Are Palm Trees Native To California? Where Else Can You Find Them? | Kidadl


Are Palm Trees Native To California? Where Else Can You Find Them?

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Whenever the landscape of southern California comes to your mind, the things that you picture are the beach, sunsets, and the tall palm trees swaying in the breeze.

The California palms are extremely popular throughout the world, these trees have become an iconic symbol of southern California. These beautiful trees are a sign of relaxation and leisure on sunny vacations along the beach in a Mediterranean climate.

Palm trees have been adopted by the south Californian coastal landscape in such a way it appears as if they are native to the place. Coastal southern California, especially the city of Los Angeles consists of several species of palm trees extending over a large stretch but most of them are not native to the place. There's only a single native tree related to the palms in the US. Palm trees are found in Florida, Georgia, California, Arizona, and Hawaii in the United States. In L.A. the iconic California fan palms line up the boulevard in Beverly Hills followed by San Diego where non-native palms line the street of the city.

Since the palm trees were grown outside their original habitats, the lifespan of this plant species has shortened. Still, the palm trees of southern California will remain a true icon even if they die off in the future. Clusters of these plant species have established California as an exotic destination in the 21st century.

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Varieties Of Palm Trees Native To Coastal Southern California

Palm trees were never actually suitable for growing in the dry and semi-arid desert-like soil of California. They require abundant water and a nearby perennial water source for their growth. However, they are still found abundantly in Los Angeles because of the Los Angeles river running through the city. A variety of palms called the California fan palm tree is the only native palm tree growing in L.A. It grows naturally across the coast of southern California and extends to the cities further north.

Apart from the native trees, several other varieties of palms are able also able to thrive in Los Angeles. All of these palms were planted on California's soil in the 20th century. Some common palm trees found in Los Angeles are King palms and Queen's palms. These two are fast-growing large palm trees that can grow up to a height of 40 in (101.6 cm) and 25 in (63.5 cm) respectively and consist of large fronds. The pygmy date palm is also commonly found planted in L.A. The date palm is one of the most common species of palms that is available on almost all continents. The small-sized date palms are found in various outdoor stores in California's Palm Springs. The Kentia palms are another commonly observed palm tree of southern California because they do not always need to grow in full sun. They can also grow in shade and are often found in small groups of trees. The pindo palm is an exotic palm tree with silvery leaves but they do not survive in shade. Finally, the Mediterranean fan palms are the locals’ favorite plants that are found in the streets of Los Angeles. They have a beautiful bluish color to the leaves but grow pretty slowly in comparison to other species.

The Mexican fan palm trees, native to northwestern Mexico, occur in large numbers along with the California fan palms in Los Angeles. They are also not a native species of California but it is believed that the Mexican fan palm was replanted on the San Pedro streets after uprooting from the deserts in 1850.

Native Palm Species Belonging To California

Southern California's palm tree lining provides an exotic landscape view to part of the state, especially to the city of Los Angeles. There are several varieties of palm trees rising in the streets of California but only one species among them is native to California, the rest are engineered into the natural ecosystem of the state.

The species, Washingtonia filifera, or California fan palm is the only native tree found in that region. These fan palms are not only restricted to California but they are also found far in the oasis region of the spring-fed Colorado desert and in the northern territories of Wyoming. The California fan palm is also known as the Arizona fan palm or petticoat palm since the fan-like dead leaves hang against the trunk in a downward direction like a petticoat. There are records of Native Americans like Cahuilla Indians using the California fan palm as a natural resource centuries ago. They used the fruit of the plant as food and used its fronds to weave baskets and make roofs of huts. This illustrates that these palms were not planted artificially, but rather they existed much before artificial means could be applied. A cluster of fan palm groves is found along oases in California, which is also known as Palm Springs.

Palm trees together in a row look beautiful.

Origin Of Palm Trees In California

The palm trees in California have become an iconic addition to the landscape. The tall and slender palm trees cover the avenues and the boulevards of the city of Los Angeles. However, most of these trees are not a part of the ecosystem of California. In reality, they have been imported from other countries and planted in the ground of California for ornamental purposes. Most of these trees have also been a part of California's ecosystem only since the last century.

There are one species of palm tree that is native to the United States, it is known as the Califonia fan palm. These trees thrive on drawing water from deep natural springs and grow naturally in hidden oases or along canyon streams. They provide shade, food, and shelter to plants, animals, birds, and even primitive men. The sweet fruit of the plant was a good source of food for both animals and humans. However, many varieties of palm trees were imported in California in the 19th century. The largest population of non-native palms, the Mexican fan palm trees were brought to California in the 1930s. However, the purpose behind planting these trees on the Californian ground was solely ornamental, not related to their utility.

The History And Origin Of Palm Trees In The World

The history of cultivating palm trees can be traced back thousands of years ago. They have been a part of several cultures throughout the world and are also cultivated for ornamental purposes in many places. The fronds and the fruit of the trees are used as shelter and food respectively by animals. They have also been incorporated into religious and astrological ceremonies.

Research shows that palm trees actually originated from India, the South Pacific islands, parts of southeast Asia, and northern Africa. Different species are distinguished by differences in their places of origin. Some of the oldest known palm trees, like coconut palms and date palms, have been discovered from Indo-Atlantic, Pacific, and Egypt. The geographical diversity of the palm trees have allowed them to grow in many places, but they are most abundant between 3o degrees north and south latitudes of the Americas, Japan, India, and Australia. This suggests that they prefer tropical and sub-tropical climates in their natural habitat.

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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