Mexican Fan Palm

Diposting oleh alexandria joseph | 03.00

Another popular palm in the Tucson area is the Mexican Fan Palm.  It's the one palm that appears skinny and reaches great heights.  It does extremely well here and should be placed in direct sun.  A fast grower, the Mexican Fan Palm can reach heights of up to 70 feet in the Tucson area!!!  I always wonder if they will ever crash onto people's property during a wind storm and while they don't, because they are so bendy, their leaves or scales do!!  So watch out for these things on a breezy day....and especially during monsoon season.  Because this palm reaches great heights like that of the Aleppo Pine or Euc here in Tucson, this plant is also more susceptible to lightening storms and will get hit often.  Sometimes the palm will catch on fire and still live while others will fry entirely.  There's one other thing you should know about this tall and skinny palm.  I personally don't think it looks attractive alone and around town, you'll see random plantings of this palm by itself.  The Mexican Fan Palm looks better when planted in groups of 3 and close together.  You will also find this palm used in mass plantings around a property line at apartment complexes.  This palm did get fried during our severe freeze but today it appears most of them will recover nicely.  Here is some data on this fascinating palm.......

"Mexican Fan Palms (Washingtonia robusta) have many fine attributes including salt resistance and fast rate of growth. The cold hardy Mexican Fan Palm has a slender trunk topped with crowns of large fan-shaped evergreen fronds. Soaring to over 100 ft (30.5 m), this skyscraper of the palm world is a striking sight. Mexican Fan Palms have:
A gray trunk ringed with closely set leaf scars although usually at least part of the trunks remain covered with dead leaves that hang in a thatch.
The solitary trunks, about 10-12 in (25.4-30.5 cm) in diameter, bulge at the ground and become slender as they approach a crown of large palmate leaves with gracefully drooping leaflet tips. Large, rapid growing, and hardy all describe the Mexican Fan Palms. Native to the riparian washes and gullies of Northern Mexico, Baja, Southern California and Arizona Mexican Fan Palm trees are very drought and salt tolerant once established. Adapted to a wide range of soil types, and climates.

This species easily hybridizes with the California/Desert Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) and a wide variation in phenotypes (outward appearance and growth characteristics) occurs under cultivated conditions. Commonly seen at 40 to 50 feet but capable of soaring to 80 feet in height, Washington Palm is quickly recognized as the much-used, straight, single-trunked street palm of years past. The lower leaves persist on the tree after they die, forming a dense, brown, shaggy covering below the living, bright green, broad, fan-shaped leaves, giving it the common name of petticoat palm. These dead fronds are known to be a fire hazard and a popular bedding roost for rodents and, because of this, must be removed by law in some areas. The sharply barbed leaf petioles and tall, thin trunks make frond removal a rather unpleasant task, but some people think the rapid growth rate and statuesque appearance more than make up for this trouble. Washington Palm makes a dramatic statement in the large landscape and creates a striking accent for multi-storied homes but often grows out of scale in most landscapes with one-story buildings because all of the fronds are at the top of the palm. It looks like a telephone pole with a green hat. Washingtonia filifera is a much better choice in unirrigated landscapes, since it grows more slowly, is shorter, and the trunk is thicker. Washington Palm needs full sun for best growth but will endure some shade while young. It will tolerate poor soil and drought, and is hardy to about 20-degrees F. Transplant with a large root ball to ensure survival. " End of article.  Source:

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