California Fan Palm
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California Fan Palm
ntroduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: California Fan Palm, Desert fan palm, American cotton palm, cotton palm, Washington palm, desert palm
Botanical name: Washingtonia filifera    Family: Arecaceae (Palm family)

California fan Palm is a palm native to the desert oases of Central, southern and southwestern Arizona, southern Nevada, extreme northwest Mexico and inland deserts of southern California. It grows up to 23 m (exceptionally 30 m) tall in good growing conditions. The leaves have stalks up to 2 m long, bearing orange colored prickles. The leaves consist of a fan of leaflets 1.5-2 m long, with white, thread-like fibers between the segments. When the leaves die they bend downwards and form a skirt around the trunk. The shelter that the skirt creates provides a microhabitat for many invertebrates. California Fan Palm can live from 80 to 250 years or more and its genus name honors George Washington, the first President of the United States.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Sundar Nursery, Delhi.
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