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**1. Taxonomy and Classification:**
– Palms are a monophyletic group of plants.
– The Arecaceae family is part of the monocot order Arecales.
– Currently, there are 181 genera with around 2,600 palm species known.
– Palms are organized into 15 major groups based on morphological characteristics.
– N.W. Uhl and J. Dransfield proposed a revision of Moore’s classification in 1987.
– Palms are organized into 6 subfamilies like Arecoideae, Calamoideae, Ceroxyloideae, Coryphoideae, and Nypoideae.

**2. Importance and Uses:**
– Palms are extensively cultivated and have been important throughout history.
– Many common products and foods are derived from palms.
– Palms are widely used in landscaping.
– Palms are economically important, supplying products like coconut, dates, and palm oil.
– They rank sixth in domesticated crops in human diet and first in total economic value produced.
– Palms are used in various industries and have diverse uses in jewelry and cultural contexts.

**3. Evolution and Geographic Distribution:**
Arecaceae appeared in the fossil record around 80 million years ago.
– Palms underwent an early period of adaptive radiation.
– Many modern specialized genera of palms appeared by 60 million years ago.
– Palms are native to tropical and subtropical climates and are most diverse in wet, lowland forests.
– Northwestern South America shows significant palm uses.
– Non-native palms can create novel ecosystems globally.

**4. Symbolism and Cultural References:**
– Palms symbolize triumph, victory, peace, and plenty in various cultures.
– They are used in religious texts, ceremonies, festivals, and celebrations.
– Palms have been significant in various cultures throughout history.
– Palms feature on flags and seals of native places and symbolize the Tree of Life in Kabbalah.
– They remain a symbol of tropical island paradise.

**5. Research and Publications:**
– Various studies explore palm systematics, evolution, and economic importance.
– Molecular phylogenetic studies and phylogenetic classifications have been conducted.
– Publications like ‘Beyond Genera Palmarum’ and ‘Monocot relationships: an overview’ contribute to palm research.
– The University of Arizona hosts palms on its campus, showcasing their importance.
– The number of known plant species in the world is constantly increasing, indicating ongoing research and discoveries in the field.

Arecaceae (Wikipedia)

The Arecaceae (/ærəˈksi/) is a family of perennial, flowering plants in the monocot order Arecales. Their growth form can be climbers, shrubs, tree-like and stemless plants, all commonly known as palms. Those having a tree-like form are called palm trees. Currently, 181 genera with around 2,600 species are known, most of which are restricted to tropical and subtropical climates. Most palms are distinguished by their large, compound, evergreen leaves, known as fronds, arranged at the top of an unbranched stem, except for the Hyphaene genus, who has branched palms. However, palms exhibit an enormous diversity in physical characteristics and inhabit nearly every type of habitat within their range, from rainforests to deserts.

Temporal range: 80–0 Ma Late Cretaceous – Recent
Coconut (Cocos nucifera) in Martinique
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Bercht. & J.Presl, nom. cons.
Type genus
Well over 2600 species in some 202 genera
  • Palmae

Palms are among the best known and most extensively cultivated plant families. They have been important to humans throughout much of history. Many common products and foods are derived from palms. In contemporary times, palms are also widely used in landscaping. In many historical cultures, because of their importance as food, palms were symbols for such ideas as victory, peace, and fertility.

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