Phoenix canariensis or Canary Island date palm is a very beautiful palm, grown mainly for decorative purposes. It’s quite resistant to drought, coastal conditions, partial shade and poor soils.
Well irrigated, it grows quite rapidly and is used all around the Mediterranean for the beauty of its leave crown.
Related to the true date palm, Phoenix dactylifera, it’s originally from the Canary Islands.
Phoenix canariensis is a palm tree with a trunk up to 21m high, smaller in culture.
The stipe is straight and columnar, 60-90 cm in diameter. In older specimens the trunk is usually on top of a tightly packed bunch of aerial roots. Young stems are bulbous with large triangular scars of dead leaves. Older stems have almost no scars, except just below the leaf crown. The stipe is light to dark brown.
The leaf crown is densely packed with more than 100 leaves, 7.6-12 m wide and high.
Leaves are 3-6 m long, narrow elliptical, olive-green to dark green, slightly arching with rigid leaflets with sharp points, a short pseudo-petiole with long thorns.
The inflorescence is 1.8 m long or more, with numerous yellow to light orange branches with small white unisexual flowers. This palm tree is dioecious.
Fruit is 2.5 cm long, orange and tightly packed in heavy, drooping racemes. They are edible but not very tasty.
- Woven products
- The inflorescences buttons are tapped for their sweet juice that is eaten as palm honey
Canary Island Date Palm
Phoenix canariensis var. porphyrococca, Phoenix cycadifolia, Phoenix dactylifera var. jubae, Phoenix erecta, Phoenix jubae, Phoenix macrocarpa, Phoenix tenuis, Phoenix vigieri
Phoenix: from the Greek phoînix (Phoenician)
Canariensis: latinisation of Canaria (from the Canary Islands)
Dry and wet areas but always where much groundwater is present, from 0-610 m altitude
USDA zone 9-10
Rich and well drained but resists to alkaline or acid soils
Full sun but will tolerate partial shade
Drought tolerant but keeping the substrate moist will result in better growth
In the garden: organic fertilizer in spring.
In pot: liquid fertilizer for palm trees every week during growing season.
- soak 1-2 days in lukewarm water
- sow in humid light soil
- maintain 25-30 °C
- germination: easy and fast, a few days to a few weeks