1. Family: Arecaceae Bercht. & J.Presl
    1. Phoenix L.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Africa, Kriti to W. & Central Malesia.

    [PW]
    Morphology
    Central vascular bundles of the petioles with a single phloem strand (Parthasarathy 1968). Leaf (Tomlinson 1961), roots (Seubert 1997), floral (Uhl and Moore 1971, 1977a, DeMason et al. 1982), axillary bud, inflorescence, offshoot (Hilgeman 1954), seed (Werker 1997).
    General Description
    Dwarf or creeping to large, solitary or clustered, armed, pleonanthic, dioecious palms. Stem, when developed, often clothed with spirally arranged leaf bases. Leaves induplicate, pinnate, usually marcescent; sheath forming a fibrous network; petiole very short to well developed, adaxially channelled to flattened or ridged, abaxially rounded; rachis elongate, tapering, adaxially rounded or flat to angled, abaxially rounded to flat, usually terminating in a leaflet; leaflets single-fold, acute, regularly arranged or variously grouped, the proximal few modified as spines (acanthophylls), parallel-veined, midrib usually evident abaxially, often bearing scales, emergent leaves frequently with brown floccose indumentum and/or wax, transverse veinlets obscure. Inflorescences interfoliar, branching to 1 order, the staminate and pistillate superficially similar; peduncle flattened, short to elongate, in the pistillate frequently elongating after fertilization, bearing an often caducous, sometimes bivalved, 2-keeled, glabrous or floccose-hairy prophyll; other bracts inconspicuous; rachis flattened, usually shorter than the peduncle; rachillae unbranched, numerous, often in groups in a spiral along the rachis, somewhat adnate above small triangular bracts, the rachillae bearing spirally arranged, low triangular bracts, each subtending a solitary flower. Staminate flowers with 3 sepals connate in a low cupule; petals 3, ± valvate, acute or rounded, much exceeding the calyx; stamens usually 6 (rarely 3 or 9), filaments short, erect, the anthers linear, latrorse; pistillode absent, or of 3 abortive carpels, or a minute trifid vestige. Pollen ellipsoidal, bi-symmetric or very slightly asymmetric; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine tectate, coarsely perforate, finely reticulate, foveolate, or perforate-rugulate; aperture margin slightly finer, psilate or scabrate; infratectum columellate; longest axis 17–30 µm [11/13]. Pistillate flowers globose; sepals connate in a 3-lobed cupule; petals imbricate, strongly-nerved, about twice as long as the calyx or more; staminodes usually 6, scale-like or connate in a low cupule; carpels 3, distinct, follicular, ± ovoid, narrowed into a short, recurved, exserted stigma, ovule attached adaxially at the base, anatropous. Fruit usually developing from 1 carpel, ovoid to oblong with apical stigmatic remains; epicarp smooth, mesocarp fleshy, endocarp membranous. Seed elongate, terete or plano-convex, and deeply grooved with intruded seed coat below the elongate raphe, hilum basal, rounded, endosperm homogeneous or rarely ruminate (Phoenix anadamanensis); embryo lateral or subbasal. Germination remote-tubular; eophyll undivided, narrowly lanceolate. Cytology: 2n = 32, 36.
    Distribution
    14 species ranging from the Atlantic islands through Africa, Crete, the Middle East and India to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Sumatra and Malaya. Widely cultivated as ornamentals, one species, Phoenix dactylifera, the date palm, is a major economic plant, now widespread in semi-arid areas as a fruit tree.
    Diagnostic
    The Date Palms. Solitary or clustering dioecious pinnate-leaved palms of the Old World, usually in arid or semi-arid areas, sometimes in mangrove or monsoon forest, instantly recognisable by the induplicate leaflets with spine-like tips, and the acanthophylls at the leaf base; inflorescence with a single large bract.
    Vernacular
    Variously designated as date palms, as wild date (Phoenix sylvestris), roebelin or miniature date (P. roebelenii).
    Biology
    Most species are plants of semi-arid regions but grow near water courses, oases, or underground water sources; a few species are found in tropical monsoonal areas. Phoenix paludosa occurs in the Asian perhumid regions, where it is confined to the landward fringe of mangrove forest. Phoenix roebelenii grows as a rheophyte on the banks of the Mekong and some of its tributaries.
    [FTEA]

    Palmae, John Dransfield. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1994

    Habit
    Solitary or clustering, acaulescent, shrubby or erect, pleonanthic dioecious palms
    Trunk
    Trunk usually covered in leaf-sheath bases when young, later smooth
    Leaves
    Leaves induplicately pinnate; leaf-sheath fibrous; leaflets numerous, single-fold, usually sharply pointed, the proximal few-many small, modified as sharp acanthophylls; the distal held in one or several planes, the surfaces frequently waxy
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescences interfoliar, branching to 1 order; peduncle short or elongating after anthesis, bearing a 2-keeled prophyll enclosing the inflorescence in bud; peduncular bracts absent; rachillae often arranged spirally or in partial spirals, each subtended by a small bract
    Flowers
    Flowers borne singly in a spiral along the rachilla, each subtended by an inconspicuous bract Female flower ± globular; calyx cup-shaped, with 3 short triangular lobes; corolla with 3, free, imbricate, usually rounded petals; staminodes 6, minute, sometimes fused to form a low cup; carpels 3, free, somewhat elongate, with short recurved fleshy stigmas; ovule anatropous, basally attached, usually one carpel only developing to fruit Male flower often asymmetrical; calyx cup-shaped, with 3 short triangular lobes; corolla briefly tubular with 3 lobes much exceeding the calyx, ± valvate; stamens (3–)6(–9), epipetalous, with short filaments and elongate anthers; pistillode absent, or consisting of 3 minute carpel vestiges
    Male
    Male flower often asymmetrical; calyx cup-shaped, with 3 short triangular lobes; corolla briefly tubular with 3 lobes much exceeding the calyx, ± valvate; stamens (3–)6(–9), epipetalous, with short filaments and elongate anthers; pistillode absent, or consisting of 3 minute carpel vestiges
    Female
    Female flower ± globular; calyx cup-shaped, with 3 short triangular lobes; corolla with 3, free, imbricate, usually rounded petals; staminodes 6, minute, sometimes fused to form a low cup; carpels 3, free, somewhat elongate, with short recurved fleshy stigmas; ovule anatropous, basally attached, usually one carpel only developing to fruit
    Fruits
    Fruit with smooth epicarp, sometimes waxy; mesocarp fleshy; endocarp consisting of a thin membrane
    Seeds
    Germination remote-tubular; eophyll simple, strap-like, plicate. Seed 1, basally attached, deeply grooved longitudinally; endosperm homogenous; embryo lateral or basal
    [PW]
    Use
    The genus is immensely important from an economic point of view. It includes not only the date palm, the major crop of several Middle Eastern countries and of lesser importance elsewhere, but also other species that are widely used as sources of fibre for weaving, starch, sugar, and a multiplicity of purposes such as thatch and fuel. Many species are widely grown as ornamentals. Phoenix roebelenii is commercially important as a pot plant. Species are known to hybridise freely. For references on uses, see Johnson (1983a, 1984). For a summary of uses, see Johnson (1985).

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Andaman Is., Angola, Assam, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Burkina, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canary Is., Cape Provinces, Cape Verde, Caprivi Strip, Central African Repu, China South-Central, China Southeast, Comoros, Congo, Djibouti, East Aegean Is., East Himalaya, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf States, Hainan, India, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Kriti, KwaZulu-Natal, Laos, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaya, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicobar Is., Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sinai, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sumatera, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, Vietnam, West Himalaya, Yemen, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Introduced into:

    Afghanistan, Algeria, Bermuda, Bolivia, California, Cayman Is., Chad, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Florida, Greece, Gulf of Guinea Is., Italy, Leeward Is., Libya, Madeira, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico Northwest, Morocco, Mozambique Channel I, New Caledonia, New South Wales, Norfolk Is., Northern Territory, Puerto Rico, Queensland, Réunion, Sicilia, Socotra, South Australia, Spain, Trinidad-Tobago, Tunisia, Victoria, Western Australia, Western Sahara

    Phoenix L. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Dec 19, 2006 Kudrjavceva, E. [148], Vietnam K000462513
    Dec 19, 2006 Kudrjavceva, E. [716], Vietnam K000462521
    Dec 19, 2006 Kudrjavceva, E. [1009], Vietnam K000462523
    Milne-Redhead, E. [4091], Zambia 35187.000
    Gibbons, M. [s.n.10.95], India K000525859
    Hepper [5725], Yemen K000208717
    Hepper [6060], Yemen K000208718
    Barrow, S. [39], Turkey 65056.000
    Barrow, S. [39], Turkey K000208719
    Barrow, S. [40], Turkey K000208720
    Boydak [s.n.], Turkey K000208721
    s.coll. [Cat. no. s.n.] K001132594

    First published in Sp. Pl.: 1188 (1753)

    Accepted by

    • Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

    Literature

    Palmweb - Palms of the World Online
    • J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008
    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • F.T.A. 8: 102.
    • Sp. Pl. 1188 (1753)
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Becc. in Malesia 3: 345–416 (1890)
    • L., Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 496 (1754)
    • Sp. Pl.: 1188 (1753)

    Sources

    Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2018. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2018. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Palmweb - Palms of the World Online
    Palmweb 2011. Palmweb: Palms of the World Online. Published on the internet http://www.palmweb.org. Accessed on 21/04/2013
    Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0