Friday, December 30, 2011

Date Palms

Phoenix

A genus of 17 species of Palms including a few which are among the most widely grown in the world with exception of the Coconut Palm ( Cocos nucifera ).
Most species require full sun and well drained soil. Some species are very drought tolerant though will grow more vigorously on fertile soils with occasional deep waterings.
Old fronds should be pruned off for appearance but be careful...they often contain some very sharp hidden spines.
Propagation is typically from seed though suckering species can be grown from detached suckers as well.

* photos of unknown internet source




Phoenix canariensis ( Canary Island Date Palm )
A vigorous, thick-trunked, densely-crowned, enormous palm that is native to the Canary Islands though has since become one of the most popular landscape palms around the world. It makes a tough urban street tree and is very frequently planted in mediterranean Europe, California & central Chile. Some records include: 20 years - 53 ( rarely over 33 ) x 27 feet; largest on record - 100 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 5 feet. Trees exceeding 80 feet in height are rare. Long-lived for a Palm, the Canary Island Date Palm may live up to 160 years.
The heavy, very long, arching, feathery, pinnate fronds, up to 30 ( rarely over 20 ) feet in length, are composed of up to 400 linear leaflets, up to 24 inches in length. The foliage is deep green. The lower leaflets along the leaf rachis are often reduced to sharp spines.
The older fronds are drooping.
The flowers are borne on panicles up to 6.5 feet in length.
They are followed by heavy clusters, up to 7 feet in length, of orange or red berries, up to 1.5 inch in length.
The brown trunk is stout and the leaf bases remain attached.
Hardy zones 9 to 11 ( 8b on protected sites, however with occasional leaf injury ).
It requires full sun on well drained soil and is extremely drought tolerant as well as salt tolerant. Too much water or a high water table can encourage disease.
Fusarium Wilt and "Lethal Yellowing" disease can kill trees that are stressed.
Magnesium deficiency can also cause foliage yellowing.
The Canary Island Date Palm thrives in Mediterranean regions around the world...it may even be grown on very sheltered sites in parts of the Pacific Northwest including Salt Spring Island ). Extremely heat tolerant, this Palm thrives in Phoenix, Arizona but can also tolerate cooler climates and is known to grow in Cornwall and the Channel Islands in England though with less vigor remaining as small trees. The Canary Island Date Palm also grows along the Gulf Coast and up to east coast to as far north as Charleston, South Carolina. Easy to grow from seed which germinated rapidly with heat. Many Florida nurseries sell it in container.

* photos taken in Chile during Jan 2007








* photos of unknown internet source






* historic archive photo


Phoenix dactylifera ( Date Palm )
A moderate growing, graceful, very large Palm that is native to southwestern Asia and northern Africa. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 3 feet ( usually much slower ); 6 years - 8 feet; 15 years - 20 feet; 30 years - 50 feet; largest on record - 133 ( rarely over 100 ) x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 5 feet. It is somewhat similar in appearance to the Canary Island Date Palm though not as massively heavy-set in stature. The Date Palm is very long-lived and can live as long as 300 years. It is commercially grown in warm dry regions around the world ( especially the Middle East ) and has been cultivated for over 5000 years. The Date Palm makes a spectacular street tree. This Palm will sometimes sucker at the base.
The pinnate fronds, up to 23 feet in length, composed of leaflets up to 20 x 1 inches in size. The foliage is gray-green. The lower leaflets along the leaf rachis are often reduced to sharp spines.
The white flowers are borne on panicles up to 4 feet in length.
They are followed by sweet-tasting, yellow to red, edible fruits up to 3.5 x 3.2 inches in size. A 13 year old Date Palm may produce up to 175 pounds of fruit in a year and the largest crop recorded on a Date Palm was 400 pounds in a year.
Most of the commerically grown Date Palm is in the Middle East...the fruits are dried then shipped all over the world. The nutritious dried fruits are among the healthiest snacks around. They can also be used in tarts, pastries and other desserts.
Hardy zones 9 to 12 ( tolerating as low as 10 F and one was even reported to have survived 4 F in California ). Very drought tolerant and thrives on both acidic and alkaline soils. Tolerant of windy conditions and salt spray, it is well adapted to shoreline environments. While it can be grown in more humid climates such as Florida, it requires a hot dry climate for any significant fruit production or to be grown commercially. Insect pests are rare and it is only slightly prone to fusarium wilt and lethal yellowing disease.

* photos of unknown internet source






* photos taken in Broward Co., FL on Jan 2011

* historical archive photos

* videos found on Youtube





Phoenix hanceana ( Formosan Date Palm )
A slender-trunked, small palm that is native to southeast Asia including Taiwan. Some records include: largest on record - 30 x 14 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 foot.
The trunk is stout and the leaf bases remain attached.
The arching, pinnate fronds, up to 7 x 3.3 feet in size, are composed of up to 98 leaflets, up to 20 x 1.5 inches in size.
The older fronds are drooping.
The yellow flowers are borne on sprays that are
followed by red berries that eventually ripen to black.
Hardy zones 10 to 12.

subsp phillipinensis ( Phillippine Date Palm )
Has fronds that are shorter and olive-green in color.
It is found in the wild in the Phillipines where it is threatened with extinction.

Phoenix loueiroi
A small, clumping palm that is native from India to southern China.
Some records include: largest on record - 25 x 25 feet with a trunk diameter of 3 feet ( combination of all trunks ).
The trunk is stout and the leaf bases remain attached.
The stiff pinnate fronds, up to 10 feet in length, are deep green.
The older fronds are drooping.
The creamy flowers are borne on panicles and are
followed by deep purple, oblong berries.
Hardy zones 9 to 12 ( tolerating 21 F or even as low as 16 F with foliage burn ).
Drought tolerant.

Phoenix madagascarii ( Madagascar Date Palm )
A Palm that is massive though not very tall that is native to mountains of Madagascar. It can reach a maximum size of 40 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 feet.
Hardy zones 10 ( est ). It requires a cool tropical highland climate to thrive. Such climates are found in parts of Mexico, Central America and northwest South America but do not exist in the U.S. Florida is too hot during the summer for the Madagascar Date Palm to succeed.

Phoenix padulosa ( Mangrove Date Palm )
A robust, densely-crowned, large palm that is native to marshy habitats in the Malay Peninsula in far southeast Asia. Some records include: 20 years - 33 x 27 feet; largest on record - 35 x 25 feet with a trunk diameter of 6 inches.
The trunk is stout and the leaf bases remain attached.
The pinnate fronds, up to 12 x 1.5 feet in length, are composed of leaflets up to 12 inches in length. The foliage is glossy very deep green.
Hardy zones 9b to 12 requiring moist to wet conditions.

Phoenix reclinata ( Senegal Date Palm )
A very fast growing, handsome, medium-sized to large, clumping palm that is native from tropical to southern Africa. The clump consists of many slender trunks, often exceeding 20. Some records include: largest on record - 60 x 60 feet with a collective trunk diameter of 5 feet ( all trunks combined - each individual trunk is usually about 6 inches thick ). It is commonly seen in warmer parts of the U.S. especially in central Florida including Walt Disney World. The Senegal Date Palm is also cultivated in Italy and far southern France.
The trunks are covered with the reddish-brown fibery remains of the old leafstalks.
The graceful, arching, pinnate fronds, up to 15 ( rarely over 12 ) feet in length, are composed of leaflets up to 24 inches in length. The leaflets are often twisted. The foliage is glossy deep green.
The flowers are borne on panicles and are followed by small, oval, orangish-red to black berries, up to 1 inch in length.
Hardy zones 9 to 11 ( tolerating as low as 18 F ) in full sun or partial shade thriving in sandy soil of any PH. It even thrives in parts of northern California. Very tolerant of drought, wind, salt as well as swampy conditions.
Insect pests are rare and the only disease worthy of mention is lethal yellowing though occuring rarely. They take 5 years to produce a trunk when grown from seed. It is recommended to grow them in a container then plant out once about 4 feet in height.

* photos taken in Broward Co., FL on Jan 2011



Phoenix roebelinii ( Roebelinii Date Palm )
Also called Pygmy Date Palm. A very attractive, slow growing, dense-crowned, "miniature" Date-Palm that is native to Laos though frequently used in landscaping throughout much of the worlds tropics and subtropics. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 2 ( typically less than 1 ) feet; largest on record - 28 x 10 feet with a trunk diameter of 6 inches ( through usually more shrubby, rarely exceeding 10 feet in height ). Trees over 20 feet in height are extremely rare. Moderately long-lived, the Roebelinii can live over 60 years.
The trunk is slender the leaf bases remain attached.
The gracefully-arching, feathery, pinnate fronds, up to 7 ( rarely over 5 ) feet x 16 inches, are composed of leaflets, up to 16 x 0.5 inches. The foliage is luxuriant, glossy deep green. The lower leaflets are often reduced to sharp 2 inch spines.
The creamy-white flowers are borne on panicles up to 6.5 feet in length.
They are followed by edible, small, black, oval fruits, up to 0.5 inches in length.
Hardy zones 9 to 12 ( tolerating as low as 15 F ) in full sun to moderate shade on moist, well drained soil ( PH below 7 ) though moderately drought tolerant. The foliage will turn brown at 26 F but the plant will rapidly recover the following spring.
Fertilize with lots of potassium to keep the foliage luxuriant green.
It is not very salt tolerant but is otherwise very easy to grow.
The Pygmy Date Palm may sometimes be prone to scale but is otherwise pest free.
It is easy to grow from seed which germinates as quickly as 6 weeks.



* photos taken in Broward Co., FL on Jan 2011

* photo taken on June 10 2013 in Columbia, MD


'Clusterae'
A form with a branching trunk.

'Reasoneri' ( Clustering Pygmy Date Palm )
A real clumping suckering Palm, reaching a maximum size of 12 x 15 feet.

Phoenix rubra ( Mauritis Date Palm )
A medium-sized tropical Palm reaching a maximum height of 60 feet.
Hardy zones 10 to 12 ( tolerating as low as 30 F ).

Phoenix rupicola ( Cliff Date Palm )
A fast growing, slender solitary-trunked, medium-sized palm that is native to India.
Some records include: largest on record - 50 x 24 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 feet ( rarely over 30 feet with a diameter of 10 inches ). It looks like an oversized Phoenix roebelinii.
The trunk is stout and the leaf bases remain attached.
The arching, pinnate fronds, up to 15 feet in length, are composed of leaflets up to 24 x 1 ( rarely over 18 ) inches. The foliage is bright green.
The yellow flower panicles are borne on panicles and
are followed by glossy yellow to red berries.
Hardy zones 9 to 12 ( tolerating as low as 15 F ).

Phoenix sylvestris ( Silver Date Palm )
A very fast growing, thick, solitary-trunked, medium-sized palm that is native to Pakistan and India. Some records include: largest on record - 70 x 35 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 feet ( rarely over 40 x 25 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 foot ). It looks similar to Phoenix canariensis except for having shimmering silvery-blue fronds.
The pinnate fronds, up to 17 ( rarely over 10 ) feet in length, are composed of leaflets up to 24 x 1 inches. The foliage is silvery-blue.
The older fronds are drooping.
The white flowers are borne on sprays and are followed by orangish-yellow berries.
Hardy zones 8b to 12 ( tolerating as low as 15 F ) in full sun on well drained soil that is acidic to slightly alkaline. It is sometimes grown on the Gulf Coast in the U.S. Very drought tolerant and moderately salt tolerant. Insect pests are rare but fusarium wilt and lethal yellowing disease sometimes occurs.

* historic archive photo


Phoenix theophrasti ( Cretan Date Palm )
A robust, densely-crowned, large palm that is native to Greece, Turkey and Crete where it is threatened with extinction. Some records include: largest on record - 53 x 20 feet with a trunk diameter of 3 feet ( rarely exceeding 30 x 10 feet ).
It is similar to Phoenix dactylifera but is much more spiny with every leaflet ending in a sharp spine.
The slender trunk is ringed with the bases of old fronds.
The stiff, arching, pinnate fronds, up to 17 feet in length, are composed of leaflets up to 20 inches in length. The foliage is shimmering silvery-gray to silvery-blue.
The yellow flowers are borne on sprays and are followed by dark brown fruits, up to 0.8 inches in lenght, that are not edible.
Hardy zones 8 to 11 ( tolerating as low as 7 F ) in full sun to partial shade on moderately moist sites. The Cretan Date Palm thrives in Mediterranean regions around the world though rarely seen. Propagation is from seed which germinates easily.

* excellent photo link found on internet
http://plants.nature4stock.com/?page_id=1520

Other Palms

Butia capitata ( Pindo Palm )
A small tree, reaching around 17 feet in height.
Hardy zones 8 to 11 in full sun. It is highly tolerant of heat, drought and salt spray.

No comments:

Post a Comment