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Hyphaene thebaica

Egyptian Doum Palm

The legendary Doum palm from North-east Africa was well known to the ancient Egyptians who buried large numbers of the fruits in the tombs of their pharaos. It is perhaps the most easily recognized of all palms as it is one of the few that fork or branch. The large seeds germinate easily and readily, and should be planted in deep containers since they produce long 'sinkers' before any top growth is visible. A large tree is a stunning sight, suitable for warm temperate to tropical climates and extremely drought tolerant. We are able to offer these seeds from a true, non hybridized wild source at a very competitive price. Only a few seeds available. Don’t miss this opportunity!

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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 ...

... are easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I soaked my 11 seeds for about 4 days in warm water and changed the water every day. I Ziploc bagged them in moist sand and coconut fibers on a seed starter warming pad in my basement. The warmer is not adjustable, but it is supposed be about 20 F above the room's temperature so I estimate it was around 85 F. After only 3 weeks eight seeds had already germinated and 2 more by the end of the 4th week. I will leave the last seed for another few weeks to see if anything happens. So far, there are no spouts.
Submitted on 13/10/2012 by one of our visitors

... are easy to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
Seeds germinated with relative ease, I achieved an 80% success rate with the method described below. 50% germinated in the first 2 months. Prior to sowing seeds were soaked in warm water for a minimum of 48hrs with a small amount of fungicide present. In a zip lock bag seeds were put in a damp but not wet medium of 70% coarse sand and 30% co-co fiber and placed on a heat bed that was a constant temperature of around 25-30 degrees Celsius. Once germinated seeds were placed in deep pots of 40-50 cm in a mixture of 70% regular potting mix and 30% coarse sand with a few organic animal pellets mixed through. A bag or plastic wrap was placed over the top of the pot until the first leaf appeared which can be up to 2 months. No plants have been lost from the seed germinated.
Submitted on 16/06/2011 by one of our visitors

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
These seeds are extremely easy to germinate. I soaked them in water for 4 days, changing every day, Then planted directly into 5 gallon pots with a good cactus, palm potting mix, and had 100% germination. Make sure they are planted in very deep pots because the tap root grows very deep and will actually make its way through a thin pot. One that's planted has sprouted seven fronds in one years growth time. I can't wait to place them in the ground.
Submitted on 01/12/2009 by James Havey

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I picked up a few seeds of Hyphaene thebaica in the Tihamah of western Saudi Arabia back in 1986 and planted them (to the best of my recollection!) in a large pot of sand, which resided on my balcony in Jubail for several weeks. To my great joy and amazement they all germinated and were growing their first leaves. I gave them away to a friend when I left the country in 1997 so I do not know what became of them.
Submitted on 19/11/2007 by Richard Corlett ricorlett@yahoo.com

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I managed to germinate 2 out of 10 Hyphaene Thebaica seeds just 4 weeks after planting them in a sand/biorich earth mix and expect the rest to come within the next few weeks. They really are not that difficult and before buying these seeds I feared the worse as some collectors had attempted all sorts of concoctions to try to get these seeds to go. Indeed, one said he stuck seeds into his oven at 100C. In the end I saw no real recipe to success from those who had already attempted to get these seeds to geminate. So I decided the best thing I could do and the only real thing I do do when planting seeds was to try to recreate the same environment for the seeds in my backyard. So the first thing I did was to leave the seeds in a warm cupboard for 4 weeks. Then I placed them in 30C water for 2 days on top of my computer stabilizer. That kept it warm. Then I left them in their original plastic rarepalmseeds sack, filled it with sand, added water so the sand became moist and left them in my plastic sheet makeshit "greenhouse". I didn't touch them for a week. The sand added that extra heat and then I placed them in 35cm deep plastic pots. The top is composed of a third sand, the next two thirds are made up of an earth 50/50 mix of builder's sand and earth. I can't emphasize the use of sand enough. I then placed the sacks under a transparent plastic sheeting cover, this helped boost the heat and trap a level of hot air between the sand and the plastic sheeting on top. I watered them just 5 times over a matter of 4 weeks because the sand kept them moist at all times. I think that is key here. Lots of moisture and lots of heat. The roots are fine with the moisture and are very reminiscent of a Bismarckia Nobilis root. Anyway just a few weeks later I managed to get 2 seeds to germinate with roots of 7cm deep after the seeds were exposed to 1000am-2.30pm Brazilian subtropical sun. Temperatures were comfortably over the 30C mark for half of the last 4 weeks and under the cover it was probably 40C plus. The other eight have not yet germinated because they received less sun than the 2 that have germinated. I have moved the 2 to where the eight were, made some space and now put the 8 in a place where they will receive on average another hour of sun a day. The sand is key here because long after the sun has gone, it keeps the seeds warm to hot well into the evening before cooling at night. Just as it should in the desert. All I need now is a pyramid!
Submitted on 31/10/2007 by Anthony Dovkants adovkants@hotmail.com

... are easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Placed in plastic zip bag with coconut fibers and temperature between 20 - 25C. Results of 100% obtained (10 seeds). The first eophyll have pointed about 3 months later the germination.
Submitted on 28/10/2007 by João Carlos Geraldo jcgeraldi@uol.com.br

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I have left the seeds about 5 days in water, changing daily. So, they were mixed with coco fiber, in plastic bags. Nine of ten seeds have sprouted in about 30 days, with temperature average about 20-25ºC. The last one in 50 days.
Submitted on 01/06/2007 by João Carlos Geraldo jcgeraldi@uol.com.br

...difficult to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
I had one seed out of five germinate, but did not survive. I used bottom heat in individual pots.
Submitted on 23/12/2002 by Van vandringar@hotmail.com

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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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