Palm – Prince of Plants
Sometimes people call the palm the “prince of the plant kingdom” because it’s one of the most useful plants. You know, palms grow as trees, shrubs, and vines in warm regions. There are about 2,800 different kinds of palm. Especially many species of palm trees grow in Madagascar and Colombia.
The trunk is branchless, with large leaves on the top. Palm leaves may be shaped like fans or feathers. As you know, palms produce dry or fleshy fruits that vary in size, shape, and structure.
The coco-de-mer (sea coconut) is the largest fruit in the world. It can be larger than a human head.
The coconut palm provides vegetable oil for cooking, the fiber can be woven into ropes and mats. By the way, the coconut shell is used to make cups and bottles. Some island people say there are as many uses for coconuts as there are days in a year.
The sap of a variety of palms is fermented to produce palm wine.
Palm oils are also used in the manufacture of candles, soaps, and stabilizers in plastic and rubber compounds.
Besides, palms are a symbol of the tropics. In many cultures, palm trees were symbols of victory and peace.
Since ancient times, the palm branch was presented to the winner along with a laurel wreath.
In very hot weather, the palm tree grows only at night, resting during the day.
Did you know that date palms are divided into male and female? A male tree has a different kind of flowers, which allows it to be distinguished from the female “individual.” One palm tree can give a quarter of a ton of dates. Actually, date palm is ideally suited for life in the desert: its trunk can protect not only from the heat, but also from the cold. Dead leaves provide extra protection. By the way, the fresh leaves are very strong and people use them for making clothes.
The date tree grows only where groundwater comes quite close to the surface, and with its powerful, long roots, the palm tree can reach them. They form an oasis, to the delight of those who travel in arid areas.
All in all, palm is the tree of life, and for Christians it is a symbol of martyrdom and purity. As an emblem of longevity, the palm became known in Europe during the crusades. Its value as a symbol of the world was actualized during the Renaissance.