At Seabreeze Palms, we are leading the way into the future of landscaping with several types of new hybrid palms.  In addition to growing existing hybrids, we are engineering brand new ones that we are sure will take the landscape industry by storm. 
 
Hybrid palms have a feature called heterosis (the tendency of a crossbred organism to have qualities superior to those of either parent ).  This creates a plant that is:
 
-Faster growing
-Less dependant on fertilizer
-More cold hardy
-More drought tolerant
-More resistant to pest and disease
-More aesthetically pleasing                                                                  
 
Botanists have been working with hybrid corn plants, grasses, and fruits for decades.  However, palm tree hybrids are very new to the industry.  We see great potential in these new crosses in landscape, interiorscape, and commercial applications all over the world.
 
All palm species are given a genus and a species as an identifier.  For example, the Foxtail Palm is Wodyetia (genus) bifurcata (species).  When this palm is crossed with a Sunshine Palm (Veitchia arecina), you get a Wodyetia bifurcata x Veitchia arecina.  This can be shortened to Wodyetia x Veitchia and can be shortened further to Wodveitchia.  The mother palm (the one that bore the hybrid seeds) ALWAYS goes first!   Notice how Wodyetia is first in our example, this designates it as the mother or host palm (the pollen donor was Veitchia)
 
There are two types of basic hybrid palms- intergeneric and interspecific.
 
Intergeneric hybrids are created when two parents of a different genus are crossed.  For example, the common Foxtail Palm (Wodyetia bifurcata) can be crossed with the Sunshine Palm (Veitchia arecina) to create the Foxy Lady Palm (Wodveitchia) pictured to the right.  In order for two palms of different genus to be crossed, both parents must have a similar chromosome count within their DNA.
 
Interspecific hybrids are created when two parents within the same genus are crossed.  For example, the Teddy Bear Palm (Dypsis leptocheilos) can be crossed with the Triangle Palm (Dypsis decaryi) to create the Tri-Bear Palm (Dypsis leptocheilos x decaryi) pictured below.  Since both palms are of the same genus (Dypsis and Dypsis), they already have a similar chromosome count and hybridize readily.
 
Some intergeneric hybrids, such as the Mule Palm (xButiagrus) and the Foxy Lady Palm (xWodveitchia) have already gained popularity as landscape palms and can be found primarily in California, Texas, and Florida. 
 
There are several obstacles to hybrid palm production:
-It takes several years for most palms to reach sexual maturity (in order to make hybrid seeds).
-Hand-pollinated hybrid seed usually has a very low germination rate (6% for xButiagrus).
-Intergeneric hybrids trees don’t produce viable seed
-It is difficult to obtain “mother trees” of some species (Hyophorbe, Wodyetia, etc.)
-Not all species flower at the same time of year