Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Washingtonia filifera
(Linden) Wendl., Arecaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 11.5 (Go to the risk assessment)

Common name(s): [more details]

English: California fan palm, California washingtonia, cotton palm, desert fan palm, northern fan palm, petticoat palm, Washington palm

French: palmier évantail de Californie

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Sex: Hermaphrodite.  Trunk: To 50 ft. fall; thick, to 3 ft. diameter; not enlarged at base; upper part, or sometimes all the trunk, covered with a huge shag or petticoat of dead leaves.  If leaves are cut off, the leafbases form a covering for the trunk, compact, but with no regular pattern.  The gray surface of trunk, if exposed, is marked with vertical chinks or ridges that are more prominent than the rings.  Petiole: Long, to 6 ft.; 6 in. broad near base; margins armed with prominent teeth; green in color; leafbases are sometimes brown or reddish.  Leaf: To 6 ft. or more across; divided more than halfway to base; many long threads attached to segments and sinuses throughout life of tree.  Segments: 50 or more gray-green; not glaucous.  Flowerstalk: From lower leaves; 9-12 ft. long; erect at first, then hanging with fruit, and eventually becoming involved in the shag of dead leaves, of which it becomes a part.  Flowers: Small; numerous; white.  Fruit: 1/3 in. long, 1/4 in. broad; ovoid; lightly wrinkled.  Seed: Single; same shape as fruit, but trifle smaller" (McCarrach, 1960; p. 264).

Key to species of Washingtonia (from Oppenheimer & Bartlett, 2002; p. 3):
Trunk slender, tapered from a stout base; leaf blades bright green, hastula tawny beneath:  Washingtonia robusta.
Trunk stout without a broader base; leaf blades gray-green, lacking a tawny patch beneath the hastula:  Washingtonia filifera.

Habitat/ecology:  "Groves, moist places, seeps, springs, stream sides; to 1200 m" (Hickman, 1993; p. 1105). Adaptable to a wide range of soils and climates. Can grow in extreme alkaline soils that have a pH as high as 9.2.  Considered very disease and pest resistant and quite resistant to lethal yellowing disease. Prefers exposure to full sun but also grows well in part sun/shade. Drought tolerant and can withstand frosts and freezes as well as extreme heat (Floridata).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  "Southern California, western Arizona, northwestern Mexico" (McCarrach, 1960; p. 264).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
cultivated
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (pp. 501-502, 547-548, 558)
"Su reciente introducción en RC (Hotel Pangal en 2000) no permite hacerse una idea de su comportamiento en el futuro. Es una especie que debe ser vigilada de cerca. Un lote de plantas tamiento en el futuro. Un lote de plantas jóvenes llegó a la isla en 2005; fueron plantados en varios lugares del pueblo de San Juan Bautista. La Isla teniendo una palmera endémica (Juania australia), seria mejor fomentar su cultivo en lugar de introducir especies exóticas".
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 89)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank L./Bartlett, Randal T. (2002) (p. 3)
West Maui. Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H30016 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Frohlich, Danielle/Lau, Alex (2010) (p. 5)
Voucher cited: D. Frohlich & A. Lau 2008072401 (BISH)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales   Palmweb (2013)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 90)
Cultivated only
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)


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This page was created on 31 DEC 2003 and was last updated on 11 FEB 2013.