Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Palms and Oaks

I had dinner this evening with my good neighbour Ed Green. We ate at a chain steak-house. Despite it being a chain I enjoyed a most delicious rib-eye. Good food indeed. Our waitress wanted to be our best friend, but we were more interested in good food than new friends!

Ed is the neighbour who told me that there is no such thing as a Palm Tree. He is almost right.

Palms are palms are palms, and not all of them grow to be as large as trees. They are members of the Arecaceae (palm family)

The Arecaceae, also known as the Palmae family, is comprised of about 200 genera and 2,500 species. Palms range from tiny understory plants to towering trees, and are found throughout the tropics and subtropics. Some commercially important palms include coconut (Cocos nucifera), date (Phoenix dactylifera) and oil palm (Elaeis guineensis).

Florida has many palms, but only one native – the “Sabal Palm”. It is featured in our State Seal. Also known as the Palmetto, it is also the state palm of South Carolina (the “Palmetto State” to give its nickname).

Florida (and much of the American South) abounds in Live Oaks. They are called “live” because they do not lose their leaves in autumn as do oaks in more northern climes.

Live Oaks are magnificent when fully grown. We have many in my Glen Oaks Ridge Community.

They are so grand (and often ancient) that they cannot be felled without government permission.

( There is one American Live Oak (not here at Glen Oaks Ridge) which is estimated to be 1,400 years old!).

Live Oaks look especially splendid when they are draped with “Spanish Moss” (which is neither Spanish, nor a Moss!) see

Do remember that Oaks are also a symbol of England, and that Palms grow in England too!

I especially like Oaks for as the old saying goes:

"Every majestic oak tree was once a nut who stood his ground."





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