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Plant Profile: Chamaerops humilis

The Mediterranean Fan Palm, Chamaerops humilis, was the palm that captivated my attention and imagination at the garden centre.

This is it in its pot when I finally brought it home:


A verdant explosion of of very tropical feeling fan leaves!

This palm forms clusters of trunks radiating outwards from the base which makes it an effective addition to the garden, providing a striking mound of tropical foliage.  The fan shaped leaves can  individually be between 2 - 3 feet long and wide.

Because of its clumping nature, this palm can often be as wide as it is high.  Depending on the effect that you are trying to achieve, creative pruning of this palm can give you a variety of effects: a cluster of (in miniature) of 'paradise island' palms each leaning out from the base, a mound of leaves acting as a sort of low hedge, or pruned into a single truck and resembling a Trachycarpus fortunei var. wagneriana.

Native to sparsely scrub-covered hills around the western Mediterranean these pa…

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