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Facts about palm trees

Palm trees come in an assortment of shapes and sizes but they are all distinctively "palms."
Palm trees come in an assortment of shapes and sizes but they are all distinctively "palms." Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

Excessive heat is a dangerous weather condition for most plants. The vast majority of flowers and shrubs will wilt and die if they do not have enough water or shade yet—remarkably—there are some plants that actually thrive in extremely warm conditions. One of the most beautiful and well-known hot weather plants is the palm tree.

Palm trees are visually appealing which makes them popular among landscapers.
Palm trees are visually appealing which makes them popular among landscapers. Photo by Trixie Textor

Palm trees are uniquely shaped trees with large leaves that can grow quite tall. Palm trees are found anyplace that there is warm weather—they thrive in tropic areas including California, Florida, the Caribbean, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia and even the deserts of Africa and the Middle East. Interestingly, palm trees also have the ability to thrive in enclosed environments. Hence, as long as they are kept indoors they can live in colder climates. For instance, the “Winter Garden” in New York City is a glass-shrouded building that is the permanent home to several palm trees.

Palm trees are closely associated with hot temperatures and this, combined with their visual appeal, makes them popular depictions in cartoons like “The Flintstones” and other media that supposedly take place in warm climates. Although most people know what palm trees look like there are many little-known facts about these fascinating plants. Below is a list of interesting information about palm trees:

• Palms do not shed their leaves at a certain time of year like most trees do. Therefore, they are considered to be “evergreens.”

• Some types of palm trees are small enough to be kept in pots and live as houseplants.

• The proper term for palm trees is “arecaceae.”

• There are over 2,600 different species of palm trees.

• Palm trees can grow on beaches and emerge straight up from the sand.

• Some palm trees grow coconuts! These specific types of palms are abundant in certain parts of India.