Phoenix roebelenii

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Figure 1. P. roebelenii - close-up of the spines on the lower half of the petiole.


Common Names:

Dwarf/Pygmy Date Palm

Distribution & Habitat:

Rainforest of Laos/Vietnam/Thailand.


Small to medium sized palm to about 3m, altho older plants can be quite tall. Has very attractive dark green feather leaves, and spined petioles. Not self cleaning, so old fronds need to be manually removed (it can get be painfull, due to the spines).


Quite a popular plant due to its hardiness, attractiveness and small size (good for small areas).

Interestingly enough, all the cultivated plants are single trunked, yet in the wild, they are all clumping, and single trunked specimens haven't been found.


Full sun thru to heavy shade, and likes lots of water (altho not wet feet). Seedlings can be quite slow, but speed up considerably once they start to trunk.

Figure 2. Attractive group of P. roebelenii.

Contributed by:

Mike Gray (Figure 1)
University of Florida-IFAS (Figure 2)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk