Common Name: Silver Lady Palm; Bindle Palm
Sun: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Growth Rate: Moderate (slightly faster than either parent)
Water: Very Low
Cold Tolerance: 25-28degF ?
History: This hybrid likely originated in Thailand but was distributed through a grower in Hawaii to collectors around the world around 2004-2006. It has not been seen for sale in the retail market since then. (It’s brother H. vershaffeltii x lagenicaulis has been distributed in much higher numbers).
Production: The seed parent is Hyophorbe lagenicaulis (Bottle Palm) and the pollen parent is Hyophorbe vershaffeltii (Spindle Palm). Both are native to the Mascarene Islands in the Indian Ocean. The Bottle Palm is critically endangered there. A story made its way through collector’s circles that this seed was produced by emasculating a H. lagenicaulis that was surrounded by four H. vershaffeltii and bees carried the pollen. The extremely small flowers (1.5mm) on the H. lagenicaulis inflorescence, coupled with the fact that they contain low levels of calcium oxalate (a skin irritant), makes this an extremely difficult hybrid to produce.
Benefits: This hybrid essentially looks like a more robust H. lagenicaulis that holds more fronds than the pure H. lagenicaulis. It will also grow in warm Mediterranean climates whereas pure H. lagenicaulis is strictly sub-tropical or tropical in its requirements. (With the exception of a few H. lagenicaulis that are growing in frost-free microclimates extremely close to the ocean in Southern California. Technically a Mediterranean climate).
Identification: Seedlings are difficult to identify has hybrids until they have a few leaves or more. Hybrids can be identified by their relative fast growth compared to either pure parent. Once older, this hybrid looks like a H. lagenicaulis, only with a thicker crown shaft which contains some silver glaucous coating, and typically holds about 6-7 fronts at once (whereas pure H. lagenicaulis holds about 4-5).