This is a map of the United States relative to the existence of native palm trees, specifically, from the Arecaceae plant family.
The state of Florida has more palm trees than any other U.S. state, with as many as five species found in most of the Sunshine State. It is in the southern part of the state where they are more prominent, with seven and even eight species discovered there.
Citing state ecologists, WestCoast Landscape & Lawns say that a total of twelve palm tree species are natively Floridian. These include the Buccaneer, Paurotis, and Royal Palm trees.
At least one palm tree species can also be found in Florida’s neighboring states. In the west, parts of California and Arizona have palm trees as well, with one species native to each state.
The dominance of palm trees in southern California dates back to the 18th century, says the Garden Collage magazine, when palms were used by Spanish missionaries for Christian-themed traditions. Its popularity increased during the 20th century. The desert fan palm is the one native to the Golden State, and the city of Palm Springs is named so for the “groves [of palm trees that] cluster alongside oases”.
These books tell us more about the development of palm trees in the U.S.:
- Trees: South Florida and the Keys
- Trees of Texas Field Guide
- Palms to Pines: Geological and Historical Excursion through the Palm Springs Region, Riverside County, California
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