European Fan Palm
(Chamaerops humilis)


Plant Description:

This is a cold hardy clump forming palm of medium height.  It is a long lived tree with slender curving trunks and a thick crown of small fan shaped leaves that are heavily armed with spines on the leaf stalk (petiole).  It is the only palm native to the European mainland (Spain to Italy). 

Mature Size:     8-15 feet tall, 6-10 feet wide

Growth Rate:     Slow

Plant Habit:     Upright, clump forming


Ornamental Characteristics & Uses: 

Foliage Color: Dull, medium green above; grey-green below

Flower Color:     Cream

Bloom Time:     Spring – Summer

Attracts Wildlife:  Fruits are eaten by small mammals.

Uses:   Specimen tree, patio tree in container. 


Growing Requirements: 

Cold Hardiness Zone(s):     8 – 11

Hardy Temp:    12o F

Exposure:     Full sun is best, but tolerates medium shade.

Water Needs:  Medium until established, drought tolerant after established; regular watering in a container.

Soil Tolerances: Grows best in sandy loam but will tolerate heavier clay soil with good drainage.

Soil pH:  Prefers slightly acid soil but tolerates slightly alkaline.

Maintenance:     Low, once established.


General Care & Growing Tips: 

No fertilizer is necessary once established.  Occasional pruning of dead leaves and thinning out of basal suckers will improve plant appearance.


Common Pests:

No pests or diseases are of major concern.  Watch for occasional scale insect problems.


Reference:  Gilman, E. F. (1999). Chamaerops humilis European Fan Palm. University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp123



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