In a Nutshell:
* Washingtonia filifera ( filifera - Latin "thread-bearing"), common names Desert Fan Palm , American Cotton palm , Arizona Fan Palm , or California Fan Palm ) is a palm native to the desert oases of Central, southern and southwestern Arizona , southern Nevada , extreme northwest Mexico of northern Baja California state, and the inland deserts of Southern California , mainly the Colorado Desert .
* As an ornamental tree it is cultivated in suitable temperate climates worldwide.
* Washingtonia filifera is widely cultivated as an ornamental tree. It is one of the hardiest Coryphoidiae palms, rated as hardy to USDA hardiness zone 8. It will survive temperatures of 10 °C (14 °F) with minor damage, and established plants have survived, with severe leaf damage, brief periods as low as 12 °C (10 °F). The plants grow best in warm temperate climates with dry summers and wetter winters. Specimens outside of Mediterranean climates rarely exceed 15 metres (49 ft).
* Today, due to urbanization and ground water depletion, palm oases are shrinking and disappearing. Increased agricultural irrigation has lowered aquifers, reducing or removing water availability at palm oases. This creates a threat to the species and the organisms which rely on its habitat to survive.
* Joshua Tree National Park in the Mojave Desert preserves and protects healthy riparian palm habitat examples in the Little San Bernardino Mountains, and westward where water rises through the San Andreas Fault on the east valley side.
* The fruit of the fan palm was eaten raw, cooked, or ground into flour for cakes. The Cahuilla and related tribes used the leaves to make sandals, thatch roofs, and baskets. The stems were used to make cooking utensils. more...