Where Do Palm Trees Grow In Europe?

Many of us think of palm trees as being strictly tropical trees that are only found in hot climates and deserts. However, palms are pretty widespread, and you can see them in many parts of the world, including throughout Europe.

Although palms can grow in lots of the warm countries in Europe, only two are thought to be native to Europe: the Phoenix theophrasti and the Chamaerops humilis. The Chamaerops humilis comes from southwest Europe, and the Phoenix theophrasti comes from the eastern Mediterranean.

Where Does Chamaerops Humilis Grow?

European Fan Palms

Chamaerops humilis is found in many warm parts of Europe, particularly on the coast of France, and in the south and southwest of Italy, Spain, and Portugal. It likes sunny weather and heat, and it is not generally found in colder climates unless deliberately maintained and cared for by people.

This tree is sometimes referred to as the European Fan Palm and it has rich, bushy foliage that has made it popular in this part of the world. 

Although its other name is the Mediterranean Dwarf Palm, it can still grow to around 15 feet tall, and its leaves may grow to 2 or 3 feet long if it is happy with its environment!

Where Does Phoenix Theophrasti Grow?

Cretan Date Palm

This tree is sometimes called the Cretan Date Palm, and it usually grows in southern Greece, as well as in certain parts of Turkey and Crete. It is a tall palm, capable of reaching 50 feet high, with leaves of around 10 feet long.

It will tolerate cooler winters, but prefers hot climates, and is unlikely to be found in northern parts of Europe, where the temperatures will be too low for it. If you wish to grow one of these palms, you will need to live in a warm part of Europe.

Do Palm Trees Grow In France?

Yes, you can grow palm trees in France. This country has a warm enough climate for many kinds of palms, and some occur naturally along the coasts, especially where the weather is warmest. In colder parts of France, some palm trees will struggle to survive, but most of this country is warm enough for them.

Do Palm Trees Grow In Britain?

Some kinds of palm trees will grow in Britain, particularly in the southern parts, although many palms find this country too cold. If you are in Britain and you wish to grow palm trees, you need to choose a variety that is cold-hardy or keep the palm indoors with stable temperatures.

Some people grow dwarf palms in pots and either keep them indoors permanently or bring them in from outside and place them in sheds or garages for the winter. This will keep them safe from hard frosts, which could otherwise kill them.

Some parts of Cornwall, in the southwest of the UK, are warm enough to grow sub-tropical palms in, and other parts of the UK may be suitable for hardy varieties. On the whole, however, wild palms are rarely seen in Britain and it is not really a warm enough climate for them. Most will be killed by frosts.

Do Palm Trees Grow In Spain?

Spain has a good, hot climate, and many palm trees can survive in Spain, both in the wild and in cultivated situations. Because most of Spain stays above freezing for the majority of the year, palm trees can grow and survive without input from humans in this country.

If you visit Spain, don’t be surprised to see palms growing alongside water sources. These trees enjoy good sunlight and won’t burn, so they frequently grow in the open, where they can gather the maximum amount of light.

Indeed, the date palm is an important crop in Spain and is grown widely across the country. The trunk, fruits, and leaves are all harvested and used for a variety of products, and this is an important part of Spain’s economy.

Do Palm Trees Grow In The Netherlands?

There are no palm trees native to the Netherlands and palms have not traditionally grown in this country. However, you can now find them growing there,

They have been brought over by people to decorate their homes and gardens, and they can survive as long as the temperatures don’t get too low. Although palms may not have evolved in the Netherlands, they can cope with the climate.

Are There Any Forests Of Palm Trees In Europe?

Vai Palm Forest
Author lentina_x, Vai, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 via Flickr.

Although individual palms grow all over Europe, a palm forest is a bit different – and these aren’t common in Europe. One of the biggest is found in Crete, and its name is the Vai Palm Forest.

It is located about 25 kilometers from Sitia, and it is formed on a stretch of sandy beach. Over 5,000 palm trees grow on this beach. They grow surprisingly close together, forming a dense lattice of leaves overhead.

There are palm formations in many other European countries, including another large forest in Spain – the Palmeral of Elche. However, most palms grow individually or in cultivated rows on beaches.

Are Palms Important In Europe?

There may only be two native European palms, but these trees are an important part of the economy and the culture of several European countries. Even countries that originally had no palms tend to have a few now, provided that the climate is suitable. 

Many people associate palm trees with vacations and relaxing on a beach, but they provide many valuable resources too. As we turn more and more toward natural alternatives to plastic products, palm leaves, coconut husks, and other parts of these amazing trees may prove valuable.


Palm trees do grow in Europe and a couple of them are even native. However, some European countries are too cold for them, and only the hardier palm species may be able to cope. Hot countries like Spain and Greece are more likely to have palm trees than cold ones like Britain.