San Diego (CA) Photos

February 17, 2009

Palm trees everywhere and more on the way

Filed under: Nature — Tags: — washaw @ 6:00 am

Palm trees are nearly everywhere you look in San Diego. Residents see so many that we often just blank them out. Here is a typical neighborhood grove of the native species Washingtonia filifera. Their seeds spread everywhere with little palms popping up like weeds.




  1. You’re so right about residents blanking out palm trees – I’m always reminded of this when friends visit from out of town. Oooh, palm trees! they’ll say. Often, it’s around the time they’re blooming and my response comes out like a complaint. Then they look at me like I’m crazy, and they’re right! 🙂

    Thanks for the scientific name, I don’t know any of them!

    Comment by San Diego Farmgirl — February 18, 2009 @ 7:20 am

  2. Those might be Washingtonia robusta (Mexican fan palm) not Washingtonia filifera (California fan palm). They’re often difficult to tell apart, but the Robusta grow much taller.

    Comment by Steve — February 27, 2009 @ 10:26 am

  3. Hi… the tall palms you depict are Washingtonia robusta, not filifera. However there is not enough genetic difference/ morphological difference in the flowers of either to class it as a truly separate species… even though it always grows taller and thinner IF grown under the same conditions as a filifera. The normally thicker trunked, less messy filifera is the ONLY palm native to Western USA /north america West of the hill country near San Antonio TX.

    In the wild the filifera does grow more tall and thin than it does under controlled water/fertilized conditions but it is actually more rare in cultivation than the so called mexican cousin: robusta in southern Calif and elsewhere. Most nurseries do NOT carry the thicker trunked filifera but instead the faster growing robusta as you have pictured.

    IT is from Mexico while the filifera is a North american DESERT native – native to desert springs in Nevada, Arizona and California.

    William Spencer

    Comment by William Spencer — June 24, 2009 @ 11:45 am

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