Chamaerops humilis L.

European Fan Palm

Prickly, clustering (rarely solitary) palm. Trunk sturdy, grey-brown, with persistent leaf bases with fibrous leaf sheaths. Crownshaft absent. Leaves fan-shaped, green, waxy blue, divided for from one third to two thirds of their length but the tips not drooping. Leaflets slender, stiff, deeply cut into two. Leaf stalks slender and with short forward-pointing spines. Flowers unisexual, the sexes primarily on different plants but often a few flowers of the opposite sex in each flower cluster, golden yellow. Panicle about 30 cm long among the leaves, dense and with a large bract at the base. Fruit about 2 cm long, globose, reddish-brown, becoming rancid.

Southern Europe and northern Africa

Grows on coastal hills and headlands. Very commonly cultivated in temperate regions. Variable in form. Some plants have single trunks but most sucker to form clumps.

Suckering fan palm with sturdy trunks and stiff fan leaves with a slender prickly leaf stalk.

Vic: Castlemaine (Castlemaine Botanical Gardens); Colac (Colac Botanic Gardens); Melbourne (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Melbourne Gardens), Tennyson and Princes Lawns); Footscray (Footscray Park); Werribee (Werribee Park).

Beccari (1931).

Source: Jones, D; Spencer, R. (2005). Arecaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Arecales
family       Arecaceae
genus        Chamaerops L.