Mexican Fan Palm

Scientific name: Washingtonia robusta

Fact Box:

  • Order: Arecales
  • Family: Arecaceae
  • Genus: Washingtonia
  • Species: W. robusta


Growing several feet a year, the Mexican fan palm is a popular ornamental tree native to northern Mexico. The palm’s crown is made up of fan-shaped green leaves that are stiff and shiny. As the tree grows, past leaf bases drop off, revealing a slender gray trunk, while dead leaves droop and form a “skirt” just below the crown.


Mexican fan palms can reach over 100 feet (about 30.5 meters) tall and enjoy well-drained soil, as well as lots of sunshine. They are tolerant of drought and wind, but still require a stable water supply and sufficient potassium and boron for a full and healthy canopy.