50 Types of Palm Trees in Florida: Your Ultimate Identification Guide

In Florida, the land of sunshine and picturesque sunsets, you’ll find an astonishing variety of palm trees. With 50 different types to watch out for, these palm trees come in all shapes and sizes. Have you ever wondered just how many types of palm trees are there?

Types of Palm Trees in Florida: Discover the Natives

Florida boasts 12 native palm trees that have stood the test of time and can be found throughout the state. But that’s not all! An additional 38 species have decided to make Florida their home, each with its own unique characteristics.

What Are the 12 Native Florida Palm Trees?

To help you navigate the diverse climate of Florida, here’s an identification guide to the 12 native types of palm trees in the state. It’s crucial to identify the right palm tree for your zone before purchasing one. While they all love basking in the sun, not all can withstand the cold, preferring warmth and humidity year-round. Knowing the difference can be key to ensuring a healthy tree that survives the winter.

1. Paurotis Palm

  • Height: 16-30 Feet
  • Latin Name: Acoelorrhaphe wrightii
  • Characteristics: Leaves can grow up to 20 feet wide
  • Native To: Florida

2. Needle Palm

  • Height: 5 Feet
  • Latin Name: Rhapidophyllum hystrix
  • Characteristics: Stout trunk, bushy leaves
  • Native To: Florida

3. Cabbage Palm

  • Height: 65 Feet
  • Latin Name: Sabal palmetto
  • Characteristics: Fan-shaped leaves. Smooth gray trunk at the base
  • Native To: Florida

4. Thatch Palm

  • Height: 20 Feet
  • Latin Name: Thrinax radiata
  • Characteristics: Skinny trunk
  • Native To: Florida

5. Silver Palm

  • Height: 6-20 Feet
  • Latin Name: Coccothrinax argentata
  • Characteristics: Smooth trunk. Purple palm fruits
  • Native To: Florida

6. Royal Palm

  • Height: 70 Feet
  • Latin Name: Roystonea regia
  • Characteristics: Thick white-gray trunk
  • Native To: Florida

7. Saw Palmetto

  • Height: 10 Feet
  • Latin Name: Serenoa repens
  • Characteristics: Yellowish-white flowers
  • Native To: Florida

8. Buccaneer Palm

  • Height: 26 Feet
  • Latin Name: Pseudophoenix sargentii
  • Characteristics: Swollen trunk, long branches
  • Native To: Florida

9. Dwarf Palmetto

  • Height: 3 Feet
  • Latin Name: Sabal minor
  • Characteristics: Short fat trunk
  • Native To: Florida

10. Miami Palmetto

  • Height: 3-4 Feet
  • Latin Name: Sabal miamiensis
  • Characteristics: White flowers in season
  • Native To: Florida

11. Scrub Palmetto

  • Height: 6 Feet
  • Latin Name: Sabal etonia
  • Characteristics: Most of the trunk is below ground
  • Native To: Florida

12. Key Thatch

  • Height: 20-30 Feet
  • Latin Name: Leucothrinax morrisii
  • Characteristics: Spiky leaves. Small white fruits
  • Native To: Florida

How Many Types of Palm Trees Are There?

The climate in Florida is incredibly diverse, not only across the state but even within a single zone throughout the year. From humid summers to thunderstorms in winter, the temperature fluctuates greatly. To address these variations, the Department of Agriculture has designated four hardiness zones across the state: 8, 9, 10, and 11. Each zone is characterized by a 10°C temperature difference.

Depending on which zone you live in, certain types of palm trees will flourish in your area. For example, in Tampa, which falls within Zone 9, temperatures range from 30-40°F, with a short wintry season from December to the end of January.

With this identification guide and an understanding of your zone, you’ll be well-equipped to appreciate the beauty of Florida’s palm trees and choose the perfect one for your own slice of paradise.