Phoenix theophrasti

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Figure 1. P. theophrasti at Preveli, southern Crete.




Common Names:

Cretan Date Palm


A few sites on the Greek island of Crete, and southern Turkey.


Rocky slopes in semi arid areas.


A medium sized, clustering palm, with silver/grey, spiny leaves, the leaflets being sharper then P. dactylifera and very tough.


Once thought to be an ancestor of the modern date palm, (P. dactylifera) but further studies have shown them to be seperate species. The fruit is edible, but not nearly as big or as tasty as the true date palm.


Full sun, well drained position. Frost and drought tolerant. Said to be the hardiest of the Phoenixs.

Figure 2. Young P. theophrasti in Naples.
Note the grey and spiny leaves.
an "oasis" near a beach in the north east.
palms grow in a rocky valley with a little river in the middle.

Contributed by:

Angelo Porcelli
(Figure 2)
Federico Minghetti (Figures 1,3,4&5)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, IUCN, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk