Palm Database
European Fan Palm - Chamaerops humilis
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Written by Real Palm Trees   


Around the globe, horticulturalists as well as gardeners agree that the European Fan palm is a hardy, easy-going palm tree. The European Fan palm is cold-hardy, drought tolerant, and has no major diseases, because of those reasons the European Fan palm distinguishes itself from the rest of the pack. Also, the variation in colors adds an interesting perspective to each palm tree that is grown. Some of the European Fan palm trees even change to a darker or lighter color as they mature. If youre looking for a stand-out small palm tree which can create or improve any garden then the European Fan palm is the number #1 pick, just be careful you dont get pricked!

DIY - Landscape Design

The European Fan palm does great when planted around a lawn or garden but truly stands out when used as a centerpiece. The great thing about the European Fan Palm is that it doesnt grow as tall as its counter-parts, so planting it in the front yard is a great option. Since the European Fan palm grows sucklings, these sucklings add volume to the palm and smaller plants are not needed to adorn the palm. Another thought to providing a landscape design would be to use a bed of mulch that creates distinction from your garden or yard. Placing a bed of mulch is not only a better way to improve or create a landscape, but it also has a functional use by not allowing weeds or other pests to grow and germinate.

DIY - Indoor Design

The European Fan palm is a good indoor plant especially in or around foyer areas and patios. Keep in mind to place the European Fan palm in an area where there is light, maybe next to a window or a home light that is usually always on, in my home it was the kitchen light. Also, the European Fan palm is not the best palm to rub up against due to its saw-like teeth on the stem of the fronds, so try placing it in an area where no one will brush up against the palm. With those thoughts in mind, the rest is up to your imagination. If you want the European Fan palm to stand out in your home, try purchasing a colorful clay pot or vase. There are many different clay pots and vases to choose from, so good luck!

Please, feel free to comment on this article. Any new design ideas, comments, or appreciation is welcomed.

European Fan Palm Overview:

European Palm Tree Naming Conventions:

Palm Name: European Fan (Eu-ro-pe-an Fan) (Palm)
Common Name(s): Mediterranean Fan Palm, Dwarf Fan Palm, Palmito
Botanical Name: Chamaerops humilis (kah-MEE-rahps HYOO-mih-lis)
Synonym(s): C. humilis var. elegans

European Fan Palm Tree Plant Classification:

Linnaean Taxonomy SystemLinnaean Taxonomy System:

Superdomain: Neomura Palm Tree Information Theoretical Group
Domain: Eukaryota - (Eu-kary-ote) Palm Tree Information 4 Organisms - Animals, plants, fungi, and protists
Kingdom: Plantae (Plants) Palm Tree Information 3 Groups - Streptophyta (Green Plants), Rhodophyta (Red Algae ), and Glaucophyta (Green Microscopic Algae)
Subkingdom: Streptophyta (also known as Streptophytes, Metaphytes, or Viridiplantae) Palm Tree Information Green Plants
Super Division: Embryophyta (also known as Embryophytes) Palm Tree Information Land Plants
Division: Tracheophyta (also known as Tracheophytes or Tracheobionta) Palm Tree Information Vascular plants - higher plant life
Division: Spermatophyta (also known as Spermatophytes or Phanerogams) Palm Tree Information Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta (also commonly known as Angiosperms) Palm Tree Information Flowering plants
Plant Class: Monocotyledons or Monocots (also known as Monocotyledoneae or Monocotyledones) Palm Tree Information One embryonic seed leaf
Palm Family: Arecaceae - (ar-ek-AY-see-ay)
Palm Genus: Chamaerops - (kah-MEE-rahps)
Palm Species: humilis - (HYOO-mih-lis)

European Fan Palm Tree General Description:

The European Fan palm is scientifically known as Chamaerops humilis and is from the Palmae Family. The European Fan palm is commonly referred to as the Mediterranean Fan palm depending on the person. They are both the same type and species of palm tree. They are characterized as mini palm trees differentiating in color from green to a silvery color gathered together in a clump. The European Fan palm is usually never seen growing by itself. The European Fan palm grows sucklings, or baby palm trees, from the base of the trunk which give the palm tree a clump-like look. When properly pruned these clump of palm trees becomes a natural work of art. Also, the European Fan palm is equipped with saw-like teeth on its fronds, so special attention is required when pruning. The European Fan palm grows to an average height between 15 to 20 feet tall with a 5 to 10 foot spread and enjoys medium light to full sun exposure.

European Fan Palm Tree Habitat:

Palm Continent of Origin: Europe, Africa
Palm Country of Origin: France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia
Indoor/ Outdoor: Both
Palm North America Outdoor Hardiness: USDA Zone 7b: 10 F (-12.2 C) to USDA Zone 11: above 40 F (4.5 C)
Palm Europe/ UK Outdoor Hardiness: Europe Zone 7: 0F (-18C) to Europe Zone 11: above 40 F (4.5 C)
Palm Cold Toleration: Approximately -10 - 30F

European Fan Palm Tree Physical Appearance:

Palm Height: 15 - 20 ft
Palm Spread: 5 - 10 ft
Palm Trunk: European Fan Palms usually grow in multiple trunk clumps. The trunks of each size of the European Fan Palm can differentiate in the clump. The trunks reach 9 inches in diameter and are covered in old worn-off leaves and brown fibers.
Palm Foliage: Variance of greenish colors to silvery shades.
Palm Foliage Growth Direction: Grows outward then upward.
Palm Flowering: Dull green to cream colored tan.
Palm Fruits: Green in color and when ripen brown.
Palm Fruits Edible: The European Fan palm fruit is not edible
Palm Leaf Type: Palmate

European Fan Palm Tree Growth Attributes:

Palm Speed of growth: Moderate to Fast
Palm Radial Spacing: 3 - 5 ft
Sun Exposure: Full sun to light shade
Drought Toleration: Highly Drought tolerant
Salt Toleration: High
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer

European Fan Palm Tree Caring and Maintenance:

Palm Caring: Easy, to maintain and thrive.
Soil: The European Fan palm is adaptable to wide range of soils. A good practice is to use good drainage soil.
Soil Types: Acidic and Alkaline or either one
Water: Regularly water soil, and spray leaves and bottom of the trunk for optimal results
Fertilizer: Use 100% organic or organic based fertilizers for best results
Potting and Planting: The European Fan Palm can be potted and planted in landscapes and in interior surroundings; it requires moderate amounts of soil when potted, enough soil to cover it's roots and the bottom start of it's trunk. Do not bury the European Fan palm tree's trunk inside the dirt or else it will develop trunk rot.

European Fan Palm Tree Environmental Impact:

European Fan palm became a popular palm in the mid 1980s due to the state of Florida losing many of its tropical palm species from a cold front. The European Fan palm survived the cold front and became a more liked candidate to be placed in yards and businesses. Since then the European Fan palm has been a wonderful asset to yards and businesses alike. The European Fan palm does not occur any regular diseases, however scale insects due pose a problem if not taken care of once noticed. The scale is noticeable with the naked eye and horticultural oil is an effective control. Multiple sprayings are necessary due to the first application exterminating the active crawlers and the consecutive sprays killing the eggs and future active crawlers.

European Fan Palm Tree Seed, Cultivation, and Propagation:

Palm Seed Size: The average size is less than 1 inch
Palm Seed Attributes: The European Fan palm seed is slightly larger than a pea and smaller than an almond with a fibrous covering which exposes a brown seed.
Palm Seed Harvesting: The European Fan palm seeds, when ripe on the stalk, are bright red and grow beneath the fronds. The outer layer should be peeled or dried for better preservation.
Palm Seed Propagation: The European Fan palm seeds typically germinate in less than 2 months. Seeds have a better chance of germinating if the process is done by human intervention.
Palm Seed Shelf Life: : If not properly treated, the European Fan palm seed does not have long shelf life.
Palm Seed and Growing:The European Fan palm can be grown indoors as well as outdoors. A conservatory is an ideal atmosphere to grow any type of seed or plant.

European Fan Palm Tree Nurture and Nature:

Nurture vs. Nature: Typically the European Fan palms thrive when kept under natural outdoor conditions, rather than nurturing in a changing foreign environment.
Palm Transplanting: Transplanting causes little shock to European Fan palm. It is a very durable and hardy palm and can also withstand snow-cold temperatures. When transplanting, be sure to keep the root-ball intact and do not bury the trunk into the dirt. Allow sufficient space in the hole for the roots to expand and provide nutrients to the palm.

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