This is a quick trivia question.
Which of these three states has the most native genera of palm?
4. None of the above
This is not a trick question. Notice that it asks about genera rather than species.
1. California is home to many exotic specie and genera of palm; but only ONE is native. The California fan palm, Washingtonia filifera, which is also known as the desert fan palm, lives in isolated groves out in the Mojave Desert. https://tonytomeo.wordpress.com/2018/06/30/oasis/ Because it prefers hot and arid desert climates, and does not like to be watered too generously through summer, it is now a very unpopular palm for landscapes.
2. Hawaii, is populated by many more exotic species and genera of palm than California is, but only species of the ONE genera of Pritchardia are native. Many of the exotic genera were imported by ancient Polynesians to produce food. Others were imported later for landscaping.
3. Oklahoma is the sort of place where only a few of the toughest of exotic palms can survive outside. Yet, McCurtain County, in the very southeastern corner of Oklahoma, is home to ONE very rare but nonetheless native variety of dwarf palmetto, Sabal minor.
4. ‘None of the above’ is the correct answer to the question because none of the other choices above have any more native genera than any of the others.
So, although Hawaii really does have more native species of palm, it has no more native genera than California or even Oklahoma. Each of these three states has exactly ONE native genus of palm.
I am sorry that I have no good pictures of any of these palms. All three of these pictures were obtained online. I have experience with neither the dwarf palmetto of Oklahoma, nor any of the species of Pritchardia of Hawaii. However, the California fan palm happens to be my all time favorite palm, even though it is not very happy here. It is such a stately palm, and those grown from the same seed batches are uniform enough for formal plantings. They are the palms that flank the famous Palm Driveway of the Winchester House in San Jose, as they were popular for flanking driveways and roadways in California and Arizona during the Victorian period. I did happen to see California fan palm in the wild outside of Palm Springs while in school in the late 1980s and can tell you that they are spectacular in their native habitat.
Note: The elderly and deteriorating California fan palms that flanked the Palm Drive of the Winchester House have been replaced with palms that are hybrids of California fan palm, Washingtonia filifera, and Mexican fan palm, Washingtonia robusta. They are more tolerant to the irrigation of the landscape around them.