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If you have ever gone south to avoid Old Man Winter, then you have likely encountered members of the Palm family lining city streets. In North America, the Palm family includes trees and tree-like shrubs with slender, unbranching trunks, and large pinnately or palmately divided leaves. The flowers form in clusters, typically surrounded by or emerging from one or more bracts (modified leaves), which may become woody with age. The flowers are regular, bisexual, and usually small and white. There are typically 3 sepals and 3 petals, plus usually 6 (sometimes 3, 9, or numerous) stamens. The ovary consists of usually 3 carpels (up to 10), either as 3 separate pistils (apocarpous), or united as one pistil (syncarpous), typically maturing as a berry or drupe (a fleshy fruit with a stony seed). Worldwide, there are about 200 genera and 2,600 species. North American genera are listed below. Other monocot trees are included in the Banana family (Musaceae) and the Bird-of-Paradise family (Strelitziaceae).
Key Words: Unbranching monocot trees in southern climates.
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