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Classification, origin and description
Common name: the species Chamaerops humilis is also called also Palma di San Pietro.
provenance: western Mediterranean regions.
Genre description: the genus includes two species of palm trees, one of which C. humilis represents the only palm tree that grows spontaneously in Italy and can be grown in all regions.
Chamaerops humilis - Palma di San Pietro (photo website)
Species and varieties
Chamaerops excelsa: originally from China, it is usually classified as Trachycarpus fortunei. It reaches 12 m. in height and is suitable for cultivation in open ground.
Chamaerops humilis: also called Palma di San Pietro, this dwarf palm (does not exceed 2 m in height), grows spontaneously also in Italy, reaching a maximum of 1 m. in height and width. The stems, sometimes branched at the base, carry, at the apex, a tuft of leaves with a long, thorny petiole, with a woody consistency and, often, with a biconvex section. The foil (up to 45 cm wide) is webbed and divided into linear segments that give it the appearance of a fan. The panicle-shaped inflorescences are formed at the base of the leaves and are followed by elliptical and red or yellow fruits. It can also be grown in pots, as a houseplant (they are usually young specimens), which can be taken outside in the warmer months. The variety "Dactylocarpa" reaches 6 m. in height.
Chamaerops humilis - Palma di San Pietro (Agricultural Technical Institute Florence) (photo website)
Chamaerops humilis - Palm dwarf or Palma di San Pietro in the Cinque Terre Park
Environmental requirements, substrate, fertilizations and special precautions
Temperature: the winter minimum must be around 4 ° C.
Light: very strong and in the summer even outdoors, if possible.
Watering and environmental humidity: watering must be frequent in summer, reduced in winter.
Substrate: soil based on fibrous garden soil.
They multiply, in April-May, placing the suckers that form at the base of the plant, in pots filled with soil, peat and sand in equal parts. We must choose the shoots that have at least 2-3 leaves.