This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

June 3, 2015

Pineapple palm - Phoenix canariensis in Phoenix, Arizona

If you live in the Phoenix area, you have seen what is commonly called a *Pineapple palm*. It's Latin name is Phoenix canariensis, and it's similar to a common date palm, but its leaves are greener and the trunk is usually seen as short and squat (you know, like a pineapple). They are gigantic trees, and most properties are too small for them, even when they're young. And older specimens are not easy to find around town. But here's one (in the center) at the historic Sahuaro Ranch in Glendale, which is at 59th Avenue between Peoria and Mountain View (just south of the Main Library).

This ranch is well over 100 years old, but I really don't know how old the palms are. They're certainly much older than anything other palm trees planted around here. And if you're looking for the *pineapple* shape, well, this one is just way too tall. They grow fairly slowly in the Phoenix area, but you can see more that look like this in Southern California, where they achieve this height, and shape, faster.

The tree just to the right of it is the more common date palm, Phoenix dactylifera. Note that the leaves still have the distinctive *feather duster* shape, but they're not as green. You will usually see Phoenix dactyliferas planted around new shopping centers. Nowadays they're bred to be dateless (the fruit that drops and makes a terrible mess, and delicious date shakes), but on old properties like this, they do produce dates.

I have a particular fascination with palm trees, along with my fascination for Phoenix history. Both of these things seem to be just about invisible to most people that I meet, so they often wonder what I'm looking at. I'm just looking at palm trees.

Brad draws custom cartoon illustrations for publications, blogs, presentations, anything you want. You can contact him at his website

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