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by : BTF

As I Wander...

Living in tropical Malaysia, we tend to take the hot humid weather, thundery rainstorms and the spectrum of wild evergreen plants as a given.

Recently, I noticed more exotic plants making its way into landscaped home gardens, recreational parks, frontages of shopping malls and
commercial buildings.

Along kerb sides of residential streets and busy motorways, palms, trees and flowering plants make pleasant and interesting fringes.

This is a record of the various species "as I see it" for I am in awe of palms. Hence, my premise for this blog is that the global garden,
i.e. every physical garden (tended or untended), becomes a part of my, simply said, cyber palm garden. ;-)

Please feel free to share your thoughts or comments.

Thank you for visiting!

ShaShinKi - Malaysia's Online Camera Shop!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Canary Date Palm

Botanical Name : Phoenix canariensis

A native of the Canary Islands, off the coast of North-east Africa.  It is one of  hardiest species of palms and most recognizable palm in the world. They are also found in Brazil, Paraguay northern Argentina and warmer areas in Western USA..

Located in Zone B of the Secret Garden, it is classed as an accent plant in warm temperate zones.

Also known as the Pineapple Palm or the Canary Palm, it has a stout, roundish trunk with a crown of arching dark green feather fronds.  The trunk is decorated by leaf scars but in this case, not too clearly seen as some parasitic ferns have settled themselves onto the hulk.

This species is known to grow up to 60 feet tall and its fronds up to 18 feet long, hence, it's no child's play for the faint hearted gardener or small yards.  It's stately stature and pride of place are more suited for presidential lawns or huge open spaces for accent landscaping.

                                                                             attractive pinnate fronds

May have missed its fruiting season as there were several dried stalks of drooping inflorescence without any drupes to show for unless of course, may be a male plant.  The fleshy fruits turn orange when mature and even though edible, apparently they are not tasty.  Even if they are, would anyone dare to harvest?

The lower petioles have long, stiff, menacing spines (3-5 inches long).  So one ought to beware when handling/pruning the fronds.

Can vouch for its non-popularity here in Malaysia.  Quite obviously, its massive structure and dangerous spines are off putting for home gardeners and landscaping agents coping with space constraints in the city.  Nevertheless, there is still a major park and even remotely possible, the boulevard of the royal palace  to sight... who knows?


  1. We have one of these on the property and I can attest to the spines causing bodily damage. I was digging a hole near it and fell with one of those spines going into my skin....ouch! However it is a beautiful plant to have around and it's far out of reach for those unsuspecting passerbys:)

  2. Hi roherbot... thank you for sharing your experience! Hopeful there was no adverse skin reaction. Must say, I am not a great fan of these needles:)