Palm trees belong to Palmae family, and are evergreen (mostly tropical) trees. Usually, these trees are single trunk trees with leaves that are feather- or fan-shaped. These trees are the most easily distinguishable of all the palm tree types, and are available in the form of over 2500 palm tree species.
These trees are popularly used to adorn pools, backyard retreats, spas, etc., to achieve an enchanting tropical look. The larger palms are used for adding dramatic statements in landscaping, whereas the smaller palms are grown almost everywhere in containers.
Types of Palm Trees
Palm trees are segregated into two types depending on their leaf structure. The two types are palmate and pinnate, wherein the palmate type features leaves stretched out from a central point, as in the case of the fingers of a hand. The pinnate type, on the other hand, features separate leaflets that extend from the central stem's side. Besides, the basic segregation depending on the leaf type, palms also differ in how cold hardy they are and how tall they grow.
Lady Palm Trees: This type of palm tree appears more like bamboo clumps, and are the shortest of the palm trees maturing to a height of 4-8 feet. These trees prefer shade to filtered light, and have the capacity to withstand temperatures of 22 degrees Fahrenheit. These palms feature trunks with coarse, dark coverings and deep green foliage. Their small size makes them a favorite indoor plant choice. These palms prefer lots of humidity, especially in the hot summer months.
Cabbage Palm Tree: This type encompasses palm trees that are well-suited to use as framing trees or as street plantings. These trees are ideal for seaside spots and can skyrocket to heights of about 90 feet giving a glorious look. The cabbage palm tree is the state tree of South California and Florida. Moreover, it also makes its presence on Florida's great seal and South California's flag. Cabbage palms feature tiny, shiny, green to black fruits, and grow well in marshes, coastal areas and swamps.
Florida Silver Palm: These palms are generally used for ornamentation in several landscape designs. They are drought resistant with high salt tolerance, which is why they are favored as seaside choices. These trees reach to a height of 25 feet and feature large, alternating, spreading leaves that are crowded at the apex of the tree.
Washington Palm Trees: These palms are fast growing, tall, landscape palms. Also known as the Mexican fan palm, these are native to the Mexican deserts, where they tend to grow near the permanent, surface water sources. In the northern regions of Florida, this palm is quite hardy, withstanding temperatures several degrees below freezing, without encountering any appreciable damage.
Date Palms: These perennial trees are generally tall trees with long, feathery leaves, falling to form patterns on the wooden trunk. Female date palms begin to bear dates when they attain an age of five years (average) from the time of offshoot planting. Dates grow in large clumps at the top of the thick date palm trunks. Date palms grow to attain the age of almost 150 years, and are perfect specimens to grow along roads and avenues in rows.
Royal Palms: These palms are ornate palms with a majestic air, and can achieve heights of about 100 feet. These types of palm trees are native to cypress swamps and require ample watering and sunny conditions. These graceful trees possess salt drench and are defiant to the wind. The best part about this palm is that almost all its parts can be used, in some or the other way. Royal palms are suitable for decorating avenues, as the trunk is void of branches.
Macarthur Cluster Palms: These types are well-suited to grow in greenhouses and indoor gardens. They grow in clusters, thus are also referred to as cluster palms. Macarthur cluster palms are native to Australia and grow well in indirect sunlight (low to bright) from the east/west/south. These palms attain a height of about 25 feet.
Butia Palms: These trees reach a height of 10-20 feet at maturity. They feature light green to bluish-green pinnate leaves, which are around 2-4 m long. Butia palms are a slow growing variety. Its leaves are a light green to bluish gray. These palms are one of the hardiest feather palms, as they can tolerate temperatures as low as −10 degrees C.
Queen Palm Trees: These elegant, tropical palm trees are natives to South America and are one of the most widely used palm trees in the world. They are grown in streets and parks of tropical and subtropical regions, and can also be grown as houseplants. Queen palms can attain a height of 50 feet and during the spring time, conspicuous inflorescence is produced. Glorious yellow flowers appear in long clusters hanging down from the tree. Queen palms can moderately tolerate drought, and are also sensitive to hurricanes and high winds.
The above-mentioned types of palm trees are just a tip of the iceberg. There are myriad varieties growing across the globe. These palm trees are perfect to bring about the tropical look near swimming pools, spas and retreat centers. Depending on the environmental conditions of the region, one can select the appropriate tree type.