You wondered: does Arizona have palm trees? We live in Arizona & can help you out with that question.
Arizona is typically known for its hot, dry environment. Most people associate it with cacti. Or think of its towering red mesas, with little vegetation. People wonder: Do palm trees grow in the desert.
Will it surprise you to learn that this desert state is home to a variety of palm trees? In fact, numerous palm varieties grow in Arizona!
Yes we'll agree that Arizona generally has a hot, dry climate. (Although our state has many areas with a temperate climate!) Arizona's desert climactic zone actually lends itself well to cultivating landscape palm trees. Many species do thrive here. They just need the proper care to get them over the hump of difficulties.
For growing many types of palms, though, Arizona is not a suitable clime. We'll catch you up with the good & bad of palms for AZ.
Knowing that Arizona does have palm trees, you may wonder if palm trees are native here. It might be easy to assume there are plenty of Palms Native to Arizona. But that’s not the case!
Here in Tucson Arizona, where we live, we see our native palm all around town. Really, a palm tree is native to Arizona!
Yes, there's only ONE native Arizona palm tree. It's not difficult to grow here.
It's a species which originally grew in Palm Canyon of Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (still there!).
Despite being the lone native species, it's not the only palm that thrives in Arizona's climate. And it's also shared with another state. California has only ONE native palm, as well. This palm is native to both California & Arizona.
WHERE THE CALIFORNIA PALM GOES
Yet because of its generally easy care, it's been naturalized & cultivated in Australia & Hawaii. Plus certain areas of the southeast US. It's even been transplanted to the US Virgin Islands! All of these places have areas with relatively warmer, dry microclimates.
Its natural habitat is desert riparian, near to small creeks or transient streams. And of course in the southwest US.
Arizona definitely has a diverse range of palms that can thrive in its desert areas. What's nice is how these non-native palms add beauty & diversity to Arizona's panorama. That's only one reason we love living in the City of Tucson, with palms in many landscapes.
They not only survive (if chosen wisely), but add to the desert culture. Guess maybe you haven't been to Arizona?
We highly recommend a trip in the late autumn or winter. For for the more hardy, try the temperate rainy season. That's the Southwest's Monsoon.
When people are determining Which Palm to Grow in Arizona, there are "rules." Many tropical, rain forest types of palms will find it very difficult surviving here.
It's best to plant the right palm in the right place, anyway. Always consider if your palm choice can survive relatively easily & well. We've seen sad looking palms that were well out of this criteria. They've already died. Or some really struggling - even with decent care.
Other types of palm trees can prosper in Arizona. Like Mexican Fan & Mediterranean Fan palms. We'll take a closer look at some of these varieties. And see which palms can grow most easily in Arizona. Come along!
Which types of palm trees are in Arizona?
Put that all together to figure out the types of palm trees which do well in Arizona's deserts. Consider that Arizona's weather & temperatures are affected by the elevation.
For instance where we live in Tucson, the elevation is 2,643 ft (806 m). Phoenix is 1,557 ft. (475m) lower than Tucson. Phoenix summers are uniformly hotter than Tucson.
Tucson and Phoenix are both in the Sonoran Desert. Both cities have typical patterns of fluctuating winter rainstorms & intermittent summer Monsoon thunderstorms.
The Chihuahuan Desert is in Arizona's southeastern corner. The elevation there is even higher than Tucson. By nearly 2000 ft. (581m). For instance Tombstone AZ is regularly cooler than Tucson & much cooler than Phoenix. Among these 3 towns, Tombstone typically gets the most total precipitation. Palms are all around town. A part of private landscaping.
Average winter high temperature is 69oF in Tucson; 70oF in Phoenix. While Tombstone has the coolest at 61oF. All these towns get a rare snowstorm. But Tombstone has them slightly more often.
Putting these climate factors together helps us select palm trees to grow in Arizona. With this in mind, here are some possibilities:
Allagoptera arenaria natively grows near Brazil's coastal area. You've likely imagined: sandy soil is A-OK for it.
Coccothrinax miraguama palmate fronds look like scattered starbursts! Add with a creative weave around its upper trunk. Making it so pretty.
Phoenix dactylifera is the ONE producing edible dates. Does excellent in the Arizona deserts.
Canary Island Date Palm
Phoenix canariensis is a wide palm, with large proportions. We see these stately palms all around Tucson.
Bismarck Palm Tree
Bismarckia nobilis can grow to 60 feet high. Its quite wide petioles give a unique, pleasing appearance. Never mind the beautiful fronds!
With the details here, you'll have a better chance to choose your right palm to plant in the right place. If you wondered about if Arizona has palm trees, we hoped we helped. You can always Contact Us, if you have further questions.
And here are a few FAQs related to what many are asking about Arizona having palm trees.