A palm ID challange


Well-Known Member
I purchased this palm about nine years ago. It was sold to me as Normabya normanbyi. As this plant ages my guess is that it is not a Normanbya. Anyone want to take a crack at guessing what it is. I would like to know as it has performed well. So well That I am not mad for not having received a Normanbya from the vendor.


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I can see what you mean. At first glance it didn't look like a dead ringer to me either. Don't tell anybody, but I am not the best at IDs from pics. (Really only average in person as well :) ). And I haven't had much experience with this palm, since mine seem to be struggling - but that's another story.

Anyway, check out the pics on the wiki. You can zoom in on them. They don't look a whole lot different than yours - do they??? NORMANBYA

I'll see if I can lure a few of the ID champions in to take a look.
It's good to hear another opinion on this as I have stared at it for the last few years and wondered if it is Normanbya. My first argument against Normanbya is that the leaflets are ranked on a wider margin and are not as radial or multilateral as the classic foxtail look of the normanbya. The Leaflets are also wider with a concavely praemorse appearence (the leaf tip curves inward like a u shape). The photos of the Normanbya seem to show flabellate praemorse shape (A flat line across the edge of the leaflet, of course I am using books to help me describe what I see as a difference in leaf form). The trunk fits the profile and the general shape is close but I am still wondering if there are any chances it may be something else. It almost reminds me of a Drymophloeus subdistichus. Thanks for your input MattyB you're probably right. I will know more I guess, when it flowers and sets fruit.
As Matty said, with those silver undersides the choices of what else it could be are limited. Off hand I don't think Drymophloeus subdistichus has silver. And I can't think of any other 'foxtail' type palm that does. Well, after thinking a bit, maybe a few like Dictyocaryum, but easily differentiated.
Then it will be a Normanbya until the flowers and fruit weigh in and confirm. It just seems to be expressing itself differently for a Normanbya. Maybe the moderate shade has inhibited it's full foxtail expression. In the next few days I hope to get some pics of a mystery Sabal in my neighborhood. This Sabal might be a little more interesting. I hope to post this within this week pending the property owners approval. Thanks again for helping me. -Justin
I have no idea what Drymophoeus is so maybe it is. But as far as the lack of vigorous plumoseness (plumosity?) goes, the shade is why that is. The younger ones I've seen in shade look exactly like yours. Sorta like a foxtail when it's young; they are not as plumose, especially when it's in shade.
Thanks Matty, I'm sure your right, it has been under the shadow of a big clumping Caryota mitis and a live oak for most of its young life. A few weeks ago I pruned the oak away and lifted some of the fishtail out, to give the Normanbya its share of light. We'll see at the end of this growing season how things look. I will repost on this thread to illustrate any change.