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European Fan Palm Tree

European fan palm tree in the wild

The European Fan Palm Tree, scientific name Chamaerops humilis, has become very popular in recent years, mostly due to the cold hardiness that makes it perfect for landscape 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 10ft tall, it is often used in small yards.

European Fan Palm Tree Info

Scientific name: Chamaerops humilis

Common names: The European Fan Palm is also known as Mediterranean Fan Palm, Dwarf Fan Palm, and Palmito.

Family: Arecaceae

Origin: It is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe.


Appearance: Chamaerops humilis grows in multiple trunk clumps. Growing from the base sucklings, give this palm a shrubby look. Trunks are covered in old leaf bases and brown fibers can reach 9 inches in diameter. It can take 10-15 years for it to achieve 7ft.

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.

Flowers/Fruits: During the late spring months the European Fan Palm produces small yellow flowers. The flowers are monoecious, 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 round 0.5 inches in diameter, develop in fall, and are not edible.

Growth Rate: Slow. The European Fan Palm is a slow-growing palm that rarely grows higher than 5 – 10 ft tall and 1-5 ft wide.

Cold Tolerance: It is wind resistant and is very cold hardy. It will tolerate cold temperatures down to 5F. It is great for USDA Zones 7b (5 to 10 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

Light Req: Full sun to partial shade. The European Fan Palm grows best in full sun.

Water Req: Moderate. It grows best in moist but well-drained soil.

Maintenance: Easy. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during the growing season.

Propagation: Propagated by seeds.

40 Top Reasons Why The Popular European Fan Palm Is So Versatile:


  1. The European Fan Palm, also known as Chamaerops humilis, is a type of palm native to the Mediterranean region.

  2. It is incredibly tough and can withstand temperatures as low as -12°C.

  3. This palm grows in a variety of climates and soil conditions.

  4. It has a slow growth rate, making it an excellent choice for container gardening.

  5. The European Fan Palm is a low-maintenance plant.

  6. It thrives in full sun to partial shade.

  7. It is a great source of shade in Mediterranean landscapes.

  8. Its fan-shaped leaves are a unique landscape feature.

  9. The leaves are a rich green color that adds aesthetic appeal to any garden.

  10. It can be grown indoors in a pot and still maintain its appealing look.

  11. This palm tree can reach up to 2-5 meters in height.

  12. It has a clump-forming habit which makes it appear bush-like.

  13. The leaves are highly resistant to wind damage.

  14. The European Fan Palm is resistant to pests.

  15. Its flowers are yellow and occur in dense, clustered panicles.

  16. It produces edible fruits, which are yellow to brown and date-sized.

  17. The fruits have a sweet taste resembling dates or figs.

  18. These fruits are used to make palm wine in some cultures.

  19. The European Fan Palm has been cultivated for more than 5000 years.

  20. It is popular in ornamental gardening due to its cold resistance.

  21. The European Fan Palm can live for a hundred years or more.

  22. The tree is resistant to salt spray, which makes it suitable for coastal landscapes.

  23. In traditional medicine, parts of this palm have been used for various remedies.

  24. It is one of the most northern palms and can handle colder temperatures.

  25. It develops a thick trunk with age, which gives it a robust appearance.

  26. This palm tree is drought-tolerant once established.

  27. The European Fan Palm is a significant symbol in several Mediterranean cultures.

  28. Many Mediterranean countries consider it a protected species.

  29. It's often used as a focal point in Mediterranean gardens due to its unique shape and aesthetics.

  30. The European Fan Palm is also used for making brooms and mats.

  31. The tree's roots extend deep into the ground, providing stability.

  32. It provides habitat and food for several Mediterranean species of birds and insects.

  33. Its leaves turn silvery-grey under the intense Mediterranean sunlight.

  34. It has been used historically for roofing material and to make baskets.

  35. The European Fan Palm is often used in xeriscaping, a landscaping method that requires little to no irrigation.

  36. It does not require regular pruning and is relatively low maintenance.

  37. Its resilience makes it an excellent choice for polluted urban environments.

  38. The European Fan Palm is cultivated worldwide for its ornamental appeal.

  39. Despite being a single species, it exhibits considerable variation in form.

  40. Lastly, it is the only palm species native to continental Europe.

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