The Washingtonia Filifera
is commonly known as California Fan Palm
, California Palm
, California Washington-palm
, Desert Palm
, as well as Washington Palm< Go Back
California palm occurs in disjunct groves from the Turtle and Cottonwood
Mountains and the Twenty-nine Palms region of the Mojave Desert,
California south to the Sierra de Juarez, the Sierra San Pedro Matir,
and Sierra Pinnate Mountains, Baja California [27
]. Four groves are
located in Clark County, Nevada [7
], and five others are in La Paz and
Yavapi Counties, Arizona [23
]. Most United States populations occur
within the Colorado Desert along the San Andreas Fault. Due to
California palm's value as an indicator species (see Site
Characterisitics), all known California palm communities have been mapped
]. It is extensively planted as an ornamental in semiarid and
subtropical regions of the world [9
], and has naturalized in some places
The currently accepted scientific name of California palm is
Washingtonia filifera (Linden) Wendl. [3
]. There are no
subspecies, varieties, or formae.
California palm forms open to dense groves in moist areas, often
providing 100 percent of overstory cover . Understory species are
sparse in dense groves and more alkaline areas; they may be abundant in
open groves or favorable sites . California palm communities
separate into three distinct zones: the hydric zone, the oasis-proper,
and the oasis-desert ecotone. Oases located at wash or stream sites
gradually intergrade into open desert, while oases in seep areas
generally have abrupt ecotones, grading sharply into xeric desert
communities such as mesquite (Prosopis spp.) . Publications naming
California palm as a dominant species are as follows:
Sonora Desert .
Natural terrestrial communities of California .
Riparian forest and scrubland community types of Arizona and New Mexico .
The vascular plant communities of California .
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Much of the information presented here is attributed to:
Howard, Janet L. 1992. Washingtonia filifera. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online].
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,
Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available at USDA Forest Service.