Alphabetical Plant Listing

Washingtonia robusta (Mexican Fan Palm)

Mexican Fan Palm, Southern washingtonia, Mexican Washingtonia, Skyduster, Thread Palm


Fast-growing and very tolerant, Washingtonia robusta (Mexican Fan Palm) is a tall evergreen palm with a columnar trunk topped with a relatively small rounded crown of beautifully shaped, fan-like, rich green leaves, up to 3-5 ft. long (90-150 cm). Borne on spine-edged petioles, the palmate leaves are divided halfway to the base, with their tips slightly drooping. Unlike other palms, the dead leaves fold down against the trunk rather than dropping off, forming a dense skirt. The unbranched gray trunk is usually slender, 12 in. across (30 cm), but swells considerably at the base. It is ringed by leaf scars and tends to curve a little in tall trees. Small, slightly fragrant, white flowers are produced in huge, hanging sprays, up to 10 ft. long (3 m). They are followed by great quantities of black, pea-sized fruits. Easy to grow and exotic-looking, Washingtonia robusta is fairly hardy, but may experience significant frond damage if temperatures dip to 20°F (-6°C). It has a high tolerance for salt and is a good choice for planting near coastlines. It also is very wind resistant. Probably one of the most commonly planted palm trees around the world, the genus honors the first president of the United States. A palm of great ornamental value and an extraordinary accent plant.

  • Grows with an upright habit up to 40-80 ft. tall (12-24 m) and 8-10 ft. wide (2-3 m).
  • Easily grown in well-drained soils in full sun. Drought tolerant.
  • No serious disease or pest issues. Keep an eye out for red spider mites and scale insects.
  • Needs no regular pruning, but dead leaves may be removed by cutting close to the leaf base leaving stubs to create a neat pattern. The 'petticoat' is a fire hazard and it is necessary to remove the dead fronds in urban settings or if the trees are planted near residences.
  • Propagate by seed.
  • Mexican Fan Palm has become invasive in riparian areas. In parts of central and southern California it has naturalized itself such that the California Invasive Plant Council considers its impact on native ecosystems a “moderate risk”. The species can be controlled with relative ease by removing the seedlings.
  • Native to Mexico.

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Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Heat Zones 10 – 12
Climate Zones 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Palms - Cycads
Plant Family Palms - Cycads
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 40' – 80' (12m – 24m)
Spread 8' – 10' (240cm – 3m)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Salt
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Mediterranean Garden

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Cultivar413 (Flickr)

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Heat Zones 10 – 12
Climate Zones 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Palms - Cycads
Plant Family Palms - Cycads
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 40' – 80' (12m – 24m)
Spread 8' – 10' (240cm – 3m)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Salt
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Mediterranean Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Palms - Cycads

Guides with Palms - Cycads

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