Canary Island Date
Massive and imposing, the Canary Island Date Palm is
the center of attention wherever it is planted. Growing up to 60' tall,
the thick, hulking trunk is covered with interesting diamond designs
that mark the point of attachment of the leaves. The massive trunk
supports a huge crown of over 50 huge arching pinnate leaves that may
reach 18' long. These leaves are deep green shading to a yellow stem
where the leaflets are replaced by spines.
In areas of high
rainfall, like Florida, these palms are often seen with ferns growing
from among the old leaf stems. Decomposing leaf litter and other fibrous
matter collect there creating an absorbent compost that sword ferns
love, forming a hanging garden just below the palm's canopy.The orange dates are formed on drooping, highly branched inflorescences
and are very decorative. They are edible but not very tasty.
This is NOT a good palm tree for residences unless you have a really BIG
yard - or a Mediterranean style mansion (which they decorate very
nicely!) The huge bulk of the Canary Island palm dwarfs most houses.
This palm is best used along boulevards, on campuses and in parks and
grouped in trios to form focal points in cityscapes. I particularly like
the look of a trio of these palms of different heights, with their
trunks floodlit at night - very dramatic! Small specimens make great
container plants - they look especially nice in large terra cotta pots.
In colder regions they can be over-wintered indoors in a cool, bright
If you want to make a dramatic statement, use this huge imposing palm
wherever there is space to accommodate it. Small specimens are
inexpensive and readily available and look great in pots on the patio,
near the pool, or in pairs flanking entryways.