Way way way back in January (which honestly feels like another lifetime ago) Andrew and I flew down to Los Angeles for a few days. He tended to work business the first couple of days while I immersed myself in gardens. After visiting Pitzer College (here and here) I stopped in a nursery, which I've yet to post about, but will be soon. After that I headed to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. I wasn't sure what to expect, and honestly the fellow manning the entrance didn't exactly inspire confidence in my choice to visit. Still I powered on and really enjoyed it.
For today's post I'm fast forwarding into the garden a bit, and we'll be looking at the palms, specifically Washingtonia filifera, the California Fan Palm.
It was amazing to be up near these towering giants, with their long skirts of old fronds.
It seemed no matter where I was, there was always a palm or two off in the distance.
Then I got to the Palm Oasis. It was amazing.
The signage reads, in part: California Fan Palm oases are unique ecological islands in the warm Colorado Desert of SE California, and are closely associated with groundwater seeps along the San Andres fault complex…
The California Fan Palm, Washingtonia filifera, may grow 70 feet high and exceed 40 inches in diameter, and is the only palm native to the western U.S. Its distinctive features include huge leaves with accordion-like folds and a skirt of dead leaves.
Fire is an integral part of the ecology of California Fan Palm oases. Mature palms are fire tolerant whereas most of the understory plants are not.
I studied them up close for awhile, looking at their trunks and leaf stems...
And the entirety of the old fronds.
So much accumulated brown old growth, topped with new green fronds.
They towered above me, no matter which direction I looked.
It was an amazing experience to stand amongst them.
I highly recommend this garden, should you be in the area.
And hope to get to the rest of my photos soon...because while the palms were truly amazing there was so much more to see...
Weather Diary, June 7: Hi 78, Low 55/ Precip trace
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