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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 23 | Arecaceae

6. Phoenix Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1188. 1753.

刺葵属 ci kui shu

Stems solitary or clustered, short and subterranean to large and aerial, usually rough with very close nodes, often covered with persistent leaf bases. Leaves 8-50, pinnate; leaf sheaths open; pinnae induplicate, regularly or irregularly arranged and then spreading in different planes, at base of leaf modified into short, stout, sharp spines (acanthophylls). Plants dioecious. Inflorescences usually branched to 1 order, borne among leaves; peduncle bearing a prophyll, other bracts much reduced; rachillae often borne in groups or spirals along inflorescence rachis; flowers small, simple, unisexual; male flowers with 6(-9) stamens. Fruits variously colored black or brown, obovoid, oblong, or ellipsoid, usually 1-seeded; mesocarp fleshy, thick and sweet tasting in date palm but thin and bitter in other species; endosperm homogeneous, rarely ruminate; germination remote; eophylls undivided.

Fourteen species: from the Canary Islands across Africa, the Mediterranean, and SW Asia to just reaching the Philippines; three species (one introduced) in China.

In addition to species no. 1 below, Phoenix canariensis Chabaud (Prov. Agric. Hort. Ill. 19: 293. 1882; 加拿利海枣 jia na li hai zao) is cultivated in China. It is native to the Canary Islands.

Records of Phoenix sylvestris (Linnaeus) Roxburgh from China (e.g., FRPS 13(1): 8. 1991) were presumably based on misidentifications.

1 Pinnae regularly arranged and spreading in same plane; pinnae with persistent scales on abaxial surface of midrib.   3 P. roebelenii
+ Pinnae irregularly arranged and spreading in different planes; pinnae without persistent scales on abaxial surface of midrib   (2)
2 (1) Stems short and subterranean or to 5 m tall.   2 P. loureiroi
+ Stems tall and aerial, to 30 m tall.   1 P. dactylifera

Lower Taxa


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