East African Doum Palm
Perhaps the most magnificent and elegant of the Hyphaene, this large Doum Palm from East Africa is found in lowland savannas to 1400 m from southern Ethiopia to Mozambique, particularly along watercourses and in seasonally flooded areas. It forms a sturdy, dichotomously forking trunk which, under favorable conditions, can hold 32 or even up to 64 crowns of strongly costapalmate leaves. The large but lightweight fruits are a favored food of elephants and baboons. Especially in Kenya and Tanzania, its distinctive silhouette dominates many coastal savannas. Despite being rather common there, it is very rarely seen in cultivation, where it would be ideally suited to dry topical climates but also adapts to other conditions. It is exceptionally hardy to drought, saline soils and fire but needs full sun and heat to thrive.