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Phoenix canariensis

Canary Island date palm
Phoenix canariensis Cathedral square, Almeria, Spain
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Genus: Phoenix
Species: P. canariensis
Binomial name
Phoenix canariensis
Chabaud

Phoenix canariensis is a species of flowering plant in the palm family Arecaceae, native to the Canary Islands. It is a relative of Phoenix dactylifera, the true date palm. It is the natural symbol of the Canary Islands, together with the canary Serinus canaria.[1]

Contents

  • Description 1
  • Names 2
  • Cultivation 3
  • Other uses 4
  • Invasiveness 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Description

Phoenix canariensis is a large solitary palm, 10–20 m (33–66 ft) tall, occasionally growing to 40 m (131 ft). The leaves are pinnate, 4–6 m (13–20 ft) long, with 80–100 leaflets on each side of the central rachis. The fruit is an oval, yellow to orange drupe 2 cm (0.79 in) long and 1 cm (0.39 in) in diameter and containing a single large seed; the fruit pulp is edible but too thin to be worth eating.

Names

Common names in English include Canary Island date palm and pineapple palm. The common name in Spanish-speaking countries and in the Canary Islands is palmera canaria.

Cultivation

Canary Island date palm cultivated in Colombia

The Canary Island date palm is typically cultivated in subtropical climates, particularly in areas with Mediterranean climates, but also in humid subtropical climates like eastern Australia and the southern United States. There are even several instances of cultivated Canary Island Date Palms in high-latitude oceanic climates, such as Ireland and the Channel Islands.[2] It can be cultivated where temperatures never fall below −10 or −12 °C (14 or 10 °F) for extended periods, although it will require some protection if cold periods are longer than normal. It is a slowly growing tree, exclusively propagated by seed.

The palm is easily recognized through its crown of leaves and trunk characteristics. It is not uncommon to see Canary Island date palms pruned and trimmed to enhance the appearance.[3] When pruned, the bottom of the crown, also called the nut, appears to have a pineapple shape.

It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[4]

Other uses

In the Canary Islands, the sap of this date palm is used to make palm syrup. La Gomera is where most of the sap is produced in the Canary Islands.

Invasiveness

In some mediterranean and subtropical countries, Phoenix canariensis has proven to be an invasive plant. In New Zealand, it has invaded a range of habitats. New Zealand's Landcare Research has classified the palm as a 'sleeper weed' - "a plant that spreads slowly and goes unnoticed until it becomes widespread". It is also considered naturalised in Spain, Italy, Australia, Bermuda and parts of the United States (Florida, Arizona, Southern Nevada, California and Alabama).[5][6] In Auckland, New Zealand, the palm has itself become a host for the naturalised Australian strangler fig, Ficus macrophylla.

References

  1. ^ Ley 7/1991, de 30 de abril, de símbolos de la naturaleza para las Islas Canarias - in spanish
  2. ^ "Palms in the Channel Islands – by Michael A.F. Carter". The European palm Society. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  3. ^ http://realpalmtrees.com/palm-blog/a-e/canary-island-date-palm-phoenix-canariensis/
  4. ^ "Phoenix canariensis"RHS Plant Selector - . Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Phoenix_canariensisKew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families,
  6. ^ Phoenix_canariensisBiota of North America Program, map,

External links

  • Principes (Journal of the International Palm Society) Phoenix canariensis in the wild, Vol 42, No 2, April 1998. Accessed 18 May 2008.
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