CRETE DATE PALM (Phoenix theophrasti)

The palm of ancient Greek amphorae

Although the Cretan date palm was not described by modern scientists until 1967, the record shows that Phoenix theophrasti was the first palm ever described. Theophrastus left written in his work De Historia Plantarum several references to the phoînix (palm tree in ancient Greek) in the 4th century BC. This palm tree has also been represented in multiple Greek ceramic drawings, and can be traced in the fossil record of the Aegean Sea up to 50,000 years ago.

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Habitat: In arid coastal areas, especially in ravines and gorges.

Distribution: Crete and parts of southern Turkey.

Description: Multi-stemmed, dioecious palm tree, up to 15 meters, trunk with remains of leaves or marked scars, pinnate leaves of bluish-silver color 2-3 meters long, pale yellow interfoliar inflorescence and small yellowish-brown dates.









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