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Washingtonia

Arecaceae (Palmae)
Palms and cycads

These fast-growing fan palms are too tall for most suburban gardens; they are best suited to large properties, avenues, and parkways. The species often hybridize if growing near each other.

Washingtonia filifera
Washingtonia filifera

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Washingtonia filifera

From California and Arizona. Grows to 60 ft. tall and 20 ft. wide, with a thicker trunk than W. robusta. Long-stalked, 3–6-ft., light green leaves stand well apart in an open crown. As leaves mature, they bend down to form a “skirt” of thatch. In native stands in the desert, this species always grows near springs or other moist spots.

Washingtonia robusta

From Mexico. Grows to 100 ft. tall and 10 ft. wide; the trunk is slightly curved or bent, slimmer than that of W. filifera. Head of bright green foliage is more compact; leafstalks are shorter, with a red streak on the undersides.

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