Common name(s): Senegal Date Palm, African Wild Date Palm
Scientific name: Phoenix reclinata
Plant family: ARECACEAE/PALMAE
Origin: Tropical Africa
Description: Hardy, multi-trunk palm with strong, raised base. Leaf fronds may grow to 10 feet, with leaflets looking like a very long feather. The lower stem of the palm will have multiple, sharp spines. Be careful and protect eyes and face when working around this palm. Trunk is slightly brown with crisscross fibers. Trunks may be up to 30 feet.
Growing Conditions: Grows best in full to filtered sun. Plants adapt to moist, sandy soil to rich, organic soils that are well drained. In it natural habitat this palm is found to grow in wetlands, along stream and rivers. It is a good clumping palm in dry, xeric garden soils. Hardy from Central to South Florida.
Wildlife: Flowers attract variety of insects, birds and with the fruit attracting small mammals and birds. With animals using this as a food source, this is a way in which a non native palm is dispersed in Florida wetlands and swamps.
Relation to Nehrling Gardens:
Location in Gardens: D6
Additional Information: This palm is on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council’s Level II list. Over the past 40 years, with the gradual changes in warmer winter temperatures in Florida, scientists have found that this palm can become more naturalized in moist, wet wilderness areas. Though we can still buy this elegant palm, it is of a concern. In 2021, this palm has become naturalized in Florida, Puerto Rico and Bermuda. Scientists have also identified numerous fungal and phytoplasma (like bacteria) diseases that impact the health of this species.
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