1. Family: Arecaceae Bercht. & J.Presl
    1. Genus: Phoenix L.
      1. Phoenix canariensis H.Wildpret

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Canary Islands.

    [PW]
    Biology
    From sea-level up to 600 m in a range of habitats, from humid areas just below cloud forest to semi-arid areas where its presence usually indicates groundwater. Ecological requirements of P. canariensis were extensively studied by Liipnitz & Kretschmar (1994). In its native habitat P. canariensis flowers during the spring and fruits ripen in the autumn.
    Distribution
    Phoenix canariensis is endemic to the Canary Islands and occurs scattered, in populations of varying sizes, on all seven islands. The largest populations of wild palms are found on La Gomera.
    General Description
    Solitary palm. Stem to 15 (20) m tall, without leaf sheaths to 120 cm diam.; trunk dull brown, marked with broad, diamond-shaped leaf base scars. Leaves arching, 5 - 6 m long; leaf base 25 - 30 cm wide; pseudopetiole to one fifth of total leaf length; leaf sheath reddish-brown, fibrous; acanthophylls proximally congested in arrangement, pointing in several directions, green when young, becoming yellow, to c. 20 cm long, conspicuously folded (conduplicate); leaflets closely and regularly inserted in one plane of orientation, to c. 200 on each side of rachis, often forward-pointing, c. 25 - 30 cm long; lamina concolorous, bluish-green, with adaxial and abaxial surfaces glabrous. Staminate inflorescence erect; prophyll splitting twice between margins, yellow-green with reddish-brown tomentum when young becoming brown and coriaceous, to c. 40 cm; peduncle to c. 50 - 70 cm long. Staminate flowers crowded along full length of rachillae; calyx an even-rimmed cupule, 1.5 - 2 mm high; petals to 6 x 3 mm, with apex rounded and minutely serrate. Pistillate inflorescence initially erect, becoming pendulous; prophyll splitting between margins, yellow-green, to 60 x 10 cm; peduncle yellow-green, elongating with maturity, 1.6 - 2 m long; rachillae yellow, elongating with fruit maturation, to c. 60 cm long. Pistillate flowers mostly in distal half of rachillae, yellow-white, with faintly sweet scent; calyx cupule c. 2.5 mm high; petals c. 3 x 4 mm. Fruit obovoid, 1.5 - 2.0 x c. 1.2 cm, ripening from yellow- green to golden-yellow. Seed ovoid in shape, c. 15 x 10 mm, with rounded apices; embryo lateral opposite raphe; endosperm homogeneous.
    Conservation
    The greatest threat to P. canariensis is an increase in cultivation of exotic species of Phoenix on the Canary Islands and contamination of the native species with alien genetic material. The ease with which species of Phoenix hybridize in cultivation is well known (Corner 1966; Hodel 1995), and the large number of horticultural names associated with 'canariensis-like' palms reflects the number and variety of hybrids in existence. Phoenix dactylifera and P. roebelenii have long been in cultivation on the Canary Islands and in recent years other exotic species of the genus have been introduced. Hybridization between P. canariensis and R dactylifera poses the biggest problem due to the difficulty of early detection and removal of the resulting hybrids. The recent ban on the importation of exotic species of Phoenix should help lessen the hybridization threat. Importation of palms known to carry the pathogen that causes Lethal Yellowing may also pose a threat to wild populations of P. canariensis.
    Vernacular
    Palmera Canaria (Canary Islands), (Carlo Morici, pers. comm.).
    [PW]
    Use
    Phoenix canariensis is extensively cultivated in warm temperate regions as a street tree or garden plant. The leaflets are used in much the same way as those of P. dactylifera for a range of woven products including crosses for Palm Sunday celebrations. Inflorescence buds are tapped for the sweet sap which is eaten as palm honey. Mifsud (1995) reported an unusual use for leaves of P. canariensis in Malta where fishermen attract pilot and dolphin fish by floating two or three palm leaves on the sea surface near their nets. These fish species are known to congregate under floating objects and so are easy prey beneath the palm leaves.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Canary Is.

    Introduced into:

    Algeria, Bermuda, Bolivia, Greece, Italy, New South Wales, Norfolk Is., Sicilia, South Australia, Spain, Tunisia, Victoria, Western Australia

    Phoenix canariensis H.Wildpret appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Thomas [7384] K000521955
    Thomas [8785] K000521956
    Thomas [8786] K000520376
    Asplund, E. [858], Canary Is. K000208728
    Bourgeau, E. [1014] K000208727
    s.coll. [s.n.] 66882.000

    First published in Prov. Agric. Hort. Ill. 19: 293 (1882)

    Accepted by

    • von Raab-Straube, E. & Raus, T. (eds.) (2016). Euro+Med-Checklist Notulae, 6 Willdenowia 46: 423-442.
    • Vladimirov, V., Dane, F. & Kit Tan (2015). New floristic records in the Balkans: 26 Phytologia Balcanica 21: 53-91.
    • Dobignard, A. & Chatelain, C. (2013). Index synonymique de la flore d'Afrique du nord 5: 1-451. Éditions des conservatoire et jardin botaniques, Genève.
    • Jørgensen, P.M., Nee, M.H. & Beck., S.G. (eds.) (2013). Catálogo de las plantas vasculares de Bolivia Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 127: 1-1741.
    • Dobignard, D. & Chatelain, C. (2010). Index synonymique de la flore d'Afrique du nord 1: 1-455. Éditions des conservatoire et jardin botaniques, Genève.
    • Dowe, J.L. (2010). Australian palms: biogeography, ecology and systematics: 1-290. CSIRO Publishing.
    • Castroviejo, S. & al. (eds.) (2008). Flora Iberica 18: 1-420. Real Jardín Botánico, CSIC, Madrid.
    • Grau, J. (2006). Palms of Chile: 1-203. Ediciones OIKOS Ltda., Santiago de Chile.
    • de Lange, P.J., Gardner, R.O., Sykes, W.R., Crowcroft, G.M., Cameron, E.K., Stalker, F., Christian, M.L. & Braggins, J.E. (2005). Vascular flora of Norfolk Island: some additions and taxonomic notes New Zealand Journal of Botany 43: 563-596.
    • Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Stevens, W.D., Ulloa U., C., Pool, A. & Montiel, O.M. (2001). Flora de Nicaragua Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 85: i-xlii, 1-2666.

    Literature

    Palmweb - Palms of the World Online
    • S.C. Barrow, A Monograph of Phoenix L. (Palmae: Coryphoideae). 1998
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • von Raab-Straube, E. & Raus, T. (eds.) (2016). Euro+Med-Checklist Notulae, 6 Willdenowia 46: 423-442.
    • Vladimirov, V., Dane, F. & Kit Tan (2015). New floristic records in the Balkans: 26 Phytologia Balcanica 21: 53-91.
    • Jørgensen, P.M., Nee, M.H. & Beck., S.G. (eds.) (2013). Catálogo de las plantas vasculares de Bolivia Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 127: 1-1741.
    • Dowe, J.L. (2010). Australian palms: biogeography, ecology and systematics: 1-290. CSIRO Publishing.
    • Castroviejo, S. & al. (eds.) (2008). Flora Iberica 18: 1-420. Real Jardín Botánico, CSIC, Madrid.
    • de Lange, P.J., Gardner, R.O., Sykes, W.R., Crowcroft, G.M., Cameron, E.K., Stalker, F., Christian, M.L. & Braggins, J.E. (2005). Vascular flora of Norfolk Island: some additions and taxonomic notes New Zealand Journal of Botany 43: 563-596.

    Sources

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

    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

    Kew Science Photographs
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew 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