Canary Island Date Palm - Phoenix canariensis
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Edible Palms

Healthy Canary Island Date Palms
Fig. 1
Healthy Canary Island Date palms

Phoenix canariensis in Bogotá's Botanical Garden
Fig. 2
P. canariensis in Bogotá's Botanical Garden

P. canariensis canopy from below
Fig. 3 magnifying glass
P. canariensis canopy from below

P. canariensis leaves with twisted rachis
Fig. 4
P. canariensis leaves with twisted rachis

P. canariensis leaves with leaflets in several planes
Fig. 5 magnifying glass
P. canariensis leaves with leaflets in several planes

P. canariensis stem base and roots
Fig. 6 magnifying glass
P. canariensis stem base and roots

P. canariensis leaf scars on stem
Fig. 7 magnifying glass
P. canariensis leaf scars on stem

P. canariensis fruit
Fig. 8 magnifying glass
P. canariensis fruit

P. canariensis
Fig. 9
P. canariensis fruit close-up

P. canariensis dates
Fig. 10
P. canariensis fruits and seeds

Phoenix canariensis (Canary Island Date Palm) Pineapple Trim
 Fig. 11
P. canariensis (Canary Island Date Palm) pineapple trim [overpruned]

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Edible Palms

Scientific name
Phoenix canariensis H. Wildpret
Pronunciation
FEE-nicks kan-air-ee-EN-sis
Common names
Canary Island Date palm, Palmera canaria (Canary Islands), Pineapple Palm
Synonyms
Phoenix canariensis var. porphyrococca Vasc. & Franco; Phoenix cycadifolia Regel; Phoenix erecta hort. ex Sauv.; Phoenix jubae (Webb & Berthel.) Webb ex Christ; Phoenix macrocarpa hort. ex Sauv.; Phoenix tenuis Verschaff.; Phoenix vigieri Naudin
Relative
P. dactylifera
Family
Arecacea/Palmae
Origin
P. canariensis is native to the Canary Islands which are located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of northeast Africa.
USDA hardiness zones
9A–11
Uses
Edible fruit; tree has outstanding ornamental features
Height
40-60 ft (12-20 m) slow growing reaching 10 ft (3 m) in 15 years
Spread
Frond spread of 20-40 ft (6-12 m)
Crown
Healthy specimens should have full, round canopies with 130–150 leaves
Plant habit
The massive trunk supports a huge crown of over 50 huge arching pinnate leaves that may reach 18 ft (46 cm) long
Growth rate
Slow
Trunk/bark/branches
Two to three feet diameter trunk is covered with interesting diamond designs that mark the point of attachment of the leaves
Pruning requirement
In South Florida, this species produces about 50 leaves per year, and  when dead are removed manually
Leaves
Pinnate feather-like fronds, arching at top, 15-20ft (4.5-6 m) long, green, long-lived, toothed petioles; deep green shading to a yellow stem where the leaflets are replaced by vicious spines
Flowers
Inconspicuous white flowers on orange stalks which are about 3 ft (1 m) in length; male and female flowers are borne on separate trees
Fruit
Color orange, up to 1" to 1.5" (2.5-3.8 cm) long, ovoid drupe and edible, though not particularly tasty; earely eaten by humans because of their small size and thin flesh
Light requirement
Full sun, will tolerate part shade
Soil tolerances
Grown on a wide range of soil types, with their primary requirement being good drainage
Drought tolerance
Tolerant
Aerosol salt tolerance
Moderate
Soil salt tolerance
Moderately tolerant of salt spray
Cold tolerance
Damaged at 20° F (-7 °C); frond damage is unattractive, slow to recover
Invasive potential *
Little, if any at this time
Pest resistance
Highly susceptible to palmetto weevils and to a number of diseases, most of which are lethal



Reading Material

A review of the nomenclature and typification of the Canary Islands endemic palm, Phoenix canariensis (Arecaceae) pdf 8 pages
Pheonix canariensis: Canary Island Date Palm from the University of Florida pdf 6 pages



Origin

Native to the Canary Islands

Description
Massive and imposing, the Canary Island date palm is the center of attention wherever it is planted. These stately palms are popular landscape items in near frost-free climates around the world. They are grown throughout Florida and all along the Gulf of Mexico coastline. They are planted in warm areas of the western U.S. including Arizona, California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Widely used on the French Riviera, this palm provides a distinctive look to the Mediterranean resorts. 1

Varieties
Will hybridize readily with other Phoenix species.

Propagation
Fresh seeds germinate in 2–3 months under high temperatures(85°F –95°F) and uniform moisture.

Pruning
Leaves are not self-cleaning and must be manually removed when dead, but the leaf bases eventually rot off, leaving an attractive diamond-shaped pattern of leaf scars on the 2- to 3-foot-diameter trunk. 2

Fertilizing
Canary Island Date palms in the Southeast should be fertilized three times per year (four times in South Florida) with an 8-2-12-4 Mg plus micronutrients palm fertilizer that has 100% of its nitrogen, K, and Mg in controlled-release form and its micronutrients, such as iron and manganese, in water-soluble sulfate or chelated (iron only) form. 2

Note
In areas of high rainfall, like Florida, these palms are often seen with ferns growing from among the old leaf stems. Decomposing leaf litter and other fibrous matter collect there creating an absorbent compost that sword ferns love, forming a hanging garden just below the palm's canopy. 1

Pests
They are susceptible to the Palmetto Weevils (Rhynchophorus cruentatus) from the University of Florida pdf 6 pages and smaller Silky Cane Weevil (Metamasius hemipterus) from the University of Florida pdf 5 pages

Diseases
These palm trees are susceptible to a number of diseases, most of which are lethal but one disease that is mostly cosmetic in its effect is Graphiola leaf spot, commonly known as “false smut.”
Fusarium Wilt from the University of Florida pdf
Ganoderma Butt Rot from the University of Florida pdf 6 pages
Thielaviopsis Trunk Rot from the University of Florida pdf
Lethal Yellowing (LY) from the University of Florida pdf 7 pages  and
Texas Phoenix Palm Decline (TPPD) from the University of Florida pdf 6 pages 
Graphiola Leaf Spot (False Smut) of Palm from the University of Florida pdf
More... pdf

Food Uses
Fruit have been eaten by humans in times of need. Sap is still extensiverly extracted in La Gomera (Canaries)to produce "Miel de Palma", which is the condensed sap that tastes somewhat like maple syrup. 3

Other Uses

This is NOT a good palm tree for residences unless you have a really BIG yard - or a Mediterranean style mansion (which they decorate very nicely!) The huge bulk of the Canary Island palm dwarfs most houses. 1

General
In areas of high rainfall, like Florida, these palms are often seen with ferns growing from among the old leaf stems. Decomposing leaf litter and other fibrous matter collect there creating an absorbent compost that sword ferns love, forming a hanging garden just below the palm's canopy. 1


Further Reading
Canary Island Date Palm ext. link



List of Growers and Vendors
Bibliography

1 Sheper, John. "Phoenix canariensis." floridata.com. Created 24 May 1998. Updated 30 May 1999. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.
2 Broschat, T.K. "Phoenix canariensis: Canary Island Date Palm." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. This document is ENH-598, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Publication date Nov. 1993. Reviewed Sept. 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
3 Haynes, Jody and McLaughlin, John. "Edible Palms and Their Uses." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. This document is Fact Sheet MDCE-00-5- of the UF/Miami-Dade County Extension Office. First published Nov. 2000. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.

Photographs

Fig. 1 Broschat, T. K. Healthy Canary Island Date Palms. N.d. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.
Fig. 2 Pipeafcr. Phoenix canariensis in Bogotá's Botanical Garden. 2013. wikipedia.org. Web. 14 May 2014.
Fig. 3,4,5,6,7 Anderson, P.J. Phoenix canariensis. 2011. In Identifying Commonly Cultivated Palms, a Resource for Pests and Diseases of Cultivated Palms. idtools.org/id/palms/palmid/. Web. 14 May 2014.
Fig. 8,9,10 MR. Phoenix canariensis. N.d. toptropicals.com. Web. 14 May 2014.
Fig. 11 Davidnat.  Phoenix canariensis (Canary Island Date Palm) Pineapple Trim. 2007. wikimedia.orgUnder (CC BY-SA 3.0 US). Web. 18 Nov. 2015.

UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas

Published 11 Apr. 2014 LR. Last update 25 Apr. 2017 LR
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