If you think about palm trees, chances are that you think about the ones that produce coconuts. But there are many different types of palm trees just in Florida. Below are the top six types of palm trees that grow in Florida and some information about each one.
Areca Palm Tree
This tree is also called the cane, golden cane, yellow butterfly, Madagascar and bamboo palm. It’s commonly used as a plant for landscaping. It has a variety of stems that grow anywhere from 20-25 feet tall and they grow 2 feet and more each growing season. It should be planted in an area where the lowest temperatures range between 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit. The hardiness zones are 10 to 11 and it can grow in outdoor or indoor containers.
Bismark Palm Tree
This palm tree is one of the most sought-after fan palms Florida has to offer. It’s native to Madagascar and its introduction is relatively recent to the landscapes in Florida. It’s a massive palm which provides any landscape a dramatic effect. It can be used as your focal point or it also can be used for screening and shade. It can tolerate temperatures as cold as 15F and it can also be grown in many other southern states including Florida.
Bottle Palm Tree
This beautiful tree grows slowly and it can get as high as 15-20 feet, but it usually only grows to be around 10. A lot of people think that these trees are dwarf palms. It’s a great tree for small outdoor gardens or inside.
It has one trunk which is approximately 2 feet around. It has ring scars and a crown shaft at its top which is grey. The trunk is grey and self-cleaning with a bottle shape, which is where it gets its name.
The leaves on the crown can grow as long as 10 feet long. The tree also produces gorgeous white flowers which are held up by their 30-inch stalks which come from under the tree’s crown shaft. After the flowers come berries that are green-black in color and that will turn black once they are ripened. The fruit is about 1.5 inches in length and has one seed inside.
Carpentaria Palm Tree
This palm tree is very popular and used in many Florida landscapes. It’s very similar to the well-known Christmas palm and many times the trees are planted together to give the appearance of a beautiful tropical forest. This forest is native to the Northern Territory of Australia and it has a single smooth trunk that’s ringed with scars of old leaves which are not close together due to its rapid growth. The trunk is slender and grey and just 10 inches around with a slightly swollen base. It’s topped with a gorgeous crown of fronds that gracefully arch. It usually has 10 to 12 leaves with a total of 90 to 100 leaflets.
It produces gorgeous flowers that are green to white throughout the year, which are held by lengthy inflorescence that grow as long as 4 feet. The flowers are female and male and they’re on the inflorescence together. After the tree is 5 to 6 years old, it will bear brilliant beautiful red fruit that hangs in big clusters from the trunk. This fruit is oval and approximately 1/5-inch long. But the fruit shouldn’t be touched since is juice can cause skin irritation.
Chinese Fan Palm Tree
This tree is native to southern Japan and China. It’s also called Fountain and Chinese Fountain Palm. It has a single grey-brown trunk that is straight and that’s ringed with scars from old leaves. It’s swollen slightly at its base, and it’s approximately 15 to 17 inches around.
The trunk’s topped with fan-shaped leaves that form a dense evergreen crown which droops downward to create an effect that is similar to a fountain. Partially segmented large leaves can reach lengths of 5 feet wide and 5 feet long, and they can range from bluish-green to a glossy olive green. Its petioles have sharp thorns on them.
It produces flowers that are yellow-cream in color and held by inflorescence that is much shorter than its leaves. Both female and male flowers grow on plants together and they’re bisexual. After the flowers come, the fruit that is small and oval. They are just an inch long and the green fruit turns a dark blue or a blue-grey when they’re ripe. The tree is very hard and can tolerate cold and drought.
Coconut Palm Tree
These trees are one of the most popular trees and they are also the ones that a lot of people think about when they think of palm trees. They have single smooth grey trunks ringed with scars from old leaves and the mature trees become smooth as they age. The trunk’s a bit swollen at its base and it’s usually curved slightly.
It’s topped with a crown made up of 25 to 30 pinnate leaves that can grow to staggering lengths of around 18 feet long and 6 feet wide, with 200 leaflets that are two feet long. The lifespan of the leaf can be 2.5 to 3 years and healthy, mature palms form new ones and then drop the one that is oldest every month.
When the tree is around 4 to 6 years old, during springtime it begins producing flowers that are sweet smelling. They grow in clusters and they’re held by stalks that are slightly branched. Flowers that are female and male grow on the same inflorescence. They’re generally protandrous, and the flowers generally pollinate before the females are receptive.
After the flowers, come the coconuts and they can range from green to yellow, and brown based on the variety and maturity. They are oval with three angles and they’re 12 inches long with a width of 10 inches. There’s a nut inside the fruit, which is filled with coconut meat and watery sweet milk. The seeds are among the biggest of any plant type. Once it’s mature it will take a year before the coconut’s ripe.
The fruit will begin to develop when the plant’s approximately 6 to 10 years of age. The tree bears fruit throughout the year with a yearly production of 50 to 200 coconuts for each palm tree, based on the palm variety and growing conditions.
If you are planning to grow a palm tree, it’s a good idea to research the different types and know what each has to offer. You also want to know what climate you will be growing your tree in. Some palm trees are hardier than others and you want to get the one that is right for your climate.
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