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Mediterranean Fan Palm

Mediterranean Fan Palm

Scientific name: Chamaerops humilis  ku-MEE-rops HEW-mil-liss
Common names: European Fan Palm, Mediterranean palm
Family: Palmae
USDA hardiness zones: 8 through 11
Origin: not native to North America

Habit: Forms evergreen clumps than can grow up 8 - 15' in height. The triangular, fan-shaped leaves grow to about 20-24" long by 24" wide. They are deeply divided into multiple segments that are themselves split at the tip and they are supported on 3-4' stems. Extremely variable plant both in shape and in color (the leaves range from blue-green to gray-green to yellow-green). Some plants form suckers more freely than others to become very shrubby plants that may reach 15' in width. Others are almost dwarf growing just 5' tall by 4' wide. The curved, clumping, short trunks and gray-green, fan-shaped leaves, borne thickly in a bushy head, make a stunning sculptural element in a garden or patio containers. The fine textured fronds make the palm stand out in the landscape. Leaf color on individual plants ranges from light green through silver. Growth rate is relatively slow. Flowers are yellow and fruit is brown and inconspicuous.

Culture: Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun Soil tolerances: alkaline; clay; sand; acidic; loam. Drought tolerance: high. Soil salt tolerances: poor. Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches. It is popular to remove all but a few of the suckers and to prune the leaves to form a cluster of clear-trunked "mini" palms.

Uses: Good to use as a specimen for containers or in the ground; near a deck or patio; foundation; border; mass planting; accent; suitable for growing indoors. It is versatile as beautiful. With the leaves trimmed up to clear the trunk it makes a beautiful specimen plant Unpruned it has an attractive shrubby form. Excellent in containers and urns.

Problems: No diseases or insect pests of major concern.

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