Nannorrhops ritchiana

Nannorrhops ritchieana or Mazari Palm is one of the most frost resistant palms with Rhapidophyllum hystrix, it resists to -20 °C and prolonged snow.

In the summer, it resists droughts and heat.

Important: the high frost resistance is valid only when this palm tree spends the winter in a very dry place and is protected from rain.

Growth is very slow the first 10 years.


Nannorrhops ritchieana is a clump-forming palm tree with mostly underground and sometimes above-ground stem to 4.5 m high.

Above-ground stems are covered with brown leaf bases and orange-brown fibers. They measure 20 cm in diameter.

The clumps are usually 1.8 m high and 2.4 m wide, when older up to 6 m tall and wide.

Leaves are 1.2 m wide, wedge-shaped to circular. They have 30 rigid, narrow, lanceolate segments that are divided almost to the petiole. Each segment is split to the half of its length. The petiole is 90 cm long and usually has small teeth along the edges. New petioles have light brown spots and fine, woolly fibers. The leaf blade is dull gray-green to blue-gray chalky.

The inflorescence is much branched, 1.8 m long, erect, with small, white bisexual flowers.

The fruit is round, 13 mm in diameter, orange-brown, and would be edible.


Common names:

Mazari palm, Afghan palm


Chamaerops ritchieana, Nannorrhops arabica, Nannorrhops naudeniana, Nannorrhops ritchiana


Nannorrhops: from the Greek nannos (dwarf) and rhops (shrub)
Ritchieana: in honor of Joseph Ritchie (1788-1819), a British naturalist and explorer


Arabian peninsula, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan


Desert zones up to 1,800 m altitude


USDA zone 7-11, -20°C



Arid, well drained




Resists drought is summer but regular waterings promote growth


In the garden: organic fertilizer in spring

In pot: monthly fertilizer for palm trees during growth period


Sowing, division

Sowing instructions:

  • soak 1-2 days in lukewarm water
  • sow in humid light soil
  • 25-30 °C
  • germination: fresh seed 3-4 months, other 6-10 months