Liquidambar Trees, or sweet gums, the colorfully deciduous trees gracing front yards, parks, and campuses throughout the San Diego area, have been putting on a good show for the past month. The maplelike leaves of some varieties have turned from green to purple to red; the leaves of other varieties have faded to a golden yellow. Other varieties will hold on to their leaves until the New Year. Most will regain their foliage by late February.
Ripening Palm Fruit, hanging in great clusters on California's native fan palms (Washingtonia filifera), can be seen this month. Native Americans of centuries past utilized the black, pea-sized fruit which consists of a deliciously sweet but almost paper-thin skin surrounding a hard seed. (These are not "California dates" -- the fruit of cultivated palms introduced into California's deserts from northern Africa.) Our native fan palms can be seen in their natural habitat in about two dozen canyons within Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. They have also been planted widely elsewhere in California, including along the main streets of Palm Springs.
More like this:
- Bird, plane, Santa? No, it's Jupiter — Dec. 10, 2016
- Sunrise, Sunset, Ripening Palm Fruit — Dec. 12, 2010
- Sweet Gums — Dec. 2, 2010
- Sweet Gums and Sycamores — Nov. 18, 2009
- Winter Solstice, Hiking to High Places, Ripening Palm Fruit — Dec. 17, 2008