Archontophoenix alexandrae 40’ ‘Alexander Palm’ or ‘King Alexander Palm’ - Beautiful feather palm, more unusual than ‘cunninghamiana’, however the leaf is slightly shorter, 8’-10’.

Archontophoenix cunninghamiana (Seaforthia Elegans) 40’ ‘Piccabeen’ or ‘King Palm’ - Feather leaf palm, moderate growing. Leaves to about 10’-12’ long, drop off clean. Bright red seeds on trunk. Sun or part shade.


Areca catechu 20’ ‘Betel’ or ‘Betel Nut Palm’ - Feather leaf palm with very slender trunk. Slow growing and cold sensitive, protect in colder areas. Most often used indoors, although it is not always available here.

Arecastrum romanzoffpianum (Cocos plumosae & Syagrus romanzoffiana) 50’-60’ ‘Queen Palm’ – Large feather leaf palm, very popular in this area. Fast growing when young, slowing with age. Very large leaves to 10’-15’ long. Very easy to grow.

Arecastrum romanzoeffianum

Bismarckia nobilis (Modrrnia nobilis) 40’-50’ around here, reported 100’ in habitat ‘Bismark Palm’ – Rare, very large fan shaped leaves, as much as 8’ in diameter. Leaf color is unusual and varies, but mostly has an intriguing blue-gray color. It is very striking if you have the room. Slower growing but worth the wait.

Bismarckia nobilis

Brahea armata (Erythea armata, E roezlii) 40 ‘Blue Hesper Palm’, ‘Mexican Blue Palm’ – Fan shaped leaf form very full head as tree matures. The palm forms a very stout trunk that may reach up to 2’ in diameter. Slow growing with beautiful blue-green leaves. Blooms are very long and arch down.

Brahea armata

Brahea brandegeei (Erythea brandegeei) 80’ ‘San Jose Hesper Palm’ – Fan leaf, faster growing than
‘armata’ but a little more unusual (harder to find). Leaves are greener on top, and gray underside. The trunk is more narrow, about 12”-14”. Leaves have large recurving spines.

Brahea brandegeei

Butia capitata (Cocos australis) 15’-20’ ‘Pindo Palm’, ‘Yatay Palm’ or ‘Jelly Palm’ – Feather leaf, fairly long 10’ or so, coarse texture when mature. The leaves recruve in a distinct arching form, gray-green in color. Stout trunk, clean with evenly patterned leaf scars if trimmed correctly.


Caryota mitis 25’ ‘Clustered Fishtail Palm’ – Multiple trunk palm that keeps sending up new shoots or
“pups” at the base. Very distinctive leaflets resemble the fin or tail of a fish. Leaves can reach 10’ in length and are bright green.

Caryota urens 40’-60’ ‘Fishtail Palm’ or ‘Wine Palm’ – These majestic palms have a look all their own. The leaves are larger than C mitis and they grow much larger. The single trunks get about 12”-15” in diameter and the old leaves fall off clean. After the palm blooms, which is also very showy, the palm will gradually die. It usually takes 25-30 years to bloom.

Chamaedorea Palm note: Many unusual and unnamed hybrids exist, therefore causing confusion!
Chamaedorea costricana 10’-12’ ‘Showy Bamboo Palm’ – Clumping feather palm with very narrow 1”- 1.5” stalks or trunks resembling bamboo. Leaves are about 3’ long, rich green, open and graceful. Each clump can have many (30 or so) canes. Needs shade.

Chamaedorea elegans 6’ ‘Neanthe bella’ or ‘Parlor Palm’ – Feather leaf of dark green color, usually a
singular trunk but often planted in multiple clumps. Slow growing, best indoors, or very protected areas
outside, no sun. This is a great palm that almost never outgrows its area.

Chamaedorea erumpens 10’ ‘Bamboo Palm’ – Graceful, multi-trunk (clustering) palm with tall slender
bamboo like trunks. Trunks get to about 1” in diameter. Must be grown indoors or in shade outside.
Chamaedorea glaucifolia 15’-18’ – Feather leaf form with a blue green cast. Leaves are about 4’-5’ long. Loose feathery top, can tolerate some sun along the coast.

Chamaedorea metallica (C. tenella) 3’-6’ ‘Miniature Fishtail’ – This unusual and often difficult to find
palm is very slow growing. It forms a single trunk, however, is often planted in multiples. It has a very
broad leaf that is only about 16” long. The leaves have a metallic sheen to them. Must be in the shade or makes a great indoor palm.

Chamaedorea radicalis 4’ ‘Cluster Palm’ – Feather leaf dwarf palm forming clusters, usually without trunks. Grow in shade. Rare, not always available.

Chamaedorea seifrizii 8’-10’ ‘Reed Palm’ – Clumping upright feather leaf, coarser than many. Open lacy habit shows off well against a wall.

Chamaedorea tepejilote 10’- Rich dark green leaves can reach 5’ long. Larger single trunk palm with a diameter of about 2”-2.5”. Looks best in shade, protect from strong winds. Unusual, often difficult to

Chamaerops humilis 20’ ‘Mediterranean Palm’ or ‘European Fan Palm’ – Fan shaped dark green leaves about 14”-16” in diameter with lots of thorns on the stems near the trunk. Multi-trunk palm forms large graceful specimen. Very hardy and easy to grow. Slow growing.

 Chamaerops humilis

Chamaerops excelsa – see Trachycarpus

Chrysalidocarpus lutescens (Areca lutescens) 25’ “Golden Cane Palm’ or ‘Butterfly Palm’ – Beautiful clumping feather leaf palm with leaves about 6’-7’ long. Light green in color if grown in full sun, darker if it has some shade. Sometimes sold for indoor use but watch for mites if indoors.

Cocos nucifera 10’-14’ ‘Coconut Palm’ – This is the true Coconut Palm. It is used as a house plant until it gets too tall. It is a beautiful palm; however it will not survive outside in the winter here. There are no large Coconut palms in this area.

Erythea See Brahea

Howea belmoriana (Kentia belmoriana) 18’-22’ ‘Belmore sentry’ or ‘Curly Palm’ – Feather leaf with deep green color. Primary difference between this and “forsterana” is this leaf has a distinct arching down and the leaflets form a “V”. Very slow growing and often hard to find.

Howea forsteiana (Kentia forsteriana) 35’-40’ ‘Paradise Palm’ or ‘Kentia Palm’ – Very elegant looking slow growing palm with deep green 6’-8’ leaves. Makes a great indoor plant or outside, especially in coastal areas. Often planted in multiples. This is a tough palm and one of the most beautiful we grow here in Southern California.

Jubaea chilensis 50’ ‘Syrup Palm’ ‘Chilean Wine Palm’ or ‘Coquito Palm’ – Massive feather palm, has
large blue-green leaves and a very smooth trunk. The trunk has a unique leaf scar pattern. It forms a large head of leaves and makes a very impressive specimen, slow.

Jubaea chilensis

Livistona australis (Corypha australis) 60’ ‘Australian Cabbage Tree/Palm’ – Deep green fan shaped leaves to 3’ diameter. The trunk is very straight to about 12” diameter. This palm is slow growing, but very showy when a little larger. The tips of the leaves drop down.

Livistona chinensis 30’ ‘Chinese Fan Palm’ – Similar but slower than L australis. This is a very hardy palm with glossy green leaves, some with a yellowish central nerve in the leaf. Tips of these leaves droop.

Phoenix canariensis

Neodypsis decaryi (Dypsis) 30’ ‘Triangle Palm’ – Interesting feather leaf palm with large gray-green
leaves to about 12’ long when mature. Medium growing with very unusual triangle formation where the
leaves attach to the trunk.

Dypsis lutescens

Phoenix canarensis 50’-60’ ‘Canary Island Date Palm’ – Very large growing feather palm. Trunk can reach 4’ in diameter and the leaves may reach 25’. One of the largest palms, can have as many as 200 leaves. Give it plenty of room.

Phoenix dactylifera 80’-100’ ‘True Date Palm’ – Very tall, eventually with large feather palms, This is the one that produces edible dates although desert areas where it is hot makes the best climate for the fruit. Slow but eventually large.

Phoenix dactylifera

Phoenix reclinata 25’ ‘Senegal Date’ or ‘Wild African Date’ – Beautiful multi trunk feather leaf palm.
Great tropical look. It gets quite spreading so give it a good amount of room to grow. Be careful removing old leaves, they have 8” long very sharp thorns.

Phoenix robelini 15’ ‘Robelen Date’ or ‘Pigmy Date Palm’ – Deep green, soft feather leaves about 5’ long. Slow growing, single trunk palm, often planted in clumps. This is a great palm because it is slow and does not get too large. Sun or shade along the coast, shade to part shade inland. Can be used indoors if not too dark.

Phoenix roebelini

Ravenea rivularis 20’ ‘Majesty Palm’ – Impressive large feather leaves of dark green. The plant does well indoors until it gets too tall but adapts well outside. Full sun if slowly acclimated. 15” diameter trunk when mature. Give it room.

Rhapis excelsa 15’ ‘Lady Palm’
Multiple trunk fan palm. Tall and slender growing with dark green foliage. Leaves are very glossy and the leaf segments are blunt, like cut with pinking shear. Must be grown indoors or in shade.

Rhapis excelsa

Rhapis humilis 20’ ‘Slender Lady Palm’ – Fan shaped leaves differ from above in as much as the leaflets are pointed. It is much harder to find, especially small sizes. Best indoors or outside in shade. Trunks are about 1.5” diameter with “fiber”.

Rhopalostylis baueri 30’ ‘Shaving Brush Palm’ – Feather leaf, slow growing palm with single trunk. The
leaves have a very distinct upright growth habit. The old leaves fall off clean leaving a smooth 10”
diameter trunk. Unusual and not always available.

Rhopalostylis sapida 24’ ‘Niku Palm’ or ‘Feather Duster Palm’ – Feather leaf upright fronds form a thick head. Trunk about 8” in diameter. Similar to ‘Shaving Brush Palm’ but with a slightly different look. This is also an unusual or rare palm and is not always available.

Sabal causiarum 30’ ‘Puerto Rican Hat Palm’ – Fan leaf with strong rib in leaf curving down. Slow
growing, forms a thick trunk 24”-30” in diameter.

Sabal minor 4’ ‘Dwarf Palmetto’ or ‘Blue Palmetto’ – Large fan leaf or bluish-green color. Unusual and
often hard to find. Forms almost no trunk.

Trachycarpus fortunei (Chamaerops excelsa) 30’ ‘Chinese Windmill Palm’ – Deep green fan leaf for a
dense head with a 10” single trunk. Slow growing, very cold tolerant.


Washingtonia filifera 40’ ‘California Fan Palm’ – Large light green leaf to about 3’ in diameter. Stout trunk grows slowly, native to eastern San Diego County. This palm is often confused with W. robusta. It is subject to a black fungus if planted too close to the coast.

Washingtonia robusta 80’ ‘Mexican Fan Palm’ – Fan leaf of about 3’ to 4’ diameter. Very tall, the one you see towering over older neighborhoods, especially Ocean Beach and Mission Hills. The trunk is usually about 3’ wide at base narrowing to about 15” as it grows taller. Tough, and easy to grow, but it gets big quickly.

Washingtonia robusta


Walter Andersen Nursery has built its reputation on providing the highest quality plant material and the best customer service backed by a professional staff. This, along with the widest variety of plant material available anywhere in San Diego has kept generations of San Diegans coming to Walter Andersen Nursery year after year.

About the Author
Walter Andersen Nursery
Walter Andersen Nursery has built its reputation on providing the highest quality plant material and the best customer service backed by a professional staff. This, along with the widest variety of plant material available anywhere in San Diego has kept generations of San Diegans coming to Walter Andersen Nursery year after year.
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