Technical Data

Washingtonia filifera


Washingtonia Filifera

Scientific or Latin Name: Washingtonia filifera.

Common name: Washingtonia, Wachintona, Pritchardia, California Palm Tree, Californian fan palm tree, Wasintonia, Desert palm tree. Fan Palm Tree.

Family: Arecaceae (previously Palmaceae).

Origin: California, Arizona and Northern Mexico.

Etymology: The genus name was given in honor of George Washington (1732-1799), the first President of the United States of America. It is one of the most suitable palm trees to be planted in coastal areas and inner areas of mild climates. It belongs to one of the Palmaceae species most cultivated in the world.

Main features: Its trunk is wide, unicaule, without capitel, in a column of up to 60-80 cm diameter, 1m at the base and 8 -12 m tall – it sometimes can reach up to 20 m – it has vertical fissures and faded rings; palmate leaves (fan shape) divided up to almost one third (vertical view of leaves) in long hanging segments with filaments up to 1, 5-3 m limbus 2m in diameter, long green petiole with thorns curved like a fish-hook along the margins, marcescent leaves (once withered remain folded against the trunk) 5-7 cm segments. The inflorescences are arched, hanging, branched and interfoliar, longer than the leaves, perfumed, cream-colored hermaphrodite flowers which bloom at the end of spring and in the summer season.

Cultivation: Rustic species that tolerates transplanting and drought very well and poor soils too. It belongs to the Palmaceae species most grown in the world.

Light: They live well in the open sun even when young.

Temperatures: Adult specimens have been known to resist temperatures down to -10ºC. Under that temperature the leaves get frostbitten but the plant recovers well. Young specimens are more sensitive to the cold.
Given high temperatures (heat) and low humidity (dryness) conditions, newly opened young leaves can wither. Also, given low temperatures (frost) with a high dampness environment, the palm trees are also damaged, same as other plants. Damaged leaves protect the healthy ones.

Soil: It resists poor soils of different type but prefers fertile well-drained land. It adapts well to coastal locations. It survives soil salinity, but sea winds can scorch the leaves.

Watering: It resists drought conditions. It rots with excess water. It responds to watering and fertilizing with a marked growth.

Transplanting: It tolerates transplanting well even with ‘naked roots’ (no earth ball in the roots).

Multiplication: They reproduce by seed easily and germination takes place in a month. There is probably no other palm tree to sprout so easily and which seeds are so cheap.





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