California Fan Palm - Washingtonia filifera
The palm encountered in the oses within the Preserve is the California fan palm, or Whashingtonia filifera. It is the only indigenous palm in California. There is anoother palm used widely in the southern California area, the Mexican fan palm, or Washingtonia robusta. It is a native of Baja California.
The Washingtonia filifera has a very thick trunk and grows slowly to about 45 feet (14 m). Washingtonia robusta has a thin trunk, but grows faster and can be twice as tall. Both species have large, palmate leaves with spiny petioles clustered at the top of the trunk. (a petiole is the stalk that connects the leaf to the stem). Dead leaves hang vertically and form what is called a skirt around the trunk. Inflorescences, or fruit stalks, extend beyond the leaves and bear masses of tiny white to cream colored flowers. During the fall months, large clusters of small hard fruit hang from the tree. The palms may live 150 to 200 years.