pygmy date palm Arecaceae Phoenix
roebelenii O'Brien symbol: PHRO6
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, up to 4 feet long; individual leaflets lance-shaped, 1 foot long, lower half of petiole covered with 2-3 inch sharp spines, shiny dark green above, feathery.
Flower: Species is dioecious; both males and females occur on dense, hanging many-branched 1 foot clusters, creamy yellow-white, opening from a husk-like structure, appearing periodically throughout the year.
Fruit: Fleshy drupe, elliptical, 1/2 inch long, red-brown to dark purple, date-like, occurs in up to 18 inch hanging clusters, may be produced in quantity.
Bark: Light grayish brown, rough and irregular, with leaves or leaf bases persisting, may form adventitious roots near the base.
Form: A small, single-stemmed palm (often cultured to be clumping) to 10 feet tall, trunks usually sweeping, dense feathery top.
Looks like: Canary Island date palm - coconut palm - queen palm - royal palm
Additional Range Information: Phoenix roebelenii is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and is not known to widely escape cultivaton.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson