Difference Between Washingtonia Robusta and Filifera

What is Washingtonia Robusta?

The name of washingtonia robusta refers to a plant of the palm family Arecaceae; It is also known as wachintona or Mexican fan palm.

It is native to Baja California, which is located in the north of Mexico and the southwest of the United States, but in the same way it is usually found on the edge of gorges and valleys near water sources, although it requires a lot of exposure to the sun and is resistant to high temperatures, it can also withstand frosts down to -8 °C.

Washingtonia robusta can reach 35 meters in height, with a slender, unbranched trunk of about 40 centimeters in diameter at most. In the upper part, they present palmate fan-shaped leaves of an intense green color, which are divided into more than 50 segments each and can measure up to 2 meters in diameter.

It has a long and resistant petiole with thorns on its edges that joins it to the stem and that supports the leaf for a long time even after it is dead; so the plant usually wears an ornament of dry leaves that cover it before the top.

The washingtonia robusta plant produces small spherical fruits, in numerous quantities and approximately 0.5 centimeters in diameter each, with a thin black skin, which can be edible, although it is also used to produce ethanol.

Its planting is recommended in open spaces, it does not require much water and it is resistant to pests and diseases. Its reproduction is through the seeds of its fruit, although its germination process is quite long. It is a plant that, with the right conditions, can remain alive for up to 260 years.

What is Washingtonia Filifera?

The Washingtonia filifera plant, or as it is popularly known California Washingtonia, is a palm of the Arecaceae family native to the northern area of ​​Baja California and the desert areas of California, although it is possible to find this species in rocky soils, Mediterranean areas and around the gulfs.

Among the main characteristics that allow us to identify this plant is its wide trunk at the base, with approximate measurements of one meter in diameter; Likewise, its height is usually between 12 and 15 meters, but some samples of up to 25 meters have been found.

Its green leaves are fan-shaped, with folds inside and white filaments emerge from them. The leaves are born in the crown of the palm tree, and around fifty leaves can be found simultaneously. Once their lifetime has passed, the leaves remain hanging like a skirt on the tall stem of the plant; It can be removed with pruning, since the petiole is quite strong and would manage to keep the dry leaves in this position for a long period of time.

The flowers of Washingtonia filifera are hermaphroditic, they are grouped in small clusters, they are cream-colored and have a strong odor. The flowers are born above the leaf, and the bouquets can become longer than these. Likewise, its fruit is obtained in groups, with an ovoid shape, about 0.5 centimeters in diameter, with a black color and is edible. Inside the fruit is the seed, by which it can reproduce.

This is a garden plant that requires little care as it is very resistant to high temperatures and survives with little water. It adapts to various types of soil, especially those with few nutrients, what it needs is constant exposure to the sun. Its longevity can reach up to 200 years.

Difference Between Washingtonia Robusta and Filifera

  • One of the main differences of the Washingtonia palm trees is in the width of its trunk, being ironically more slender in the robusta, around 40 centimeters in diameter; while the filifera has a wider base, up to a meter in diameter.
  • There are also differences in the maximum height that each species can reach, the robusta being up to 35 meters and the filifera 25 meters.
  • The origin of Washingtonia filifera is in California, United States; On the other hand, Washingtonia robusta is typical of Baja California in Mexico.

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