IUCN threat status:

Near Threatened (NT)

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California Fan Palm- Washingtonia filifera

Native to the southwestern U.S and Baja California, the California fan palm is 1 of the 11 native palms in North America. It has a large, gray unbranched trunk, with horizontal lines. The trunk is 2-3 feet in diameter, and grows 20 to 60 feet long, with hooked spines along the edges. It grows naturally near desert oases, or moist soils near alkaline streams, and mountain canyons. The fan shaped leaves spread from around the top while many old leaves hang on the trunk. This provides a protective habitat for many animals, including birds, insects, and small rodents.

It should not be confused with the date palm, but it does produce “date like” fruit surrounded by a seed. The fruit contains a sweet pulp which the Native Americans ate fresh or dried. They also grounded the nuts to a fine powder and used it for flour.


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