12 Types of Palm Trees in Hawaii (Pictures): Identification Guide (Chart)

Various types of palm trees in Hawaii on the beach with the sunshine and green grass and blue water at the base.

There are several types of palm trees in Hawaii, and it’s hard to imagine tropical islands without them magnificently towering over the sky. Some palms look similar, and it takes a keen and trained eye to tell them apart.

This full guide can help you identify the common types of palm trees in Hawaii using their observable characteristics like height, leaf shape, and other distinctive features.

Keep reading to learn more.

How Many Types of Palm Trees Are There in Hawaii?

There are several types of palm trees in Hawaii, but only one is a native species, the Loulu Palms.5 All other varieties are foreign, with origin from different parts of the world. The following are some common ones on the island.

1. Loulu

(Pritchardia remota)

  • Origin: Nihoa Islands (Hawaii)
  • Growing zone: 10-11
  • Height: 13-16 ft.
  • Leaf shape: Palmate

2. Areca Palm

  • Origin: Madagascar
  • Growing zone: 10-11
  • Height: 12-30 ft.
  • Leaf shape: Pinnate
Areca palm trees growing in a row.

(Image: sarangib11)

3. Manila Palm

(Adonidia merrillii)

  • Origin: Philippines
  • Growing zone: 10-11
  • Height: 25 ft.
  • Leaf shape: Pinnate
Manilla Palm tree with leafy fronds.

(Image: DEZALB12)

4. Foxtail

(Wodyetia bifurcate)

  • Origin: Australia
  • Growing zone: 9-11
  • Height: 32 ft.
  • Leaf shape: Pinnate
Foxtail Palm tree growing in Hawaii.

(Image: The Fun Chronicles13)

5. The Coconut Tree

(Cocos nucifera)

  • Origin: Southeast Asia
  • Growing zone: 10-11
  • Height: 50 ft.
  • Leaf shape: Pinnate
Coconut tree palm seen from underneath.

(Image: cegoh14)

6. Bismarck Palm

(Bismarckia nobilis)

  • Origin: Southeast Asia
  • Growing zone: 10-11
  • Height: 40-70 ft.
  • Leaf shape: Palmate
Bismark palm tree with silvery fronds.

(Image: David Clode15)

7. Ravenala/ Traveler’s Palm

(Ravenala madagascariensis)

  • Origin: Madagascar
  • Growing zone: 10-11
  • Height: 25-100 ft.
  • Leaf shape: Pinnate
Travelers palm tree with giant fan fronds.

(Image: sarangib16)

8. Golden Cane

(Dypsis lutescens)

  • Origin: Madagascar
  • Growing zone: 10-11
  • Height: 20-39 ft.
  • Leaf shape: Pinnate
Golden Cane palm tree with white colored trunk.

(Image: sarangib17)

9. Fishtail Palms

(Caryota mitis)

  • Origin: Asia, North Australia, South Pacific
  • Growing zone: 8-11
  • Height: 8-20 ft.
  • Leaf shape: Pinnate

10. MacArthur Palm

(Ptychosperma macarthurii)

  • Origin: Australia
  • Growing zone: 10-11
  • Height: 33 ft.
  • Leaf shape: Pinnate
MacArthur Palm tree red berries and dark green trunk.

(Image: sarangib19)

How Much To Trim Palm Trees (Factors Affecting Cost of Palm Tree Trimming in Hawaii)

Trimming is one of the things one can do to keep your trees healthy and therefore, people often ask how much to trim palm trees. If you have planted a palm tree in your home and you have noticed that it is overdue for trimming, two main factors will determine its cost; the height and the tree’s condition. By entering these details, the palm tree trimming cost calculator can be a useful tool for obtaining an estimated price quotation.

Taller trees need excessive work; as expected, the pruning will be more expensive, unlike shorter varieties.6 Similarly, the cost will be cheaper if you regularly trim your tree because it translates to fewer work hours.

How Does Palm Tree Trimming Cost Calculator Work?

The palm tree’s height is the critical aspect determining the total trimming cost; the following table highlights the standard rates for most companies.

The Tree’s HeightThe Trimming Cost
Up to 15 ft.$60-$75
15-25 ft.$100-$350
25-40 ft.$200-$425
40-50 ft.$350-$945

For other trees that may require trimming, use the tree trimming cost calculator. To obtain an estimate, you will need to specify the determining factors.

How To Identify Types of Palm Trees in Hawaii (Identification Guide)

There are hundreds of types of palm trees in Hawaii, and you may wonder how many types of palm trees are there globally. With more than 2600 species worldwide, it is challenging to tell them apart from other plants. The surest way to identify one is by checking the leaves and trunk.

(Image: stinne2420)

All palm tree leaves are either pinnate or palmate; pinnate leaves are elongated and look like feathers, while palmate fronds resemble fans. The trunk will also help you identify the species.4

Some are naturally slender and elongated, while others are dwarf species of 3-4 ft. Other trees’ barks are rugged and grayish brown, while some are hairy or thorny.

Types of Palm Trees in Florida (Native vs. Invasive)

Florida has the highest population of palm trees in the United States, with 12 native species and hundreds of imported ones. Below are all the native palm trees from Florida.7

  • Royal Palm
  • Cabbage Palm
  • Buccaneer Palm
  • Dwarf Palmetto
  • Florida Silver
  • Scrub Palmetto
  • Paurotis Palm
  • Miami Palmetto
  • Needle Palm
  • Saw Palmetto
  • Thatch Palm
  • Key Thatch Palm

Types of Palm Trees in Hawaii (Small Types of Palm Trees in Hawaii)

Dwarf palm trees are also excellent for landscaping thanks to their bushy low-lying fronds; you will find the following two types in Hawaii.

11. Bottle Palm

(Hyophorbe lagenicaulis)

  • Origin: Mauritius
  • Growing zone: 10-11
  • Height: 10 ft.
  • Leaf shape: Pinnate
Bottle Palm tree with blue sky as a background.

(Image: Judgefloro21)

12. Dwarf Palm

(Phoenix roebelenii)

  • Origin: Southeast Asia
  • Growing zone: 10-11
  • Height: 6-23 ft.
  • Leaf shape: Pinnate
Close up photo of dwarf palm tree.

(Image: Mmcknight422)

What Are the Native Types of Palm Trees in California?

California may have a high palm tree population, but only one is native to the state, which is the California/ Desert Fan.

The rest are alien species, freely growing in the wild, or planted in people’s private properties for landscaping.

Mexican fan palm tree with large fan fronds.

(Image: Hans23)

The most common species in the state besides the native plant are the Mexican fan, Queen Palm, Date Palm, Canary Island Palm, Triangle Palm, and others. The trees thrive in the region because of the favorable conditions supporting their growth.1

California has a sunny climate suitable for plants, and the water supply is sufficient; the region also has a rich history of cultivation and care of palm trees.

Types of Palm Trees Arizona (Native and Invasive Species)

Palm trees are scattered all over the Southern US, and you will also spot them in Arizona, particularly in the Southern part, where the climate is conducive.8 You will find varieties like the Mexican fan, Queen palms, Date palms, California fan, and several others.

Only the California fan is the naturally growing palm in the region found in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, while the other species came about after transplanting from other places.

What Are the Common Types of Palm Trees in Maui?

Maui is the second largest landmass in Hawaii and boasts the presence of glorious palm trees. Each island has unique species that grow in that particular habitat, but the Loulu is common everywhere, given that it is native to Hawaii.

Walking around Maui, you will come across the Manilla Palm, Areca, Dwarf Date, and Bottle Palm. Other palm varieties synonymous with the island also exist, and you can spot them planted in homes and other establishments.

What Are the Best Types of Indoor Palm Trees?

Although palm trees are famous for their towering nature when planted outdoors, you can also bring one indoors for décor. The best species to use are the miniature versions with massive leaves.

The most popular options include the Chinese fan, Majesty palm, Areca, Parlor, Cascade, and Sago. You will notice that they are tinier and perfect for live plants inside the house.

Indoor palm tree growing in a ceramic square container.

(Image: Liam Huyberechts18)

The key is to care for and maintain them to avoid discoloration; remember that they also need water and sunlight, like the outdoor palms.

Types of Palm Trees in Hawaii (Types of Fan Palm Trees in Hawaii)

Some of the most common types of palm trees in Hawaii have pinnate leaf formations that are elongated, resembling a feather, but some are palmate types with broad, fan-like fronds.

Hawaii’s most common trees with fan-shaped leaves include the Bismarck and Loulu. Most of the other species have long and spiky fronds, but the leaves of the two appear shorter and broader, almost circular at the top.

Areca Palm

The Areca palm is a native tree from Madagascar that thrives in Hawaii’s tropical climate and volcanic soils. It is a famous landscaping tree around and inside homes that grows rapidly (takes ten years to full height) and is simple to maintain.

While it can reach 30 feet outdoors, it can only get to 8 ft. when you plant it indoors, which is an incredible height for a décor plant. It can also work as a natural humidifier since it produces about a liter of water daily.2

What Are the Best Palms for Privacy Around Homes?

Large palms with high canopies are the best options if you are looking for a tree to plant around your home. The Lady palm and European fan are top-rated for their aesthetic effect and massive sizes, forming an effortless privacy screen for massive homes.

In contrast, trees with palmate leaves are the best for hedges, given the dense formation and massive crowns and the slow-growing varieties like the Sabal minor are preferable since they do not grow too tall.

How To Grow an Areca Palm Hedge

Proper spacing is the ultimate secret to growing palm trees if you need them for shade or as a hedge around your home or business. If considering planting the Areca as a natural fence, the best way is to place several of them 3-6 ft. apart.

Also, remember that they should be planted far away from the gutters and rooflines. If too close, they will get excessively cramped, and the hedge will not properly form if far apart, given the gaps in between.

Growing trees can be a lot of work.

Areca Palm Care (Care and Maintenance of the Areca)

The Areca needs proper care, especially if planting indoors. The greatest challenge for most owners is watering because one can easily overdo it and cause rotting or forget and cause wilting.


Like any palm tree, the Areca needs watering twice or thrice a week and should have a drainage system for excessive water removal. The leaf tips may also turn brown if it is dehydrated, or if the soil is soggy, causing rotting.

These situations leave the Areca vulnerable to pest and disease attacks, and you will have to find solutions immediately, or your plant could die.9

Features of the Native Hawaiian Loulu Palm Tree

The Loulu palm is unique to Hawaii since it is a single native species, unlike others that migrated from other parts of the world. They can grow to sixty feet under certain conditions and have massive fan-like leaves that make them look more massive.3

It is important to note that there are several other Loulu subspecies explaining why plants of the same kind may look different. You will find it in various parts of the state growing in the wild as a plantation on private properties.

Hawaii Palm Tree Fruit (Which Fruits Grow on Palm Trees?)

The Coconut palm is a common tree in Hawaii that produces coconut fruit. The species only grows in tropical regions, and you cannot find it anywhere else in the country. Coconut has several valuable large and small-scale uses.

Other species also provide dates, acai, and peaches, provided they live long enough to grow flowers. As expected, if you want to plant and obtain fruits from yours, you will only have a shot if you plant the tree outside and provide everything it needs.

Best Hawaii Palm Trees (Beach-Like Landscaping)

A beach photo is incomplete unless there is a palm tree growing nearby. Seeing palms reminds you of vacationing on a tropical island, and what better way to landscape than to bring them closer to you?

You can plant palm trees around your pool or home if you live close to the beach to help spruce up your landscape and increase your carbon offset credits. The ideal plants should grow to be lush and tall, properly providing shade.

Palm trees blowing in the wind on a beach in Hawaii.

(Image: islandworks10)

Growing trees can be a lot of work but it can be gratifying if you’re into carbon offset tree planting. If you are not familiar, there are carbon offset companies that can assist you in achieving more objectives and making a beneficial effect. Use a carbon footprint calculator to identify the factors that may have contributed to your gas emission and do as much as you can to find solutions to lessen these harmful consequences.

There are many actions you can take to go green, but for the time being, you may start in your own house. You can go for the Foxtail, Coconut, Ponytail, or any other variety that you are confident will revamp your outdoors. For the ultimate beach-like look, you can avoid the dwarf kinds and always ask for the species that grow tall.

Hawaiian Palm Tree Indoors vs. Outdoors

One of the impressive aspects of planting palm trees in your home is that you can opt to keep them in the house or outside. There are various species to choose from to serve either purpose, but some homeowners get conflicted on which is the better option.

Planting them outdoors is ideal if you want to landscape your home or create a privacy hedge, and it helps that it is one of answers to the question how to stop climate change. Being outdoors provides enough sunshine, but there is no security against harsh elements.

On the other hand, palm trees also make excellent indoor décor, but you can only go for dwarfs that fit in planters and think about replanting if they get too massive. Considering the pros and cons, where you plant it, therefore, becomes a personal decision.

Palm trees are quite common in tropical islands like Hawaii. They line up beaches, and you will find them growing randomly or in homes and resorts. The island is the ideal habitat for these exotic trees, but surprisingly, only the Loulu is native, while the others are invasive.

There is no doubt that these trees have contributed a lot in helping the environment. You will never believe how much carbon does a tree capture. Not only do these amazing living things help beautify our surroundings but they also help mitigate climate change.

Knowing these types of trees is one, planting and maintaining them is another but both are steps in making a positive impact.

You will bump into several types of palm trees in Hawaii with pinnate or palmate leaves, some towers, others short. Besides the 19 Loulu subspecies, each comes from other countries and regions worldwide, but the common aspect is that they are all magnificent.

Frequently Asked Questions About Types of Palm Trees in Hawaii

Where Can You Find Hawaiian Palm Trees for Sale?

Purchasing live plants is simple nowadays because online retailers deliver them intact to your doorstep. You only have to scroll to your preferred site, pick the species and height you want, order, and then pay.

Alternatively, you can walk into a physical shop and compare various palm trees, selecting the one you prefer, depending on the method that works best for you.

Where Are Palm Trees Native in the US?

Although there are more than 2500 palm tree species worldwide, only 14 of them from 9 genera are initially from the United States. Any other tree you see results from migration from various continents.

The 14 native palms from the US include Texas Palmetto, Dwarf Palmetto, Cabbage Palmetto, Needle Palm, California Fan, Royal Palm, Buccaneer Palm, Florida Silver, Paurotis Palm, Miami Palmetto, Scrub Palmetto, Saw Palmetto, Thatch Palm, and Key Thatch Palm.

What Are the Types of Palm Trees in Hawaii? (Where Are Palm Trees Native in Hawaii?)

Hawaii may have the perfect temperature for palm trees, but only the Loulu species are native, growing naturally in the wild. The Pritchardia genus has 25 such palms, of which 19 are initially from the state.

The Loulu has a single trunk and palmate leaves and grows 25-60 feet high. Various subspecies are distinct, and you can tell from the unique fruits and leaves.


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