BOTANICAL NAME: Chamaerops humilis
COMMON NAME: European fan palm or Mediterranean fan palm
COUNTRY of ORIGIN: As the name implies, this one comes from the Mediterranean region.
It is actually the most Northerly occurring species of palm in the world. It can be found growing in habitat along the Atlantic coastline of Portugal & Spain as well as the Mediterranean coasts of Spain, France, Albania, & Italy. Also, it occurs naturally in Northwest Africa and many of the islands of the Mediterranean.
COLD HARDINESS: Put it down as a zone 8b plant, especially if you can keep it on the dry side. Usually you won't have too many problems out of a 'Med' unless the temperature drops down below 15 degrees.
SIZE and CHARACTERISTICS: Ten feet tall is pretty dang nice sized here in the southeast, but mature clumps in habitat can reach heights of 25 ft. or more.
The majority of examples you see in the nursery trade are of the 'clumping' habit, as are most of our's, but on rare occasion you can find a solitary trunked individual.
The leaves of a Chamaerops humilis are a palmate leaf of about 3 feet across, bright green, and deeply divided into narrow segments.
The trunks are covered with a dense brown fur that differs in appearance from that of the Windmill palm.
The petioles are lined with a row of little teeth that would get you good if you were to run your hand down them, but really pose little threat when in the ground, as they are 'inside' the clump to a passerby.