Anyone who has ever visited or lived in Florida has surely noticed one of the most tropical and beautiful features of the Sunshine State: Florida palm trees. Although they may all seem the same to the unacquainted, there are over 2,500 species of palms trees. Almost all of them can be grown in Florida. Here are the most popular types of Florida palm trees. If you’ve got your eye on landscaping, use the guide below to decide which one is right for you!
In addition to being designated by the 1953 Florida legislature as the state tree, the Sabal palm also has the distinction of being the most widely distributed palm tree in Florida. It grows in almost any soil and has many uses, including food, medicine, and landscaping.
Fun fact: the 1970 legislature mandated that the Sabal palm should replace the cocoa palm on the state seal.
If you want a palm tree with a Jurassic Park to look at, the Bismarck palm tree is for you. It grows 30-40 feet tall and 20 feet wide. This tree’s radiant mix of waxy green, tan, and silver leaves make it a spectacular site for first-time observers. It is a low-maintenance, fast-growing palm tree that can reach 15 feet in just 5 years. Its most breathtaking feature is its 20-25 foot wide fronds that form a spherical crown.
When you think “tropical” you might imagine the Royal palm tree. Growing a foot a year, the royal palm can grow up to 65 feet tall and 5-10 feet wide. The Royal Palm features a long, smooth trunk, a bright green crown shaft, and fragrant yellow flowers that bloom in the summer. The Royal palm likes lots of water, but it is moderately drought-tolerant and is a great shade tree.
Perhaps the world’s most famous palm tree, due to its delicious fruit, is the Coconut palm tree. This popular, low-maintenance tree has a life span of 100 years and grows well in full sun or partial shade. Its curved leaves and ringed trunk come in numerous sizes. There are tall coconut trees that grow to 90 feet tall and 16 feet wide, and there are dwarf coconut trees that grow up to 45 feet tall and 9 feet wide. They flourish best close to the sea in low-lying areas a few feet above high water, where there is circulating groundwater and ample rainfall.
What's your favorite palm tree? Is it on this list?