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Old 02-12-2001, 12:57 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 20,188
I was under the impression they were not, because of the following story:

In 1878 a shipwrecked cargo of coconuts was washed onto the barren, sandy beach and took root. Early settlers also gathered the nuts and planted them to create a palm-shaded haven, which was named Palm City in 1880. Renamed Palm Beach in 1887, it developed as a resort after Henry Flagler extended the Florida East Coast Railroad to West Palm Beach in 1894 and opened his Royal Poinciana Hotel.
But with a little more thought, I realized this does not necessarily mean there were absolutely no palm trees before this, it could be that there were a few around but this event made them really take off. And, the story only references the Palm Beach area, and not all of Florida.

Anybody know the straight dope?

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