Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Canary Island Date Palms (Phoenix canariensis) in Australia: introduction and early dispersal.

Abstract

During the past 150 years, the Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis) has found widespread use as an ornamental in public and private spaces across the globe. This paper traces the historic trajectory of the introduction and early dispersal of the palm into Australia, from its beginning as a prized ornamental plant in private and public greenhouses to the planting in botanic gardens and public parks. When the public embraced the plant as a highly decorative exotic ornamental, it found widespread use as a street tree, which after World War I became often associated with Australian War Memorials. The palm became well established in private gardens of the interwar period.