Plants tree palms. Stems solitary, erect, tall, massive in one species (more than 10020 cm diam.)(100--150 cm diam.), partly or completely covered with old leaf bases and marcescent dry leaves forming conspicuous skirt around trunk. Leaves: sheath fibers soft; petiole split at base, conspicuously armed with teeth along margins, sometimes unarmed in tall plants; abaxial hastula absent; adaxial hastula irregularly shaped, margin becoming tattered, fibrous; costa prominent; blade costapalmate; plication induplicate; segments lanceolate, basally connate, bearing fibers between segments; apices 2-cleft or irregularly tattered into fibers. Inflorescences axillary within crown of leaves, paniculate, arching well beyond leaves, with 2 orders of branching; prophyll leathery; rachis bracts very conspicuous, tubular at base, distally flattened and leathery, long; rachillae glabrous. Flowers bisexual, borne singly along rachillae, short- pedicellate; perianth 2-seriate; calyx cupulate, 3-lobed, apices and margins irregular; petals 3, long, chaffy, basally connate into tube; stamens 6, adnate briefly to petals; pistils 3, distinct basally, glabrous; styles connate, slender, long; stigma inconspicuous. Fruits drupes, blackish, ellipsoid; exocarp smooth; mesocarp thin, fleshy; endocarp thin. Seeds ellipsoid; endosperm homogeneous; embryo basal; eophyll undivided, lanceolate. n = 18.
|Fan palm, palmier evantail de Californie [fFor George Washington, 1732--1799, American patriot and first president of the United States]|