Life Amid the Palms

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December 2023 Welcome!

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Where Palm Trees Grow - Who Has the Most?

People are asking: What country has the most palm trees? Let's embark on a virtual tropical journey, to unearth the country with the most palms.

Plus, who has the most palm tree species?

Woman on the deck by her backyard is studying about palm trees, taking notes and using research books and her computer.Researching the Stats for Palm Trees Worldwide

Ready for the Big Reveal?

Many countries in the world are known for lots of palms. And there hadn't been any real studies to get the answer. Until one was published on May 4, 2020.

Palm scientist doing a study of palms in the tropics.

Plant biologists from all around the world, especially those with an interest in palm trees, contributed to this investigation. They concluded that "The results of our analysis of tree palm abundance show that tree palms are not only quintessentially tropical, but also overwhelmingly Neotropical."*

Where Most Palm Trees Grow

What they found was that where the most palm trees grow is in the Northwestern countries of South America. Particularly Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador & most importantly Colombia. But notice that their conclusion talked of "Tree Palms" - their term for solitary palms. Not included were clustering palm species.

Other palm tree aficionados have their own take on where the most palm trees grow. As the definitive totals are truly difficult to calculate. 

  • One stated it's Indonesia! Where an estimated 3,000 different islands are teeming with lush, verdant palm trees. But note that Indonesia is the world's leading producer of palm oil. Which skews their resulting palm totals. Because of cultivating the African oil palm: Elaeis guineensis.
  • But others agree with our conclusion!

THAT IS: we believe Colombia is the country where the most palm trees grow. Among its diverse plant life, palm trees take a significant place.

palms in a jungle by a riverside with a boat

Columbia's diversity in palm species is largely due to the country's varied ecosystems. From coastal regions and flat grasslands to mountainous areas and rainforests with multiple rivers & swamps. Each of these habitats offers specific conditions where different palm species can thrive.

Which Country Has the Most Palm Species?

All leading to the other question of: Which country boasts the most palm tree species? Plant catalogs exist for totaling each country's species.

Here, it again could be Colombia. The catalog states Colombia has 289 species of palms. Plus the award for the tallest palm in the world definitely goes to Colombia.

But then, consider Brazil. Which a catalog claims 300 palm species grow in that country.

It seems there's a very close call between Colombia vs. Brazil. Especially since new palm species are still being discovered in the depths of tropical jungles!

*Muscarella R, Emilio T, Phillips OL, et al. The global abundance of tree palms. Global Ecol Biogeogr.2020;29:1495–1514.

Palm trees lit up for the holiday with a wish.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season to all. And may a happy, health New Year be coming your way.

Til Next Time,

Karen & Bill of Mission: Palm Trees

Karen and Bill of Life Amid the Palms

P.S. Don't miss Our Latest Articles - And if you want to see what we have for you, available by subject be sure to check out our Mission: Palm Trees Site Index

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