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California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera)
Trees Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera)

General: California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) are tall, straight palm trees and are the only native species of palm in the southwestern deserts, but not as far north as the Las Vegas area. California Fan Palms produce small, hard, nut-like seeds, not figs.

California Fan Palm usually are found in sheltered canyons with small streams in the Lower Sonoran (Creosote-Bursage Flats) and Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub) life zones, however they also are found in exposed areas around springs.

Land managers are actively working to eradicate California Fan Palm from natural areas around Las Vegas. California Fan Palm is on the "Watch Weeds" list in the Lower Las Vegas Wash, and it is on the Lake Mead NRA "Top 10 Invasive Species" list.

Family: Palms (Arecaceae).

Plant Form: Tall, straight palm tree.

Height: to 60-80 feet.

California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera)

Trunk: Tall, straight, to 3-4 feet thick at the base.

Leaves: Frond, to 6-ft wide with accordion pleats. Dead fronds remain attached to the trunk and form attractive skirts, that unfortunately, are quite flammable. Petioles (leaf stalk) have sharp, hooked spines along the margin.

Flowers:

Seeds: Fairly large seeds in exposed clusters.

Distribution: Native to southern-most California and Arizona, but planted widely throughout the southwestern deserts.

Elevation: Lower elevations.

Comments: Native peoples, historic miners, and modern people planted seeds around isolated springs to produce shade and fronds that could be used for thatch.

Birds and mammals eat the seeds, and barn owls often root under the skirts.

California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera)
California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera)
California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera)
California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera)
California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera)
California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera)
California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera)
California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera)
California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera)
California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera)

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
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