Desert fan palm

Desert fan palm / Washingtonia filifera / واشنطونيا خيطية
Status: Common

Growing to 15–20 m (49–66 ft) tall by 3–6 m (10–20 ft) broad, it is an evergreen monocot with a tree-like growth habit. It has a column-shaped trunk with a large diameter and non-shiny or matty fan-shaped (palmate) leaves. It is non-succulent and summer shedding is perennating.

It is resistant to drought or scarcity of water and can also withstand strong sunshine. However it can also grow well in semi-shaded habitats. 

Other characteristics include cold hardiness, fast growth and salt resistance. It can adapt to all soil types and is easy to grow, transplant and very hardy. 
Petals are green in colour, flowers are white coloured and only hermaphrodite with homogeneous seeds and fruits. Flowers are numerous in number and project out from the top of the tree crown.

The leaves are greyish green in colour and form an open crown. Petioles are split with teeth-like edges. Leaf type is entire, leaf margin is smooth and the leaves are arranged in alternate pattern (one leaf per node). The overall leaf structure is costapalmate type, which is split about half of the blade length in to many segments with pendulous tips and threads or marginal fibers that hang between the segments.

The old leaf bases usually fall  away after many years, thereby exposing a smooth grey coloured stem with closely spaced leaf  scar ring-like patterns.

Abundant cotton-like threads on and between the leaflets persist even when the palm is mature. Due to these thread-like  structures  it derives the name ‘filifera’. 
Fruits are spherical to pear-shaped, upto 1 cm in diameter and brownish black to black coloured when ripe. Stipules are absent.

Other names: Desert Palm, California fan palm.

 IUCN red list status: least concern 
Local status: least concern