Palm Trees

Palm Trees


Palms have existed on Earth since about 85 million years ago, and are generally found in tropical regions.  However, some palms are found in arid and even cold environments.  There are over 2,800 species of palms found all over the world. 

The variety and usefulness of palms have been of importance to humans throughout history.  Early uses included palms as a construction material.  The trunks of palms could be made into canoes, shelter, and even weapons.  Palm leaves could be woven or thatched for many purposes.  Palms were also a great food source: flower spikes of certain palms produce sugar, palm fruits such as dates and coconuts could be eaten fresh or preserved, and oils from palms could be used for food and industry. 

In modern times, palms have retained the same usefulness.  Coconuts, dates, and sago are still popular food sources.  Palm fibers are used to make rope, fishnets, and even clothing.  One of the most significant uses in modern times of palms is in landscaping.  Palm trees are synonymous with the relaxed, tropical environment, with the lush landscaping of the poolside, and the Southern California landscape. 

Be sure to take a look at some of the informative, beautifully illustrated books and guides on palm trees available at the Science Library. 



Palms Around the World


Betrock's cultivated palms of the world / Don & Anthony Ellison. 
Hollywood, Fla. : Betrock Information Systems, 2001. 
QK495 .P17 E45 2001 
Palms : their conservation and sustained utilization : status survey and conservation action plan / edited by Dennis Johnson ; IUCN/SSC Palm Specialist Group.
Gland, Switzerland : IUCN, c1996. 
QK495 .P17 P36 1996 
Palms & cycads around the world / Jack Krempin.
Broadbeach Waters, Qld. : Krempin Books, c1993. 
SB413 .P17 K7 1993 


Book 1 Palms throughout the world / David L. Jones ; foreword by John Dransfield.
Washington, D.C. : Smithsonian Institution Press, c1995. 
SB317 .P17 J66 1995 
Book 1 Ornamental palm horticulture / Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow ; foreword by P.B. Tomlinson.
Gainesville : University Press of Florida, c2000. 
SB413 .P17 B76 2000 

Palms, an informative, practical guide to palms of the world : their cultivation, care, and landscape use / Alec Blombery & Tony Rodd ; with illustrations by Betty Maloney.
London : Angus & Robertson, 1982.
SB413 .P17 B56 1982 

Palms and cycads, their culture in southern California as observed chiefly in the Huntington Botanical Gardens.
San Marino, Calif., 1951. 
QK495 .P17 H48 1951 

The natural history of palms [by] E. J. H. Corner.
Berkeley, University of California Press, 1966.
QK495 .P17 C73 1966

The palmyrah palm : potential and perspectives / by A. Kovoor.
Rome : Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1983.
SB317 .P3 K69 1983 

Date Palms

It's a date / by Wayland A. Dunham.
San Marino, California ; 1948.
SB364 .D9 1948 

The date palm, bread of the desert / Hilda Simon ; ill. by the author ; photos. 1910-1914 by Henry Simon.
New York : Dodd, Mead, c1978.
SB364 .S54 1978

Coconut Palms

Modern coconut management : palm cultivation and products / edited by Johan G. Ohler.
London : Intermediate Technology Publications, 1999.
SB401 .C6 M635 1999

The coconut palm, a monograph, by K. P. V. Menon and K. M. Pandalai.
Erakulam, S. India, Indian Central Coconut Committee, 1958.
SB401 .C6 M4 1958


This exhibit was created in June 2007 and was designed by Carla Reeske.


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Last modified: 11/15/2007 10:34 AM by by M. Miller

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