Sukkot translated as Festival of Tabernacles known as Chag HaAsif, the Festival of Ingathering, is a biblical Jewish holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the seventh month, Tishrei. During the existence of the Jerusalem Temple, it was one of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals on which the Israelites were commanded to perform a pilgrimage to the Temple; the names used in the Torah are Chag HaAsif, translated to "Festival of Ingathering" or "Harvest Festival", Chag HaSukkot, translated to "Festival of Booths". This corresponds to the double significance of Sukkot; the one mentioned in the Book of Exodus is agricultural in nature—"Festival of Ingathering at the year's end" —and marks the end of the harvest time and thus of the agricultural year in the Land of Israel. The more elaborate religious significance from the Book of Leviticus is that of commemorating the Exodus and the dependence of the People of Israel on the will of God; the holiday lasts eight in the diaspora. The first day is a Shabbat-like holiday.
This is followed by intermediate days called Chol Hamoed. The festival is closed with another Shabbat-like holiday called Shemini Atzeret. Shemini Atzeret coincides with the eighth day of Sukkot outside Israel; the Hebrew word sukkōt is the plural of sukkah, "booth" or "tabernacle", a walled structure covered with s'chach. A sukkah is the name of the temporary dwelling in which farmers would live during harvesting, a fact connecting to the agricultural significance of the holiday stressed by the Book of Exodus; as stated in Leviticus, it is intended as a reminiscence of the type of fragile dwellings in which the Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt. Throughout the holiday, meals are eaten inside the sukkah and many people sleep there as well. On each day of the holiday it is mandatory to perform a waving ceremony with the Four Species. In the Book of Leviticus, God told Moses to command the people: "On the first day you shall take the product of hadar trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, willows of the brook", "You shall live in booths seven days.
The origins of Sukkot are both agricultural. Sukkot commemorates the forty-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, living in temporary shelters. Agriculturally, Sukkot is a harvest festival and is sometimes referred to as Chag HaAsif, as it celebrates the gathering of the harvest. Sukkot is a seven-day festival, with the first day celebrated as a full festival with special prayer services and holiday meals; the seventh day of Sukkot has a special observance of its own. Outside Israel, the first and last two days are celebrated as full festivals; the intermediate days are known as Chol HaMoed. According to Halakha, some types of work are forbidden during Chol HaMoed. In Israel many businesses are closed during this time. Throughout the week of Sukkot, meals are eaten in the sukkah. If a brit milah or Bar Mitzvah rises during Sukkot, the seudat mitzvah is served in the sukkah; the father of a newborn boy greets guests to his Friday-night Shalom Zachar in the sukkah.
Males awaken there. Every day, a blessing is recited over the Etrog. Keeping of Sukkot is detailed in the Hebrew Bible; the sukkah walls can be constructed of any material. The walls can include the sides of a building or porch; the roof must be of organic material, known as s'chach, such as leafy tree overgrowth, schach mats or palm fronds - plant material, no longer connected with the earth. It is customary to decorate the interior of the sukkah with hanging decorations of the four species as well as with attractive artwork. Prayers during Sukkot include the reading of the Torah every day, reciting the Mussaf service after morning prayers, reciting Hallel, adding special additions to the Amidah and Grace after Meals. In addition, the service includes rituals involving the Four Species; the lulav and etrog are not brought to the synagogue on Shabbat. On each day of the festival, worshippers walk around the synagogue carrying the Four Species while reciting special prayers known as Hoshanot; this takes place either at the end of Mussaf.
This ceremony commemorates the willow ceremony at the Temple in Jerusalem, in which willow branches were piled beside the altar with worshippers parading around the altar reciting prayers. A custom originating with Lurianic Kabbalah is to recite the ushpizin prayer to "invite" one of seven "exalted guests" into the sukk
The four species are four plants mentioned in the Torah as being relevant to the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Rabbinic Jews tie together three types of branches and one type of fruit and wave them in a special ceremony each day of the Sukkot holiday, excluding Shabbat; the waving of the four plants is a mitzvah prescribed by the Torah, contains symbolic allusions to a Jew's service of God. In Karaite Judaism, the sukkah is constructed with branches from the four specified plants; the mitzvah of waving the four species derives from the Torah. In Leviticus, it states: Leviticus 23:40 And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. English Standard Version In Leviticus 23:40 the Hebrew terms for the four plants are: ‘êṣ hāḏār, magnificent/beautiful trees təmārîm, palm trees ‘êṣ ‘āḇōṯ, thick/leafy trees ‘arḇê-nāḥal, willows of the brook/valleyIn Talmudic tradition, the four plants are identified as: etrog – the fruit of a citron tree lulav – a ripe, closed frond from a date palm tree hadass – boughs with leaves from the myrtle tree aravah – branches with leaves from the willow tree During the time of the Temple in Jerusalem, the waving ceremony was performed in the Holy Temple on all seven days of Sukkot, elsewhere only on the first day.
Following the destruction of the Temple, Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai ordered that the four species be waved everywhere on every day of Sukkot, as a memorial to the Temple. To prepare the species for the mitzvah, the lulav is first bound together with the hadass and aravah in the following manner: One lulav is placed in the center, two aravah branches are placed to the left, three hadass boughs are placed to the right; the bundle may be bound with strips from another palm frond, or be placed in a special holder, woven from palm fronds. Sephardic Jews place one aravah to the right of the lulav and the second aravah to its left, cover them with the three hadass boughs—one on the right, the second on the left, the third atop the lulav's spine, leaning to the right; the bundle is held together with rings made from strips of palm fronds. Many Hasidic Ashkenazi Jews follow this practice as well. In all cases, all of the species must be placed in the direction. In old Jewish Eastern European communities, the Jews lived in cities far from fields, which required substantial travel in order to purchase the four species.
Whole towns would have had to share them. The etrog was rare and thus expensive. In Northern African communities, in Morocco and Tangier, the communities were located closer to fields, but the etrog was still expensive. There, instead of one per city, there was one per family, but in both areas, the community would share their etrogs to some extent. Today, with improved transportation, farming techniques etc.. An etrog can cost anywhere from $3 to $500 depending on its quality. To recite the blessing over the lulav and etrog, the lulav is held in one hand and the etrog in the other. Right-handed users hold the etrog in the left; the customs for those who are left-handed differ for Sephardim. According to the Ashkenazi custom, the lulav is held in the left hand, according to the Sephardi custom, in the right hand. According to Sephardi custom, the blessing is said while holding only the lulav and the etrog is picked up once the blessing is completed. According to Ashkenazi custom, before the blessing is said, the etrog is turned upside-down, opposite the direction in which it grows.
The reason for these two customs is. Should all the species be held in the direction in which they grew, the mitzvah would be fulfilled before the blessing is recited. After reciting the blessing, "Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments, commanded us to take the lulav", the etrog is turned right side up, the user brings his or her two hands together so that the etrog touches the lulav bundle; the four species are pointed and shaken three times toward each of the four directions, plus up and down, to attest to God's mastery over all of creation. The waving ceremony can be performed in the synagogue, or in the privacy of one's home or sukkah, as long as it is daytime. Women and girls may choose to perform the mitzvah of waving the lulav and etrog, although they are not required by Halakha to do so; because women are not required to perform this mitzva, some are of the opinion that Sephardi women do not need to recite the blessing. The waving is performed again during morning prayer services in the synagogue, at several points during the recital of Hallel.
Additionally, in the synagogue, Hallel is followed by a further ceremony, in which the worshippers join in a processional around the sanctuary with their four species, while reciting special supplications (called hoshaanot, from the refrai
A pine is any conifer in the genus Pinus of the family Pinaceae. Pinus is the sole genus in the subfamily Pinoideae; the Plant List compiled by the Royal Botanic Gardens and Missouri Botanical Garden accepts 126 species names of pines as current, together with 35 unresolved species and many more synonyms. The modern English name "pine" derives from Latin pinus, which some have traced to the Indo-European base *pīt- ‘resin’. Before the 19th century, pines were referred to as firs. In some European languages, Germanic cognates of the Old Norse name are still in use for pines—in Danish fyr, in Norwegian fura/fure/furu, Swedish fura/furu, Dutch vuren, German Föhre—but in modern English, fir is now restricted to fir and Douglas fir. Pine trees are evergreen, coniferous resinous trees growing 3–80 m tall, with the majority of species reaching 15–45 m tall; the smallest are Siberian dwarf pine and Potosi pinyon, the tallest is an 81.79 m tall ponderosa pine located in southern Oregon's Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.
Pines are long lived and reach ages of 100–1,000 years, some more. The longest-lived is Pinus longaeva. One individual of this species, dubbed "Methuselah", is one of the world's oldest living organisms at around 4,600 years old; this tree can be found in the White Mountains of California. An older tree, now cut down, was dated at 4,900 years old, it was discovered in a grove beneath Wheeler Peak and it is now known as "Prometheus" after the Greek immortal. The bark of most pines is thick and scaly; the branches are produced in regular "pseudo whorls" a tight spiral but appearing like a ring of branches arising from the same point. Many pines are uninodal, producing just one such whorl of branches each year, from buds at the tip of the year's new shoot, but others are multinodal, producing two or more whorls of branches per year; the spiral growth of branches and cone scales may be arranged in Fibonacci number ratios. The new spring shoots are sometimes called "candles"; these "candles" offer foresters a means to evaluate fertility of the vigour of the trees.
Pines have four types of leaf: Seed leaves on seedlings are borne in a whorl of 4–24. Juvenile leaves, which follow on seedlings and young plants, are 2–6 cm long, green or blue-green, arranged spirally on the shoot; these are produced for six months to five years longer. Scale leaves, similar to bud scales, are small and not photosynthetic, arranged spirally like the juvenile leaves. Needles, the adult leaves, are green and bundled in clusters called fascicles; the needles can number from one to seven per fascicle, but number from two to five. Each fascicle is produced from a small bud on a dwarf shoot in the axil of a scale leaf; these bud scales remain on the fascicle as a basal sheath. The needles persist depending on species. If a shoot is damaged, the needle fascicles just below the damage will generate a bud which can replace the lost leaves. Pines are monoecious, having the male and female cones on the same tree, though a few species are sub-dioecious, with individuals predominantly, but not wholly, single-sex.
The male cones are small 1–5 cm long, only present for a short period, falling as soon as they have shed their pollen. The female cones take 1.5–3 years to mature after pollination, with actual fertilization delayed one year. At maturity the female cones are 3–60 cm long; each cone has numerous spirally. The seeds are small and winged, are anemophilous, but some are larger and have only a vestigial wing, are bird-dispersed. At maturity, the cones open to release the seeds, but in some of the bird-dispersed species, the seeds are only released by the bird breaking the cones open. In others, the seeds are stored in closed cones for many years until an environmental cue triggers the cones to open, releasing the seeds; the most common form of serotiny is pyriscence, in which a resin binds the cones shut until melted by a forest fire. Pines are gymnosperms; the genus is divided into two subgenera, which can be distinguished by cone and leaf characters: Pinus subg. Pinus, the yellow, or hard pine group with harder wood and two or three needles per fascicle Pinus subg.
Strobus, the white, or soft pine group with softer wood and five needles per fascicle Pines are native to the Northern Hemisphere, in a few parts of the tropics in the Southern Hemisphere. Most regions of the Northern Hemisphere host some native species of pines. One species crosses the equator in Sumatra to 2°S. In North America, various species occur in regions at latitudes from as far north as 66°N to as far south as 12°N. Pines may be found in a large variety of environments, ranging from semi-arid desert to rainforests, from sea level up to 5,200 metres, from the coldest to the hottest environments on Earth, they occur in mountainous areas with favorable soils and at least some water. Various species have been introduced to temperate and subtropical regions of both hemisp
Jewish holidays known as Jewish festivals or Yamim Tovim, are holidays observed in Judaism and by Jews throughout the Hebrew calendar. They include religious and national elements, derived from three sources: Biblical mitzvot. Jewish holidays occur on the same dates every year in the Hebrew calendar, but the dates vary in the Gregorian; this is because the Hebrew calendar is a lunisolar calendar, whereas the Gregorian is a solar calendar. Certain terms are used commonly for groups of holidays; the Hebrew-language term Yom Tov, sometimes referred to as "festival day," refers to the six Biblically-mandated festival dates on which all activities prohibited on Shabbat are prohibited, except for some related to food preparation. These include the first and seventh days of Passover, both days of Rosh Hashanah, first day of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret. By extension, outside the Land of Israel, the second-day holidays known under the rubric Yom tov sheni shel galuyot are included in this grouping. Colloquially, Yom Kippur, a Biblically-mandated date on which food preparation is prohibited, is included in this grouping.
The tradition of keeping two days of Yom Tov in the diaspora has existed since 300 BCE. The English-language term High Holy Days refers to Yom Kippur collectively, its Hebrew analogue, Yamim Nora'im, "Days of Awe”, is more flexible: it can refer just to those holidays, or to the Ten Days of Repentance, or to the entire penitential period, starting as early as the beginning of Elul, ending as late as Shemini Atzeret. The term Three Pilgrimage Festivals refers to Passover and Sukkot. Within this grouping Sukkot includes Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. Certain terminology is used in referring to different categories of holidays, depending on their source and their nature: Shabbat, or Sabbath, is referred to by that name exclusively. Rosh Chodesh is referred to by that name exclusively. Yom tov: See "Groupings" above. Moed, plural moadim, refers to any of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals of Passover and Sukkot; when used in comparison to Yom Tov, it refers to Chol HaMoed, the intermediate days of Passover and Sukkot.
Ḥag or chag, plural chagim, can be used whenever yom moed is. It is used to describe Hanukkah and Purim, as well as Yom Ha'atzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim. Ta'anit, or, less tzom, refers to a fast; these terms are used to describe the rabbinic fasts, although tzom is used liturgically to refer to Yom Kippur as well. The most notable common feature of Shabbat and the Biblical festivals is the requirement to refrain from melacha on these days. Melacha is most translated as "work". Speaking, Melacha is defined in Jewish law by 39 categories of labor that were used in constructing the Tabernacle while the Jews wandered in the desert; as understood traditionally and in Orthodox Judaism: On Shabbat and Yom Kippur all melacha is prohibited. On a Yom Tov which falls on a weekday, not Shabbat, most melacha is prohibited; some melacha related to preparation of food is permitted. On weekdays during Chol HaMoed, melacha is not prohibited per se. However, melacha should be limited to that required either to enhance the enjoyment of the remainder of the festival or to avoid great financial loss.
On other days, there are no restrictions on melacha. In principle, Conservative Judaism understands the requirement to refrain from melacha in the same way as Orthodox Judaism. In practice, Conservative rabbis rule on prohibitions around melacha differently from Orthodox authorities. Still, there are a number of Conservative/Masorti communities around the world where Sabbath and Festival observance closely resembles Orthodox observance. However, many, if not most, lay members of Conservative congregations in North America do not consider themselves Sabbath-observant by Conservative standards. At the same time, adherents of Reform Judaism and Reconstructionist Judaism do not accept halacha, therefore restrictions on melacha, as binding at all. Jews fitting any of these descriptions refrain from melacha in practice only as they see fit. Shabbat and holiday work restrictions are always put aside in cases of pikuach nefesh, saving a human life. At the most fundamental level, if there is any possibility whatsoever that action must be taken to save a life, Shabbat restrictions are set aside and without reservation.
Where the danger to life is present but less immediate, there is some preference to minimize violation of Shabbat work restrictions where possible. The laws in this area are complex; the Torah specifies a single date on the Jewish calendar for observance of holidays. Festivals of Biblical origin other than Shabbat and Yom Kippur are observed for two days outside the land of Israel, Rosh Hashanah is observed for two days inside the land of Israel. Dates for holidays on the Jewish calendar are expressed in the Torah as "day x of month y." Accordingly, the beginning of month y needs to be determined before the proper date
The bamboos are evergreen perennial flowering plants in the subfamily Bambusoideae of the grass family Poaceae. The word "bamboo" comes from the Kannada term bambu, introduced to English through Indonesian and Malay. In bamboo, as in other grasses, the internodal regions of the stem are hollow and the vascular bundles in the cross-section are scattered throughout the stem instead of in a cylindrical arrangement; the dicotyledonous woody xylem is absent. The absence of secondary growth wood causes the stems of monocots, including the palms and large bamboos, to be columnar rather than tapering. Bamboos include some of the fastest-growing plants in the world, due to a unique rhizome-dependent system. Certain species of bamboo can grow 91 cm within a 24-hour period, at a rate of 4 cm an hour. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family. Bamboos are of notable economic and cultural significance in South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia, being used for building materials, as a food source, as a versatile raw product.
Bamboo has a higher specific compressive strength than wood, brick or concrete, a specific tensile strength that rivals steel. Bamboos have long been considered the most primitive grasses because of the presence of bracteate, indeterminate inflorescences, "pseudospikelets", flowers with three lodicules, six stamens, three stigmata. Following more recent molecular phylogenetic research, many tribes and genera of grasses included in the Bambusoideae are now classified in other subfamilies, e.g. the Anomochlooideae, the Puelioideae, the Ehrhartoideae. The subfamily in its current sense belongs to the BOP clade of grasses, where it is sister to the Pooideae; the bamboos comprise three clades classified as tribes, these correspond with geographic divisions representing the New World herbaceous species, tropical woody bamboos, temperate woody bamboos. The woody bamboos do not form a monophyletic group. Altogether, more than 1,400 species are placed in 115 genera. Most bamboo species are native to moist tropical and warm temperate climates.
However, many species are found in diverse climates, ranging from hot tropical regions to cool mountainous regions and highland cloud forests. In the Asia-Pacific region they occur across East Asia, from north to 50 °N latitude in Sakhalin, to south to northern Australia, west to India and the Himalayas. China, Korea and Australia, all have several endemic populations, they occur in small numbers in sub-Saharan Africa, confined to tropical areas, from southern Senegal in the north to southern Mozambique and Madagascar in the south. In the Americas, bamboo has a native range from 47 °S in southern Argentina and the beech forests of central Chile, through the South American tropical rainforests, to the Andes in Ecuador near 4,300 m. Bamboo is native through Central America and Mexico, northward into the Southeastern United States. Canada and continental Europe are not known to have any native species of bamboo; as garden plants, many species grow outside these ranges, including most of Europe and the United States.
Some attempts have been made to grow bamboo on a commercial basis in the Great Lakes region of east-central Africa in Rwanda. In the United States, several companies are growing and distributing species such as Phyllostachys nigra and Phyllostachys edulis; the two general patterns for the growth of bamboo are "clumping" and "running". Clumping bamboo species tend to spread as the growth pattern of the rhizomes is to expand the root mass similar to ornamental grasses. "Running" bamboos, need to be controlled during cultivation because of their potential for aggressive behavior. They spread through their rhizomes, which can spread underground and send up new culms to break through the surface. Running bamboo species are variable in their tendency to spread; some can send out runners of several metres a year, while others can stay in the same general area for long periods. If neglected, over time, they can cause problems by moving into adjacent areas. Bamboos include some of the fastest-growing plants on Earth, with reported growth rates up to 91 cm in 24 hours.
However, the growth rate is dependent on local soil and climatic conditions, as well as species, a more typical growth rate for many cultivated bamboos in temperate climates is in the range of 3–10 cm per day during the growing period. Growing in regions of warmer climates during the late Cretaceous period, vast fields existed in what is now Asia; some of the largest timber bamboo can grow over 30 m tall, be as large as 25–30 cm in diameter. However, the size range for mature bamboo is species-dependent, with the smallest bamboos reaching only several inches high at maturity. A typical height range that would cover many of the common bamboos grown in the United States is 4.5–12 m, depending on species. Anji County of China, known as the "Town of Bamboo", provides the optimal climate and soil conditions to grow and process some of the most valued bamboo poles available worldwide. Unlike all trees, individual bamboo culms emerge from the ground at their full diameter and grow to their full height in a single growing season of three to four months.
During this time, each new shoot grows
Aravah is a leafy branch of the willow tree. It is one of the Four Species used in a special waving ceremony during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot; the other species are the lulav and etrog. The aravah is used for a separate ceremony on Hoshanah Rabbah, the last day of Sukkot, when five branches are beaten against the ground to the accompaniment of special verses; the aravah tree grows by the side of a river, although in Israel it grows wild in many people's backyards. The branches are lined with long, narrow leaves. Since this tree requires much water to grow, the picked branches dry out within three days. In order to keep them fresh as long as possible for the mitzvah of the Four Species, they are kept in the refrigerator until use, or wrapped in a moist towel. On each of the seven days of Sukkot, two aravah branches are bound together with the lulav and hadass. Together with the etrog, these Four Species are waved in all four directions, plus up and down, to attest to God's mastery over all of creation, to symbolically voice a prayer for adequate rainfall over all the Earth's vegetation in the coming year.
During the morning prayer service in the synagogue on Hoshanah Rabbah, after the waving of the Four Species, a separate bundle containing five aravah branches are taken in hand by each worshipper. A series of liturgical verses are read, ending with, "Kol mevasser, mevasser ve-omer" —expressing hope for the speedy coming of the Messiah; the bundle of aravah branches are beaten against the ground until many of the leaves have fallen out. The reasons for this custom are steeped in Kabbalah; the aravot may be thrown away, used before Passover to burn the Chametz, or are sometimes placed in water in order to grow new aravot trees. According to the Mishnah, In the days of the Temple in Jerusalem, willow branches were collected from Motsa near Jerusalem and piled upright on the sides of the Altar with their tops bent over the top of the Altar each day of Sukkot; the shofar was sounded, the worshippers walked about in procession and recited Psalm 117, accompanied by musical instruments. In the days of the Temple, the Mishnah reports that after the Aravah ceremony on Hashana Rabba, "the children threw away their lulavim and ate their etrogim."
Four Species Kitov, Eliyahu. The Book of Our Heritage. Jerusalem: Feldheim Publishers. ISBN 0-87306-152-7
The Arecaceae are a botanical family of perennial plants. Their growth form can be climbers, shrubs and stemless plants, all known as palms; those having a tree form are colloquially called palm trees. They are flowering a family in the monocot order Arecales. 181 genera with around 2600 species are known, most of them restricted to tropical and subtropical climates. Most palms are distinguished by their large, evergreen leaves, known as fronds, arranged at the top of an unbranched stem. However, palms exhibit an enormous diversity in physical characteristics and inhabit nearly every type of habitat within their range, from rainforests to deserts. Palms are among the 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 widely used in landscaping, making them one of the most economically important plants. In many historical cultures, because of their importance as food, palms were symbols for such ideas as victory and fertility.
For inhabitants of cooler climates today, palms symbolize the vacations. Whether as shrubs, trees, or vines, palms have two methods of growth: solitary or clustered; the common representation is that of a solitary shoot ending in a crown of leaves. This monopodial character may be exhibited by prostrate and trunk-forming members; some common palms restricted to solitary growth include Roystonea. Palms may instead grow in sparse though dense clusters; the trunk develops an axillary bud at a leaf node near the base, from which a new shoot emerges. The new shoot, in turn, produces a clustering habit results. Sympodial genera include many of the rattans and Rhapis. Several palm genera have both solitary and clustering members. Palms which are solitary may grow in clusters and vice versa; these aberrations suggest. Palms have large, evergreen leaves that are either palmately or pinnately compound and spirally arranged at the top of the stem; the leaves have a tubular sheath at the base that splits open on one side at maturity.
The inflorescence is a spadix or spike surrounded by one or more bracts or spathes that become woody at maturity. The flowers are small and white, radially symmetric, can be either uni- or bisexual; the sepals and petals number three each, may be distinct or joined at the base. The stamens number six, with filaments that may be separate, attached to each other, or attached to the pistil at the base; the fruit is a single-seeded drupe but some genera may contain two or more seeds in each fruit. Like all monocots, palms do not have the ability to increase the width of a stem via the same kind of vascular cambium found in non-monocot woody plants; this explains the cylindrical shape of the trunk, seen in palms, unlike in ring-forming trees. However, many palms, like some other monocots, do have secondary growth, although because it does not arise from a single vascular cambium producing xylem inwards and phloem outwards, it is called "anomalous secondary growth"; the Arecaceae are notable among monocots for their height and for the size of their seeds and inflorescences.
Ceroxylon quindiuense, Colombia's national tree, is the tallest monocot in the world, reaching up to 60 m tall. The coco de mer has the largest seeds of 40 -- 50 cm in diameter and weighing 15 -- 30 kg each. Raffia palms have the largest leaves of any plant, up to 25 m long and 3 m wide; the Corypha species have the largest inflorescence of any plant, up to 7.5 m tall and containing millions of small flowers. Calamus stems. Most palms are native to subtropical climates. Palms can be found in a variety of different habitats, their diversity is highest in lowland forests. South America, the Caribbean, areas of the south Pacific and southern Asia are regions of concentration. Colombia may have the highest number of palm species in one country. There are some palms that are native to desert areas such as the Arabian peninsula and parts of northwestern Mexico. Only about 130 palm species grow beyond the tropics in humid lowland subtropical climates, in highlands in southern Asia, along the rim lands of the Mediterranean Sea.
The northernmost native palm is Chamaerops humilis, which reaches 44°N latitude along the coast of southern France. In the southern hemisphere, the southernmost palm is the Rhopalostylis sapida, which reaches 44°S on the Chatham Islands where an oceanic climate prevails. Cultivation of palms is possible north of subtropical climates, some higher latitude locals such as Ireland, Scotland and the Pacific Northwest feature a few palms in protected locations. Palms inhabit a variety of ecosystems. More than two-thirds of palm species live in humid moist forests, where some species grow tall enough to form part of the canopy and shorter ones form part of the understory; some species form pure stands in areas with poor drainage or regular flooding, including Raphia hookeri, common in coastal freshwater swamps in West Africa. Other palms live in tropical mountain habitats above 1000 m, such as those in the genus Ceroxylon native to the Andes. Palms may live in grasslands and scrublands associated with a water source, in desert oases such as the date palm.
A few palms are adapted to basic lime soils, while others are ada