diumenge, 13 de juny de 2010

California Fan Palm - Washingtonia Filifera

Like most palms, it has several common names. It is sometimes called the desert palm, the petticoat palm, or the California Washingtonia.
The old leaves form a dry, brown skirt around the top of the trunk if they are not removed. It is this habit which causes people to call it the petticoat palm. Bugs, birds, and mice can live inside these skirts. Because the native range of this tree is so arid, they can also become a fire hazard.
This fan palm grows singly. The gray trunk can grow to 60 feet tall and 3 feet around.
A mature specimen can have a crown spread of 15 feet. Each leaf is 3-6 feet wide and grows on a long stalk with hooked teeth. This could explain why people don't always prune off the dead fronds. These teeth are not present in juveniles.
Each spring, large clusters of white flowers dangle from the crown. These flowers mature into sweet black berries which can be eaten fresh by humans and animals alike.
The California fan palm is hardy to 15 degrees F. Possibly lower with age. It is fast growing, drought and salt tolerant.