, is a endangered species in the palm family Arecaceae
Arecaceae or Palmae , are a family of flowering plants, the only family in the monocot order Arecales. There are roughly 202 currently known genera with around 2600 species, most of which are restricted to tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate climates...
, in the genus Phoenix
Phoenix is a genus of 14 species of palms, native from the Canary Islands east across northern and central Africa, the extreme southeast of Europe , and southern Asia from Turkey east to southern China and Malaysia. The diverse habitats they occupy include swamps, deserts, and mangrove sea coasts...
. It is native to the Cape Verde Islands.
It is a relative of Phoenix dactylifera
, the true date palm
The date palm is a palm in the genus Phoenix, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. Although its place of origin is unknown because of long cultivation, it probably originated from lands around the Persian Gulf. It is a medium-sized plant, 15–25 m tall, growing singly or forming a clump with...
. P. atlantica is clearly distinct from its close relatives and that its closest relative is likely to be its nearest geographical neighbour, P. dactylifera. The Cape Verde palm, is endemic to the Cape Verde Islands, and was erroneously characterized as a feral Phoenix dactylifera
. Three species of the genus Phoenix are recorded from the Cape Verde Islands, P. dactylifera L., P. canariensis Chabaud and P. atlantica A. Chev. While the former two species have almost certainly been introduced by man, the latter is endemic to the islands. Genetic isolation of Cape Verde Island Phoenix atlantica (Arecaceae) was revealed by microsatellite markers and one chloroplast minisatellite marker to individuals of Phoenix from the Cape Verde Islands, P. dactylifera, P. canariensis and P. sylvestris, in order to assess the taxonomic position of P. atlantica within the genus. The DNA analysis by S. A. Henderson, N. Billotte and J.-C. Pintaud, demonstrated Genetic isolation of Tamareira Phoenix atlantica.
Phoenix atlantica was first described in 1935 by the French botanist Auguste Chevalier. The Tamareira appearance is very similar to the palm Phoenix dactylifera, most similar in form to Phoenix dactylifera that Phoenix canariensis, possessing characters of both. Because this similarity it was included so long within this species. Tamareira is a clustering palm with 2 to 6 trunks, 5–15 m in height with dark green leaves 2–3 m in length. Phoenix atlantica can be distinguished easily from P. canariensis by its clustering growth form and its shorter, straighter leaves. The Canary Island date palm is adapted to climate wetter and cooler, enduring icy -8º c. The differences between P. atlantica and P. dactylifera is usually observed as it becomes more clustering like, other distinctions include acuminate petals in the male flowers according to Chevalier in 1935, Greuter in 1967, and Brochmann et al. in 1997. The fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...
is an oval, pink drupe
In botany, a drupe is a fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell of hardened endocarp with a seed inside. These fruits develop from a single carpel, and mostly from flowers with superior ovaries...
2 cm long and 1 cm diameter and containing a single large seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...
, the fruit pulp is edible but scarce.