Fan Palm

Stately fan palms really stand out in the landscape with their large, star-shape leaves. Most types of fan palms are hardy, single-trunk palms that grow fast. Many of these palms hold onto their leaves as they age, creating a brown, shaggy "beard" underneath the fresh foliage. These old leaves can be a fire hazard, so some communities require you remove them.

Fan Palm Overview

Genus Name Washingtonia
Common Name Fan Palm
Plant Type Tree
Light Sun
Height 20 to 20 feet
Width 8 to 12 feet
Zones 10, 11, 9
Propagation Seed
Problem Solvers Drought Tolerant

Varieties of Fan Palm

Desert Fan Palm

Desert fan palm

(Washingtonia filifera) is native to the American Southwest, where it grows in the desert near water sources. The trunk can reach 3 feet wide and, unless trimmed, is covered with a petticoat of old leaves. Leaf stems are armed with sharp teeth. It grows 50-70 feet tall and 10-12 feet wide. Desert fan palm makes an excellent street tree in dry climates. Plant in zones 9-11.

Mexican Fan Palm

Mexican fan palm

(Washingtonia robusta) is similar to desert fan palm, but is slightly taller and thinner. It grows 60-80 feet tall and 8-10 feet wide, with a trunk up to 18 inches thick. Old leaves cling to the stem, creating a reddish brown petticoat. Mexican fan palm can be used as a street tree or in a grouping. Plant in zones 9-11.

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