If you’re more of a beach person, you have definitely seen types of palm trees. These are an essential part of our tropical paradise and are more significant than how you know them to be. The very first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a palm tree probably has a sunny beach setting. But do you know that these sturdy plant species can grow in several environments? Let us find out all about these the uses, benefits, and facts about this tree type.
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Palm tree facts
To start with, here are some facts about palm trees that will interest you about it:
1. Types of species
There are more than 2,500 palm tree species in the world. The type belongs to the Arecaceae plant family and they are diverse all through the world. You will find this tree type anywhere from rainforests to deserts.
2. Not all of them are trees
Palm trees are evergreen plants that can range anywhere from shrubs to trees. They can be also be woody vines known as lianas. But do you know that yucca palms, sago palms, traveler’s palm, and torbay palm are not a part of Arecaceae family but are still palm trees?
3. Leaves are of two types
There are two types of leaves in any palm tree. They are either pinnate or palmate. The palmate leaves look like hands and grow in bunches right at the end of a stem. While pinnate look like features and grow along either side of a stem.
4. Palm trees have religious significance
As per the Holy Bible, the inhabitants of Jerusalem greeted Jesus, one week before crucifixion. Now, the tradition is known as Palm Sunday and happens one week before Easter. Both Bible and Quran mention palm trees several times. As per Judaism, palm trees are a sign of peace and abundance.
5. Staples from palm trees
We all know the goodness of coconut that comes with palm trees. But do you know about betel nuts, dates, acai fruits, which come from these trees as well? Palm oil is a by product of palm trees and is another great contribution for us.
6. Tallest palm tree size
Quindio wax palm tend to be the tallest palm tree type that can grow up to 197 feet high. It is the national tree of Colombia and largest species of palm.
7. Largest seeds
Coco de mer tree offers the biggest seeds from a plant in this planet. The seeds can be of 20 inches in diameter and weigh up to 66 pounds each.
8. Historic for civilization
As per archaeology, date palms were an integral part of the Mesopotamian society. They used it primarily as food, but it also had other uses. Romans used palm branches as a sign of victory during wars and games. Thus, this tree type has always been of significance.
9. Palm wine is another takeaway
Palm wine, popularly known as Kallu is a type of alcohol found in parts of Africa and Asia. They are produced from date palms, coconut palms, Chilean wine palm, and more.
Common palm tree types
Arecaceae family includes the palm plants and you can distinguish them for their evergreen large leaves and fruits. Palm trees are the most cultivated plants around coastal regions of most countries. Find out which are the most common types you’d find in Asia, Africa, and other coastal zones:
1. Toddy Palm
Borassus flabellifer aka toddy palm is one of the most common palm trees in Asia. It helps product palm wine called Tadi. It happens to be an integral part of Indian state Tamil Nadu and respected in the Tamil culture. Their leaves help people make baskets, fences, stalls, and more. The tree’s sprouts and palm fruits come with cooling properties. These fruits are known as ice apples and has a lot of water in it.
2. Coconut Tree
The benefits of palm trees are bountiful due to Cocos nucifera aka coconut tree. Coconut trees offer us edible seeds, coconut water, milk, oil, and is an integral part of religious India. The country is the biggest producer of coconut and has major cultivation through four southern states.
3. Betel Palm
The Areca catechu species or betel palm offer nuts and areca palm. These trees are commercially significant for their fruits, leaves, seeds, and landscaping. Areca nut, if you don’t know, if the fruit of betel palms. Plenty of Asian chew betel leaves while the dried ones help make disposable bowls and palms.
4. Date Palm
The Indian date palm, known as Phoenix Sylvestris, is another important part of the palm tree family. These trees are native to most parts of India and their fresh sap helps make palm jaggery.
5. Fishtail Palm
The Caryota Urens aka fishtail palms is called so because the leaves are used as fishing rods. It is one of the major sugar palms that is grown for wine and seeds.
6. Royal Palm
The Roystonea Regia species is known as the ornamental tree of India’s landscape. It has major cultivation in the country and hosts plenty of butterflies. The oil extracted and the palm bug are significant as livestock feed.
7. Talipot Palm
Corypha umbraculifera plants known as talipot species are flowering palm plants. They bear flowers and fruits and is found in abundance in coastal regions. These have the largest leaves of the palm specie that make umbrellas for agricultural workers. The tree also offers palm wine and leaves are used for thatching.
8. Oil Palm
The Elaeis guineensis plant is the main source of palm oil. The tree is common in India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The largest product of oil palm is Indonesia but the biggest consumer is India.
9. Sago Palm
Cycas circinalis or Queen Sago is an integral part of South Indian. However, it is an endangered plant. Their wild palm seeds are poisonous when raw but harmless once soaked in water. These are wild palms that are not used for commercially reasons.
10. Foxtail Palm
The Wodyetia bifurcate grows majorly in Australia but is commercially grown in India too. These are more landscape palm trees in the world and gets the name due to spiral leaves.
11. Doum Palm
Hyphaene thebaica aka as Doum Palm or Hoka Palm is another common Indian palm tree. It forms multi branches and are found around the Nagao Beach of Diu.
12. Aren Palm
Finally, the Arenga pinnata palm is another common palm tree type in Asian countries. It offers black sugar and that makes it a commercial produce in Southeast Asia. The Areng trees have evergreen leaves that helps extract the black sugar. You will be able to distinguish this quality from other palm trees.
Palm plants are also a common part of Asian countries. They beautify house gardens and offer a great landscaping look. Some more palm plants and trees include Nipa palm, mangrove palm, bamboo palm, kentia palm, and the kind palm aka Alexander palm.
Palm tree uses
Here are some of the reasons why palm trees are important:
Dates and coconuts are two of the most significant offerings of palm trees. Of course, they offer Kallu wine and are used for several products like oil, utensils, and so on. But their fruits are direct produces that can be consumed raw. Also, we can’t miss acai berry that comes from palm trees too. Coconut is major source of coconut oil, which we also must consider here.
Palm tree leaves are a staple to livestock and other animals. These leaves help rural people make thatch for roofing. Note that this only works when the leaves are pinnate.
Palm trees can make furniture when their leaves are weaved together. Some parts of the world use their sap to create palm sugar.
Wood from coconut trees and some other palm trees helps create flooring. The dry wood is harder than oak and can offer sturdy furnishing. There are many palm trees that offer source of wax that makes scented candles.
Palm tree benefits commercially
If you’re looking for commercial palm tree benefits, you need to know how these are widely used for produces:
1. Wood palm tree uses
The trunks of the palm trees offer wood. Coconut trees are one of the most common options for wood. This is also the reason why they stay productive years after being chopped down. Wood is harvested by making amazing siding and flooring options. The trunks are cured/dried and the results are tougher than oak trunks. The natural color can vary from blonde to black, depending on where it grew. The Philippines are considering the potential of using coconut trunks. After the typhoon Haiyan in 2013, the number of felled coconut palms were around 16,000,000. These are now being used for commercial purposes.
Some of the best wax added to scented candles are extracted from palms. The wax produced is soft and holds onto the fragrance with ease. The tall palms of Columbia have fruits harvested for this reason. The sealing wax palms are an important ingredient to seal documents.
3. Palm’s heart
Do you know what is the palm heart? It is the inner core right at the told of the palm truck where leaves grow. It is usually called the bud or the crown. If you extract the palm heart and eat it, they say you killed the tree.
Just like you can’t live without your heart, a palm tree cannot do it either. Some of its species are harvested for this reason but are going extinct. Others have commercial uses in plantations or orchards.
Products made from palm trees
Check out some of the products people make by using palm trees:
1. Palm oil
The most common giveaway of palm trees are the oils produced. It is refined from the palm fruit and is a common cooking oil in many parts of the world. Palm oil is a healthy source of vitamins and is more nutritious than most other oils. It includes saturated fat which is good for your body and is an important ingredient for a country’s economics.
In many parts of world, palm trees are used to create brooms. Truck loads of lorries transport brooms across Asian countries that not only increase one more of its uses but also generates employment.
Baskets are another common produce made of palm trees in Asian and African countries. Most of these are made in the south and transported to the north. For instance, eastern Nigerian villages buy and use palm trees baskets in bulk and transport them to other parts of the country too.
If you’d love to try sweeter wine types, you must try palm wine. These products can be bought in bulk and sold in local food shops and restaurants without legal hassles.
Another important commercial use of palm tree is the production of mats. Dangote turned a billionaire by putting money in small things. You can also do something similar and invest int her right sale strategies.
Palms trees are one of the fastest growing trees and renewable resources of today. They have several varieties that have been serving people for ages.
Now that you know why palm trees are significant to us, you’d love them more than just beautifying landscapes. Let us do our bit to improve the density of such giving trees and conserve our environment.