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Phoenix theophrastii

In every respect the hardiest of all the date palms, this rare species is only known from a few small sites on the Greek island of Crete and in southern Turkey. It is somewhat similar to the true Date Palm but has a particularly compact appearance with silvery-gray, spiky leaves and clustering trunks. Its fruits are sweetish and edible but not as delicious as true dates and MUCH smaller. The Cretan Date Palm is suitable for temperate and subtropical areas and will take more frost than any other Phoenix palm. Our seeds originate from wild populations on Crete.

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germination comments by our visitors
For general germination instructions click here.

Also see plant cultivation comments below.

Seeds from this species ...

...very easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I soaked the seed for 24hrs in warm water. I then sowed the seeds in a heated propagator with 50%vermiculite and 50%soil. Three seeds have germinated 2 months later. Very easy great for beginners!
Submitted on 19/10/2005 by Callum Wells john.wells38@btinternet.com

...very easy to germinate.
Picked up 150 fruits fresh from tree, beach north Crete October 2004. Novermber stripped off flesh, soaked in water 1 week, changed water daily. placed in plastic sealed bag with 5 Lts multi purpose compost. Placed in airing cupboard, approx average 85 degrees. 1 wwek first root showing. removed 20 December, largest with 2 inch shoot. 135 germinations. potted in 3 inch plastic pots centrally heated room , moderate light. 1 dryed out, 134 still growing well, 4 inch leaf now, water well soon as first signes of dryness. Easy!!!! Fastest growing Phoenix yet........wow! seen no plant for sale in UK, will send out to garden centers in Cornwall next summer..... this is the feather palm for the UK, should be as hardy as butia (fingers crossed) Will put in g/house May for fast summer growth, re-pot next spring!
Submitted on 15/03/2005 by Adam Emery emeryadam@hotmail.com

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
Got seeds from Creta last August. Started to put into germination in pots with compost and sand indoor from December 2003 until April 2004. Germination good about 70% of healthy seeds in about 45-60 days.Those started in last december,now after 5 1/2 months do have 2 leaves and look good. I shall plant some outside within 2-3 years because here in South Romania the winter can take even 40 days with temperatures -10 C or even -20 C for few days.
Submitted on 18/06/2004 by Dan Niculescu sandramotor@fx.ro

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I germinated mine at 25 deg in a plastic box. The first took about 1 week and about 50percent of the seeds germinated within a month. The rest is doing nothing even after 2 months. Who knows...?Keep it (humid) in the box until the first leaf is formed... those germinated are amazingly fast under these conditions. I don't use any fungicides on my seeds/seedlings. Instead of that I open the box at least every second day for a couple of minutes. Some perlite (no sand!) added into growing medium also helps to keep the fungs away.
Submitted on 11/08/2003 by Marian Kubes maros@ltc.sk

...easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Picked up a few seeds on holiday in Crete and put them in a shallow large pot with a mixture of shagnum moss peat and sand (about 50-50). Left outside on patio (south facing, in July, SW Germany) Germinated after about two weeks. Rate seemed very high(definitely over 50%) The seedlings didn't survive the winter in an unheated shed (just about frost free), though. Seem to want warmer conditions while still young.
Submitted on 27/03/2003 by one of our visitors

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
seeds soaked in water over night. put in zipockbags with coconutpeat and 90% germinated within 9days...within a month 100% germination was acchieved
Submitted on 03/03/2003 by andy andyolsson@home.se

...easy to germinate.
I am testing this specis to see if it will grow on Vancouver Island, Canada. I planted them at 1/4 inch in a small pot and then put them in an unheated greenhouse. They sprouted in 3 months without any special treatment. I am hoping they will grow in our zone 8 with a little extra winter protection.
Submitted on 17/07/2002 by Gerry Morgan gmorgan@ink-media.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
very easy to germinate is an understatement. End of may 01 I bought here 30 seeds, only three or four days later 15 germinated. Total germination 29/30 within one week ! Now-6 month later- all have survived and have two leafs of about 40 cm high. Treatment : Pre-soaking for 1 day, planted in Kokohum, germination @ 25-30°C.The seeds seems to be VERY fresh, they appeared here at rarepalmseeds only some days before ordering.
Submitted by Jens JensBluetling@onlinehome.de

...very easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
Those seeds are extremely easy to germinate. Soak in 100F hot water, changing twice or three times a day for one days or two. Change the water as soon as you see the water turns unclear and possibly smells a bit rancid. This operation removes all sugar from the seeds and thus removes the favourite substrate for fungi growth. Germination occurs in two times : first the shout emerges from the seeds and grows deeply, then, the first green leaf sprouts remotely from that root.Sow in plastic bag with moist perlite or coconut fibre, keep warm (85F is very good), the first shout appears 1 month later, just as it emerges, remove from the bag and place in deep pot (10 per 3 inches is ideal) because the first root is able to grow deep. Use a very well drained sowing soil based on 1 part garden earth, 2 parts composted pine bark based loam add a fistful of perlite (avoid “building sand” or use clean river sand instead of perlite) per litre of soil mix. Tamp down the sowing mixture well, in too light mixture, the first root could pull the seed out of the pot. Cover with inch of soil. Water well the first time, but allow soil surface to dry out a bit before you water again as the seedling can rot down easily, keep 75-80F. The leaf can appear on month later
Submitted by one of our visitors

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
Also see germination commnets above.

Plants from this species ...

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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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