An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

  1. Date_palm_fruit-flickrcc-jesus_cabrera Date palm fruit-FlickrCC-Jesus Cabrera

Canary Island Date Palm

Phoenix canariensis


  • Short description: Single trunk, palm-tree. 
  • Size: up to 15 – 20 metres high, 1 metre in diameter 
  • Leaves: Spread leaves, 6m long and 50 cm wide (when flattened), short thick and extremely sharp- pointed. 
  • Flowers: A loose branching cluster of yellowish flowers. The flowers are 2-4cm long with rounder outer segments. 
  • Fruits/seeds: Yellowish to red fruit that is 1.5 – 2.3 cm long. Fleshy layer that is rather thin


What to Observe

•First fully open single flower 

•Full flowering (record all days)

•End of flowering (when 95% of the flowers have faded)

•No flowering

ClimateWatch Science Advisor

We expect plants to start shooting and flowering earlier in the year as a result of climate change warming the Earth. They may also start appearing in new areas, as warmer temperatures enable them to live in environments that were previously too cold for them. Help scientists answer the question: "How are our animals, plants and ecosystems responding to climate change?"

When To Look

In its native habitat it flowers during spring and fruits ripen in autumn.

Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes in the timing of these events so remember to keep a lookout all year!

Where To Look

This species is naturalised amongst common plants in parks and roadside plantings, often invading neighbouring disturbed natural vegetation. Western Australia, South Australia, Victorian, Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales.

Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes outside of their known ranges so remember to keep a lookout beyond these regions too!

Canary Island Date Palm (pest species) distribution map - GBIF

 Canary Island Date Palm (pest species) distribution map - GBIF



  • Royal Botanic Gardens Board Victoria 2015 ( for species information. 
  • PlantNET ( for species information.
  • Queensland Government; Weeds of Australia for Biosecurity Queensland for species information.


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  1. Did You Know?

    • Date Palm or the Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis) is regarded as an environmental weed in Victoria and New South Wales.
    • This species is becoming naturalised in many parts of south-eastern Australia, though it currently has a scattered distribution. So far, it has been recorded in some parts of eastern New South Wales and Victoria, and in south-eastern South Australia. It is also sparingly naturalised on Norfolk Island and possibly naturalised in south-western Western Australia and south-eastern Queensland.