California fan palm

Washingtonia filifera


The California fan palm is a bold and imposing tree. It can develop a massive trunk and grow to 35-50 ft. and taller. Pale green fan-shaped leaves grow 3-6 ft. across, are deeply cut and have many thread-like filaments growing from the tips and margins of leaflets. Clusters of tiny creamy-white flowers occur on 8-10 ft. long inflorescences in spring; numerous black berries ripen in late summer and sometimes germinate in gardens.

This southwestern native comes from the low deserts of Southern California and Arizona, as well as the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California. It grows with a uniform habit that makes is suited for use in plazas, as a street tree and occasionally as a yard tree. It is valued as a focal element and as a signature plant in southwestern style gardens. Normal maintenance includes cutting off dead fronds once a year.

Plant Type: Palm, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright
Growth Rate: Slow
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Cream
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Sand, Clay, Alkaline soil
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Heat, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Specimen, Slopes, Parks and open space, Mass planting, Foundations, Foliage accent plant, Civic spaces, Background plant
Height: 35 ft. – 50 ft.
Width: 10 ft. – 15 ft.