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CHAMAEROPS humilis

Image of Chamaerops humilis

Carol Cloud Bailey

Family

Arecaceae

Botanical Name

CHAMAEROPS humilis

Plant Common Name

European Fan Palm, Mediterranean Fan Palm

General Description

European fan palm has large, rounded, palmate leaves that are deeply divided and sit atop long, sharply toothed petioles. Foliage is either green or blue-green on top and has silver-green undersides. Its trunk(s) is clothed in a sheath of fibers and old leaf bases. In summer, these palms bear bright yellow flowers that rise from short stalks among the leaves. These are followed by ovoid brown to yellow fruit.

European fan palm requires well drained soils and can tolerate partial shade, but prefers full sun in cooler climates. A bit of afternoon shade is good for more southerly residents. This tough, slow growing palm may be used in containers or as an accent plant. The silver/blue-leaf form of this palm, from Morocco (variety cerifera), is particularly beautiful. It is slightly slower growing than the already slow-growing green-leaf type.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 14

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Palm or Cycad

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    6'-20' / 1.8m - 6.1m

  • Width

    3'-20' / 0.9m - 6.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Mediterranean, Northern Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Very Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Brown, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Bark Color

    Green, Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes