Washingtonia robusta – Palmae (northern Mexico, California)
Habit: Tall, slender palms, up to 25 m tall, 2.5-5 m wide, single stem, thickening like an elephant#s foot at the base, forming a crown with some 30 leaves, fast-growing.
Flowers: Tube-shaped, cream-white, hermaphrodite, on 3 m long, slender, overhanging panicles, summer.
Fruit: Round, pea-size, stone-fruit berries.
Leaves: Evergreen, fanned out, in terminal clusters, finely slit to deeply lobed, shiny light green on top, brown, shiny, tomentose on the bottom, up to 1.8 m wide, petiole up to 1.2 m long, thorny, sharply serrated, a few fibres on the margins.
Bark: Slender, smooth, brown-grey, leaf scars at the top.
Demands: Full sun, sensitive to frost, tempered or cold house, dry in winter.
Natural habitat: Loamy, sandy, nutritious, well drained soil.
Hardiness: Zone 7a