Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Pretty, Popular, Tropical Weed

Yep...weed. I'll explain but first, this is my backyard neighbor's palm tree on top of the hill behind us.  He has a lot more space and money than I do, so he's not a cheapskate gardener. He's not a gardener period...he hires one to come and take care of the property.

This is my next door neighbor's palm tree. She's not a cheapskate either but still has a gardener come over. She's a widower in her late 80's with numerous health problems and would be a gardener if she could

The palm tree is synonymous with Southern California. They grow everywhere, why do I call it a weed? Go back to the beginning of the last sentence...they grow everywhere.

The seeds sprout endlessly and I am constantly finding them in the garden where they don't belong. Here's one growing along our back wall.

Just about too big to yank out easily, but just almost.

Here's another one growing along a wall of our house.  

It wasn't as hard to pull.  On a good (or bad) day, I can pull up 50 of these seedlings easily. If left to grow, they'll sprout into a very hard to kill, full size tree...home to woodpeckers, rats, skunks, and more.  Easily catching on fire...not the best thing to have next to these dry hills.

Image by Jim Harper
Used with permission under CC BY-SA 1.0 license

Contrary to popular belief, no palm tree is native to the Los Angeles area.  They are all interlopers. The only palm tree native to California is the California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera), which grows in the oasis canyons of the low deserts of Palm Springs, Borrego, and Coachella.

They are easy to recognize with the fan palm shaped leaves and thick trunks.


For me...they mostly just get in the way.

Copyright 2012 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

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