15 Different Types of Palm Plants

Types Of Palm Plants
Photo by Tim Mossholder

This article discusses some of the different types of palm plants available worldwide. Palm trees are often associated with warm, sunny climates, tropical beaches, and exquisitely designed gardens.

Palms can be identified by their fiber-covered trunks or stems and fan-shaped or feather-like fronds (leaves). Most palm species, including date and coconut palms, flourish in warm climates.

Some types of palms can tolerate cold temperatures and temperate climates, though. Some palm tree species can be grown as indoor houseplants.

Pygmy Date palms, Pindo palms, Triangle palms, Mediterranean dwarf palms, Mazari palms, Dwarf Majesty palms, Christmas palms, Bottle palms, Canary palms, Sylvester palms, Chinese Fan palms, Palmetto palms, and Mexican palms are the most popular types of palm trees.

An example of an evergreen plant in the Arecaceae family is the palm tree. Over 200 genera contain over 2,600 different species of palm trees.

Branchless stems and opulent, large evergreen leaves distinguish palm trees from other types of trees. The common types of palm plants worldwide are discussed below.

1. Cat Palm

The cat palm is a small palm tree with thin, pinnately divided dark green leaves that grow directly above the ground.

The height of this palm tree without a trunk varies between 3 feet (1 m) indoors and 6 feet (2 m) outdoors. The clumping palm eventually develops a dense thicket of glossy, slender leaflets.

The slender green stems and pinnate leaves, trunkless growth, and flowering stems with yellow balls-like blooms are characteristics that make a cat palm easily distinguishable.

If the palm is pollinated, tiny shiny green fruits with a black elliptical shape and a length of 0.5″ (1.25 cm) develop. Also, this little palm is frequently grown as a garden plant in warm climates.

2. Pygmy Date Palm

The pygmy date palm is a diminutive type of palm tree, as suggested by its common name. This is a variety of palm belonging to the Arecaceae family, and it doesn’t get much taller than 10 feet (3 m).

The small palm tree can be recognized by its single stem and 3 feet (1 m) long, bushy, pinnate fronds.

Furthermore, this species of palm is an excellent ornamental flowering tree for subtropical landscaped gardens.

The pygmy date palm has large, showy fronds that arch and droop and nearly conceal the trunk’s spiky appearance. These little palm trees thrive in pots as well.

Although pygmy types of palm trees produce dates, the fruit is typically not as tasty as dates produced by more enormous date palms. This is one of the different types of palm plants available.

3. Pindo Palm

Pindo palm trees are a type of hardy palms known as jelly palms. Although the mature palms can grow to a height of 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 meters), they are a species of palm that grows slowly overall.

They are thus appropriate for gardens that call for small palm trees. These small palm trees can tolerate most soil types and do well in full sun or partial shade.

The name “jelly palm” comes from the fact that the fruit of the palm trees, which range in a different color from light orange to brown, is used to make jelly. It is especially attractive when the palm is blooming with red, yellow, or white blossoms.

4. Triangle Palm

The Dypsis decaryi palm, which belongs to the small to medium-sized category of palm trees, is also known as the triangle palm.

The Triangle palm is recognized by its extraordinarily long pinnate fronds, reaching lengths of up to 8 feet (2.5 meters).

The leaflets of the fronds point outward at an angle of 120 degrees, giving the fronds a triangular cross-section.

Furthermore, you can see another reason for the name “triangle palm” in the images of this palm tree. The leaves spread out from a single fibrous stem to form a definite triangle shape.

This variety of palm trees is very ornamental and works well in tropical and subtropical gardens. The Triangle palm makes a beautiful backyard tree in a landscape. This is one of the different types of palm plants.

5. Meditteranean Dwarf Plant

This flowering palm species, also known as the European Fan palm, is a small tree. A few clustered trunks on the Mediterranean Dwarf Palm (Chamaerops humilis) give the palm a shrub-like appearance rather than a tree. This small palm species can reach heights of 2 to 5 meters (10 to 20 ft) in warm environments.

The fan-shaped palm fronds range in color from light green to silver-green. Each leaf can grow up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) long and has a width of between 20 and 30 inches (50 and 80 cm).

Also, Mediterranean dwarf palms are prized for their cold hardiness and ornamental value. The palm can survive in temperatures as low as 10 °F, despite thriving in the hot sun.

6. Mazari Palm

Instead of being a palm tree, the Mazari palm is more like a bushy shrub. The Mazari palm, indigenous to southwestern Asia, has palmate (fan-like) leaves that develop on groups of stems. The fan-shaped leaves can range from 30 cm to 4 ft.

The palm’s color is another intriguing feature, besides how its leaves stand out. The palm looks spiky due to its silvery-green or silver-blue fronds and long, tapering leaflets.

Furthermore, The Mazari palm, like other varieties of cold-hardy palm trees, benefits from hot summers for healthy growth. However, this species can withstand temperatures as low as 10 °F (12 °C). This is one of the different types of palm plants.

7. Christmas Palm Plant

The Christmas palm (Adonidia merrillii) is an excellent option if you’re looking for a small palm tree for your garden. This ornamental palm tree is diminutive compared to other tall coconut or date palm trees.

However, according to some reports, the Christmas palm tree is one of the most common ornamental palm species worldwide.

The maximum height of this small species of a palm tree is 25 ft (7.6 m), though some smaller varieties only reach 15 ft (4.5 m).

The top of the stem is covered in broad, pinnate palm leaves that arch upward to create a lovely crown of greenery.

8. Sago Palm

Despite being called the Sago’s palm, Cycas revoluta is not a true variety of palm trees. The Sago’s palm is a member of the Cycadaceae family, which, although it has a palm-like appearance, is not a true palm. This “palm” can be recognized by its short trunk and fresh leaves that resemble ferns.

9. Coconut Palm

One of the palm tree species that is most easily recognized is coconut palm. It can reach a height of 100 feet (30 meters), has a smooth, grayish-brown, slightly curved trunk, and distinctive, sprawling, drooping palm fronds that are 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 meters) long.

Tropical fruits, often referred to as the “taste of paradise,” are another characteristic of coconut palms. When young, the coconut fruit is a sizeable green or yellow color.

The distinctive mature brown coconut seed is encased in a thick husk and is covered in a hairy fiber. The white meat inside the coconut’s wood-like shell is what can be eaten. This is one of the different types of palm plants.

10. California Fan Palm

The California fan palm is a medium-sized ornamental palm tree with thick, columnar trunks and long, fan-shaped fronds with fibrous threads.

The spectacular waxy green blades spread out in a fan shape on the California fan palm’s leaves serve as the plant’s identifying feature.

The height of this palm tree ranges from 40 to 60 feet (12 to 18 meters). The California fan palm can also be recognized by its upright, tan, and grayish trunk.

Also, California palms can be identified by the skirt-like shape of the dead fronds close to the tree’s top. The dead gray-green leaves droop and eventually turn brown.

11. Chilean Wine Palm

The Chilean wine palm is a tall palm tree whose impressive crown can recognize, with long arching green fronds that resemble feathers and a thick, columnar, smooth gray trunk.

This hardy palm is recognized by its broad, straight trunk, which can be up to 3 feet (1 m) in diameter and is swollen at the base.

The Chilean wine palm, one of the tallest palm trees in the world, can reach heights of 60 to 80 feet (18 to 24 meters).

The palmate fronds that make up the dense, upward-growing crown are 15 feet (4.5 meters) long. Furthermore, this palm species has a smooth, gray trunk, contrasting many palms with fibrous ones.

Small purple and yellow flowers bloom in the summer and add to the palm’s grace and beauty. This is one of the different types of palm plants.

12. Florida Royal Palm

A stunning crown of arching dark green fronds rounded red or purplish-black palm fruits, and a tall, smooth, relatively skinny gray-white trunk characterize the Florida royal palm, a majestic palm tree.

The soft green crownshaft, protruding stem base, and upright trunk measuring 65 to 100 ft (20 to 30 m) tall are distinguishing characteristics of this palm tree.

This smooth, tall palm from Florida has an unusual growth behavior that causes it to drop its old fronds. The soft, green trunk is revealed when these dead leaves fall off the crown.

This decorative street palm grows in Florida, Texas, Southern California, and Hawaii. Cuba’s national tree is Roystonea regia.

13. Acai Palm

The acai palm tree is a lean palm tree that can reach a height of 65 feet (20 meters). It has numerous clustering stems.

The acai palm can be recognized by its clusters of berry fruits that measure 1″ (2.5 cm) in diameter and by its long, pinnate leaves that can reach lengths of 10 ft. (3 m).

The acai palm is indigenous to South America and thrives in floodplains and swamps. The berries on the acai palm are its most valuable component.

Small, black drupes known as acai berries are produced in large quantities on sagging stems. A single bunch may contain between 500 and 900 fruits.

14. Oil Palm

The oil extracted from the oil palm’s fruit is well-known. Oil palm trees can reach over 66 feet (20 meters) and have enormous pinnate fronds that are 10 to 16 feet (3 to 5 meters) long.

The tree’s valuable fruit, which is about the size of a plum, grows as red palm berries. A single-stemmed type of palm tree is the oil palm.

The lovely palm leaves have an upward, arching habit that gives the ornamental tree a vase-like appearance.

The large bunches of 200–300 red palm fruits growing close to the trunk are the palm’s distinguishing feature.

An egg-shaped, oblong drupe with a maximum length of 1.4″ (3.5 cm) and a total width of 1″ (2 cm) is the oil palm fruit.

15. Foxtail Palm

Due to its enormous arching or curled fronds measuring 6.5–10 ft (2–3 m) in length, the foxtail palm tree is an imposing medium-sized palm tree.

The foxtail palm is an ornamental palm that can be recognized by its foliage, which resembles a bushy fox’s tail and gives it its name.

The foxtail palm’s large orange palm fruits, which have an egg-like shape, are another distinguishing trait. The 2″ (5 cm) long, oval fruits have an olive green appearance when they are young and turn orange or deep red as they ripen.

However, due to its ability to keep itself clean, the foxtail palm is a type of smooth palm tree. The palm tree has a light-gray white trunk and can reach heights of 30 feet (10 meters).

Also, dead fronds fall from the crown, resembling the Florida royal palm, exposing a smooth, green trunk.

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