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Palm - Phoenix canariensis

Upper Botany Garden

Native to the Canary Islands, it can be found in all islands where it is used to produce palm honey, a syrup obtained by boiling the sap extracted from incisions at the top of the trunk. It has an erect and robust trunk, of a dark brown or greyish colour, and can reach up to 15-20 m in height. The curved fronds, of a bright dark green colour, are very large and can grow up to 4-5 metres long; the petiole measures up to a metre in length and has numerous sharp spines. Canary Islands palms are dioecious plants (with male and female specimens). Their orange-brown flowers blossom in late spring among the fronds: those of female plants are longer and more showy, and in summer they are replaced by clusters of oval berries, yellow-orange in colour and about 2 cm long, edible but not particularly palatable. It is very popular as an ornamental plant in most Mediterranean regions and the subtropics, where temperatures do not fall below -10/-12 C. In Europe it is cultivated in every coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

Text by
Paolo Basetti
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