SCIENTIFIC NAME: Phoenix
COMMON NAME(S): Date palms
FAMILY: ARECACEAE (PALMAE) - Palm family
ORIGIN: Asia, Africa, about 15 spp.
HABITAT: Cultivated landscapes
CHARACTERISTICS: Leaf bases retained for many years
LEAVES: Alternate, feather-like, very large, the lower leaflets modified into sharp spines
FLOWERS: Small, white or yellow, borne in number on branched-flower stems; separate male and female plants
FLOWERING SEASON: Spring, summer
FRUITS: Oblong, fleshy, orange or black, 1-seeded
ALLERGENIC PRINCIPLES: Pollen allergens
ALLERGENIC PROPERTIES: Respiratory
COMMENTS: Date palm pollen is moderately allergenic to hay fever sufferers. Canary Island Date (P. canariensis Chabaud), Edible date (P. dactylifera L.), Senegal date (P. reclinata Jacq.) and Pygmy date (P. roebelenii O'Brien) are frequently cultivated.