Invasive Species

Everyone thinks Arizona has palm trees. It does, but they’re not native. The closest we get is a relative that gets no taller than a human. Here’s one that is a “volunteer” and just started growing and we just left it. It’s shown off by that supermodel, Kali.


All the palm trees have been brought here by humans. You never see a palm tree in the wilderness but always by human habitation-they require more water than the desert provides. In the past few years, we have been invaded by a species of palm tree which has no known enemies and doesn’t require any water.


The scientific name is towerus cellfonia.

About Kismet

I'm a 16 year old Indian Ringneck parrot curmudgeon in New River, Arizona in the wild west country. If you're a sunflower seed, you're dinner.

49 comments on “Invasive Species

  1. It’s great to discover brandnew species! Do you think the towerus cellfonia will grow in my back yard too? we bought 7 palm trees during the years and all were goners.

    • Probably-it grows most anywhere. Call your local nursery to find out. Hold that, you can’t call because you don’t have a towerus cellfonia yet. Better go visit in person.

  2. I’ve never seen a palm tree in Arizona before. Way cool.

    Have a fabulous day. 🙂

  3. Yep you got your own palms for Palm Sunday. Do you know how expensive it is to get those palms for children to wave in church on Palm Sunday? Grow palms we will get rich. Palms and our used car parts from accidents yep lets work our way up the money pipeline.
    Sweet William The Scot

    • We have those car parts also. There may be a Cincinnati style of driving, but all drivers there drive Cincinnati-style and sort of understand each other. Here, especially in the winter, we have drivers from all over because of the weather. We even have some from Germany and other parts of Europe. There are many Canadians, from Newfoundland to British Columbia. Then there are those from Mexico (only 2½ hours away). They don’t know what each other is doing because they don’t drive the same style. Kaboomba!

  4. BOL!!! We have Pinetowerus cellfonia’s! They are suppose to look like pine trees, butts they just look like mutant aluminum Christmas trees! I likes yours much better!
    Ruby ♥
    pees: nice modelin’ job Kali!! ☺

  5. You should encourage new gardeners to plant that lovely, delightful and indigenous Arizona shrub the Jumping Cholla. Very little care required, no pruning. For some reason it seems an unpopular choice these days.

    • When I was a pup, I escaped out the front door and ran to the vacant lot across the street. Jumping cholla 😦 and getting it out was PAINFUL. It’s like pulling fishhooks out of your skin. No more cholla around here but out in the wilderness, yes.

  6. We have a relative of your Towerus Celifonia but you only find them around the Mexican Restaurants around here.

  7. We’ve got the same thing. There are palms all over, and though there ARE some native to Australia…they aren’t in our area.

    Our garden has natives, that can survive droughts. SHE’s a bit lazy when it comes to watering.

  8. You had me for a minute, even after I saw the photo!

    • Where you live, you probably have a different mutation of the same thing. You won’t find this variation of towerus cellphonia in Alaska.

  9. BOL! Those towerus cellphones is just poppin up everywhere!

  10. BOL!! Towerus cellphonia! Dat are hee-lair-ee-ous!! Dey don’t bother to disguise da cell phone towers ’round these parts.. they is whut they is. But then this is Texas, and we’re used to all kinds of odd things like oil rigs, windmills, and such…if it has a purpose, we just let it show its purpose…

  11. Our cellphonia have bright lights on top of them so fly do not fly into them. Although we live in Royal Palm Beach, we are not near the beach,but we do have a whole bunch of Royal Palms.

  12. From your Horticulturalist south neighbor; The Washingtonia filifera, (California Fan Palm) is native to Arizona, indigenous in the more west by southwest locals, near what used to be creeks and semi ephemeral streams. There are only a few stands left, the species going extinct in our fair state. The nay sayers say extinction started before waterways were diverted, tree huggers say after. Yours truly did an inventory of a small stand near Quartzite back when I was a SMOS (Struggling Married Older Student) at ASU. Though a treehugger myself, I’m leaning toward natural rather than man made extinction, opinion subject to change, without notice.

    Wow! An actual opportunity to use my ASU degree! Thanks Kyla!

  13. We don’t have native palm trees in Texas however humans have transplanted them here. We first noticed them around expensive hotels and then around water parks. The peeps have some friends that planted some around their pool. I haven’t seen any fancy towerus cellfonia we just have the plan ugly towers.

    Aroo to you,

  14. Well….that is really interesting!! We luv the palms in south texas.


  15. Don’t mess with Texas. You could camouflage them by putting them on the town water tower.

  16. How very interesting. We had one of those spikey “palm” trees in our garden too but mom & dada had it removed because it was right on the pathway and would scratch and poke you as you walked past it.
    We also have Towerus Cellfonias here in SA…the bird who popped the seeds for them has a lot of explaining to do.
    Wally & Sammy

  17. No palms here. Just heat. Heat. Heat. And more heat. Oh boy.

    • We have heat also but it’s not as bad as yours. With 14% humidity it doesn’t feel as bad and it also cools down at night. We have our morning romp early and it actually feels a little cool.

  18. Haha – too funny!

    Monty and Harlow

  19. Ok, I’m pathetic, it took me way too long to figure this out! This just proves I’m not as smart as a Scottie. We took a real version of that thing down from our front patio.

  20. Congrats, I has nominated ya for a Liebster Award – ya can check it out here: http://whitleywestie.blogspot.com/2014/06/liebster-award_26.html. Ya can play along if ya wants, but no pressure, da award are yours anyways.

  21. I didn’t know this! I miss the palm trees of Phoenix…I used to love walking down Palm Row at ASU. Hope that you are doing better Kyla. Saw your comment over at Wally’s and just wanted to drop you a line.

    • Yes, there are palm trees around and they enhance the landscape, but they.re not native. I’m doing a lot better, even running a little now.

  22. Oh dear, we have a lot of trouble here in Australia with introduced plants taking over the bush and killing native plants and animals. Not good. Humans can be very irresponsible.

    • We have our own bunny problem here. There are a bunch of them and the worst thing is that they reproduce like rabbits.

      • Oh yeah, welcome back after your vacation. I’m sympathetic to the plight of the native Oz wildlife. It’s a shame that 50 years from now, kids won’t be able to see a lot of species that are not only interesting, but could be genetically important.

  23. That palm tree sure is tall…as long as it gives you good reception…

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