The palm branch was a symbol of triumph and victory in pre-Christian times. The Romans rewarded champions of the games and celebrated military successes with palm branches. Early Christians used the palm branch to symbolize the victory of the faithful over their enemies. In Judaism, the palm represented peace and plenty. Today the palm remains a symbol of the stereotypical tropical island paradise, and palms appear on the flags and seals of several places where they are native, including Florida.
The Florida Silver Palm grows up to 20′ in height, and has a smooth, slender trunk and long-stalked, fan-shaped leaves. Flowers are small, bisexual, creamy-white clusters tucked in among leaves, and fruit is branched clusters of small, reddish-to-purplish-black berries. Found in rocky pinelands, coastal dunes, scrub, in extreme southern mainland Florida and Florida Keys, this palm is an endangered species.