A genus of palms in which the leaves are pinnate (with a terminal leaf present, a feature unique among the palms), basal leaflets often occurring as spines. They are dioecious. The inflorescences form among the leaves as 1 big, caducous spathe. The flowers are single, with 3 carpels. The fruits are fleshy, the seed hard and grooved. Several are widely cultivated. P. dactylifera is the date palm. There are 17 species, found from the Canary Islands and Africa to Sumatra and Malaya, mostly in seasonal or dry climates. P. theophrasti, of Crete and Turkey, is 1 of only 2 native European palms.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.