Have you ever thought about a palm's physique?! Well, palm trees have a "bod" too! The parts of a palm tree make up its form, or structure. It's good to know about that. To see what a unique plant a palm tree is.
Knowing the parts of a palm tree is also nice, so when reading descriptions, we can understand words being used. Many specialized words are in this palm tree world! Getting familiar with them helps us be a part of it!
We're here to break it down to basics. Getting that easy-peasy assimilation, just scroll down to learn it all!
Or let's go to specifics...
BASIC WORDS YOU MUST KNOW
Juice up your vocabulary ears, cuz we have some words for you to know. Essential words if you're shopping for palms, want to be knowledgeable when visiting Palm Groves or when talking with landscapers. Or wandering through tropical areas of Botanical Gardens. Or speaking with Palm aficionados.
You'll hear these less common palm tree parts terms when doing more serious research.
Good to know when reading about palms. In serious palm tree books or encyclopedic types of palm tree websites.
ANY NOT SEEN HERE
Then each part of a palm tree gets even more specific. So diving in, you'll see each part has its own sub-terms. You'll see more definitions/explanations as we move along.
PALMS ARE GRASS?
Some ask: are palm trees grass? Does that sound a bit weird? Sort-of, but in a way - not so much!
Palms aren't your typical trees. They have more in common with grass...
Not only that, their workings are also similar to corn stalks & rice plants. Much more-so than with a typical tree.
Palm trees are related to grass. How? Taxonomy explains the relationship. For seeing how the plant kingdom is organized that makes palms related to grass.
The Plant Kingdom begins going from 1 - Divisions or Phylum, 2 - Class, 3 - Order, 4 - Family, 5 - Genus, 6 - Species.
Palms & grasses are both in the same Phylum, Class & supraorder. That's like distant cousins. The chart tells the story. To understand more, we can look inside, for the palm tree parts.
INSIDE A PALM TRUNK
A palm tree trunk's "guts" are very different from usual trees, like oaks, pines or maples. Those trees have two internal systems to get food & water where they're needed. Kind of like blood vessels. Palms don't have this kind of network.
Instead there are little separate bundled parts of the palm tree scattered through the trunks and stems.
HOW PALMS ARE DIFFERENT
Because of this set-up, palms lack some traits:
PALMS DON'T ACCEPT GRAFTING
A planted palm tree seed ejects a starter root.
Soon replaced by roots from the newly growing stem, that come out as wide as they'll ever get. Because permanent parts of a palm tree don't grow more than their maximum set point. But they can spread outward widely.
ROOTS BRING FOOD
Root design is kind of different from parts of a palm tree that's from its base & up. The innards have layers which help get food supplies inward & upward. The nourishment bundles have connecting strands to the palm's trunk. Many roots can regrow when cut/damaged if transplanted.
A baby palm tree coming up from a seed begins with overlapping fronds making a protective cover over the palm tree heart. Palms spend the first few years growing to the thickest width, before it grows further upward. That's the first growing step. The palm tree's most unstable time.
GETS STRONG: GROWING UP
As it grows, an outer hard, thick layer for support forms. Some compare this layer's strength to rebar in concrete.
But not a comparison to bark of a deciduous tree!
Trunks (or stems) can be solitary or clumping. Some in rain forests even grow into the canopy as vines. Others grow offshoots at the trunk's base, called suckers, which help them spread.
Some shed dead leaves, doing housekeeping of their own! They can leave scars which show as circular rings around the trunk. Or they can make an interesting surface pattern.
Others hang onto these dead fronds. Just can't let them go!
Many have swelling lumpiness somewhere along the length of the trunk of the palm tree. Some have spines.
PALM TRUNK COLORS
The trunk's coloring can be gray or brown, less often green.
Palm tree fronds are the leaves of the palm tree. They're quite a noticeable part of a palm tree, for sure! Wouldn't you say?
Helpful for palm tree identification. Plus famed as the largest leaves in the plant kingdom.
PALM FROND TERMS
Here are some terms for Leaf Parts of a Palm tree:
Three Main Frond Parts:
FIRST THING TO IDENTIFY A PALM TREE
First thing to do for figuring out which palm tree you're looking at is to see if they're pinnate or palmate.
The Palmate has a subdivision.
Pinnates Have Subdivisions
Palm tree flowers wouldn't be noticeable on their own, as they're very small and not bold looking. What makes them flashy is how they appear on long flower stems - the inflorescence.
Most often the inflorescences have multiple branches and are long. Though not always.
WHERE/HOW THEY GROW
PALM LOVE-LIFE 😮
Do palms have a love-life?! It's their own version. It may be as complicated, or even more-so than the human version!!
Most palm trees get insects involved in their sex relations. Helping to pollinate the flowers. Aiding transfer of male stamen's pollen to the female's stigma at the pistil.
PALM GENDER IDENTITIES
What types of palm flower sex identities are there?
Monoecious or Pistillate - One palm plant with flowers of either arrangement:
Strictly Separating - Termed dioecious.
The so-small flowers generate much larger Palm Fruits. Many are brightly colored.
Some are so large they're renowned parts of the palm tree world. Like the double coconut, containing the largest plant seed on earth!
Palm fruits are often called nuts (think of the coconut). Others are types of berries. Occasionally some call them Palm Tree Pods.
Most of them are classed as drupes. Meaning it has one seed, but when ripe, the skin doesn't split to release it. Think of a date fruit.
PALM FRUIT IDENTIFICATION
Palm fruit skin is usually smooth. But some can be hairy, prickly or covered with scales or wart-like bumps.
Identifying palm tree fruit helps with also identifying the species of palm tree. And vice-versa. But fruit is not always there, so it's best to begin with identifying the palm tree. And that begins by knowing the basic parts of a palm tree we went over here.
Palm tree identification knowledge takes some time. But you certainly can start with the essentials - knowing how to differentiate the parts of a palm tree!
Did this help you get the lingo for parts of a palm tree? We hope so. There are even more detailed parts of palms, including lots more technical language.
Knowing the most important parts, along with associated terms helps everyone get along better in the palm world!