Pigmy Date Palm

2 Dec

Pigmy Date Palm (Pheonix roebelenii), evergreen tree, very slow growth to 6 ft. in height with equal spread, clusters of small yellowis-green flowers early summer, trunk patterned with stubs of old fronds, sun to light shade, somewhat drought tolerant, good container plant.

These feather palms are mostly large trees, but roebelenii is the miniature variety. Trunks are patterned with bases of old leaf stalks. Small yellowish flowers appear in large, hanging sprays. On female trees, blossoms are followed by clusters of dates—but only if the tree has been in the ground for at least several years and if a male tree is nearby.

Dates of Phoenix dactylifera and Phoenix sylvestris are the ones found in produce markets; those of other species don’t have as much edible flesh. Date palms hybridize freely, so buy these trees from a reliable nursery that knows the seed or plant source.

Phoenix roebelenii 

Native to Laos. Fine-textured, curving leaves form a dense crown 6 to 8 ft. across. Good in groves or as a potted plant. Full sun or partial shade. Indoors, provide bright indirect light. Foliage browns at around 26°F/-3°C but recovers rapidly in spring.


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