Palm Trees

Hubby and I have made many trips south during our lifetime and never really gave palm trees a second thought; a palm tree was just a palm tree.

Sombrero Beach near Marathon Florida

Sombrero Beach near Marathon Florida

We have now come to our senses and realized that there are many, many varieties of palm trees. A while ago, while looking through my pictures, I thought they might be a good topic for a blog, little did I know how hard it would be to write! Actually the hard part was trying to identify the variety of palm tree in each picture. I think I have these pictures right but I’m no expert so please forgive me if I’m wrong.

California Fan Palm - Picture taken at Rancho California near Temecula, CA

California Fan Palm – Picture taken at Rancho California near Temecula, CA

The California Fan Palm Tree is one of the most popular palms because of its beautiful appearance and low maintenance.  It can tolerate cold down to 15F, and produces creamy flowers in the summer followed by black fleshy berry-like fruit that mature sometime in September. This palm is known to grow up to 70 feet tall but in cultivation it is usually grows not more than 30 to 40 feet tall and 5 to 10 feet wide.

Young Mexican Fan Palm - Picture taken at Rancho California near Temecula, CA

Young Mexican Fan Palm – Picture taken at Rancho California near Temecula, CA

The Mexican Fan Palm is a rapid growing, hardy palm that is very drought and salt tolerant once established.  It is capable of growing 80 feet in height but usually grows 40 to 50 feet. The lower leaves remain on the tree after they die, forming a dense, brown, shaggy covering below the living fan-shaped leaves. These dead fronds are known to be a fire hazard and a popular bedding roost for rodents and, because of this, must be removed by law in some areas. The sharply barbed leaf petioles and tall, thin trunks make frond removal an unpleasant task, but some people think the rapid growth rate and statuesque appearance of this palm more than make up for the trouble.

Canary Island Date Palm - Picture taken through 100 year old glass windows on the Napa Valley Wine Train

Canary Island Date Palm – Picture taken through 100 year old glass windows on the Napa Valley Wine Train.

The Canary Island Date Palm will grow up to 100 feet and their crowns can grow up to 50 huge arching pinnate leaves that may reach 18 feet long. The yellow-orange to red fruit, called ‘dates’, are oblong and about 1.5 inches in length. They consist of a large pointed seed surrounded by sweet sugary flesh. Dates are formed from flowers on 4-foot inflorescences that emerge from among the leaves in spring. Male and female flowers grow on separate plants. Only female plants produce dates and only if a male tree is nearby. If the climate is too cool the palm will not form dates.

I have more pictures but I will save them for a future blog … I still have to figure out what type of palms they are:-)

Until next time …

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