A good looks beyond the good looks

T

he palm tree might well be the most photogenic tree in the world. What do you picture when you think of this tall and elegant beauty? Most likely a Mediterranean destination, a tropical island of sunny Los Angeles. Let’s take a good look beyond the good looks.

  1. Young palm trees love shade. Which makes sense: they are small and vulnerable. The protection of bigger trees will allow them to reach their full potential and reach for the sky.
  1. Palms can grow very, very tall. Trees of 20 meters or more are no exception. The Quindio wax palm, the tallest of them all and the national tree of Colombia, can even go up to 60 meters.
  1. Some live for over a century. The longevity depends on the species, but yes, some palm trees last for more than a hundred years. Think about it: a palm you plant today, might live well into the next century.
  1. The palm tree is a symbol of life. Not so surprising, is it? To the Assyrians, a tree growing beside a stream represented the ultimate symbol of life. Their most valued tree was, of course, the palm.
  1. Palms are in the Bible. The book details how when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, people cut branches from palm tree, laid them across his path and waved them in the air. This happening is commemorated a week before Easter, on Palm Sunday.
  1. Los Angeles is perfect for palm trees. However omnipresent they might be today, palms are not native to the area. Gardeners introduced them at the turn of the 20th century. It was a match made in heaven, turning the palm tree into an L.A. icon.
  1. Palm trees produce food (not all good). Many fruits of palms are edible and delicious, like coconuts and dates, but some are poisonous to humans and animals, like sago. So be careful what you sink your teeth into.
  1. Some palms aren’t palms. Like the sago palm, which isn’t a palm but a relative to the conifers. The confusion is understandable though, because it looks amazingly palm-like. No wonder it’s popular among bonzai lovers.
  1. Palms like to be washed. Do you own a small palm? Consider washing off its leaves with water every now and again. It will knock off dust and insects and provide some much needed humidity during hot summers.
  1. Palm trees bring the tropics to your home. One caveat: the climate needs to be suitable for palms, so do some research before planting. You will want to prevent the disappointment of a withering palm tree when it should be swaying in the wind.
  1. Cocktails taste best under a palm tree. This theory has been tried and tested numerous times (by us) and can therefore be considered a scientific fact. We can highly recommend the Rebellious Pornstar Martini with passion fruit and a sidecar of dry Champagne. Like palm trees and L.A., it’s a match made in heaven.