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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Phoenix (date palms)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Monocotyledons > Order: Arecales > Family: Arecaceae

About 17 species, native from Africa to Asia. Phoenix reclinata is the only species native to southern Africa. An additional seven species are cultivated in the region.

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique.

Phoenix reclinata (Wild date palm)

Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Phoenix canariensis (Canary date palm)

Native to the Canary Islands. One of the most commonly grown palms in gardens and along roadsides in southern Africa.


Phoenix dactylifera (Date palm, Real date palm)

Native to western Asia and North Africa.

Phoenix paludosa (Swamp date palm)

Indigenous from India to Burma.


Phoenix roebelenii (Dwarf date palm)

Native to East Asia (Laos).


Phoenix rupicola (East Indian wine palm)

Native to the eastern Himalayas.


Phoenix sylvestris (Indian date palm)

Native to India.


Phoenix theophrasti

Native to Crete.



  • Glen, H.F. 2000. Arecaceae. In: Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 580-582. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.