Garden palm trees

The garden palms

Garden palms are highly sought after and coveted plants, both for their beauty and for their history. From the Aracaceae family, they have been identified by scholars as the oldest plants on the planet. With ferns, they have populated the earth since the Jurassic era, which is about 130 million years ago. Characteristic of the warmer areas of the African Mediterranean, as well as of South America and some areas of the Asian continent, palms became for the cultures of the time a symbol of motherhood, fertility and, last but not least, protection. But it must not be forgotten that, in the imperial era of Ancient Rome, palm trees were the symbol of military glory and of imperial power itself. The garden palmsthey were classified, for the first time, by Carlo Linnaeus who called them, not surprisingly, «Principles of Plants». But, to import them all over Europe, making them a real must of the Mediterranean and continental gardens, it was the Russian prince Pietro Troubetzkoy who, in 1870, created the first European palm plantation in his villa on Lake Maggiore, a landmark for fans of the genre.

Types of garden palms: dwarfs

Today, there are many types of garden palms , characterized by tall and thin stems, or low and robust or even with large and collected fronds. We can count at least 200 different genera and over 2000 different species. The first thing to consider is the size. There are in fact garden palms with limited development and others of large size. Among the first, most common types of garden palmthey are the so-called Chamaerops Humilis, also known as «Palme dwarf or Palme di San Pietro». Their cultivation is very simple, because it is one of the species that grows spontaneously in Europe. A palm characterized by sturdy and thick trunks, which do not reach two meters in height and with dark green foliage. Among the small garden palms, we also find the Pygmy Palm, the «Phoenix Roebelenii», whose stem does not exceed 4 meters in height, but with very large and wide leaves. This type is known by many as an apartment palm, but wrongly. Its ideal habitat is in full earth and with a temperate climate, well tolerating the scarcity of water. Other «small» palms are the «Rapis» palms, which do not exceed three meters in height.

Types of garden palm trees: the giants

On the other hand, among the giant palm trees, the most common and appreciated is the Royal Palm, also known as Palma Alessandra. In need of drained soils and abundant in water, it is a broad-leaved tree with a thin trunk that can reach 20 meters in height. Ideal for larger gardens, is the Chilean Palm, the Jubea Chilensis, which reaches 25 meters in height. It is one of the most coveted and beautiful palms, because it has purple-red inflorescences which, at the moment of ripening, turn an intense yellow. It does not require particular precautions in cultivation, as it adapts well to even drier soils, while in nature it is a species at risk of extinction because the famous honey and palm wine is extracted from its sap. To mention one of the most common garden palms, which grows almost spontaneously in warm areas, and which is well suited to the climates of our gardens on the Mediterranean, we must mention the mild Date Palm, or the Phoenix Dactylifera. It reaches 30 meters in height and adapts well to any type of terrain. It is a simple palm to grow, but it needs warm climates in summer and well-tempered in winter, suffering a lot from colder temperatures.

Garden palms: Types of garden palms: the most sought after

There are also types of palm treesgarden whose cultivation requires some extra attention and precautions and it is good, before making your choice, to know what you are going to meet at the time of purchase. Among these garden palms, surely, we can include the Tritrinax palm, with small dimensions and with crimson-colored inflorescences and white fruits that reach 18 cm in diameter. Originally from Brazil, it is often sold as a pot palm for the beauty of its flowers but these are not ideal conditions. In fact, in full earth, it finds its maximum splendor and lives quietly for a long time. For its beauty, also the Palm of the Golden Fruits, also called Queen of the Palms. Although it does not require special care, its ideal habitat is cooler and well-drained climates and, when young, it needs abundant watering as it is a delicate palm. Its refinement is in the trunk, which takes on a yellowish color, which makes it look like gold. The choice oftypes of garden
palm , therefore, must be done very carefully, keeping in mind the characteristics of climate and soil.

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