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European Fan Palm, Mediterranean Fan Palm

Chamaerops humilis

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Chamaerops (kam-AY-rops) (Info)
Species: humilis (HEW-mil-is) (Info)
Synonym:Chamaerops humilis var. elegans
View this plant in a garden




Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Blooms repeatedly


Grown for foliage


Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:





Decatur, Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

Camp Verde, Arizona

Chandler, Arizona

Goodyear, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)

Queen Creek, Arizona

Surprise, Arizona

Beverly Hills, California

Bostonia, California

Canoga Park, California

Clayton, California

Encino, California

Fairfield, California

Lake Elsinore, California

Martinez, California

Oceanside, California

Rancho Mirage, California

Reseda, California

Roseville, California

San Leandro, California

Santa Barbara, California

Spring Valley, California

Stockton, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Union City, California

Auburndale, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Gulf Breeze, Florida

Hampton, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Lake Worth, Florida

Niceville, Florida (2 reports)

Port Charlotte, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Spring Hill, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida

Augusta, Georgia

Douglasville, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Chicago, Illinois

Carmel, Indiana

Ledbetter, Kentucky

Vacherie, Louisiana

Centreville, Maryland

Las Vegas, Nevada

Elephant Butte, New Mexico

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Emerald Isle, North Carolina

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Kure Beach, North Carolina

Merritt, North Carolina

Sunset Beach, North Carolina

Edmond, Oklahoma

Ashland, Oregon

Beaufort, South Carolina

Bluffton, South Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

Florence, South Carolina

Greenville, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Irmo, South Carolina

Lexington, South Carolina

Mayesville, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

North, South Carolina

Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

Sumter, South Carolina

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Austin, Texas (2 reports)

Brownsville, Texas

Galveston, Texas

Harlingen, Texas

Houston, Texas

Rockport, Texas

San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

Orem, Utah

Des Moines, Washington

Kent, Washington

Seattle, Washington (2 reports)

Shoreline, Washington

White Center, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 16, 2014, jac828 from Blowing Rock, NC wrote:

Beautiful plant but not a good choice for western North Carolina. Brought it inside the first winter and it lived but grew poorly in the following summer. Decided to try leaving it outside this winter thinking maybe the extra sun would help but instead it died.


On May 5, 2013, UtahTropics12 from Orem, UT wrote:

This plant Is a lot hardier than stated above! I'm in zone 6b and this winter we had the hardest freeze we have had in a while and it got down to -7 degrees! And the leaves were Barely burned! I couldn't believe it! It's doing so great! And is producing tons of sucors!


On Mar 30, 2012, longjonsilverz from Centreville, MD wrote:

UPDATE: (2015) I have a few of these palms here in the Eastern Shore of Maryland (zone 7). The last 2 winters have been some of the coldest on record in this area with temperatures as low as 4F, wind chills as low as -30F and many other nights with lows below 10F. The nearby Chesapeake Bay was iced over for many days and its 4+ miles wide in this area. I assumed that my Med. Fan Palms were surely dead because they suffer complete foliage loss EVERY winter here including the mild ones with lows barely below 20F. However, ALL of mine survived both winters and have proven to be hardier than most other palms that would be considered cold hardy. The multi-trunking nature of this palm basically gives it this ability to continue living through these winters because theres always a few new su... read more


On Mar 22, 2012, donnacreation from Sumter, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

This palm grows well in the SC midlands, but it must planted in well drained soil. Mine stay green year round, and several are blooming at this time.


On Jan 13, 2012, hoitider from Emerald Isle, NC wrote:

Bought five of these plants from home depo were about 5 ft tall multiply trunks, planted two in new bern n c on the trent river in 2009,still living but have not grown much ,planted three on the barier island emerald isle n c ,that are still living nice and bushy but only 4bft tall,since i love palms iam happy to have it,since it does winter over in zone 8


On Jan 5, 2012, SuburbanNinja80 from Plainfield, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I question my sanity for buying this palm. Don't get me wrong, I love this palm. I have mixed feeling about it, beautiful palm but with a bad attitude.

The more I look at Photos of this palm the More am sacred of it. And it didn't help when talking to the person that shipping to telling me it stabbed her 3 times.


On Jun 12, 2011, NorthSC from North, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

They grow fine here in the mid SC, but they brown a lot, sometimes almost complete browning of most of the foliage on some specimens. They grow back again during the warm part of the year, but what bugs me is that they become brown in winter a lot, except very large specimen that I got which becomes brown only maybe10-20%.


On Apr 25, 2010, peejay12 from Porthleven, Helston, Cornwall
United Kingdom (Zone 9b) wrote:

This palm is very successful in the southern parts of the UK.

Generally, palms are rarely planted in the UK, perhaps because large ones are very expensive and slow growing.The three most popular --Trachycarpus fortunei and wagnerianus, and C. humilis -are gaining in popularity now, but C. humilis is extremely expensive and even slower-growing than the other two, although it does produce a lot of leaves.

I like its vigorous clustering way of growing - what it lacks in height it makes up for in width. My plants have produced about seven daughter plants each. It's easy to distinguish it from T. wagnerianus by the thorns on its leaf stems. These can be a real problem when trying to thin out the leaves. If you do thin out the leaves you will get a whole thicke... read more


On Feb 2, 2007, 1cros3nails4gvn from Bluffton, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

the european fan palm is very coomonly used as a shrub palm and for median plantings along the parkways not very common to see one that is taller than 8 feet because they are all quite young. they seem to not mind the swampiness of the deep south, or the wet winters that we have, or the almost flooding rains left from tropical storms and hurricanes. it seems to me that all of the different palms have a different growth rate, even if they are all in the same species. it is not unusual to see them varying in a matter of feet when they are planted in masses all at the same size and at the same time.


On Dec 5, 2005, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is one of the most commonly seen landscape palms in southern California, and is popular all over California, Texas and some of the eastern states as well. It is one of the most cold hardy palms and the only palm originating from Europe (the Mediterranean countries). As a landscape palm it is nearly unparalleled- it grows multiple stalks (suckering palm, though solitary cultivars are known) but usually they grow at different rates so there is usually 1-2 central taller trunks and shorter ones surrounding it. It continues to sucker profusely so most growers will begin to cut them away once the palm is established or else it becomes an impossible to manage mass of incredibly spiny, dangerous leaves and stems. Once the lower leaves are trimmed off, the exposed trunk is covered in a thi... read more


On Mar 20, 2005, kirby6706 from Victoria, B.C
Canada wrote:

Have 3 of them in Victoria, B.C Canada...they winter very well here..but tend to be slow growing...all three are growing on the south side of the house in a sheltered location.


On Jan 27, 2005, Mogheller from Berlin
Germany wrote:

slow growing, but very "ornamentical" ... down to -12C without greater problems in winter, but MUST be DRY in this time or the roots can die!