A genus of fan palms whose trunks branch by a true dichotomy (see dichotomous branching). They are dioecious. The inflorescences are stout and much-branched, and are borne among the leaves. The fruits have a juicy pulp, the stigma is basal, and there is 1 seed with a stony wall. In Egypt H. thebaica (doum or gingerbread palm) has been cultivated since time immemorial for its gingerbread-flavoured fruits. There are 41 species, most of them African, extending to Madagascar, Arabia, and India.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.