Washingtonia filifera     
California fan palm   
Palmae Family     

Compiled by the Master Gardeners
of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension.


palm tree fronds
stringy fronds of Washingtonia filifera
Form: large palm with fan fronds and stout trunk
Seasonality: evergreen
Size: 45ft or more, frond spread to 15ft; fast growth rate (15ft in 10 years)
Leaves: fan-shaped fronds, 3-6ft across, gray-green; margins more stringy than W. robusta; tips of fronds arch down; most attractive when old yellowed fronds are allowed to accumulate against trunk
Flowers: on stalks extending beyond foliage, small off-white flowers
Fruit: pea-sized black berries
Stems/Trunks: fatter trunk than W. robusta
Range/Origin: southwestern Arizona and California
Hardiness: to high teens; recovers from damage quickly, more cold hardy than W. robusta


California fan palm
Washingtonia filifera


differs from W. robusta by width of trunk, erectness of fronds, presence of strings on frond margins, gray-green color, and cold hardiness

Mexican fan palm roadside stand of Washingtonia palms

variation in form probably reflects failure to obtain original seed from isolated stock

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This page was first created July 5, 2001 and last modified March 16, 2006.

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