Mediterranean Fan Palm

Chamaerops humilis

Its name “Chamaerops” comes from the Greek “chamai” which means at ground level and “rhops” which means brushwood and its specific name “humilis” translates as low, short, the whole name being due to its stocky habit.


This palm is present in many protected areas. Its populations are shrinking due to urbanisation, but their decline has not yet been proven.

Species characteristics

Family: Arecaceae

Origin: Southern Europe and the whole Mediterranean

Habitat: Hot continental plains

Characteristics: Dioecious shrub, a cluster-stemmed palm with stems covered with brown fibres. Evergreen, tough green leathery foliage. Large palmate leaves spread out like a fan.

Flowering period: Spring, yellow flowers.

Uses and properties: The apical bud is eaten, it is marketed under the name of palm cabbage and its leaves are used in basketry.

History and oddities

The tip of its bud (called the apical bud) can be eaten and its leaves are used for basketry.