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Palm of Plenty

August 1, 2010

Fruit, light and dark

Walking Saturday morning from the Rancho to downtown Riverside, I came upon a stand of a half-dozen Mexican blue palms that were heavily laden with fruit. Native to Baja California, Mexico, their proper name is brahea armata. Sporting 4- to 10-foot-long bunches of vividly colored ovals, the stocky trees caused me to stop in my tracks and I was happy I’d decided to bring my camera along. Their bluish-green, fan-shaped foliage provided a gorgeously neutral contrast for the brilliantly-hued fruit. But this was not the end of the palm show …

A delicate cascade

These creamy cascades of blossoms were also amazingly beautiful. At 8- to 10-feet in length, their long, curving stems jutted from the tree’s center in attractive arcs. Unlike some date palms, the Mexican blue palm’s flowers are not either male or female; this palm is hermaphroditic.

Arresting and accessible

I love these trees because they’re so short, and their fruit and flower stems are so long. I’ve often been attracted to palms with colorful bunches of dates hanging, but not been able to reach them easily. I want one of the fruit bunches and think I’ll return and cut one down. (The trees are in the parkway, not on anyone’s property, and will just fall to the ground anyway.) It’ll look great stretched across the length of a burled wood credenza in the living room, and no one will have to pick it off the sidewalk … right, officer?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Richard permalink
    August 24, 2010 12:26 am

    Hi Reuben, happy summer ! Good to hear from you. I hope you are having a great vacation. I am taking a lot of vacation time lately. I will be back early September.

    See you soon, Richard from the train šŸ™‚

    • reubix1 permalink*
      August 24, 2010 3:12 pm

      Hey, Richard, I was on vacation myself last week… seems so long ago now *sigh*… see you when get back from your latest trip to the French Riviera… ; )

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