About 2,500 species of palms which belong to the family of Arecaceae exist around the world. Palm trees, native to the tropics and subtropics regions, sustain in similar climatic conditions.

Contrary to popular belief, palms are not the same as palm trees. Some palms, such as The Traveler’s Palm and Yucca, do not belong to the Arecaceae family. Each palm differs from the other in terms of its leaf shape, size, structure and texture, and their trunk size.

Palms, considered religious symbols, are mentioned in the Quran and the Bible several times. In Judaism, they represent prosperity and peace.

These evergreen plants are best used to landscape and decorate living spaces, both indoors and outdoors. They are also often used as foliage while landscaping residential or commercial areas.

There are two main classifications of palm leaves:

• Palmate leaves: These grow in a bunch at the crown of the plant, and they resemble hands or a hand-fan (E.g., Royal Palm)

• Pinnate leaves: These are feather-like, and most palms have them.

Since palms thrive in arid areas and are easily adaptable to natural fluctuations, they are easy to maintain in the long run. They also don’t require much nurturing. Most of them even cleanse themselves.

Here are three of the most popular palms commonly used:

Areca palm-

• ‘Dypsis Lutescens’ (scientific name) is a native to the region of Madagascar, Andaman Islands, Cuba, Florida, Haiti and other areas with similar climatic conditions.

• The height of this plant, when matured, goes up to 20ft, and above when planted in the ground. It can be pruned and shaped to an optimum height when kept indoors. It is also one of the many palms that grow in clusters.

• The fronds of this palm arches to create a beautiful butterfly-like effect, hence it is also known as ‘butterfly palm’.

Royal palm-

• ‘Roystonea Regia’ (scientific name) is a native of the equatorial regions like Mexico and Central America. It is famous in the Indian subcontinent and flourishes in areas with hot weather conditions.

• They can grow up to a height of 125ft as a fully mature palm tree.

• The trunk of the palm tree is grey and white, and it is stout. Following a well-defined bulge, is a green crown shaft. At the crown, the palm has approximately 15 to 16 pinnate leaves. The leaves can grow up to a maximum of 13 ft.

• These decorative palms are prominent in the landscaping industry throughout the world.

Foxtail palm-

• ‘Wodyetia bifurcata’ a native of Australia, is famous around the world for its distinctive leaves and foliage.

• The trunk of this palm tree is thin, smooth and self-supporting. Following an unmistakable bulge near its crown comes a light green shaft. It then has the right amount of foliage with these leaves varying from deep green to light green in colour.

• The palm is commonly called ‘Foxtail’ since its leaf structure resembles a fox’s tail.

Since these three palms require low maintenance, they are a favourite of designers looking to invigorate indoor spaces.