European Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis)

The European Fan Palm Tree has become very popular in recent years, mostly due to its cold hardiness that makes it perfect for landscaping in USDA zones 7b-11.  It’s a nice looking palm tree that can give an exotic focal point to any garden with its evergreen fan-shaped leaves. Since it grows only to about 5 to10ft tall and. 1-5ft wide it is often used in areas where space is limited or in small yards where a tropical effect is desired. It is also known as Mediterranean Fan Palm, Dwarf Fan Palm and Palmetto.

 

The Fan Palm has multiple trunks and has somewhat of a shrubby  look. The trunks are covered in old leaf bases and brown fibers. It is a fairly slow growing plant and can take years to reach its maximum height. It has triangular, palmate, or fan shaped, leaves that range from blue green to silvery gray in color. Leaves grow outward then upward. They grow up to 25 inches long and 25 inches wide, supported by 4ft stems. Stems are covered with sharp thorns, so you need to be careful when pruning them.

 

During late spring months the European Fan Palm produces small yellow flowers Individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant. Flowers are followed by green fruits that turn brown when ripe. Fruits are around 0.5 inch in diameter, develop in fall and are not edible.

 

It is wind resistant and is very cold hardy. It will tolerate cold temperatures down to 5F. It grows in full sun to partial shade but does best in full sun. It is easy maintenance and likes moist but well drained soil conditions.

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