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.
Kik KK EAe
Greece (East Aegean islands present; Kiklades present; Kriti and Karpathos present)
Native / Non Range-Restricted
Woodlands and scrub, Freshwater habitats
Presidential Decree 67/81