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Brief Summary

    Arecaceae: Brief Summary
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    This article is about the palm family. For the heather family, see Ericaceae. For the arum family, see Araceae. For the ivy family, see Araliaceae.

    The Arecaceae are a botanical family of perennial plants. Their growth form can be climbers, shrubs, trees and stemless plants, all commonly known as palms. Those having a tree form are colloquially called palm trees. They are flowering plants, a family in the monocot order Arecales. Currently 181 genera with around 2600 species are known, most of them restricted to tropical and subtropical climates. Most palms are distinguished by their large, compound, evergreen leaves, known as fronds, arranged at the top of an unbranched stem. However, palms exhibit an enormous diversity in physical characteristics and inhabit nearly every type of habitat within their range, from rainforests to deserts.

    Palms are among the best known and most extensively cultivated plant families. They have been important to humans throughout much of history. Many common products and foods are derived from palms, and palms are also widely used in landscaping, making them one of the most economically important plants. In many historical cultures, palms were symbols for such ideas as victory, peace, and fertility. For inhabitants of cooler climates today, palms symbolize the tropics and vacations.

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    Brief Summary
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    There are about 2,600 species of palm tree. Palms are well-known in warm climates. Most have a single trunk with large evergreen leaves at the top. Coconuts are the fruit of the coconut palm. Coconuts have many uses. Their white flesh is eaten and made into coconut milk and coconut oil. Other parts are used to make ropes, brushes, and charcoal.
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