California fan palm Arecaceae Washingtonia
filifera (Linden ex André) H. Wendl. symbol: WAFI
Leaf: Alternate, evergreen, palmately compound, fan shaped, leaf stalks long and armed with curved teeth, leaflets lance shaped, gray-green in color, overall leaf 3 to 6 feet in diameter, leaflet edges bearing fibrous white strands or filaments.
Flower: Small white flowers occurring on large (several feet), branched clusters, appearing early summer.
Fruit: Fleshy black drupe, nearly round, 1/3 to 1/2 inch across, maturing in September, persisting into winter.
Bark: Gray-brown, tough, splits vertically.
Form: A stout straight trunk with a tuft of leaves at the top, to 80 feet but more commonly to 30 feet, without pruning the trunks are usually sheathed in dead leaves (a "skirt") that extend nearly to the ground.
Looks like: Mexican fan palm - cabbage palmetto
Additional Range Information: Washingtonia filifera is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting California fan palm.
External Links: USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson