Thinking through over 2,500 palm tree species can seem overwhelming! Palms are popular choices for outdoor landscaping. Or for potting to bring a tropical touch to your indoor environment. But many of us wonder: which is the right one to choose for our needs?
Or maybe you're just curious about palms that are unique, or have a special decorative look. There are palms like that. Perhaps you'd like to know about particular types of palms, some that have interesting ways of growing.
Let's look at the varied species of palms & how it all works.
We'll break it down, as we're palm enthusiasts ourselves. Always learning more, visiting palm groves, botanical gardens, reading palm tree books, reading the latest of various Organization's Palm Tree newsletters.
Seeing what's new. To get it out there for you. Keep scrolling along, or choose your topic:
Palm tree species come in all shapes & sizes. Some are pretty small, even only getting to about 6 ft. (1.8m) tall. Others grow up to 100 ft. (30m).
Other ID practices are figuring the types & numbers of fronds, methods for growing, & specific characteristics.
For instance, asking: does this palm have a crownshaft?
Species of palm trees have a Rich Cultural Meaning, now & in history, throughout the world. Particularly in the tropics. Many cultures use their fruit, as table food or many times as animal feed. Middle Eastern countries, in particular have deep cultural implications regarding palm tree species.
Since they're often associated with tropical climates, they evoke Palmy Beach Sunsets in travel plans, art or memories!
Liking this Georgia Sunset Memory!
DISCOVER PALM TREE SPECIES
Some species of palms are well-known, such as the coconut palm. Most are only known by their common names. Other palms are unsung, but quite fascinating. And may not have common names! Sadly, some palm species are endangered, others have become extinct.
We'll guide you to some of the unique, the humble, the popularly common & the weird! Likely some palm tree species you may not have heard of before.
Review Varied Palm Tree Species
Palm tree species can be categorized several ways.
GROWING METHODS OF PALM SPECIES
Think of the way palms grow to organize which species they are. Two most common methods are Solitary and Clumping.
Probably the type that initially comes to mind for palm trees. They grow on a single trunk, with no branching. The leaves/fronds grow right out from the top of the trunk.
Most get by with minimal maintenance when established.
Except they're more vulnerable to damage from high winds, such as with hurricanes.
They succeed in multiple types of climates.
They grow in clusters. Meaning these palm tree species have multiple trunks growing from the single original base. And then spreading further with newer trunks.
They're popular since they have a lush appearance.
Maintenance might include pruning to ensure better growth to prevent overcrowding.
Most of them prefer warm, humid climates.
The Licuala spinosa palm tree species A Clumping Palm
Organizing Palms by Types of Leaves
Palm species have two basic types of fronds, though there are some subcategories. But knowing these is basic to Palm Tree Identification:
Difference Between Pinnate and Palmate Fronds
Pinnate Fronds - Commonly called Feather Palms. You know why! Their leaves remind you of large green feathers.
Many small leaflets grow along a stem. Giving them a delicate, graceful look.
Palmate Fronds - Commonly called Fan Palms. Their fronds are typically fan-shaped & quite large. Even up to 10 feet across!
Their look is also reminiscent of your fingers spread out from the palm of your hand. Which is how they're officially named.
Most thrive in a variety of climate zones.
Gardeners around the world love their look for landscaping projects.
Pinnate Palm Tree Species
A genus category of areca palm plants. It has approximately sixty species of palms. All of them with crownshafts. They also have the feathery pinnate fronds.
Native to New Guinea & Solomon Island rainforests. Rarely grown as an ornamental palm, though locally used in place of the Betal Nut, as a substitute.
As seen here, its narrow trunk is supported by stilt roots.
Known as Lipstick Palm, Sealing Wax Palm, Maharajah Palm & Pinang Rajah.
A colorful contrast makes this a brilliant palm tree species specimen. The fronds' petioles, bases & crownshaft are a dazzling glossy red. Feathery stiff leaflets are dark green offsetting against the stems.
Natural to swampy areas of southeast Asia.
Not the easiest to grow outdoors. Needs much water & tropical warmth. Easiest growing: potted as an Indoor Palm.
Multiple common names are the Mexican Palm Tree, Washington Palm, Mexican Fan Palm & Skyduster.
Popular tall palm species for outdoor street & city landscapes in the Southwest.
Native to canyon washes & springs of Sonora & Baja California, Mexico.
Some make the comparison of Washingtonia filifera vs robusta. The filifera is native to similar landscapes, but endemic to Southern California, Western Arizona & Baja California. And gets by with less water.
Have you noticed there are a number of ways to categorize palm tree species? Knowing how that's done can help you decide on a suitable palm to grow yourself. It also can help with beginning to know palm identification.