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Common Name:

Mediterranean Fan Palm

Scientific Name:

Chamaerops humilis

Family Name:

Palmae (Arecaceae)


Mediterranean Fan Palms form clumps of trunks over time originating from suckers at the base of the original trunk. Growth rates are slow enough that the plant can be used as a shrub for many years as the clump enlarges. Mediterranean Fan Palm is one of the more cold hardy species of palms and can be used throughout south Texas. The sharp spines on the leaf stalk are conducive to use of the species as a barrier plant, but do present a maintenance liability. Effective in large containers. One of the finer textured palms with smallish green to blue-green fan-shaped leaves.

Plant Habit or Use:

Large shrub, small tree, tropical, interiorscape



Flower Color:

Yellow, not particularly ornamental

Blooming Period:

Spring, summer

Fruit Characteristics:

Small black drupes, not ornamental


8 ft to 12 ft, rarely 20 ft


8 ft to 12 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Medium Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Medium Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

USDA Hardiness Zones:

8, 9, 10, 11

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Good heat, drought, wind, and salt tolerance, but needs a moderately well drained soil. Very slow grower.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.