Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Washingtonia filifera , California Fan Palm

The Washingtonia filifera , or California Fan Palm can be distinguished by the thicker, nearly always straight trunk, the crown is also larger and relatively sparser than its very close rwlative the Washingtonia robusta, or Mexican Fan Palm. The leaves a more sea green, as opposed to the deep green of the Mexican fan palm. The petioles are always green--no red or brown in the petioles as there always is in the Mexican palms. It is a slower grower and seems to top out at around 60', while the Mexican palms can get up to 100' tall. Interspecies hybrids are extremely common and tend to have a bit of characteristics of both palms, thick trunks, but full heads and red on the petioles. Some palm researchers consider these two the same species. These specimens are located in downtown Fort Pierce. Driving around we have hundreds of the Mexican Fan Palms, but these 4 palms are massive. I have collected some seeds from these trees and can only hope that mine grow this big!

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