Palm trees are a quintessential part of the Palm Springs aesthetic, with hundreds of these trees lining any given street in this popular town. Palm trees are thirsty plants, so they can only survive in an oasis — making Palm Springs the perfect area for these trees to thrive.
While it may seem like this California town got its name from the presence of these trees, this is actually not the case.
The name originally came from Spanish explorers that named the area La Palma de la Mano de Dios (The Palm of God’s Hand), so it’s entirely coincidental that this area also came to be a perfect place for palm trees to grow.
In this post, we’ll be looking at some of the most popular types of palm trees that make Palm Springs such an exotic place to live.
Fan Palm Trees in Palm Springs
With all the types of palm trees in and around Palm Springs, only one is native to the state of California: the California fan palm, or Washingtonia Filifera.
Located mostly in Indian Canyons and Palm Canyon, these trees can grow to an astounding height of 100 feet with three to five foot wide trunks.
Also called petticoat palms for the distinctive way their leaves shroud the trunk when they die, fan palm trees give the appearance of wearing a long coat (along with a little help — they are trimmed to maintain a clean appearance).
Date Palm Trees in Palm Springs
Brought to California from the Middle East and North Africa as a USDA experiment by the USDA upon realizing how similar the climate is, this successful transplant is now not only a staple of Palm Springs’ visual aesthetic but also its agriculture, as multiple date farms have thrived in the area.
One of the most well known and historic of these date farms is Shields Date Gardens, a staple of the Palm Springs community since it opened its doors in 1924.
Located between La Quinta and Indio, this popular spot is sprawled out over 17 acres and offers visitors the opportunity to wander among the giant stalks of trees and sample multiple varieties of the fruit, including the gardens’ own blonde and brunette varieties — the only place in the world where these are grown.