European Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis)
Other Names: Mediterranean Fan Palm
A small, clumping palm with stiff leaves and spiny leaf stems
Native habitat: Rocky, coastal areas of the western Mediterranean. The only palm native to the European mainland.
Size: Five feet is common in the Southeast; reaches 20 feet in California. Growth rate is slow.
Cold hardiness: Reliable in Zone 8; fairly reliable in a very sheltered site in Zone 7, but best with some winter protection below about 15 degrees.
Culture: Plant in full sun to light shade. Needs well-drained soil and thrives on limestone. Once this palm is established it is extremely drought-tolerant and really only needs water during severe droughts.
Landscape use: A beautiful specimen palm and a common feature of Mediterranean gardens. They are especially attractive in courtyard gardens.