Washingtonia robusta

Washingtonia Robusta
Photos: USDA and Mike Kelly

Synonyms: W. filamentosa (often mistaken for native W. filifera)

Common names: Mexican fan palm; Washington palm; skyduster; thread palm

Washingtonia robusta (Mexican fan palm) is a single-trunked palm tree (family Arecaceae) found in the San Francisco Bay area, southern Sacramento Valley and on California’s south coast. Mexican fan palm is a common landscape ornamental that has become invasive in riparian areas, orchards and landscaped areas. This palm is known to create monospecific stands in riparian areas, and dead fronds of the tree can create a fire hazard. The species can be controlled with relative ease by removing the seedlings.

Cal-IPC Rating: Moderate — Alert?

CDFA Rating: None?


Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Washingtonia robusta Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Washingtonia robusta_petiole_ZoyaAkulova
    Washingtonia robusta (Mexican fan palm) petiole. Photo: Zoya Akulova
    Washingtonia robusta_leaf_ZoyaAkulova
    Washingtonia robusta (Mexican fan palm) leaf. Photo: Zoya Akulova
    Washingtonia robusta_growth form_RonVanderhoff
    Washingtonia robusta (Mexican fan palm) growth form. Photo: Ron Vanderhoff