Chinese Fan Palm

Livistona chinensis

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The name of the genre is dedicated to Patrick Murray, Baron of Livingstone, who, in 1680, already had a garden rich in exotic plants. It became the nucleus of what was to be the Edinburgh Botanical Garden. The specific name refers to its place of origin.

This palm tree, elegant in appearance, can reach a considerable height. The trunk widens at the base when it is old, its bark being smooth, somewhat ringed and reddish brown. The leaves are yellowish green, with a long and thorny petiole at the edges. It produces small flowers in clusters that hang between the leaves and they tend to be hidden. The fruit is a round drupe of 2 cm in diameter, is fleshy and has a single seed in its interior. The fruit is greenish blue which turns black when fully ripe.

Its dissemination is by seeds and is a slow growing species. Its main use is ornamental, used in gardening in areas of the Mediterranean climate due to its easy adaptation. In China, parts of the tree are used to make fans.

You can see some examples in Cadiz in the gardens of the Plaza de Mina, Genovés Park, and Plaza de Candelaria.

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