Thursday, June 18, 2015

palming the truth

Two weeks ago, in to bee or not to bee, I shared a photograph and tale about one of the palm trees in my courtyard.

It was in bloom -- and the bees loved it.  But after an hour on the internet, I had no idea of its identity.

So, I turned to the cleverest people I know.  My readers.  And you provided a list of possibilities.  Starting with dates.

Well, it is not a date tree.  The trunk and the fronds are distinctly non-datelike.  And the fruit is not a date.

Like most trees that produce fruit, I decided to wait and see how the flowers developed.  It did not take long.  Within ten days of flowering the fruit had completely set.  And within two days, they had fallen from the former flower spike.

They appear to be a form of nut or seed -- far smaller than I thought they would be, but they are in proportion to the size of the flowers.  They almost look like ultra-miniature coconuts.

Whatever they are, they are everywhere.  Being round, they are a perfect shape for wind distribution.  The wind from Carlos yesterday morning moved them around in the courtyard.  But so did the rain water.  If the palm had been in a field, its potential children would have fallen far from the palm.

But, even after seeing the fruit, I am no closer to identifying the palm.  I remember one of the waiters at Rooster's commenting, when he first smelled real maple syrup, that it reminded him of the seed from a native Mexican palm.  I wonder if that is our unidentified tree?

Some of you had an earlier opinion.  After seeing the palm's fruit, does it prove your theory -- or do you have another guess?

An expatriate friend knows a local biologist who may be able to act as our final judge.  But, for now, the floor is yours.

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