These tall exotic palms, ranging from 15-20 metres in height (clear trunk) form a memorable, single species grouping. They are of significance at the City/ LGA level in terms of their visual, aesthetic, historic and social values. The group would be one of the largest historic clusters of this palm species within the City of Sydney (excluding the Domain/ Sydney Botanic Gardens). These palms are located in a prominent position beside a busy roadway and have landmark qualities.
Washington Palms, a hardy, drought tolerant species from northern Mexico, have been used extensively throughout the City of Sydney since the latter part of the nineteenth century, particularly during the Inter-War period (c.1915-1940). These palms are likely to date from the Inter-War period and are an important component species within the City’s public parkland and private gardens. This group of palms are reminiscent of the older street tree plantations of Los Angeles, albeit on a much smaller scale.
The adjoining single Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla) may date from the early twentieth century. It is not a particularly large specimen. Together with a more recent row plantation of Hill’s Weeping Figs (Ficus microcarpa var. hillii), these figs are important contextual elements (15-16 metres in height) but are not considered to have individual or group significance.
This double row of eleven Washington Palms (Washingtonia robusta), located on an elevated grass verge adjacent to South Dowling Street (immediately north of Potter Street), is a part of the broader planting associated with Moore Park Golf Course. The palms are located within the boundaries of the Moore Park Conservation Area, a recognised area of historic and cultural landscape significance scheduled in the City of Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012.
These palms appear to be remnants of previous development, separate to the Golf Course that was evident in the 1943 aerial photos of the area. Its history, use and purpose are unknown but a formal avenue in approximately the same position can be seen, and could be young palm planting.