Phoenix dactylifera     
Date palm   
Palmae Family     

Compiled by the Master Gardeners
of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension.


Form: tall palm with feather fronds; fronds held upright in "feather duster"-like arrangement; usually single trunked
Seasonality: evergreen
Size: to 100ft, spread to 30ft; growth rate is slow, may take 15 years to attain 10ft
Leaves: pinnate, feather-like fronds, 15-20ft long, more silver-gray than other Phoenix palms, rough and sharp, toothed petioles, held more erect (not arching); life span of leaf is 3-7 years; frond bases usually persist on trunk if not removed
Flowers: diecious; off-white clusters, not ornamental
Fruit: edible dates on female plants (if pollinated); cylindrical 1-2in long yellow fruit held out amongst fronds in pendulous clusters
Stems/Trunks: slender trunk, 18in diameter, leaf base scars form interesting geometric pattern; may produce basal offsets
Range/Origin: Asia, in cultivation worldwide for millennia
Hardiness: damage seen in mid twenties

tall palm tree
Phoenix dactylifera



P. dactylifera is more cold hardy than P. canariensis because of the slow growth rate, large plants are very expensive
male trees are less messy than female

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This page was first created July 20, 2001 and last modified March 26, 2005.

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