While hiking through the palms yesterday, Palm Collection Manager and Head Gardener Olin Erickson pointed out what he called the “central spear”, or spear leaf, which is the newest and youngest frond on the plant, coming directly from the heart of the palm at a place called the bud. This is the single, central, and vital growth point on any palm tree.
Even though the spear leaf is not yet opened, is the most critical part of any palm tree, and the health of this leaf is often a big indicator of the health or deficiencies of the entire plant. If something happens to the spear leaf, and it collapses, rots, or dies, no new growth will occur on the plant.
This is just one feature that makes palms unique among trees. To check out our other Palm Facts of the Week, click here to explore the archive.