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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.

Specimens List

Talipot Palm - (Corypha umbraculifera) - This is one of the largest palms in the world. It can grow to 75 feet. Its leaves can be 15 feet wide. This plant also has the largest branched inflorescence of any plant being up to 25 feet long and containing several million flowers.



Floral Diagram

Formula


Stilt Palm - Verschaffeltia sp: These plants are often called walking palms. They have massive prop roots that grow downward and push the palm trunk upwards. It has been suggested that these roots function like buttresses.

 


Oil Palms are native to the tropics in Africa. Today, many countries plant this tree to produce palm oil. Malaysia and Indonesia produce 80 percent of the worlds supply.

Links to more information

Dr Carr's UH Botany - Arecaceae Page

 

 
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