Hyphane thebaica

Family: Arecaceae

Life Form: A perennial palm tree    

Common Names:
Doum Palm,

Coastal north-eastern Africa

Open grasslands, and desert.

Silty soils on wadi banks and sometimes on rocky hilly slopes.

A very distinctive fan palm which is one of the few palms which branches.

A palm tree easily recognizable by the dichotomy of its stem. Bole fairly smooth but clearly showing the scars of the fallen leaves. Bark dark grey. Leaves 120 x 180 cm, fan shaped, in tufts at the ends of branches with the blade divided into segments about 60 cm long. Male and female flowers on separate trees. The inflorescence is similar in both sexes, up to 1.2 m long. Male flowers shortly stalked, solitary in pits of the spadix, spathe-bracts encircling the spadix, pointed. Branches of female spadices stouter, in the fruiting stage marked by densely tomentose cushions after the fall of the fruit. Fruits 6-10 x 6-8 cm, smooth, shiny brown when ripe

Sunny, very well drained position. Can tolerate temperate climates, but prefers it hot. It can tolerate lots of water as well, as long as the drainage is good (there is a very large Doum palm in the Singapore Botanic Gardens). Very drought tolerant.

When planting the seed, make sure to use a very deep pot, since the seed sends down a very long trap root, or "sinker".


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