Senegal Date Palm, African Wild Date Palm
Phoenix reclinata

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phoenix (FEE-niks) (Info)
Species: reclinata (rek-lin-AY-tuh) (Info)
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Tropicals and Tender Perennials



over 40 ft. (12 m)


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:

Blooms repeatedly


Grown for foliage




Other details:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Corte Madera, California

Encino, California

Fresno, California

Granite Bay, California

Huntington Beach, California

Los Altos, California

Los Angeles, California

Merced, California

Oceanside, California

Reseda, California

San Diego, California

San Marino, California

San Pedro, California

Temecula, California

Upland, California

Visalia, California

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Brandon, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Niceville, Florida

Palatka, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Sebring, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Venice, Florida

Chauvin, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Las Vegas, Nevada

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Alice, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 10, 2015, IlhadoPico from Sao Roque do Pico
Portugal (Zone 11) wrote:

I have planted a 4+ foot SD palm on a rocky slope in a village in the Azores with a mild oceanic subtropical climate with temperatures between 48F and 77F year round including nights, with temperatures predominantly in 50Fs and 60Fs most of the year (cities are a couple degrees warmer). "Winter" nights are usually 48F through 60F with low 50s most of the time and winter days are low 50s through high 50s with occasional 60-65F. Summer nights are 50s through upper 60s and days are 60s and up to high 70s, maybe an occasional 80F in July and August. I have a question: will this palm grow on a rocky slope (not very steep)? I mean long terms, would it be able to penetrate into the volcanic rocks and survive? Or would it decline and topple down from strong winds?


On Jun 20, 2009, ArchAngeL01 from Myrtle Beach, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant is hardier than suggested, we have large 20 foot specimens here that have ben around for years, and it never gets burned in winter like the canaries do,but then again im borderline zone 9 zone 8b coastal


On Jan 9, 2005, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

This palm is one of the most attractive palms I favor (and enjoy), but it is listed as a Category Two Invasive by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) for central and southern Florida (zones 9a through 11) and the Keys. It is a suckering palm that forms dense, spiky thickets of tall fronds and some trunks, especially in moist to moderately dry sites. It has increasingly escaped from cultivation into natural areas and habitats in central and southern Florida and the Keys, forming dense, clustering, spiky thickets in favored conditions in natural areas, potentially crowding out surrounding native vegetation. In Florida, it has escaped and spread from cultivation into many habitats such as mangrove swamps, pinelands, wet or moist habitats, moderately moist habitats, moderately dry h... read more


On Dec 23, 2004, Kylecawaza from Corte Madera, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I have never seen a "true" phoenix reclinata in cultivation, or at least the same kind of phoenix species as in the habitat. In their habitat in northern South Africa, they tend to have very dark lightly fiberous stems around 5 to 6 inches in diameter and very dark green leaves, and never higher than 20 feet, and in the North, like in Malawi they tend to have stems up to a foot thick and lighter leaves and growing up to 40 feet tall.


On Dec 2, 2004, laspalmasdesign from Los Altos, CA wrote:

This species of palm grows spectacularly fast if watered deeply and often. Coming from African flood plains, they tolerate soggy conditions. They can be quite drought tolerant as well but lots of water and feeding during the growing season makes 'em skyrocket. Wear heavy, long gloves when pruning! Their spiny petioles and pointy leaflets are sharp.


On Jul 7, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This palm is one of the more highly sought after specimen palms used in landscaping throughout California, Texas, Arizona, Florida etc... it makes a very tropical looking clump of tall, feather-leaved palms that are somewhat reminiscent of a group of coconut palms (which, unfortunately, don't grow in most of those places). It is cold hardy down to about 22F, and colder temps can sometimes burn it to the ground, only to have suckers come back the following spring. Here in So Cal cold never touches this palm and it is very commonly planted. However large specimens cost up to 10s of thousands of dollars and require a crane and many assistants to move about. They are also spiny palms, each leaf base starting with viciously narrow, strong barbs, that turn into leaves farther from the base. ... read more