Phoenix canariensis H.Wildpret

First published in Prov. Agric. Hort. Ill. 19: 293 (1882), nom. cons.
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Canary Islands. It is a tree and grows primarily in the subtropical biome. It is used as a medicine, has environmental uses and for food.

Descriptions

The Useful Plants of Boyacá project

Ecology
Alt. 1500 - 2600 m.
Distribution
Cultivated in Colombia.
Morphology General Habit
Tree.
[UPB]

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]

Bernal, R., G. Galeano, A. Rodríguez, H. Sarmiento y M. Gutiérrez. 2017. Nombres Comunes de las Plantas de Colombia. http://www.biovirtual.unal.edu.co/nombrescomunes/

Vernacular
palma de Canarias, palma de dátil de las Canarias, palma fénix
[UNAL]

Extinction risk predictions for the world's flowering plants to support their conservation (2024). Bachman, S.P., Brown, M.J.M., Leão, T.C.C., Lughadha, E.N., Walker, B.E. https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/nph.19592

Conservation
Predicted extinction risk: threatened. Confidence: confident
[AERP]

Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá. http://catalogoplantasdecolombia.unal.edu.co

Distribution
Cultivada en Colombia; Alt. 1500 - 2600 m.
Morphology General Habit
Árbol, palma solitaria
[CPLC]

Distribution
Elevation range: 1500–2600 m a.s.l. Cultivated in Colombia. Colombian departments: Antioquia, Bogotá DC, Boyacá, Cundinamarca.
Habit
Tree, Solitary palm.
Conservation
IUCN Red List Assessment (2021): LC.
Ecology
Habitat according IUCN Habitats Classification: shrubland, artificial - terrestrial.
[UPFC]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/13416997/122966725

Conservation
LC - least concern
[IUCN]

Uses

Use Gene Sources
Crop wild relatives which may possess beneficial traits of value in breeding programmes (State of the World's Plants 2016).
[UPB]

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.
[PW]

Use Environmental
Environmental uses.
Use Gene Sources
Used as gene sources.
Use Food
Used for food.
Use Medicines
Medical uses.
[UPFC]

Sources

  • Angiosperm Extinction Risk Predictions v1

    • Angiosperm Threat Predictions
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
  • Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

  • IUCN Categories

    • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Science Photographs

    • Copyright applied to individual images
  • 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
  • Universidad Nacional de Colombia

    • ColPlantA database
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia

    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Useful Plants of Boyacá Project

    • ColPlantA database
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0