Butia eriospatha x Syagrus romanzoffiana (Litoralis) F1
The well-known Butyagrus hybrid between Butia odorata and Syagrus romanzoffiana, popular for its excellent combination of cold hardiness and speed of growth in an elegant palm is getting serious competition from this brand new hybrid: The hardiest and largest Butia crossed with the hardiest, largest and most vigorous Syagrus! Butia eriospatha x Syagrus romanzoffiana (Litoralis) F1, the result should be absolutely stunning. We hope this combination will inherit the cold hardiness and most of the looks of Butia eriospatha but will be significantly faster growing and produce a taller, smooth trunk.
The mother: Butia eriospatha
Though at first glance this palm looks quite like the popular Butia odorata, it has a larger crown of greener leaves and is immediately distinguishable by its woolly inflorescence spathe. Indeed, the red brown coloration of this rather thick fur is visible from quite a distance and renders identification quite easy. The fact that it is the most cold hardy in the genus makes it an excellent proposition for the temperate garden. Butia eriospatha comes from the highlands of southern Brazil where it grows up to about 1200 m (4000 ft.).
The father: Syagrus romanzoffiana (Litoralis)
A robust form of the Queen Palm from Argentina, Uruguay and Southern Brazil, where it is found to over 1000 m (3300 ft.) altitude, with a thicker, sturdier trunk that supports a large, dense crown of arching leaves with particularly thick and wide leaflets. It is very hardy to cold and is said to survive temperatures down to -9°C (15°F) undamaged. Apparently this palm has already been in cultivation in the U.S. for a while, most popularly under the name Silver Queen. Reportedly, the palm received that name in Florida not because its leaves or any other of its parts are silvery, but rather because after a hard freeze that killed all the more tender Queen Palms, the ones that survived, the Silver Queens, had leaflets that appeared in a strange, translucent silvery tone in sunlight, the result of a light frost damage.