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PHOENIX canariensis

Image of Phoenix canariensis

James H. Schutte

Family

Arecaceae

Botanical Name

PHOENIX canariensis

Plant Common Name

Canary Island Date Palm

General Description

A large evergreen plant with dark green, arching leaves atop a massive trunk, Canary Island date palm is architecturally stunning. The trunk is decorated with ridges and old frond boots, often making the crownshaft resemble a large pineapple. Its fronds are pinnate (like a feather) and can have a slight blue-green or silvery tinge. Lowest leaflets on the front are stiff, vicious spines. Early summer-occurring flowers are pale yellow and produce semi-dry, yellow-red fruit. It is a native of the Canary Islands off the northwest coast of Africa.

Canary Island date palm makes a dramatic specimen palm in well-drained sandy loam soils in full to partial sun locations. It is slow growing when young, but once established it hastens its pace. Plants are dioecious--being either male or female, the latter producing the sweet, dry date fruits. Give this palm ample room for growth. The lower portions of the fronds are protected with long ferocious spines. Be aware magnesium deficiency may quickly manifest itself on the lower leaves of this palm, and is especially noticeable on poorer quality construction-fill and sandy soils. It can tolerate airborne salt spray well, but saline soils can be problematic.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 13

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Palm or Cycad

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    50'-60' / 15.2m - 18.3m

  • Width

    30'-50' / 9.1m - 15.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Canary Islands

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Blue Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Blue Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Blue Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Blue Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Brown, Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Platy

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Street Trees, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes