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Conservatory GreenhousePalms

Washingtonia filifera
  • RHS AGM

California fan palm

a medium to large palm, with a robust trunk. The long leaf stalks have sharp teeth near the base, and the fan-shaped, grey-green blades up to 3m long are erect at first, then spreading and arching. Dead foliage remains on the plant, hanging down to clothe the whole trunk. Creamy-white, tubular flowers are produced in huge sprays up to 5m long, usually in summer

Other common names
American cotton palm
Arizona fan palm
see moredesert fan palm [2]
petticoat palm [2]

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Size
Ultimate height
Higher than 12 metres
Time to ultimate height
20–50 years
Ultimate spread
2.5–4 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Grey Silver
Summer Cream Green Grey Silver
Autumn Green Grey Silver
Winter Green Grey Silver
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H1C
Botanical details
Family
Arecaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Washingtonia are large evergreen palms with stout solitary trunks bearing long-stalked, rounded leaves palmately divided into linear segments, and large, arching panicles of flowers, followed by small, berry-like black fruits

Name status

Correct

Plant range
SW USA (CA & AZ) & NW Mexico (Bajo Clifornia)

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow under glass in loam-based compost with added leaf mould and sharp sand, in full light. Water moderately, provide moderate humidity when in growth and apply a liquid fertiliser monthly during the summer. Water sparingly in winter

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown at not less than 24°C

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • Patio and container plants
Pruning

Needs no regular pruning, but dead leaves may be removed by cutting close to the leaf base leaving stubs to create a neat pattern

Pests

Glasshouse red spider mite and scale insects may be troublesome

Diseases

Generally disease free

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