Arecaceae: Palm family
Palms constitute 200 genera and 3,000 species. It is a large group formally called Palmae (still can use that name). They are almost entirely restricted to tropical and subtropical climates. Palm cultivation dates back to nearly 5,000 years ago with the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) which can yield 100 pounds of dates a year. Coconut palms (Cocos nucifera) are found natively on almost every beach in the world because of the floating nature of their seeds. They did not, however, make it naturally to the islands of Hawaii - a place people usually associate with coconut laden beaches.
Systematics: Palms are large woody vines or trees that have a large panniculate inflorescence. The flowers have 2 perianth whorls of 3 segments each. Male flowers have perianths that meet at the edges while females have perianths that overlap. There are typically 6 stamens and 1 or 3 pistils.
Links to more information