USF Species Project

The Tampa Campus.

View USF Tampa Plant Record: Washingtonia robusta

Scientific Name Washingtonia robusta
Common Name Washington Palm
Family Arecaceae
Info "Family Name: Arecaceae Summary: Washington palms are broadleaf evergreen plants with a growth habit similar to trees. This type of palm may live 150 to 200 years. Nativity/Habitat: Washington Palms are native Mexico and can be found in desert environments located in oases. Morphology/Physiology: -Foliage: The crown spans from 10 to 15 feet at maturation and has a symmetrical canopy with a regular outline. Lower leaves persist on the trunk of the palm after they die forming a brown shaggy skirt below the green living foliage. The green upper foliage consists of broad fan-shaped leaves that are arranged in an alternate pattern. Leaf type is costapalmate, leaf margin is entire, leaf shape is star-shaped, and the leaf venation is palmate. The leaves have sharply barbed petioles. Leaflets are lance shaped with fibrous white filaments on edges. -Trunk/Branches: Height of the Washington Palm is typically seen at 40 to 50 feet but can grow to 80 feet tall. Has a straight singular thin trunk. Bark is gray-brown in color and tough. -Flower: Flowering takes place in the summer time. The color of the palmís showy flowers is white occurring in large branched clusters. -Fruit/Seed: Washington Palms have fleshy black fruit that are oval or round in shape and less than half an inch in length. Fruits mature in early fall. -Roots: Lack deep roots. Growth Requirements: These palms have a rapid growth rate. Washington Palms can be found growing in partial shade/partial sun or full sun. They grow in well-drained occasionally wet soils and are highly drought tolerant. Uses/Fun Facts: Since dead sagging fronds of the Washington Palm are a fire hazard and may house pests, some areas require these leaves to be removed. They are used as ornamental plants in residential areas, typically near streets. Fruits have a thin sweet layer of pulp and are eaten by coyotes and were also harvested by Native Americans. Palm leaves can be used for thatched roofs which serve as a rainproof shelter for several years while the trunk may be used to construct fences. Although they provide useful building materials, they are rarely found in nature. Written by Rose O'Donovan"
Found By "Douglas Franz, Angel Aquino"
Date Found 1/22/2013
Native Nonnative
Links "http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=WARO,http://washingtonpalm.com/"
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