Friday, September 6, 2013


One of the most common symbols of tropical living - the palm tree - isn't even technically a tree, if you ask a botanist. Me, I say it looks like a tree and that's good enough for my purposes. As a monocot, palms are actually related to sugarcane, bamboo, onions and corn.

Tree or not, they've been with us for a long, long time. They appear in the fossil record at least as early as 80 million years ago, and their use by humans predates civilization itself. The earliest civilizations, such as the Mesopotamians, were cultivating date palms at least 5000 years ago.

Palm trees are mentioned at least 30 times in the Bible and at least 22 times in the Qur'an.

Despite the occasional uproar from some Floridians about the need to eradicate "non-native species", the fact is that most palm trees in Florida are not native to Florida. And you can't have Florida without palm trees. Game over. Besides, how far back do you wanna go to arbitrarily consider something a "native species" to any given era, anyway - the Pennsylvanian? Permian? Pre-Cambrian?

There are over 2300 different species of palm trees on Earth. Just you think on that.

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