By Deryn
Apr 24, 2024

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This month, I will investigate the secrets of the palm tree. Palm trees come in a multitude of different types. The vegetable ivory palm grows in Africa, as does the north lalalala palm, potato coconut palm, wild date palm, and the cozy palm. The raffia palm in Zimbabwe is used to make raffia threads. Other palms are the bamboo palm, Bismark palm, Hurricane palm and, of course, the coconut palm to name a few more! 

The palm tree grows to about 70 feet tall and lives to about 200 to 200 years old, remaining strong until it dies. Palm trunks differ from other tree trunks. They have scattered fibrous bundles to draw water up through the trunk, which is its heart. Once it has reached maturity, its wood does not grow anymore, they cannot replace any that dies. As long as the palm trunk heart is healthy, it will live. If injuries happen, they can’t be repaired, and it will die. Palm trees first grow to their thickness and then their height.


The Palm Tree I will write about is the date palm. Scripture mentions the finest specimens of date palm grew at Jericho and Engedi along the banks of the Jordan. (Deuteronomy 34:3.) The trunk was straight, tall, and unbroken, ending in a crown of in emerald, green plumes. The name Bethany means the home of dates.

Palm Design Capitol

Wikipedia image

Palm trees first appeared in ancient history. The Egyptians copied the design in their architecture as stone supports, resembling either a trunk or a bundle of stems. Usually topped by five bands which might represent the lashing of the stems or fronds together on a pole. The shape on the top of the capitol always had a plant theme. The palm capitol represents the spreading crown of a palm tree. In Greek architecture, the anthemion often had a palmette, which was a decorative pedestal or roof or a cornice on top.

Again, the design used in the architecture of the temple décor mentioned in I Kings 6:29. “And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without.” I am sure the Psalmist was thinking of this when he wrote Psalm 92:12:15. “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree. They will grow like a cedar planted in the house of the Lord. They will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age.” What a wonderful thought that they still bear fruit in old age, a prophetic lesson we can learn from the palm tree. The fruit was from a date palm rather than a coconut palm. The dare palm bore abundant fruit in huge clusters of dates every year.

Palm Tree with Rainbow

Photo S Hughes

The leaves of the palm were also useful and used to cover the houses for roofing, fences, and woven baskets. The seeds were ground into food for camels. Palm Trees were also planted in houses being established in the Christian community. We flourish not in isolation, but together. The bunches of leaves are bundled and held or woven together. That is a lovely metaphor for being a community that is held or knitted together. Trees do not flourish in isolation, and neither do we. That is why we need to be in the community of the Lord together. We can enjoy the passing years being used by our Father to help both his church and establish His kingdom.

Palm Trees with Reflections

Photo S Hughes

Palm leaves were used as a symbol of praise, victory, and salvation. That was likely to be one reason they were carved into the temple décor. The Jewish people were commanded to use branches for the Feast of the Tabernacles in Leviticus 23:40. This is also mentioned in the Talmud. Today, palm leaves are still used in the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, to show appreciation at the harvest time festivities for the crop’s success and abundance. The roofs are made with the palm branches for the Feast of Booths. Palm leaves were thrown onto the ground when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey a week before Passover (John 12:13.) The people would have understood the full significance of the symbolization of the palm leaf, expecting Jesus to be the conquering hero over the Roman oppressors. This expectation is repeated in Revelation 7:9, where the multitude from every nation will hold palm branches in their hands, as indeed the victory and salvation have been won.

Palm Tree with Dark Sky and Moon

Photo S. Hughes

The primitive Church used to express the triumph of the Christian over death, through the resurrection, victory in anticipation, and martyrdom. Martyrs were often painted with palm branches in their hands. Prints of palm leaves were impressed into clay when burying people who died during persecution. The symbolic meaning of a palm today means to stand firm in the face of power or adversity. Its branches symbolize success, victory, goodness, and triumph over the flesh. Today, Christians use them on Palm Sunday to celebrate the beginning of Holy Week. After Palm Sunday, these palm fronds are burnt, and the ash is used the following year on Ash Tuesday.

Palm Trees reaching to heaven

Photo S Hughes.

So what can we learn from the palm tree? I think there are many spiritual connotations attached to the palm tree. Its roots are in the earth, but its crown is far from Earth and near to heaven. We are made from earth, but our hearts are always reaching upward towards heaven. The palm’s energy originates internally, relying on no external sources for its growth. It has to grow first to maturity before it can bear much fruit. We need to draw on our inner resources for growth and not rely on the externals. Its inner core or heart can’t be repaired if it has been destroyed. It cannot regenerate, so it dies. Sometimes people die from a broken heart, their energy and will to live has been broken, and they have nothing left to regenerate with, and so they die. Be aware of this and have empathy for those who have suffered great loss. They may well have a broken heart. We can also remember we have triumph and victory over the grave through Jesus. The final and the best bit I liked was ‘it bears the best fruit in old age! What an encouragement! We are never too old to bear fruit, and the best at that, when our gifting and talents have all matured.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed researching and writing it! Let me know what you think – can you relate to any aspects of the palm tree?


Explore more about environmental rejuvenation, spiritual harmony, and sustainable living in our journey towards a brighter, greener future. In the months ahead, I will share a poem, featuring a specific tree or plant, and a painting with you. Please subscribe to my monthly newsletter as I will feature the poem in it. Additionally, I can offer you a coloring poster to help you identify your needs, boundaries, weeds, and future seeds. This is a meditative exercise, giving you time to slow down and think about these things. Get this here.

Poster to color in




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