Phoenix theophrasti is one of only two native species of palms in Europe, the other being Chamaerops humilis of the W Mediterranean region. It was known already to Theophrastos, but long believed to be a primitive form of the cultivated date palm, being recognized as an independent species as late as 1967. It grows by sandy beaches and estuaries with a main population of several hundred trees at the “palm beach” of Vai in E Kriti. The small dates have a pleasant, sweet taste. Seeds germinate easily in damp coastal sand, and there is vigorous regeneration in the Vai population. Some additional small groups of trees occur elsewhere in the S Aegean area and in the Datça Peninsula of SW Anatolia.
–IoI –NPi –SPi –Pe –StE –EC –NC –NE –NAe –WAe Kik KK –EAe
Greece (East Aegean islands ‒ absent; East Central Greece ‒ absent; Ionian Islands ‒ absent; Kiklades ‒ present; Kriti and Karpathos ‒ present; North Aegean islands ‒ absent; North Central Greece ‒ absent; North Pindos ‒ absent; North-East Greece ‒ absent; Peloponnisos ‒ absent; South Pindos ‒ absent; Sterea Ellas ‒ absent; West Aegean islands ‒ absent)
Woodlands and scrub, Freshwater habitats