Largely derived from book "Trees in Paradise" by Jared Farmer.
  1. First note the two leaf shapes. Pinnate like feathers. And palmate like fans.
  2. California fan Palm. Fan shaped leaves. Thick trunk. Sometimes bushy beard of dead leaves.
    This is native to SoCal. Like in 29 Palms. This is the one with the weird skirts in Palm Springs. Planted early in LA history. Often short avenues on private driveways and either side of a door. Most of these are pretty old now.
  3. Mexican fan Palm. From Sonoran desert. Fan shaped leaves. Thin trunk. Super tall. Generally stripped of all dead leaves nowadays. Planted mostly in 1931 as depression work initiative and pre Olympics. Planted in avenues. The classic LA Palm.
    In image note some have stripped trunks and some not so.
  4. Canary island date Palm. Thick knobby trunk. Rich bouquet of hundreds of long feather like leaves. Extremely grand.
    This is another early favorite in LA history. Mainly planted alone in front yards. Common in historic areas. Nice avenue in Elysian park. This one can get a fungal disease and die and many are. Slow growing. Expensive to replace. In Canary Islands the sap is collected and boiled like maple syrup to make dark aguamiel.
  5. Queen Palm. Feather like leaves but wiry and not ferny. More of a west side night club Palm. More common in recent plantings. From South America. Not so tall and bulky as others.
  6. There are many others but these are the most common. Test yourself on this pic where there are 3 species. Remember the Californian fan is thick and the Mexican tall and thin but the fan like leaves are similar in both.
  7. My fave for aesthetics is the hefty canary date. But the Mexican fan sprouts like a weed all over and is so tall and fun. Note some mexican fans have partial stripping of dead leaves and leaf bases. Both Californians and Mexicans can be stripped smooth or have the beard of leaves.