals drift up. Australian Pine was first planted in Cape Canaveral area just 1.5-2 hours south of Jax.

Jacksonville Beach and much of Jacksonville are zone 9B, meaning that it never gets below 25. Inland areas of Jacksonville like up by the airport or out on the westside or even down in Gainesville are zone 9A because it can get down to between 20-25 (rarely, but definitely the past two winters). There are 10a microclimates at the beach, along the parts of riverfront, and in much of the area around St. Augustine. It can be 27 in Jacksonville while it will be only 33-34 in these areas. I have a 10a microclimate in my yard on the river, and we have foxtails, fishtails, majesty palms, schefflera (2 varieties), bananas, and a rubber tree (that did freeze back the past 2 years). My mother who is a major gardener hates these plants, so I planted them away from view. I don't live at home anymore, though.

I checked the climate for SA, and Jax is a little warmer. The average low in Jax in January is 45.6 whereas it is 38.6 in SA. Just a few degrees can make a huge difference. Jax also receives an average of 50-55 inches of rain per year (about 20 more inches than SA) and 250 more hours of sunshine a year (~20 more sunny sunny days). The climate in Jax is more stereotypically humid subtropical.

Brownsville is even more subtropical, but doesn't seem humid. It's average low in January is 50.6 and has a longer period of heat than both cities, but still only receives less than 30 inches of rain a year. Brownsville has about the same climate as Cocoa Beach, 2 hours south of Jacksonville. I would guess Cocoa Beach receives more rainfall, though. Sarasota has the same climate, but north of Sarasota, St. Petersburg is actually considerably warmer. St. Petersburg, FL is almost as "tropical" as SE FL and warmer than anywhere in Texas.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:16 PM
Location: Carrboro and Concord, NC
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Originally Posted by desert sun View Post
States that have cities and towns with palm trees---

New Mexico
Utah (I bet most people dont even realize this) St.George,UT
South Carolina
I think even North Carolina
Virgina Beach has some but from what I have seen they look terrible
Arkansas can grow some but I dont think there are really any towns that do.
Yes - the southern coastal region of NC. Palmettos - which are one of the dwarf (shrub-sized) shrub-sized palms are native along the coast from southern AL and the FL panhandle right on around the coast to tidewater VA. They are hardy down to about 10 degrees or so, and in some of the tall pine forests near the coast, the undergrowth is basically a palmetto thicket - very pretty.

Most of the mostly tropical species (not just palms, but others like citrus and bananas as well) have one or two cold-hardy exceptions to the general rule:

Most citrus are tropical or subtropical, but bitter oranges (trifolate oranges) and some papeda citrus are hardy to temps below zero. Those fruits are nasty, which is why no one cultivates them, but the trees look nice.

Bananas are likewise mostly tropical or subtropical, but Darjeeling bananas (a.k.a. Himalayan bananas) are likewise hardy to around 0F. The fruit is technically edible, but small and extremely seedy, so when they are grown, it's usually just because they look cool.
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