Steven Gunther

Varieties of giant palms

Sharon Cohoon,  – August 11, 2004

These palms grow to more than 60 feet tall. Use them on large properties.

Bismark palm  (Bismarckia nobilis). Very large, full crown with fan-shaped leaves, which are gray-blue, stiff textured. Its broad canopy needs room to spread. Moderately fast grower to 30-60 ft. Hardy to 28°. Zones 13, 21-24.

Canary Island date palm  (Phoenix canariensis). Trunk is massive (to 3 ft. across) with a 40-ft.-wide crown at maturity. Leaves are dark green, feather shaped. Drought tolerant. Slow to establish a trunk, then grows moderately to 60 ft. Hardy to 20°. Zones 9, 12-24, H1, H2.

Date palm  (Phoenix dactylifera). Wide crown of stiff, gray-green, feather-shaped leaves atop a slender trunk. Multistemmed when young. Drought tolerant. Moderately fast grower to 80 ft. Hardy to 15°. Zones 9, 12-24, H1, H2.

Mexican fan palm  (Washingtonia robusta). Tall, slender trunk with compact crown, dark green leaves. Drought tolerant. Grows quickly to 100 ft. Hardy to 20°. Zones 8, 9, 10 (warmer parts), 11-24, H1, H2. California fan palm (W. filifera) has a thicker trunk, grows to only 60 ft., and is slightly hardier.