Afar Doum Palm
If you are looking for a palm that can grow on salt, this is it! Yes, you are reading right, salt! This shrubby Hyphaene populates salt flats, in some places it even seems to grow on encrusted salt banks, where the ground looks white, as if covered in freshly fallen snow, a most incredible sight especially when you can feel the unbelievable heat that characterizes this area. The Afar Depression, between Eritrea, Ethiopia and Djibouti, includes the lowest point in Africa and one of the hottest places on earth. It also experiences very low rainfall and it is a miracle anything can grow here. Hyphaene dankaliensis in most places forms a low shrub with a forking trunk growing along the ground. Only in the most favorable locations it can grow taller and develop a modest aboveground trunk. The leaves vary from green to gray and are held by beautiful, bright yellow leaf stalks which are armed with black thorns along their margins. Botanically it is close to H. thebaica and some consider it synonymous with that species.