How Many Types of Palm Trees Are There? (Different Pictures for Each)

Man points to various palm trees on the left awhile a woman standing next to him catalogs on a clipboard how many types of palm trees are there.

How many types of palm trees are there? Do they all look the same?

According to research, there are around 2600 species of palm trees,5 the most of which grow in subtropical, tropical, and warm climates.1

Beautiful coastlines, warm climes, and lovely, relaxing tropical gardens are all synonymous with palm tree species. Feather-like leaves or fan-shaped leaves and fibrous trunks or shafts distinguish palms. Coconut and Date palms, for example, thrive in these tropical areas. Some palm species, on the other hand, can tolerate temperate conditions and cooler temperatures.

This guide covers many types of palm trees as well as some awesome facts about this unique and lovely tree.

Palm Tree Facts

Palm trees are cultivated for both their decorative value and the items they produce. Coconuts, for instance, bloom on palm trees and are harvested for their oil, husks, and flesh. Date palm trees can be found throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Palm trees are also cultivated for their timber, which is used to produce wicker furniture and palm oil.1

These trees are considered one of the world’s tallest trees in several species. The Wax Palm in Colombia may grow to a magnitude of 200 feet, while not growing to the great height of the Californian sequoia trees (60 m). These trees grow to be the height of a 25-story structure!

Not every palm tree is actually a tree. There are over 2,600 various varieties of palms, some of which are shrub-like evergreen plants and others which are spiraling palms.1

Palm Tree Identification

So, how many types of palm trees are there, and how are they identified? The characteristic shape of the palm leaves is frequently used to identify palm tree species. Palm trees’ leaves are either pinnate (fur-like leaves) or palmate (leaves that are arranged in a palmate pattern).

The trunk shape is another way to tell what kind of palm tree it is. Long slender solitary trunks are found in several of the tallest palm varieties, while dwarf forms have short chubby palm trunks. Several tiny palm tree varieties have clustered trunks, which are made up of three or four short trunks that grow together. There are also small palm trees with only bushy pinnate foliage sprouting out of the ground and no stem at all.

The stem of a palm tree can also be used to identify the species. The trunks of certain tall palm trees are smooth and slender. These trees might have a bumpy or ringed appearance and a brownish tint based on the variety. The trunks of some palms are covered in husks or fiber, giving them a hairy or spiky appearance.

Tiny Types of Palm Trees

The majority of people who want to plant palm palms in their yard go for miniature or little varieties. Small or miniature palm trees are usually classified as being below 12 feet (3.6 meters) tall, which is really short in regards to palms.

So, how many types of palm trees are there in this category? There are two varieties of palm trees in the dwarf or small palm tree category: small palm tree and bushy palm tree.1

The following are some of the most common bushy, dwarf, and tiny palm tree varieties.

Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)

The Pygmy Date Palm, as its name implies, is a little palm tree. This is a genuine palm6 in the Arecaceae family that doesn’t get much higher than 10 feet (3 m).

A stem with bushy leaves that reach roughly 3 feet long sets apart this palm species.

Pygmy Date Palm tree, showing the trunk and dark green fronds extending from the hairy brown trunk.

(Image: Daderot8)

This palm variety makes a beautiful flowering decorative tree for warm areas. Its leaves are huge and spectacular, almost concealing the trunk. This species can be grown in vessels.

Although dates are produced by Pygmy Palm trees, the fruit is not as sweet as dates produced by huge date palms.2

Thin, bright green Cat Palm frond close up in a dense grouping.

(Image: Shokou .9)

Cat Palm (Chamaedorea cataractarum)

It is a small palm species with slim pinnate foliage sprouting on skinny stems that stretch directly out of the earth. This palm species reaches a height of 6 feet (2 meters) outdoors and 3 feet (1 meter) indoors.

The clumping palm eventually creates a dense cluster of gleaming, thin leaflets.

In warm climates, this little palm is commonly used as a garden plant. It is, however, one of the few palm trees that can be utilized as an evergreen barrier plant due to its clumping, bushy form.

If there is enough sunlight, cat palms can be grown in pots inside in cooler climes.2

The slim green stalks and pinnate foliage, trunkless development, and blooming stalks of yellow ball-like blossoms distinguish a cat palm. Small sparkling green palm fruits mature to black oval-shaped drupes 0.5″ (1.25 cm) long if the palm is pollinated.

Pindo Palm

Pindo palm trees are a tough palm variety. The matured palms can attain a peak of 15 to 20 feet (4.5–6 meters), however, they are a sluggish-growing palm species.

This implies they’re perfect for gardens with a lot of little palm trees.

Pindo Palm tree with large fronds and green and yellow fruits.

(Image: Fernando Sessegolo10)

These tiny palm varieties may grow in full sun or moderate shade and tolerate a wide range of soil conditions. The fruits of palm trees range in color from bright orange to brown and are used to produce jelly, hence the term ‘jelly palm.’ When the palm blooms with yellow, red, or white blossoms, it is extremely lovely.

Mediterranean Dwarf Palm growing in a brown terracotta pot next to a dark wood door, showing light green fronds extending from the very top tip of the rough brownish grey trunk.

(Image: Maria Orlova11)

Mediterranean Dwarf Palm

This flowering palm, also known as the “European Fan” palm, is a tiny tree. This palm species have a few grouped trunks that give it a shrub-like appearance. This little palm species grows to a height of 10 to 20 feet (2 – 5 meters) in warm areas.

Palm leaves range in hue from silver-green to light green and spread in a fan form. The leaflets are 20 inches to 30 inches, with each leaf reaching a length of up to 5 feet.

The Mediterranean Dwarf palm is appreciated for its beauty and resilience in the cold. Although the tree flourishes in hot weather, it can endure freezing temperatures such as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius). Even if one lives in a temperate environment, the beautiful palm may give their yard a tropical feel.3

Dwarf Majesty Palm

This tree is among the most sought-after tiny palm trees5 for backyards and gardens. The tree has dull green leaves and a single stem that is thin and does not develop more than 9 feet.

As the center point of any subtropical decorative garden, the big leaves look regal.

Dwarf Majesty Palm being planted in a large hole, with a blue bucket nearby and light green fronds extending from multiple slender trunks and placed at the edge of a wild, natural forest area.

(Image: B13712)

The brilliant green foliage can reach a length of 3 feet (100 cm) and have approximately 100 leaflets along the stalk.

The thin trunk and broad crown of foliage contrast beautifully in any garden. This palm can also be grown in containers.

Wide angle shot of a Triangle Palm Trees with a solitary trunk topped with a three-ranked crown of gray-green, keeled, feather leaves on a sunny day.

(Image: Steve Plumb13)

Triangle Palm (Dypsis decaryi)

The Dypsis decaryi palm, which belongs to the small to the medium-sized type of palm trees, is known as the Triangle Palm. The Triangle palm tree is distinguished by its extraordinarily long pinnate leaves, which can reach 8 feet (2.5 meters) in length.

The leaflets have an unusual property in that they stretch out at 120 degrees, giving the leaves a triangular cross-section.

Another reason for the name “triangle palm” comes to mind when looking at photos of this palm tree. The leaves assume a unique triangle shape as they branch out from a single fibrous stalk.

This is a beautiful palm tree that may be used in both tropical and subtropical environments. The Triangle palm is an excellent choice for a backyard tree in landscaping.3

Mazari Palm (Nannorrhops ritchiana)

The Mazari palm is a shrubby bush that resembles a palm tree. The Mazari palm is a southwestern Asian native with palmate leaves that emerge in bunches on trunks.

Mazeri Palm bushes growing on rocky, desert like ground with spikes for fronds.

(Image: Gabriele Kothe-Heinrich14)

The fan-shaped fronds can grow to be up to 4 feet (30–120 cm) in height.

The Mazari palm, like all the other cold-hardy palm trees, requires warmer summers to thrive. This species, on the other hand, can withstand temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius).

Aside from the remarkable appearance of its leaves, the palm’s hue is also intriguing. The palm has a spiky appearance due to its silver-blue or silvery-green fronds and long curving leaflets.

Low angle shot of a Bottle Palm tree with its white bark and green fronds beside a green plant.

(Image: John Robert McPherson15)

Bottle Palm Tree (Hyophorbe lagenicaulis)

The short fat stem of the Bottle Palm tree is shaped like a bottle, hence the name. The expanded trunk, which seems bloated at the base, is a distinctive feature of this little palm tree.

This distinguishes this palm from the Spindle palm, whose plump trunk widens in the midsection.3 In states like California, these bottle palms thrive. An individual can even grow them in pots and bring them inside for the winter.

Three or four enormous palm leaves grow from the top of the 10-foot (3-meter) high stem. This pinnate foliage can reach a length of 12 feet (3.6 meters) and contain 2-foot (0.6 meters) long leaflets when fully mature.

Christmas Palm Tree (Adonidia merrillii)

The Christmas palm7 is a fantastic alternative if one is seeking a tiny palm tree for their garden. When contrasted with other towering dates or coconut palms, this decorative palm tree is quite modest.

Close up image of a Christmas Palm Tree with its fronds and red fruit.

(Image: Dick Culbert16)

According to some reports, this palm tree is one of the world’s most popular decorative palms.

This little palm tree does not reach a height of more than 25 feet (7.6 meters), while some smaller kinds only reach 15 feet (4.5 m). Its large pinnate fronds make a stunning crown of green foliage as they curve up from the top of the stalk.

Close up image of Arikury Palm tree with its orange fleshy fruit coat and dark green fronds.

(Image: Eduardo Soares17)

Arikury Palm
(Syagrus schizophylla)

This is a tiny decorative plant with arching leaves that form a sprawling crown. Because it doesn’t become much taller than 6 feet, this popular accent tree is ideal for small gardens (1.8 m). The leaves grow to a height of 4 to 6 feet (1.2–1.8 meters).

The serrated leaf stems of the arikury palm are a distinguishing trait that only a few palm varieties in the Syagrus genus possess.4

The arikury palm has curving, flat leaves blooming on exceptionally long rough branchlets and is ideal for subtropical environments in zones nine to eleven. Additionally, the tree has flowers reaching up to 3 feet on its stalk.

Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)

The tree is not a real palm tree. This palm is one of the Cycadaceae, which resembles palms but is botanically distinct.

The slender stem and leaves distinguish this ‘palm.’

Tiny Sago Palm in small blue and green pot, sitting on a wood shelf with bright green leaves projecting from the center.

(Image: Kulbir18)

Close up of lipstick palm tree fronds that are fan shaped with needles closely packed together in a dense formation.

(Image: Melina Yakas19)

Red Sealing Wax Palm / Lipstick Palm
(Cyrtostachys renda)

The top and leaf straps of the red sealing wax palm are a vivid red color. This clumping palm species, often known as the red palm, can reach heights of 10–20 feet (3–6 meters).

Long pinnate foliage, green blossoms, and dark black fruits characterize this plant. The green and red trunks of mature red palms are striking.

The red sealing wax plant’s scarlet crown shaft and vivid red blade stalks make it easy to recognize in landscapes. Growing zones 10 and 11 are ideal for this lovely palm. A person can, however, plant this crimson palm in pots indoors if they wish to appreciate its splendor.

Other Types of Palm Trees

So, how many types of palm trees are there in this category? There are numerous varieties of towering palm trees that appear grand in tropical and subtropical gardens, depending on the temperature and the sort of garden a person has.

Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera)

Among the most identifiable palm trees5 is the coconut palm plant. With a gray to brown, slightly rounded polished stem and distinctive spreading, hanging palm leaves that reach a height of 15 to 20 feet, this tall palm variety reaches a height of approximately a hundred feet.

Coconut palm trees seen frmom below, looking into a bright azure sky with spoked fronds extending outward from the top of the trunks.

(Image: Jess Loiterton20)

Coconut trees are often noted for delicious tropical fruits, which have been perceived as having a “taste of heaven.” When young, the fruit is a huge yellow or green fruit. The distinctive ripe seed is encased in a tough shell and wrapped with a shaggy fiber. The white meat within the wood-like shell of the coconut is the edible part.

Each year, a coconut tree can bear approximately 76 fruits. The huge, spherical fruits are grouped together close to the main stem and within the leaf stalks.

Coconut palm trees are most commonly found around the seaside, where they flourish in sandy, saline soil. Coconut palms are commonly found blooming beside coastlines, sidewalks, and playgrounds in tropical countries and southern states.

If a person doesn’t have enough space in their yard for a towering tropical palm, dwarf coconut palm tree kinds are available. The ‘Malayan Dwarf’ is an example of a dwarf coconut landscaping palm that does not grow longer than five feet. (1.5 m).

Coconut palms can be grown inside; however, they are difficult to grow successfully. If one wants an evergreen foliage tropical potted plant, areca palms are generally easier to cultivate inside.

Date palm trees seen from below with wide spred fronds at the top of rough brown trunks with circular ridges and a large brownish knob at the top.

(Image: Emőke Dénes21)

Date Palm Tree
(Phoenix dactylifera)

Owing to its plentiful clusters of delightful dates, the date palm is among the simplest palm trees to recognize. The lovely palms also have a long-rugged stem, a crown of curving fluffy leaves up to 20 feet (6 meters) in length, and bunches of fruits.

These trees are towering, reaching heights of 70 to 75 feet (21–23 meters). The prickly foliage stems can be anywhere from 13 to 20 feet (4 to 6 meters) long. The massive fronds can have up to 150 12″ (30 cm) long leaflets. The date palm’s stunning crown can grow to be approximately 20 and 30 feet (6–10 meters) broad in total.

The delectable sweet fruits of date palm, which form a drupe, are the most well-known feature of the tree. The wrinkled skin of the tasty oval fruits is typical. Other date palm kinds, on the other hand, can yield deep red, and other tints of date bunches.

California Fan Palm
(Washingtonia filifera)

This is a moderate decorative tropical plant with lengthy, fan-like fronds and a robust columnar stem. The California fan palm is distinguished by its beautiful leaves, which are composed of glistening green edges that extend out in a fan configuration.

A row of tall California fan palm trees under a blue sky with a faint rainbow in the background.

(Image: Joshua Tree National Park2)

This palm variety reaches a height of 40 to 60 feet (12–18 meters).

The grey and brown stem of the California fan palm, which stands tall, is another distinguishing trait. Furthermore, California palms are easily identified by the skirt-like configuration of dead leaves at the top of the plant. The colored leaves sag and turn brown once they die.

Because of its unique crown, this clearly recognized palm tree is also known as the petticoat palm. The desert fan palm gets its name from the characteristic fan shape of its leaves.4

Protecting Palm Trees

Some palm tree species are in danger of over harvesting thanks to Western demands for palm oil, that is used in a variety of products.

The palm oil industry has been linked to a number of environmental problems, and methods for getting a sustainable source of palm oil are being explored. Since the production and harvesting of palm oil is the livelihood for many underdeveloped countries, seeking a solution is in everyone’s best interest.

One way to reduce the impact of over-harvesting is to invest in carbon offset tree planting strategies offered by carbon offset companies. Not only will the palm trees work to lower carbon footprint amounts, but the replacement and protection of these trees can help reduce the other erosion and sustainability issues associated with their use.

So, How Many Types of Palm Trees Are There?

How many types of palm trees are there? According to research, there are around 2600 species of palm trees, most of which are grown in subtropical, tropical, and warm climates.


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