How Many Species of Palm Tree Are There?
Worldwide, the family Palmae (Palm Tree) is composed of 2500 to 3000 different species. A few of these are found in the continental United States, mostly in the warmer regions of the southern United States, southern Florida, and southern California.
Palms, for identification purposes, are divided into two major groups: those that have palmate or fan-shaped leaves; and those that have pinnate, or feather-shaped leaves. “The palmate-leaved species are characterized by a leaf structure in which all leaf segments arise from a single point, similar to the structure of a human hand. Pinnate leaves are characterized by leaves along each side of a central axis, similar in design to that of a feather.” (see source below)
What Is So Special About Palm Tree Roots?
God says in Psalm 92: 12-13, “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.” In what ways does a palm tree flourish better than other trees?
The root system of a palm tree is unique. Most trees have branching roots that grow smaller and smaller the further they are from the taproot. The palm roots are the same size at the stem or base. This makes the tree difficult to pull up. It also means the roots will grow deep into the ground, getting nourishment that is not available on the surface. David said the blessed man is “like a tree planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth his fruit in his season.” (Psalm 1:3) God also commands us to “take root downward, and bear fruit upward.” (Isaiah 37:31)
The Amazing Design of the Palm Tree Wood
Most tree trunks are made up of dead wood while the living part, the cambium layer, is just inside the bark. This makes it easy for animals to ‘girdle’ a tree, nibbling the bark around the bottom and thus killing it. The palm, on the other hand, has living wood throughout. Therefore, damage to the truck has little or no effect. This and the strong root system allow it to weather hurricane-force storms because it bends with the wind without breaking. When our lives are rooted in Christ (Col. 2:6-7), the storms of life will only strengthen us spiritually.
The Fruit of a Palm Tree
Fruit trees normally decrease in fruit production as they grow older. Palm trees do not bear fruit at all until they are mature. This takes up to 50 years. But as the palm tree ages, the fruit grows sweeter. Consider this promise: “They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;” (Psalm 92:14) God does not want us to become less fruitful in old age. Instead, the fruit of our lives should increase and become sweeter as the years pass.
Beyond the creation debate, God has many important lessons for us to learn from His creation. His fingerprint is on all He does!