Recently, I’ve heard that palm trees to be a form of grass, and also I to be curious to learn more. So, ns did part research. Here’s what i found.

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Palm trees are not technically grass, yet they are both family members of the very same group, dubbed monocots. Grasses belong come the Poaceae family, while palms belong come the Arecaceae family. So, they space in same standing, just in different families. Palm trees are related closer to lilies and also orchids 보다 they are to grass.

So, when palm trees aren’t technically grass, what provides them similar, and also why aren’t palm trees, well, trees? Let’s take a closer look.

How room Palm Trees similar to Grass?


Palm tree are comparable to grass in the they’re both grouped together monocots. If they room in separate genetic families, you deserve to think that palm trees together really tall grass or flowering plants. On the other hand, dicots incorporate most that the vegetables, fruit trees, and woody trees we typically know.

One particle leafTwo seed leaves
Lack a vascular cambiumHave a vascular cambium (woody stems)
Fibrous rootsTap source system
Veins in the leaves space parallelLeaf veins room net or weblike
Flowers come in ones and threesFlowers come in ones, fours, and also fives
Grasses and palm trees are instances of monocots, if dicots incorporate fruit trees, oaks, elm, rose, and more. (source)

One the the best differences in between monocots and also dicots is that the sprouted seed for monocots only thrive one sheet (hence the name “mono”), when dicot seeds flourish two leaves.

You can have noticed this when you seed her lawn vs as soon as you particle vegetables. The grass in her lawn just sprouts one, vertical leaf, if the veggies sprout two.

Another instance of this is wheatgrass vs microgreens. Wheatgrass grows one early stage leaf once sprouting, if microgreens (baby version of tree such as radish) have actually two early stage leaves prior to they flourish more.

Wheatgrass (monocot) vs microgreens (dicot).

Another huge difference between monocots and dicots is their leaves. Palm trees have leaf veins that prosper in parallel, while trees such as oak have actually veins the grow likewise to a spiderweb.

Palm tree leaf contrasted to an oak leaf.

Other differences between palm trees and other “real” trees room fibrous roots, different flower sets, and the absence of a vascular cambium (what makes wood).

So, botanically speaking, palms are big grass. However, when pointing out plants in the landscape, many palms are fairly tall therefore they are designated together trees to separate them from shrubs and ground covers.

Tampa just Times

In the end, palm trees room not a form of grass, however they space genetically closer 보다 they space to woody tree such as oak. Because that simplicity, palm trees are regularly labeled as a grass.

For more context, here are the close loved ones of palm trees:

GrassesSedgesGrains (such as corn and rice)BambooLiliesOrchards

Do Palm Trees have Rings?

The within of a palm tree’s trunk.

Palm trees don’t have actually rings, however instead have actually trunks with large, tube-like cells. This is due to the fact that they lack a vascular cambium. As a result, instead of cultivation wood through rings, they grow fibrous, spongey, and wet trunks. This additionally makes them extremely complicated to cut down and dry out.

“Some monocots appear to be woody, such together palm trees, but the wood-like stems is in reality an build-up of leaf bases.”

If you’ve ever pulled personal a piece of grass, you’d check out that there’s no woody structure, yet instead, one that is fibrous and wet. You can even be able to see the huge plant cells within of the grass. Palm trees are similar.

These large, tubular cells in palm trees space what assist transfer nutrients and also water up v the tree as it grows. ~ above the other hand, the vascular cambium native woody tree is lot denser and takes much longer to grow.

The vascular cambium great is the inner great of cell growth between the tree’s bark and wood. End time, new layers that cambium kind rings in the tree’s trunk. Due to the fact that palm trees absence cambium, lock cannot thrive rings or true “wood”.

Also, once a lawn is cut, the high quantity of moisture renders the knives of grass stick together easily. This is a comparable experience of taking a chainsaw come a palm tree—a wet, sticky mess.

Because of this, plenty of landscapers frequently have come go with multiple chainsaw chisels to successfully reduced down palm trees.

What support the Palm Tree’s Height and Weight?

Palm trees flourish as tall as they do because of support indigenous their wide and shallow root and big plant cells, i beg your pardon contain high amounts of lignin. When woody trees room rigid and can snap under enough pressure, palm trees stay flexible and also can bend in the wind.

Palms rely on overlapping sheet bases, thickened enlarged cells, and prop roots to remain up. This strategy is also used by cycads and tree ferns.

University that California Museum the Paleontology

Even though palm tree aren’t woody favor true trees, your grassy nature and also fibrous roots are an essential in how stable they room at such a large height.

Palm trees generally reach 30-50 feet tall, and also while this pales in compare to trees such as oaks (commonly getting to 50-100 feet in height), palm trees grow much faster and are far better suited to survive strong winds.

This is due to the fact that the palm tree’s tubular and big cells considerably increase the flexibility of the tree. On the various other hand, woody trees, such together oak, have the right to simply snap given enough pressure (usually one of two people from its own weight or the wind).

This reminds me of some cartoons once they’d run on a palm tree, bending it end to the ground, only for it to bounce ago and catapult lock away.

Additionally, numerous trees such together pine, birch, and also fir choose to thrive in woodlands where they can not only connect their roots and share nutrients yet lean on each other in time of solid winds. Compare this come palm trees, i m sorry can prosper on their own as well as in groups.

So, when palm trees might not have “true” wood, their grass-like structure (containing lot of of lignin) and also many shallow roots assist them extremely at resisting wind and also standing alone.

lack of conventional structure is what gives the palm the flexibility and makes the supremely adapted … come the gentle island breezes the periodically coalesce right into ruthless hurricanes.

Hope Jahren, Geochemist, writer of lab Girl

In the end, palm tree are incredibly flexible and also aren’t most likely at every to break. Instead, it’s an ext likely for them to get uprooted indigenous soaked, softened ground or flooding—removing the soil and also exposing your shallow roots.

Where space Palm Trees aboriginal To?

Palm tree are native to tropical and also subtropical regions consisting of the Caribbean, south America, and also some locations of the south Pacific and southern Asia. While castle can flourish in numerous climates, they favor moist and also hot regions, generally including wet, lowland forests.

You deserve to trace palm trees’ origins ago to locations of India, northern Africa, southeast Asia, and the south Pacific islands.

Can girlfriend Burn Palm Tree Wood?

Palm trees deserve to be it is in burned, yet they have actually a high water content and also quick burn rate, therefore they don’t make good firewood. Because that this reason, they produce a the majority of smoke and also take a lengthy time to dried out. Due to their grass-like structure, cutting palm tree down through a chainsaw have the right to burn through blades quickly.

If you try to burn palm trees the aren’t totally dried, it will likely reason a most smoke. This is since of the high amount of fiber and water in the tree. What you gain by burning palmwood is often the same result as if you burned grass–lots of smoke and short fuel.

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For much more information about using palm trees for firewood, check out my recent post: deserve to You use Palm Trees because that Firewood?.