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Latania loddigesii: Blue Latan Palm

Edward F. Gilman, Dennis G. Watson, Ryan W. Klein and Deborah R. Hilbert


A single-trunked palm, eventually 20 to 35 feet tall with a 15-foot spread, Latan Palms are noted for their distinctive, coarse-textured leaves. The large, very thick and stiff leaves, up to eight feet in diameter, are held aloft on five-foot-long petioles. The surface of each leaf is covered with a whitish, waxy or wooly down, providing a silvery appearance to the palm. The three to six-foot-long flower stalks are present among the leaves in spring and some of the glossy brown, two-inch-wide fruits are always ripening. The 10-inch-wide trunks have thick, swollen bases. Latan Palm makes a striking specimen planting and is well-suited to seaside locations due to its moderate salt-tolerance. Plant it in an area where you would like to attract attention. People's eyes will always be drawn to this plant, no matter where it is planted.

Young Latania loddigesii: Blue latan palm.
Figure 1. Young Latania loddigesii: Blue latan palm.
Credit: Stephen Brown, UF/IFAS

General Information

Scientific name: Latania loddigesii

Pronunciation: lat-AY-nee-uh loe-dih-GEEZ-ee-eye

Common name(s): Blue latan palm

Family: Arecaceae

USDA hardiness zones: 10A through 11 (Figure 2)

Origin: not native to North America

Invasive potential: not assessed/incomplete assessment

Uses: deck or patio; specimen; container or planter; highway median

Figure 2. Range.
Credit: UF/IFAS


Height: 20 to 30 feet

Spread: 10 to 12 feet

Crown uniformity: symmetrical

Crown shape: palm, upright/erect

Crown density: open

Growth rate: slow

Texture: coarse


Leaf arrangement: spiral (Figure 3)

Leaf type: costapalmate

Leaf margin: entire, serrulate

Leaf shape: star-shaped

Leaf venation: palmate

Leaf type and persistence: evergreen

Leaf blade length: more than 36 inches

Leaf color: silver, green

Fall color: no color change

Fall characteristic: not showy

Foliage of Latania loddigesii: Blue Latan Palm
Figure 3. Foliage of Latania loddigesii: Blue Latan Palm
Credit: Stephen Brown, UF/IFAS


Flower color: yellow, white/cream/gray (Figure 4)

Flower characteristics: not showy

Female flower of Latania loddigesii: Blue Latan Palm
Figure 4. Female flower of Latania loddigesii: Blue Latan Palm
Credit: Stephen Brown, UF/IFAS


Fruit shape: oval (Figure 5)

Fruit length: 1 to 3 inches

Fruit covering: fleshy

Fruit color: green, brown

Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; not showy; fruit/leaves a litter problem

Fruit of Latania loddigesii: Blue Latan Palm
Figure 5. Fruit of Latania loddigesii: Blue Latan Palm
Credit: Stephen Brown, UF/IFAS

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: branches don't droop; showy; typically one trunk; thorns

Pruning requirement: little required

Breakage: resistant

Current year twig color: not applicable

Current year twig thickness: N/A

Wood specific gravity: unknown


Light requirement: full sun, partial sun or partial shade

Soil tolerances: clay; sand; loam; slightly alkaline; acidic; well-drained

Drought tolerance: high

Aerosol salt tolerance: moderate


Roots: not a problem

Winter interest: no

Outstanding tree: no

Ozone sensitivity: unknown

Verticillium wilt susceptibility: resistant

Pest resistance: sensitive to pests/diseases

Use and Management

Preferring full sun but tolerant of partial shade, slow-growing latan palm should be located on fertile, well-drained soil. Unfortunately, it is susceptible to lethal yellowing disease, and so should be used sparingly in the landscape.

The different species of latan palm can only be told apart by leaf color. Only young leaves that have not yet turned silvery should be used for this determination. Latania loddigesii, blue latan palm, has blue-grey leaves. Latania lontaroides, red latan palm, has reddish petiole, leaf margins and veins. Latania verschaffeltii, yellow latan palm, has leaf margins, veins, and petioles which are deep orange yellow.

Propagation is by seed.


Latan palms are susceptible to lethal yellowing disease.

Publication #ENH-509

Release Date:April 11, 2024

Related Collections

Part of Southern Trees Fact Sheets

  • Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises
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About this Publication

This document is ENH-509, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Revised December 2006 and March 2024. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Deborah R. Hilbert, UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center; Department of Environmental Horticulture; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Michael Andreu
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