An evergreen, low growing palm that suckers from the base forming multi-trunked specimens. A native to the Western and Central parts of the Mediterranean it is usually found on extremely well drained, poor soils. In its home ground growth is slow due to these conditions but in the garden environment speed of growth can be greatly increased with regular watering and feeding during the growing season.
A large, rounded mass of linear bright green leaves grow from the top of the coarsely hairy trunks on heavily armoured stems. The leaf stems have very vicious thorns along them and when trimming off old leaves heavy duty gloves and a thick coat to protect your forearms would be recommended. Originating from hot, more arid scrubland the leaves can suffer from a bit of brown spot in winter. This is not a problem and does not affect the plant other than looking a unsightly. In spring, once all frosts have passed remove these leaves and fresh growth will come through cleanly during the summer. As the plant matures brown spot generally becomes less of a problem.
In Summer, mature plants can bear inconspicuous, highly scented, yellow flower panicles followed by date like looking fruits. Position in full sun to partial shade and keep in a sheltered spot. Reliably hardy in most of the UK if given an acidic to neutral, loamy, well-drained soil. Ultimate height: 2.5 metres with a similar spread on larger clumps.