List of hardy palms

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Hardy palms are any of the species of palm (Arecaceae) that are able to withstand brief periods of colder temperatures and even occasional snowfall. A few palms are native to higher elevations of south Asia, and a few can tolerate hard freezes with little or no damage. Many of these "hardy " species can be cultivated in warm temperate climates.

The hardiest species are found in the genera Rhapidophyllum, Sabal, and Trachycarpus. Members of these and other genera are sometimes grown in areas where they are not truly hardy, overwintering with the aid of various kinds of artificial protection.

The minimum temperature a palm can sustain depends on a variety of factors, such as humidity, size and age of the palm, daytime high temperatures, or the length of time the temperature is at the minimum. −5 °C (23 °F) for several days will do far more damage to a palm than an overnight low of −8 °C (18 °F) for an hour or so.

Fan palms[edit]

The fan palms (Arecaceae tribe Corypheae; palms with fan-shaped leaves) include all of the hardiest palms.

Serenoa repens

Pinnate-leaved palms[edit]

Few palms with pinnate leaves tolerate much frost. They belong to several tribes of the Arecaceae, with the species listed here belonging to Tribe Areceae (Chamaedorea), Tribe Cocoeae (Butia, Jubaea) and Tribe Phoeniceae (Phoenix).

Jubaea chilensis in France

Hardy palm monikers[edit]

Some plants used in subtropical landscaping in temperate climates like much of Europe, northern China/Japan, Korea, the northern USA, New Zealand, etc. that are commonly referred to as “palms”, but truly are not in the Arecaceae family, include the following: yucca, Aloe barberae, Cordyline australis, Cordyline indivisa, Cycas revoluta, Macrozamia communis, Macrozamia johnsonii, Macrozamia riedlei, Cyathea australis, Cyathea capensis, Cyathea cooperi, Cyathea dealbata, Cyathea medullaris, Dicksonia antarctica, Dicksonia squarrosa, Pseudopanax ferox, and occasionally the sumac Rhus typhina.


In general, hardy palms can only tolerate brief periods with temperatures in the range −18 to −12 °C (0 to 10 °F). As such, this generally limits hardy palm cultivation and long term specimens to zone 7a or higher. Some hardy palms can be cultivated in areas with low temperatures slightly below this range when given wind sheltering (planted on the south side of a building). In the USA, hardy palm cultivation is generally attempted from USDA zones 6b/7a southward.[citation needed]

In very cold winter areas below zone 6b, cold hardy palms have been cultivated by partially (or completely) covering plants with mini-green house coverings and wraps. Some garden enthusiasts in severe cold winter areas have gone as far as heating the interiors of these winter enclosures. As such, there are occasional reports of hardy palms be cultivated in areas with severe winters with low temperatures below −18 °C (0 °F).[citation needed]

References and external links[edit]

  1. ^ Long Island Palm Society. "Cold Hardy Palms". 
  2. ^ "Wiki". 2011. Retrieved August 28, 2011. It can be cultivated where temperatures never fall below −10 to −12 °C (14 to 10 °F) for extended periods, although it will require some protection if cold periods are longer than normal. 
  3. ^ Bash, Jason. "Kokomo Trading Company". Kokomo Trading Company.