My palm tree collection (updated)

Published by Supertortuga on 2016-10-11 and updated on 2016-10-25
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As you might have read in my article about growing palm trees, I have always liked gardening in general, and been amazed by the palm trees in particular.

Here you will find a brief presentation of the species in my small, but growing collection. I will continously update the entries with photos, so you can see the progress. Currently all the palms are planted in various sized pots (depending of age and size), but my dream is to plant them in soil in my own garden some day.

Status update

  • 2016-10-25: Update with 6 additional entries.
  • 2016-10-11: First release of the list with 14 entries.

Bamboo palm (Dypsis lutescens) - Added 2011-10-25

Dypsis lutescens, also known as bamboo palm, golden cane palm, areca palm, yellow palm, or butterfly palm, is a species of flowering plant in the Arecaceae family, native to Madagascar and naturalized in the Andaman Islands, Réunion, El Salvador, Cuba, Puerto Rico, southern Florida, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Leeward Islands and the Venezuelan Antilles. Dypsis lutescens grows 6–12 m in height. Multiple stems emerge from the base. The leaves are arched, 2–3 m long, and pinnate, with 40-60 pairs of leaflets. It bears panicles of yellow flowers in summer. Offsets can be cut off when mature enough, as a propagation method. [Source: Wikipedia]

I purchased my bamboo palm from a local plant nursery. It is actually not a palm, it's more like 50 small palms. Since last year, they have grown quite a lot, and I will have to find a bigger pot to give the roots some more space. Included in my collection in 2013-06.

Mature specimen of Dypsis lutescens. Photo from www.loutosyasmeenflowers.com
Photo of Dypsis lutescens from my collection (2016-10-09)

Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis)

Phoenix canariensis is a large solitary palm, 10–20 m tall, occasionally growing to 40 m. The leaves are pinnate, 4–6 m long, with 80–100 leaflets on each side of the central rachis. The fruit is an oval, yellow to orange drupe 2 cm long and 1 cm in diameter and containing a single large seed; the fruit pulp is edible but too thin to be worth eating. [Source: Wikipedia]

This is one of the most common palms here in Spain, and it is very easy both to find and germinate the seeds. I like this palm, being one of the classics, and I hope my specimen will grow mature without being infested by the dreaded red palm weevil. Included in my collection in 2013-02.

Mature specimen of Phoenix canariensis. Photo from www.podadearbolesypalmeras.com
Photo of Phoenix canariensis from my collection (2014-03-02)
Photo of Phoenix canariensis from my collection (2016-10-09)

Chinese fan palm (Livistona chinensis)

Livistona chinensis, the Chinese fan palm or fountain palm, is a species of subtropical palm tree in eastern Asia. It is native to Southern Japan, Taiwan, the Ryukyu Islands, and the Guangdong region of southern China. It is also reportedly naturalized in South Africa, Mauritius, Réunion, the Andaman Islands, Java, New Caledonia, Micronesia, Hawaii, Florida, Bermuda, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Livistona chinensis can attain heights of about 9 to 15 m and a spread of 3,5 m. The leaves are fan shaped. [Source: Wikipedia]

This is another fan palm, which does not reat the height of the Washingtonia palms which are common in the area where I live. Included in my collection in 2013-02.

Mature specimen of Livistona chinensis. Photo from www.flickriver.com
Photo from my collection (2014-03-02)
Photo from my collection (2016-10-09)

Chinese windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei)

rachycarpus fortunei, the Chinese windmill palm, windmill palm or Chusan palm, is a palm native to central China (Hubei southwards), southern Japan (Kyushu), south to northern Burma and northern India, growing at altitudes of 100–2,400 m. It is a fan palm, placed in the family Arecaceae, subfamily Coryphoideae, tribe Trachycarpeae. [Source: Wikipedia]

While I prefer the palm trees having a flat surface of the trunk, the Chinese windmill palm is a classic fan palm and has a given place in my collection. Included in my collection in 2013-02.

Mature specimen of Trachycarpus fortunei. Photo from suntrees.co.za
Photo of Trachycarpus fortunei from my collection (2014-03-02)
Photo of Trachycarpus fortunei from my collection (2016-10-09)

Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera)

Phoenix dactylifera, commonly known as date or date palm, is a flowering plant species in the palm family, Arecaceae, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. Although its place of origin is unknown because of long cultivation, it probably originated from lands around Iraq. The species is widely cultivated and is naturalized in many tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. Date trees typically reach about 21–23 m in height, growing singly or forming a clump with several stems from a single root system. The leaves are 4–6 metres long, with spines on the petiole, and pinnate, with about 150 leaflets. The leaflets are 30 cm long and 2 cm wide. The full span of the crown ranges from 6–10 m. [Source: Wikipedia]

The Date palm is another of the palms growing naturally in this area and the seeds of my palms come from a local specimen, which adds value. While not being one of my favourite palms, it has a given place in my collection. Included in my collection in 2013-09.

Mature specimen of Phoenix dactylifera. Photo from irapl.altervista.org
Photo from my collection (2014-03-02)
Photo from my collection (2016-10-09)

Desert fan palm (Washingtonia filifera) - Added 2011-10-25

Washingtonia filifera, also known as desert fan palm or California fan palm or California palm, is a flowering plant in the palm family (Arecaceae), and native to the southwestern U.S. and Baja California. Growing to 15–20 m tall by 3–6 m broad, it is an evergreen monocot with a tree-like growth habit. It has a sturdy columnar trunk and waxy fan-shaped (palmate) leaves. Washingtonia filifera grows to 18 m in height (occasionally to 25 m) in ideal conditions. The fronds are up to 3,5–4 metres long, made up of a petiole up to 2 m long, bearing a fan of leaflets 1,5–2 m long. They have long thread-like white fibers and the petioles are pure green with yellow edges and filifera-filaments, between the segments. The trunk is gray and tan and the leaves are gray green. When the fronds die they remain attached and drop down to cloak the trunk in a wide skirt. The shelter that the skirt creates provides a microhabitat for many small birds and invertebrates. If there is any red color present on petioles or trunk it is not a pure filifera but a fila-busta hybrid. [Source: Wikipedia]

This is another classic fan palm, which is quite common around where I live. I can pick seeds at any time from a large number of mature desert fan palms near my house. One of my favourites! Included in my collection in 1900-01.

Mature specimen of Washingtonia filifera. Photo from www.uhu.es
Photo of Washingtonia filifera from my collection (2016-10-09)

Dwarf palmetto (Sabal minor)

Sabal minor, commonly known as the dwarf palmetto or bush palmetto, is one of about 14 species of palmetto palm (Arecaceae, genus Sabal). It is native to the deep southeastern and south-central United States and northeastern Mexico. It is native as far north as southeastern Virginia, and continues south to Florida. It is widespread along the Gulf coast through Louisiana, into Central Texas, Arkansas, north to southern Oklahoma and south in the State of Nuevo León in Mexico. The dwarf palmetto grows up to 1 m (rarely 3 m) in height, with a trunk up to 30 cm diameter. It is a fan palm (Arecaceae tribe Corypheae), with the leaves with a bare petiole terminating in a rounded fan of numerous leaflets. Each leaf is 1,5–2 m long, with 40 leaflets up to 80 cm long, conjoined over half of this length. The flowers are yellowish-white, 5 mm across, produced in large compound panicles up to 2 m long, extending out beyond the leaves. The fruit is a black drupe 1–1,3 cm long containing a single seed. [Source: Wikipedia]

I am very fond of all the Sabal palms, and the Dwarf Palmetto is no exception. Included in my collection in 2013-02.

Mature specimen of Sabal minor. Photo from www.palmpedia.net
Photo from my collection (2014-03-02)
Photo from my collection (2016-10-09)

Formosa Palm (Arenga engleri)

Arenga engleri, or the Formosa Palm, Taiwan Sugar Palm, Dwarf sugar palm, or Taiwan arenga palm, is a species of flowering plant in the Arecaceae family. The plant rarely grows more than 3 m tall, with a stem diameter of 15 cm and a spread of 5 m. The palm is native to Taiwan as well as Japan's Ryukyu Islands. The fruit of the palm is known to cause a severe allergic reaction. [Source: Wikipedia]

My Formosa Palm has still not picked up the growing pace. When its grows up, it will form part of the smaller palms in myc collection. Included in my collection in 1900-01.

Mature specimen of Arenga engleri. Photo from www.arteyjardineria.com
Photo from my collection (2014-03-02)
Photo from my collection (2016-10-09)

Guadalupe palm (Brahea Edulis)

Brahea edulis (Guadalupe palm, palma de Guadalupe) is a palm endemic to Guadalupe Island, Mexico. It is a fan palm which grows 4,5–13 metres tall. It grows between 400 and 1000 meters above mean sea level. [Source: Wikipedia]

The Guadalupe palm is another beautiful falm pal with a thick trunk. My specimen is growing nicely. Included in my collection in 2013-02.

Mature specimen of Brahea Edulis. Photo from www.wctrees.com
Photo of Brahea Edulis from my collection (2014-03-02)
Photo of Brahea Edulis from my collection (2016-10-09)

Hispaniola palmetto (Sabal domingensis)

Sabal domingensis is a fan palm with solitary, very stout stems, which grows up to 10 metres tall and 60 centimetres in diameter. Plants have 20–30 leaves, each with about 90 leaflets. The inflorescences, which are branched, arching and at least as long as the leaves, bear pear-shaped, black fruit. The fruit are 1–1,4 centimetres in diameter; fruit size and shape are the main characteristics by which this species differs from Sabal causiarum. [Source: Wikipedia]

This is probably my favourite palm since I first saw it in the botanic garden in the city where I live. I am amazed with the extremely hard and even surface of the trunk. My Hispaniola Palmetto is still very small, but I hope to grow old together with it and watch it grow big. Included in my collection in 2013-02.

Mature specimen of Sabal domingensis. Photo from myjunglegarden.com
Photo of Sabal domingensis from my collection (2014-03-02)
Photo of Sabal domingensis from my collection (2016-10-09)

Jelly Palm (Butia Capitata Nana) - Added 2011-10-25

Butia capitata, also called Jelly Palm, Pindopalm or Wine Palm. It is commonly found in the savannas of Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. Butia capitata can reach 6 meters high, but it’s usually around 4-5 meters high. It also expands to about 4 meters wide. This very decorative palm is the most resistant to cold of all palms. The solitary trunk is very robust, from 30 to 50 cm wide and grey. As the palm gets older, the stamens start to detach from the trunk, giving it a rough feel and a typical look. The palm is monoecious and blooms every year. 1,5 meters long inflorescences grow in between palm leaves and each supports small yellow or red flowers. The foliage is evergreen. It bends greatly from the crown. It is constituted of 20-35 blue-green leaves up to 3 meters long. The sides are stingy. Small round orange fruits come in grapes. They are comestible, juicy and rich in vitamin C. Wine can be made with them. Hardiness zones 8-11 (-10°C, 5°C) in winter. Butia capitata is very resistant to cold, wind and occasional light frost. Younger plants can survive temperatures as low as -12°C. Under such cold temperatures, the palm dies. Butia capitata, in its natural habitat, grows in very poor and dry soil. Water needs are low. The palm stocks enough water in its trunk to satisfy most of its needs. A good source of light is required. [Source: Wikipedia]

This is the most recent incorporation in my collection. I purchased some 10 different palm tree seeds, but my rudimentary technique to germinate the seeds did not function as well for the purchased seeds as for the ones I have handpicked at different botanic gardens. Included in my collection in 2014-08.

Mature specimen of Butia Capitata Nana. Photo from www.alventreprise.fr
Photo from my collection (2016-10-09)

Kentia palm (Howea forsteriana)

Howea forsteriana (Kentia Palm or Thatch palm) is a species of flowering plant in the palm family Arecaeae, endemic to Lord Howe Island in Australia. It is also widely grown on Norfolk Island. It is a relatively slow-growing palm, eventually growing up to 10 m tall by 6 m wide. Its fronds can reach 3 m long. [Source: Wikipedia]

The Kentia palm also belong to my favourite palms. I had a grown-up specimen (purchased) which sadly died. The Kentia I have grown from seed is progressing well, and I will enjoy watching it grow bigger. Included in my collection in 2013-02.

Mature specimen of Howea forsteriana. Photo from www.plantsrescue.com
Photo of Howea forsteriana from my collection (2014-03-02)
Photo of Howea forsteriana from my collection (2016-10-09)

Mediterranean dwarf palm (Chamaerops humilis)

Chamaerops is a genus of flowering plants in the palm family Arecaceae. The only currently fully accepted species is Chamaerops humilis, variously called European fan palm, or the Mediterranean dwarf palm. It is one of the more cold-hardy palms used in landscaping in temperate climates. The stems grow slowly and often tightly together, eventually reaching 2–5 m tall with a trunk diameter of 20–25 cm. It is a fan palm (Arecaceae tribe Corypheae), and as such, has leaves with petioles terminating in rounded fans of 10–20 leaflets. Each leaf is up to 1.5 m long, with leaflets 50–80 cm long. The petioles are armed with numerous sharp, needle-like spines; these may protect the stem growing point from browsing animals. [Source: Wikipedia]

The Mediterranean dwarf palm is another of the palm trees that you can find growing naturally here in Spain. It is very resistant, both to heat and cold. I have two specimen in my collection, one already grown-up found near where I live and another grown from seeds. Included in my collection in 2013-02.

Mature specimen of Chamaerops humilis. Photo from www.vilmorin-semillas-de-arboles.com
Photo of Chamaerops humilis from my collection (2014-03-02)
Photo of Chamaerops humilis from my collection (2016-10-09)

Palmetto (Sabal palmetto)

Sabal palmetto, also known as palmetto, cabbage palmetto, blue palmetto, Carolina palmetto, common palmetto, swamp cabbage and sabal palm, is one of 15 species of palmetto palm. It is native to the deep southern United States, as well as Cuba,the Turks & Caicos Islands, and The Bahamas. [Source: Wikipedia]

The Sabal Palmetto is another of these beautiful fan palm, with the dead leaflets giving a very distinctive pattern of the trunk. I love the robust aspect of this palm. Included in my collection in 2013-02.

Mature specimen of Sabal palmetto. Photo from selectree.calpoly.edu
Photo from my collection (2014-03-02)
Photo from my collection (2016-10-09)

Pygmy date palm (Phoenix roebelenii) - Added 2011-10-25

Phoenix roebelenii, with common names of pygmy date palm, miniature date palm or just robellini, is a species of date palm native to southeastern Asia, from southwestern China (Yunnan Province), northern Laos and northern Vietnam, (in Dien Bien Province, Ha Giang Province, Cao Bang Province, Lang Son Province). The name is sometimes mistakenly cited as roebelinii. Phoenix roebelenii is a small to medium-sized, slow-growing slender tree growing to 2–3 metres tall. The leaves are 60–120 cm long, pinnate, with around 100 leaflets arranged in a single plane (unlike the related P. loureiroi where the leaflets are in two planes). Each leaflet is 15–25 cm 15–25 cm long and 1 cm broad, slightly drooping, and grey-green in colour with scurfy pubescence below. [Source: Wikipedia]

The phoenix roebelenii is another of my favourites. The trunk of my specimen has now reached some 80 cm height. Last year it suffered a severe attack from red aphids, but it is recovering well. Included in my collection in 1900-01.

Mature specimen of Phoenix roebelenii. Photo from commons.wikimedia.org
Photo of Phoenix roebelenii from my collection (2016-10-09)

Queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana)

Syagrus romanzoffiana, the queen palm or cocos palm, is a palm native to South America, from Paraguay and northern Argentina north to eastern Brazil and west to eastern Bolivia. It had been classified within the Cocos genus as Cocos plumosa, was assigned to Arecastrum, then moved to Syagrus. As a result of the nomenclature confusion, they often retain a previous name in popular usage. It is a medium-sized palm, quickly reaching maturity at a height of up to 15 m tall, with pinnate leaves. [Source: Wikipedia]

The queen palm is another of my absolute favourite palms. It has a beautiful flat trunk with some big leaflets. While it is not a local species, it is quite frequent in this area. I have two specimen in my collection, one that I purchased already grown up and another that I have grown from seeds. Included in my collection in 2013-02.

Mature specimen of Syagrus romanzoffiana. Photo from www.jardinbotanico.uma.es
Photo of Syagrus romanzoffiana from my collection (3014-03-02)
Photo of Syagrus romanzoffiana from my collection (2016-10-09)

Sago palm (Cycas revoluta) - Added 2011-10-25

Cycas revoluta, sago palm, king sago, sago cycad, Japanese sago palm, is a species of gymnosperm in the family Cycadaceae, native to southern Japan including the Ryukyu Islands. It is one of several species used for the production of sago, as well as an ornamental plant. This very symmetrical plant supports a crown of shiny, dark green leaves on a thick shaggy trunk that is typically about 20 cm in diameter, sometimes wider. The trunk is very low to subterranean in young plants, but lengthens above ground with age. It can grow into very old specimens with 6–7 m of trunk; however, the plant is very slow-growing and requires about 50–100 years to achieve this height. Trunks can branch multiple times, thus producing multiple heads of leaves. [Source: Wikipedia]

The cycas revoluta used to be more rare to find, but during the last year a lot of palms have been grown and the prices have fallen. It is also easy to pick seeds from palm planted in public places. My cycas revoluta is now some 10 years, and will have seeds for the first time. Included in my collection in 1900-01.

Mature specimen of Cycas revoluta. Photo from commons.wikimedia.org
Photo of Cycas revoluta from my collection (2016-10-09)

Sand palm (Livistona humilis)

The sand palm, Livistona humilis, is a member of the Arecaceae family. It is a small, slender palm, growing to about 7 m tall and 5–8 cm dbh. It has 8 to 15 fan-shaped leaves, 30-50 cm long with petioles 40-70 cm long. It is endemic to the top end of the Northern Territory in Australia. Genetic investigation suggests that its closest relation is Livistona inermis. This palm is fire tolerant and usually grows in environments where it is exposed to frequent fires. Livistona humilis is sexually dimorphic. The flower stalks on the female plant are erect and up to 2,3 m long, while the male plant's flower stalks are up to 1,8 m long and curved. The flowers are small and yellow, 2 mm to 4 mm across. Fruit is shiny purple black, ellipsoid, pyriform, or obovoid, 11-19 mm long and 8-10 mm in diameter. [Source: Wikipedia]

I think the Sand Palm will enjoy the environmental conditions here in Spain. Included in my collection in 2013-02.

Mature specimen of Livistona humilis. Photo from agrobiosolution.blogspot.my
Photo of Livistona humilis from my collection (2014-03-02)
Photo of Livistona humilis from my collection (2016-10-09)

Wild date palm (Phoenix reclinata)

The Wild date palm or Senegal date palm (Phoenix reclinata, reclinata - Latin, reclining) is a species of flowering plant in the palm family native to tropical Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Madagascar and the Comoro Islands. It is also reportedly naturalized in Florida, Puerto Rico, Bermuda and the Leeward Islands. The plants are found from sea level to 3000 m, in rain forest clearings, monsoonal forests and rocky mountainsides. Trachycarpus fortunei grows to 12–20 m tall on a single stem the diameter of which is up to 15–30 centimetres. The trunk is very rough with the persistent leaf bases clasping the stem as layers of coarse fibrous material. It is a fan palm with the leaves with the long petiole bare except for two rows of small spines, terminating in a rounded fan of numerous leaflets; each leaf is 140–190 centimetres long, with the petiole 60–100 centimetres long, and the leaflets up to 90 centimetres long. It is a somewhat variable plant, especially as regards its general appearance and some specimens are to be seen with leaf segments having straight and others having drooping tips. [Source: Wikipedia]

The Wild date palm has a particular way of growing, which I found attractive. Included in my collection in 2013-02.

Mature specimen of Phoenix reclinata. Photo from www.calflora.net
Photo of Phoenix reclinata from my collection (2014-03-02)
Photo of Phoenix reclinata from my collection (2016-10-09)

Yucca palm (Yucca aloifolia) - Added 2011-10-25

Yucca aloifoliais the type species for the genus Yucca. Common names include aloe yucca, dagger plant, and Spanish bayonet. It grows in sandy soils, especially on sand dunes along the coast. Yucca aloifolia is native to the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States from southern Virginia south to Florida and west to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, to Mexico along the Yucatán coast, and to Bermuda, and parts of the Caribbean. Yucca aloifolia has become naturalized in Bahamas, Argentina, Uruguay, Italy, Pakistan, South Africa, Queensland, New South Wales, and Mauritania. Yucca aloifolia has an erect trunk, 7,5-12,5 cm in diameter, reaching up to 1,5-6 m tall before it becomes top heavy and topples over. When this occurs, the tip turns upward and keeps on growing. The trunk is armed with sharp pointed straplike leaves each about 0,6 m long. The young leaves near the growing tip stand erect; older ones are reflexed downward, and the oldest wither and turn brown, hanging around the lower trunk like an Hawaiian skirt. Eventually the tip of the trunk develops a 0,6 m long spike of white, purplish-tinged flowers, each blossom about 12,5 cm across. [Source: Wikipedia]

Ok, so the yucca aloifolia belongs to the yucca genus and it is not tecnically a palm tree. But, I have decided to include it here anyway. This is not really one of my favourite plants, but it will have a given place in my future garden. Included in my collection in 1900-01.

Mature specimen of Yucca aloifolia. Photo from ca.wikipedia.org

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