Washingtonia filifera

Family: Arecaceae    Palm Tree

Common Name: Cotton palm

Scientific Synonymy:
Brahea filamentosa, Neowashingtonia filamentosa, Neowashingtonia filifera, Pritchardia filamentosa, Pritchardia filifera, Washingtonia filamentosa

Common Synonymy:
English: California fan palm, California washingtonia, Desert fan palm, Petticoat palm, Washington palm. French: Palmier évantail de Californie, Palmier jupon. German: Washington-Palme, Petticoat-Palme, Priesterpalme, Washingtonie.

Cold Hardiness Zone: 9a     View the UK and US zone maps

Washingtonia filifera Information

A solitary, tall, drought tolerant, fast growing, monoecious palm. Common in cultivation, scarce in the wild. It has a rough, grey trunk, 18.3 m. (60 ft.) tall, 122 cm. (48 inch) diameter with persistent leaf-bases and no obvious leaf scars, and large partially segmented, palmate (fan) leaves, 2 m. (7 ft.) long, 2 m. (7 ft.) wide, light green above and beneath.

Washingtonia filifera can tolerate freezing temperatures to about -6.5°C (20.3°F). It naturally occurs in dry, arid, sun exposed, desert or lowland hilly locations, and should be planted to maximise Summer heat & sunshine exposure. This species likes its roots in damp, even wet soil, but overly wet soil is best avoided in climates with a long duration of freezing weather. Its roots will travel down to find water. Under extreme freezing conditions we recommend you keep this palm as dry as possible, which will usually mean constructing a glass or plastic roof over the plant to keep rain off. Any cover placed over this palm during times of rain or during cold nights must be removed or vented during hours of sunshine or the plant could be severely heat stressed.

General Information:
Desert and arid areas where underground water is available. Southeastern Califorina, western Arizona USA and Baja California Mexico.


Native to, Mexico, U.S.A

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