Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Phoenix canariensis
Hort., Arecaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 17 (Go to the risk assessment)

Common name(s): [more details]

English: Canary date palm, Canary Island date palm

French: dattier des Canaries

Spanish: palmera Canaria

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Solitary palm. Stem to 15 (20) m tall, without leaf sheaths to 120 cm in diameter; trunk dull brown, marked with broad, diamond-shaped leaf base scars. Leaves arching, 5-6 m long; leaf base 25-30 cm wide; pseudopetiole to one fifth of total leaf length; leaf sheath reddish-brown, fibrous; acanthophylls proximally congested in arrangement, pointing in several directions, green when young, becoming yellow, to c. 20 cm long, conspicuously folded (conduplicate); leaflets closely and regularly inserted in one plane of orientation, to c. 200 on each side of rachis, often forward-pointing, c. 25 - 30 cm long; lamina concolorous, bluish-green, with adaxial and abaxial surfaces glabrous. Staminate inflorescence erect; prophyll splitting twice between margins, yellow-green with reddish-brown tomentum when young becoming brown and coriaceous, to c. 40 cm; peduncle to c. 50-70 cm long. Staminate flowers crowded along full length of rachillae; calyx an even-rimmed cupule, 1.5-2 mm high; petals to 6 x 3 mm, with apex rounded and minutely serrate. Pistillate inflorescence initially erect, becoming pendulous; prophyll splitting between margins, yellow-green, to 60 x 10 cm; peduncle yellow-green, elongating with maturity, 1.6-2 m long; rachillae yellow, elongating with fruit maturation, to c. 60 cm long. Pistillate flowers mostly in distal half of rachillae, yellow-white, with faintly sweet scent; calyx cupule c. 2.5 mm high; petals c. 3 x 4 mm. Fruit obovoid, 1.5-2.0 x c. 1.2 cm, ripening from yellow-green to golden-yellow. Seed ovoid in shape, c. 15 x 10 mm, with rounded apices; embryo lateral opposite raphe; endosperm homogeneous"  (Barrow, 1998, in Palmweb).

"Solitary stout palm. Trunk columnar, 12-16 m high, 90-140 cm in diameter, covered with large closely-placed leaf scars. Leaves many, large, widely spreading 5-6 m long, forming a dense crown; leaflets numerous, green, shining, more or less regularly arranged or paired along rachis in one plane. Inflorescence elongate. Male flowers small, c. 4 mm long, petals not acuminate; female flowers with calyx almost as long as the petals. Fruit oblong-ellipsoid, yellow to reddish with coarse, fibrous, tasteless, dry flesh, c. 2 cm long, 1.2 cm in diameter"  (Flora of Pakistan online).

Description from Flora of North America online.

Habitat/ecology:  "From sea-level up to 600 m in a range of habitats, from humid areas just below cloud forest to semi-arid areas where its presence usually indicates groundwater"  (Barrow, 1998, in Palmweb).  In the United States, "volunteer in waste places and disturbed areas; 0-1000 m"  (Flora of North America online).

Propagation:  Seed, perhaps spread by birds (Staples, Herbst & Imada, 2000; p. 16).

Native range:  Spain (Canary Islands) (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
cultivated
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (pp. 493, 539, 556)
"En RC, algunos ejemplares fueron plantados en el pueblo de San Juan Bautista donde se desarrollaron bien, sin por eso multiplicarse".
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 86)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 37)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1979) (p. 401)
Recorded from the Suva Botanical Gardens
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 86)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1942) (voucher ID: BISH 115767)
Taxon name on voucher: Phoenix canariensis Hort.
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Jaluit (Jãlwõj) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 86)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 111)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (p. 267)
Voucher cited: CHR 170310
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales introduced
invasive
cultivated
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
"This species is naturalised amongst cultivated plants in parks and roadside plantings, often invading neighbouring disturbed natural vegetation".
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 295)
Ornamental.
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
cultivated
Healy, A. J./Edgar, E. (1980) (p. 141)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) introduced
invasive
Staples, George W./Herbst, Derral/Imada, Clyde T. (2000) (p. 16)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
invasive
Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. (2013)


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This page was created on 16 DEC 2010 and was last updated on 11 FEB 2013.