FIRST, LET US DEFINE "SHORT" AND "TALL"
There's no question that
a huge Caryota
species (Fishtail Palm) that gets up to ninety feet is tall. Also,
a shorter variety of a Serenoa
that only gets to five feet is one of the short palms. Where do we draw the line?
people consider short to be a palm that doesn't get over 15 to 20 feet at maturity.
Tall is more than 30 to 40
In between these
two are the medium sized palms. Thus, for this article,
below we are going to
examine palms that don't typically get more than 5 to 20 feet at maturity.
This does not take into consideration cultural restrictions that
may dwarf the palm or create a bonsai type plant. We are assuming that
the palm will be in the ground and well maintained. Also, the list
below is for the eventual mature height of the tree. Remember that
some species are so slow that, for all practical purposes, they are short
for many decades. For the
sake of this article, the heights below are typical heights for well grown
We are including in this article species of small
palms that are both common and rare. You'll probably have to
visit a nursery like ours to find all of the plants below. They'll not
be at the "Depot Stores". We have avoided species that only
grow in tropical regions of the world.
Another factor we've worked into the list is sun
tolerance. Surprisingly, there are more shade-loving small palm trees than there are sun-lovers. But, when you think about it, this is
natural as these "understory" palms by their nature don't
penetrate the upper canopy and prefer filtered light. As we approach
the 20 foot mark, there are a lot more sun palms than shade species.
I hope the
information below helps you choose the right palm for your garden.
By clicking on any species below, a picture of
the palm with basic information will appear.