Hyphaene compressa

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Hyphaene (hy-FEHN-eh)
compressa (KOHM-Ppress-ah)
Singapore Botanical Gardens. Photo by Geoff Stein.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Hyphaene (hy-FEHN-eh)
compressa (KOHM-Ppress-ah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary & Given to aerial branching.
Leaf type: Costapalmate
Survivability index
Common names
Doum Palm

Habitat and Distribution

Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia, and Tanzania.
Witu, Kenya. Photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.



Comments and Curiosities

Perhaps the most magnificent and elegant of the Hyphaene, this large Doum Palm from East Africa is found in lowland savannas to 1400 m from southern Ethiopia to Mozambique, particularly along water-courses and in seasonally flooded areas. It forms a sturdy, dichotomously forking trunk which, under favorable conditions, can hold 32 or even up to 64 crowns of strongly costapalmate leaves. The large but lightweight fruits are a favored food of elephants and baboons. Especially in Kenya and Tanzania, its distinctive silhouette dominates many coastal savannas. Despite being rather common there, it is very rarely seen in cultivation, where it would be ideally suited to dry topical climates but also adapts to other conditions. It is exceptionally hardy to drought, saline soils and fire but needs full sun and heat to thrive. (RPS.com) Editing by edric.

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to Palmweb.org, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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