Europe's only native palm, growing along the Mediterranean coast where it survives periods of extreme drought. In addition, it is one of the most cold-tolerant palm species, withstanding even heavy frosts. It is very popular in Europe.
Prefers full sun in a well-drained position, but seems to do adapt well to shade and damp locations where the soil is not prone to waterlogging. Probably the best palm to grow in a container where it can survive drought, heat, wind, cold and long periods of neglect.
A very variable species, usually clumping. However, it occasionally occurs single-trunked, to about 3m (9 feet) high. Small, palmate leaves, to about 50cm (1,5 feet) across, at the end of a heavily spined petiole.