SelecTree: Tree Detail

MEXICAN FAN PALM
Washingtonia robusta

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Photo Locations: Kona, HI, Stanford, CA, UC Santa Barbara - Santa Barbara, CA, Cal Poly State University - San Luis Obispo, CA, Los Angeles County Arboretum - Arcadia, CA, Palo Alto, CA, Beverly Hills, CA and Venice, CA

General Notes

This plant is weedy. We do not recommend planting it in Hawai’i.

There are currently two species recognized in the genus Washingtonia, though some evidence suggests that Washingtonia is composed of one highly variable species and that local differentiation of populations is related to environmental gradients. The plant material in cultivation can be difficult to distinguish, and all kinds of supposed hybrids exist. In general, the two currently-recognized species can be distinguished, at least at their extremes this way: W. filifera is shorter, with a stouter trunk, more hair-like fibers on the leaf tips, and a less compact crown with longer leaf stalks (petioles) than W. robusta. The Mexican fan palm is Southern California’s most common palm species. In its native range of Baja and Sonora Mexico, the leaves were used for roofs, baskets, and sandals, while the fiber was used in making cord. It is widely planted and often naturalized throughout the world. Washingtonia robusta has a HPWRA (Hawai'i Pacific Weed Risk Assessment) score of 15 (High Risk).

Native to Northwestern Mexico.

Family: Arecaceae

Additional Common Names

MEXICAN FAN PALM, FAN PALM,

Tree Characteristics

Erect and requires ample growing space.

Palm Shape.

Has Evergreen foliage.

Height: 80 - 100 feet.

Width: 5 - 10 feet.

Growth Rate: 36 or More Inches per Year.

Longevity 50 to 150 years.

Leaves Palmately Compound, Dark Green, No Change, Evergreen.

Flowers Inconspicuous. . Has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower).

Black Drupe, Small (0.25 - 0.50 inches) Edible.

Bark Red Brown, Furrowed or Smooth.

Shading Capacity Rated as Dense in Leaf.

Litter Issue is Dry Fruit and Leaves.

Tree Site Conditions & Constraints

Sunset Zones 18 - 24; H1, H2.

USDA Hardiness Zones 9 - 11.

Exposure Full Sun to Partial Shade.

Wet to Dry Soil.

Drought tolerant.

Loam or Sand Texture.

Slightly Acidic to Highly Alkaline Soil pH.

Salinity Tolerance is Good Inland.

Seaside Tolerance is Good in Mild Zone.

Pests & Disease Information

Resistant to Texas Root Rot. Susceptible to Beetle Borers.

Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns

Branch Strength Rated as Medium Strong.

Root Damage Potential Rated as Moderate.

Allergy Health Hazard.

Biogenic Emissions considered Moderate.

Fire Resistance is Favorable.

Special Uses & Values

Riparian.

Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Washingtonia robusta Tree Record." 1995-2020. Dec 5, 2020.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/washingtonia-robusta >

SelecTree Nursery Connection Map
Cal Poly / ESRI