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Date Palm (Phoenix dactilifera)
Trees Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Date Palm (Phoenix dactilifera)

General: Date Palms (Phoenix dactylifera) are palm trees introduced into this country from north Africa for date cultivation. Date palms have long, feather-like fronds (leaves), whereas the native California Fan Palms have fan-shaped fronds. Although "feather-like" in appearance, the fronds are stiff and spiny.

Date Palms are usually found in agricultural groves or as ornamental plants in urban settings. They can be found growing in groves at Furnace Creek in Death Valley National Park, although the Park Service seems to be removing them.


Family: Palm (Arecaceae).

Date Palm (Phoenix dactilifera)

Plant Form: Upright, unbranched, evergreen tree with a tuft of leaves at the tip.

Height: To about 25 feet.

Trunk: Tall and usually straight. Old fronds remain attached, but drop off with time.

Bark: None per se.

Stems: No branches.

Leaves: feather-like (pinnately compound); remain attached to the trunk; leaflets long and narrow, like long spines off the midrib, folded lengthwise with margins upward.

Date Palm (Phoenix dactilifera)

Flowers: Inflorescence: large panicle (modified frond). Flowers inconspicuous, yellow.

Seeds: Fruit 1 to 2-inches long, oblong, brown, sweet fruit (i.e., commercial dates).

Habitat: Arid deserts, usually agricultural fields.

Elevation: To about 1,000 feet.

Distribution: Native to north Africa; widely introduced in agricultural and urban settings.

Comments: The leaves are long and feather-like, not fan shaped (compare with native California Fan Palms).

Date Palm (Phoenix dactilifera)
Fronds are long and narrow
Date Palm (Phoenix dactilifera)
Fronds have a central axis and leaflets off the central axis
Date Palm (Phoenix dactilifera)
Funny top-down view of a date palm in a desert canyon
Date Palm (Phoenix dactilifera)
Date palms in the historic Furnace Creek (Death Valley NP) grove

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
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