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Useful Tropical Plants

Phoenix pusilla

Gaertn.

Arecaceae

+ Synonyms

Phoenix farinifera Roxb.

Phoenix zeylanica Trimen

Zelonops pusilla (Gaertn.) Raf.

Common Name:

Phoenix pusilla
Cultivated tree
Photograph by: Rachael Moore
Creative Commons License
Phoenix pusilla Phoenix pusilla Phoenix pusilla

General Information

Phoenix pusilla is an evergreen palm tree, producing one or a cluster of unbranched stems up to 6 metres tall and 30cm in diameter. The stems are thickly clothed with old leaf sheaths and topped by a crown of leaves are up to 3 metres long[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
464
Title
A Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon
Publication
 
Author
Trimen H.; continued by Hooker J.D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Dulau and Co; London.
Year
1898
ISBN
 
Description
Very dated, but still a useful work. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
1737
Title
A Monograph of Phoenix L. (Palmae; Coryphoidede)
Publication
Kew Bulletin Vol 53, 3, 513-575, 1998
Author
Barrow S.C.
Website
http://10.2307/4110478
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
An edible starch is obtained from the stems in times of food shortage. The leaves are used locally for making baskets, mats etc.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

464
Title
A Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon
Publication
 
Author
Trimen H.; continued by Hooker J.D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Dulau and Co; London.
Year
1898
ISBN
 
Description
Very dated, but still a useful work. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
1737
Title
A Monograph of Phoenix L. (Palmae; Coryphoidede)
Publication
Kew Bulletin Vol 53, 3, 513-575, 1998
Author
Barrow S.C.
Website
http://10.2307/4110478
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
 

Range

E. Asia - southern India, Sri Lanka.

Habitat

Dry, barren ground, often in sandy land at a small distance from the sea, also found inland at the margins of marshes and raised banks along borders of paddy fields; at elevations up to 700 metres[
1737
Title
A Monograph of Phoenix L. (Palmae; Coryphoidede)
Publication
Kew Bulletin Vol 53, 3, 513-575, 1998
Author
Barrow S.C.
Website
http://10.2307/4110478
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
 
]

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height3.50 m
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the drier, lowland tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 700 metres. Plants can tolerate some frost[
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
].
Requires a sunny position, succeeding in most well-drained soil[
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
,
974
Title
Encyclopedia of Tropical Plants - Identification and Cultivation of over 3,000 Tropical Plants
Publication
 
Author
Ahmed Fayaz
Publisher
Firefly Books Ltd.; New Zealand
Year
2011
ISBN
978-1-55407-489
Description
A good photograph and terse but detailed information for over 3,000 species of tropical plants. An excellent reference.
]. Tolerant of some salt in the soil[
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
].
Phoenix species are quite liable to hybridize where the various species meet as a result of cultivation[
1737
Title
A Monograph of Phoenix L. (Palmae; Coryphoidede)
Publication
Kew Bulletin Vol 53, 3, 513-575, 1998
Author
Barrow S.C.
Website
http://10.2307/4110478
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
A dioecious species - both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required.

Edible Uses

An edible starch is obtained from the trunk[
146
Title
A Manual of Indian Timbers.
Publication
 
Author
Gamble. J. S.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1972
ISBN
-
Description
First written in the 19th century, but still a classic, giving a lot of information on the uses and habitats of Indian trees. Not for the casual reader.
]. It is used in times of scarcity[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
,
464
Title
A Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon
Publication
 
Author
Trimen H.; continued by Hooker J.D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Dulau and Co; London.
Year
1898
ISBN
 
Description
Very dated, but still a useful work. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Fruit - raw[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. Fleshy, sweet and mealy, with a flavour like chestnuts(Castanea spp.)[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
,
464
Title
A Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon
Publication
 
Author
Trimen H.; continued by Hooker J.D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Dulau and Co; London.
Year
1898
ISBN
 
Description
Very dated, but still a useful work. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. Often eaten by children[
1737
Title
A Monograph of Phoenix L. (Palmae; Coryphoidede)
Publication
Kew Bulletin Vol 53, 3, 513-575, 1998
Author
Barrow S.C.
Website
http://10.2307/4110478
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. The purple-black, ovoid fruit is around 11 - 15mm long and 5 - 8mm wide, containing a single large seed[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
1737
Title
A Monograph of Phoenix L. (Palmae; Coryphoidede)
Publication
Kew Bulletin Vol 53, 3, 513-575, 1998
Author
Barrow S.C.
Website
http://10.2307/4110478
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The leaves are woven into ornamental baskets, sleeping mats and pouches[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
146
Title
A Manual of Indian Timbers.
Publication
 
Author
Gamble. J. S.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1972
ISBN
-
Description
First written in the 19th century, but still a classic, giving a lot of information on the uses and habitats of Indian trees. Not for the casual reader.
,
464
Title
A Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon
Publication
 
Author
Trimen H.; continued by Hooker J.D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Dulau and Co; London.
Year
1898
ISBN
 
Description
Very dated, but still a useful work. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The leaflets are stripped of the midrib, boiled and then sundried before being used for making various woven products[
1737
Title
A Monograph of Phoenix L. (Palmae; Coryphoidede)
Publication
Kew Bulletin Vol 53, 3, 513-575, 1998
Author
Barrow S.C.
Website
http://10.2307/4110478
Publisher
 
Year
1998
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
The split petioles are used for making baskets[
464
Title
A Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon
Publication
 
Author
Trimen H.; continued by Hooker J.D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Dulau and Co; London.
Year
1898
ISBN
 
Description
Very dated, but still a useful work. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Propagation

Seed - pre-soak for 24 hours prior to sowing[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. The seed germinates best at a temperature of 21 - 27°c[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Division of offsets[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2024-04-20. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Phoenix+pusilla>

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