Worlds Tallest Palm Trees

Here at Mission: Palm Trees

Palm lovers can get the info needed to ease their searching tasks. While enjoying our articles & having fun, without unneeded shoptalk lingo & tiring research.

Wondering about the worlds tallest palm trees? Some of them are in Tucson Arizona, where we live. These palm trees go sky-high!

Stand next to them, and you crane your neck to see the crown. What types of palm trees might they be? Some wonderful looking palm trees throughout the world grow to huge heights. We'll take you to them.

Including THE world's tallest palm tree of all!

Zoo elephant with large palm trees in the  backgroundLike These Tall Palms Behind the Elephant Enclosure
At Tucson's Reid Park Zoo.

Which of the worlds tallest palm trees interests you most?

WHY KNOWING Tall Palms is Good>

Cali Palms Interest Me> WHICH GROW THERE?

BASIC START FOR a Tall Palm Tree>

Tall vs. Massive> - HOW DO I TELL?

WHICH ONE IS THE World's Tallest Palm Tree?

Why it's Good to Know
Which are the Worlds Tallest Palm Trees!

People who love palm trees often just like to know which palms they are looking at. To be able to Identify the Palm Tree.

Only one reason why somebody wants to know about the tallest palm trees in the world. There are several other reasons:

  • Are you evaluating buying a palm to plant in your yard?
Man sitting thinking about palm trees
  • Definitely learn the final height. To figure placement for your Landscaping Plan.
  • It's good to know its care. Watering needs, suitability for your area, etc.

Have you deciding on buying a tall palm tree? For planning, think of how you'll use it.

  • Will it be a centerpiece of your front or back yard? Will it fit there properly?
  • As a centerpiece, have you evaluated Landscaping To Surround it?
  • Have you thought about its fit compared to your home? Will it overpower or complement it?
Landscaping area with fountain and palm treesThink of Your Landscaping Plan (that's essential!)
Before Planting a Very Tall Palm Tree in Your Yard or Garden!

Researching the Tallest Palms

Are you doing research, evaluating the tallest palms in specific areas?

Poster advising reading up on palm trees
  • Maybe wondered about Tall Palm Trees in California, perhaps for a school project. Or for a radiant palmy trip!
  • Or you're doing a specific analysis having to do with the world's tallest palm trees.
  • Are you only wanting information on certain species of very tall palms?

We'll be taking you through Multiple Categories of the Worlds Tallest Palm Trees. To get into more details on the varied species.

Tall Palm Trees

When you think of tall palm trees, exactly how tall are we speaking of?

When fully grown, at maturity, a tall palm tree will be measured at least 60 feet high (that's 18.29 meters). That's the height to begin, when thinking of the worlds tallest palm trees.

Upward to the crown of fan palms

If you're thinking of buying a tall palm tree, you'll get some ideas here. Those you're likely to find around local nurseries. Of course that still depends on where you live. In particular, your hardiness zone.

The places Where Palm Trees are Endemic are almost entirely in the tropics & subtropics. If you live in a temperate area you're not out of luck! There are still some Types of Palms that can do well where you are, including tall varieties.

Not planning to buy? You'll still see some of the world's tallest palm trees, that may interest you. Including the one that is the Tallest Palm Tree in the whole world!!

See what there is!

The World's Tallest Palm Tree

QUINDO WAX PALM - Ceroxylon quindiuense is native to the Columbian Andes Mountains.

It's amazing that as the world's tallest palm tree, the trunk alone gets to 200 feet high.
But not only that! Growing between 6000-10,000 ft. up in the Andes, means they take a record for surviving at the highest world elevations.

Quindo Wax Palm Trees in a Columbian Andes mountain misty valley
ACCESS TO A VIRTUAL FLY-OVER TOUR OF THE WORLD'S TALLEST PALMS - Where Do We Send It?:

More World's Tallest Palm Trees

PALMYRA PALM

Borassus aethiopum originates from African tropical grasslands. Palmate leaves are deep green, about 6' long.

  • Gets to 80 feet tall. Grows at a medium clip in zones 10 & 11.
  • Gray trunk has a normal swelling towards the top or middle. Adds to its character. 
  • Likes average watering. Can take some dry spells once successful growth is fixed.

COCONUT PALM TREE

Cocos nucifera has been around forever. They're not even sure of its origins. Except likely in the South Pacific somewhere. But everyone knows it as that tropical symbol.

Now many varieties, even some considered "dwarf" - if you consider 30ft/4m small! Guess it's all relative!!

The basic original grows 30-100ft/4-9m tall. So prepare to crane your neck upwards! Large varieties are Tall Jamaican, Panama Tall & Maypan (smallest of these). Plantations grow them commercially for the coconut fruits.

Coconut Palm with unripe coconutsLook Way Up! Way, Way Up - to See Coconuts.
Green When Unripe, Like These. Covered in Brown Hairy Matting When They Ripen.
  • Grows pretty quickly in Zones 10b-11. Needs regular water, not excessive.
  • The coconuts grow in groups below the crown. Handy usage throughout the world for food & much more. 
  1. It's rare that they injure anyone. Still beware of them falling, though!

CHILIEAN WINE PALM

Jubaea chilensis has a bit more flexible growing zones.

A handsome, hardy choice among the world's tallest palm trees. They're even growing in Belgium. Also in their native Chile, as well as among the tall palm trees in California.

Mature Chilean Wine Palm specimens slowly reach 100ft/9m up. Easily in Zones 9-11. Although not too well in hot, humid areas.

  • In dryer areas also does well in Zone 8. 
  • Grayish thick trunk with bumpy ridges along its length. Sometime bulging halfway up.
  • Pinnate fronds sprout out fountain-like from the crown, eventually into a round beauty.

EDIBLES

  • Its yellow-orange fruit has a coconutty taste.
  • The sap was fermented to wine (per the name!). Nearly to extinction in Chile, but brought back via protection.

CANARY ISLAND DATE PALM

Canary Island Palm Tree growing in CaliforniaExactly the Right Palm Tree Look! Don't You Think?
Would this world's tallest palm tree from the Canary Islands suit your own landscaping?

Phoenix canariensis is a regal beauty with some hardiness.

  • Excellent slow growth up to 90ft/27m in Zones 9-11. Tolerates 8b in less rainy/humid climes.
  • Dark green, kind of rigid pinnate fronds. Leaflets turn orangey & spiky near tips. Which forms a majestic round crown.
  • "Designer Trunk" looks nicely intricate from the diamond-shaped leaf scars.

Very Tall Palm Trees

You can say that among the world's tallest palm trees, some are Super Tall. Then there are some that are massive. We'll let you in on which are which!

SUPER TALL

These palms grow to at least 60 feet tall at maturity. Many are much taller!

Alexander Palm

Archontophoenix alexandrae is also known as King Palm. Light gray single trunk ringed with scars of old leaves. 50ft/15m when fully grown.

  • Grows quickly in tropics & subtropics. Native to Australia.
  • JUST LIKE THESE HERE:

Sugar Palm

Arenga pinnata has a finite life span. Flower stalk (inflorescence) sprouts high up at maturity. Each thereafter lower down, until the final one.

When it's done the job, the palm dies!

Gets to 70ft/21m at maturity.

  • Easily grown from seed & springs up fast.
  • Not recommended for landscaping because dying is its end plan.
  • Plus it's messy, fruits have noxious crystals & the trunk has long spines.

Bismarck Palm

MASSIVELY HUGE CROWN

Bismarckia nobilis has a lovely look with huge upright palmate fronds. Reaching 60ft/18m tall when fully grown.

  • When newly sprouted, grows slowly. Then begins speeding up.
  • The Bismark Palm Tree is originally from Madagascar. 
  • Growing zones depend on leaf color, which can be bluish (9b-11) or more green (10a).

African Fan Palm

Borassus aethiopum has multiple common names. Others are  African Palmyra Palm, Ron Palm & Toddy Palm. As you've guessed, native to tropics of Africa.

  • Gets up to 80ft/24m high. Moderate growth with full sun & regular water.
  • It also has relatively massive-sized flowers & fruits.

American Oil Palm

Attalea butyracea, aka Rooster-tail Palm & Yagua Palm. Alternate scientific name has it Called Scheelea butyracea.

  • Grows to an amazing 100ft/30m! Very slowly until trunk base forms, then a bit faster.
  • Endemic in southeastern Mexico, through Central America, into NW South America.
  • Ok for Zones 10-11, somewhat in 9B.
American Oil Palm with a woman leaning on itA Pushover for Biologist, Kim! At Kahanu Gardens.
A National Tropical Botanical Garden
At Kaeleku, Hana, Maui

Huacrapana Palm Tree

Iriartea deltoidea gets nearly 100ft/30m with growing conditions it likes! Only 1in/2.5cm diameter trunk.

  • Develops the aerial spiked prop roots, once it's established.
  • From rain forests of southern Central America & northwestern South America.
  • Often formx massive palm groves.
Stilt Palm double pic, bottom with aerial roots, top fronds.Other Common Names: Stilt Palm & Copa Palm

The Stilt Palm is used in many ways: home construction, canoes, etc.

  • Also medically for women's labor. Leaf concoction used to ease pain.
  • Seeds & the palm heart are regionally eaten.

Tall Palm Trees in California

When people see photographs of California, and especially SoCal's Los Angeles, palm trees are all around. One Tall Palm Tree in California is traditionally associated with the state, because it's native.

Many more have been imported, and cultivated to grow there. Usually quite easily, because the climate suits them well!

CALIFORNIA FAN PALM

Did you guess why Washingtonia filifera is the tall palm tree most associated with California? This is the one palm that's native to the state.

  • Likes growing up to 70', near natural springs & riparian areas along dry wash beds.
  • Does well in Zones 8-11. Add in arid area 7s.
  • Palmate dullish green leaves at the end of thick spiny red tinged stems. The long thin triangular segments have droopy tips.
California Fan Palm drawingArtist's Drawing of a California Fan Palm

CANALA PALM

Kentiopsis oliviformis is seen in a range of places in Southern California. Particularly coastal counties.

  • Maximum height of 80 feet. Growing somewhat slowly. But speeds up with increased moisture, since that's what it likes.
  • Dark green pinnate fronds point upwards. Handsome, smooth dark green trunk ringed with white, fades to tan at the bottom as it ages. Gives it a stately look.
  • Ideal for Zones 10b & 11. Does okay in 10a warmer areas.

BAY-LEAF PALM

That's the common name for Sabal mauritiiformis. But called that in Belize. An area where its widely seen. Its aboriginal area is Mexico, Central America, N.South America & Trinidad. Their round shape forms a gorgeous crown.

Planted around San Diego County. Some seem small for their age, though. But there's a good tall palm at the San Diego Zoo!

  • Grows to 80ft/24m tall pretty quickly. Especially when given its ample water needs.
  • Best in Zones 10-11. Warmest areas of 9b are doable.
  • Light tan trunk fans out palmate fronds. Dark green with silvery glow beneath.

RIBBON FAN PALM

Livistona decora is an Aussie native. Loves swampy forest areas in Queensland. Before 2004 the species epithet was decipiens.

Now has moved along to Southern California, too! Zones 9-11 are suitable.

  • Ribbon Fan get quickly to 70' tall in ideal settings. That's regular water & full sun.
  • Distinctive, groovy light brown trunk eventually ditches older leaf stalks.
  • Stupendous palmate fronds blossom out of the crown with flowing segments sweeping downward. Looking up at it, can transfix you in awe!

Takeaways for Worlds Tallest Palm Trees

There are many very tall palms throughout the world. Think carefully before planting one in your own garden or yard. They're especially suitable for widespread landscaping throughout a city or town. But for your own property, it may be overwhelming.

Still they are fascinating species. Be careful when looking up a their crowns, you don't wrench your neck! 

More fascinating palm details here...