Palm trees are believed to have existed for over eighty five million years. In the regions where they grow naturally, palms have always been used by
people for food and shelter. Since the beginning of human civilisation in Mesopotamia - the Garden of Eden - the palm has become a symbol of life and an important element of cultural and religious
practice. According to tradition, the palm was one of the 30 trees Adam was allowed to take when leaving the Garden to start life by himself.
This legend accords with today's scientific opinion that
date trees originate from the Middle East.
Some of the palms you can see here are already substancial. Phoenix canariensis, phoenix dactylifera, washingtonia robusta, chamaerops humilis, and of course
trachycarpus fortunei, are among these.
Others are of a more modest size. You will see, maybe for the first time, trachycarpus takil, native of Mount Takil in north of India where it is almost
extinct. Trachycarpus martianus is a native of north-east India where it grows at an altitude of almost 1600m. Trachycarpus wagnerianus is named after the German botanist Wagner, who lived from 1813 to
1860. Jubaea chilensis, the largest palm in the world, has a seed called coquito which tastes like coconut. It takes a couple of centuries to mature, so our specimen are still babies !