Species list


Phoenix canariensis

Canary Island date palm

Canary Island date palm, pineapple palm (Eng); palmera canaria, palma (Spa).


"(…) like when I was a boy / and I leaned through your open shutter: /lintel of lindens and palms."

Cipriano Acosta


Plant up to 20 m tall that has a straight, sturdy trunk (70-80 cm in diameter) and no shoots at the base. Its crown is more or less rounded and leafy (with 70-100 leaves). These characteristics differentiate it from the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), which often has shoots at the base and a very open crown (with 20-50 leaves). The leaves are large, up to 7 m long, generally arched, leathery, and composed of about 150-200 flexible pairs of leaflets and with pointed tips. The base of each leaf is armed with short, sharp, very hard, yellowish-ivory-coloured thorns. Unlike those of its relative, the leaves are a deep green, not bluish, and less rigid. The Canary Island date palm has male specimens that produce very tight inflorescences comprising numerous white flowers that release abundant pollen, and female trees, with larger, more branching inflorescences (sometimes almost 1.5 m long) than the males, which have yellowish flowers spaced further apart. The fruits are known locally as támaras and are like small dates (about 2 cm long), with little pulp and a single seed with a deep lateral furrow. When ripe they acquire an orange-yellow colour. Hybrid specimens of the Canary Island date palm and the date palm exist in which it is difficult to establish clear morphological differences.


The Canary Island date palm is a very sturdy species that withstands drought and salty air, although it cannot tolerate the cold and therefore grows better in mild, somewhat humid climates. Magnificent natural and semi-natural palm groves can still be found in the bottoms of ravines, on slopes, cliffs and ridges. This tree usually grows best in the lowest areas of the islands, but specimens can be found up to altitudes of 1000 m.


Species endemic to the Canary Islands that grows naturally on all the islands.