The Canary Island Date Palm is one of the most widely cultivated ornamental palms in the world. The species has enjoyed a reputation as a hardy tree that will tolerate a wide range of soil types and climactic conditions that has made it highly suitable for the Australian landscape (Jones 1989).
Not self-cleaning, so the old leaves need to be cut off. An architectural tree that also makes a good avenue tree and can help provide a Mediterranean landscape character.
Origin: Canary Islands, off north/eastern Africa
Description: Very large (to about 20m), majestic palm, with a tall, solid trunk, with a broad crown of large, arching, divided feathery leaves with spined petioles held on sturdy dark grey trunk.
Tolerances: Adaptable to a wide range of soil types, grows best in full sun, well drained position. Has moderate to high drought tolerance and tolerance to frost and salt spray. Transplants easily as a mature tree. Although the species is renowned for its hardiness, it like most other plant species will suffer the effects of waterlogged or saline soils. Drought will also affect the well being of this palm species particularly in sandy soils. Zinc and nitrogen deficiencies often found in costal soils will affect the growth and appearance of the Canary Island Date Palm, as will alkaline soils. Seedlings are quite slow, but speed up considerably once they start to trunk
A significant threat to palm species in particular the Canary Island Date Palm is Fusarium wilt, Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. canariensis. Fusarium wilt is a true wilt disease where plant decline and death is as a direct result of the loss of function of the water conducting cells within the plant.
Availability: Usually transplanted as a mature tree. Specialist nurseries or salvaged from older landscapes.
Reference: Jones, D. (1989), Palms in Australia. Reed
Spencer, R. (2005) Horticultural flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5, Flowering plants: monocotyledons. University of New South Wales Press Ltd.