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Monday, December 23, 2013

Washingtonia filifera - California Fan Palm

The California native fan palm is such a cool palm tree and its too bad that we are just a bit north and close to the coast for these to grow really well. Growing to 50 feet in its native habitat ours are likely to be about 30 tall and 10 wide. Trunks are often appearing wider with the skirt of old foliage. These in the picture are not all there anymore, someone redid the landscape and pulled out all but three trees. Ouch.



Heads are thin, usually fewer leaves than the mexican fan palm, and should have lots of old leaves attached.

Leaves evergreen, palm shaped, grey-green in color, 12 or so feet long counting the petiole, the fan part about 5 to 6' diameter. Leaf segments dividing about half way to the base of the leaf. Leaf edges usually showing lots of white fibers, hence the filifera, more so than W. robusta and the tips of the leaflets weeping downward.



Trunks are very stout, thick, and almost cylindrical to the ground, sort of like the Chilean Palm and very unlike the Mexican Fan Palm. 2-3 feet wide if the skirt has been removed.



These show the persistent leaves very typical of the species. Located at Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden.


Flowers in august, but I have never seen them do so.


Misidentification:
Washingtonia robusta has a much thinner stem, more leaves in the head and less "thread" from the leaf margins, though that is hard to see at 40-50' in the air. Picture below shows 2 robustas (tall and far right and the filifera on the left.



Location:
Santa Cruz
On the three way corner of Chico/Auburn/Modesto only 3 left, better hurry


There are several on Morrissey Drive interplanted with Washingtonia robusta.
From the highway towards Soquel Dr. 462, 439, 428, 433, 331, 230

1 comment:

  1. Ciao, bellissimo blog! Mi piacciono molto i post sulle conifere :)

    Ti seguirò con piacere :)

    ReplyDelete