All I got from a check in the enclyclopedia page is that palms are ancient plants, and preceded the combination of North America and South America. Even if they weren’t, since it seems palms are in Central America and Mexico, they should appear on both coasts.
But L.A. is always shown with straight, tall, date palms,
and Florida is always shown with curved coconut palms hanging at 45% angles over the water.
Did sombody plant the L.A. palms? Cecil B. DeMille for an Egyptian movie?
I’m sure someone planted them, or many someones. They aren’t the sort of dates you can eat, although those are grown in California as well. California is more of a desert climate, even on the coast. No coconuts.
Just as a follow-up. There aren’t many trees of any kind that are native to the southern California coast. In places I’ve seen that have been kept relatively free of introduced species you see mainly scrub oaks and a few types of pines. The rest of the flora is drought-resistant shrubs of various sorts.
However, people discovered early on that many different things could be made to grow here, if water was introduced. Also, species from the Mediterranean (e.g., olives and citrus) and from Australia (eucalyptus)do very well. Too well, in some cases. Eucalyptus trees are actually considered pests in some areas.
In the California desert they grow date palms. I don’t think that there are any coconut palms in California.
The palms you see in LA are mostly Mexican fan palms (Washingtonia robusta. The very very tall fan palms lining boulevards are those, usually), Canary Island Date Palms (Phoenix canariensis, they have very full crowns and look regal), Date palms (P. Dactylifera), and California Fan Palms (Washingtonia filifera, which have thicker trunks than W. robusta, and have a larger, more open crown). All of those trees mentioned will grow and are grown in the Bay Area as well.
The only palm native to California is W. filifera, and it grows near sources of groundwater in the desert, such as springs. However, you can see more tropical palms such as Queen Palms (Syagrus romanzoffiana), King Palms (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana, and A.alexandrae). The native ecosystem of LA is coastal chapparal, but well…it’s been replaced by mostly non native ornamentals, brought in by people. I did read somewhere that palm fossils were found in fossil beds that also contained fossils of the plants you can find in the native ecosystem today (so, if those had survived, LA would probably have had native palms :)).
In Florida, the reason you see advertisements of coconut palms is to attract tourists :). Coconut Palms wont grow much farther north than Miami (am told), and I heard a few decades ago a cold snap hit that killed many of the trees there. Florida has quite a few species of native palms. Coconut palms are very cold sensitive, and while i’ve heard there is a coconut palm somewhere in So Cal, it’s in a very sheltered area (I suspect it doesnt do well). The coconut isnt a good representative of Florida, IMHO, since it’s not even native to the state, or even the lands around the Atlantic.
Also, California is classed as a mediterranean climate. Our climate pattern is similar to that of the Mediterranean (parts of Australia, and South Africa are also mediterranean climates, I believe). The coast is the most moderate area of the state (depending where you are, basically subtropical)