Phoenix roebelenii (Mekong)
Wild Pygmy Date Palm
For some reason not yet fully discovered, the wild, unhybridized form of Phoenix roebelenii has a much daintier appearance than the commonly cultivated form, with thin, heavily clustering trunks and very finely pinnate, wispy leaves. It is native to Southern China, Laos and Northern Vietnam, where it grows as a rheophyte along large rivers, being occasionally submerged during high water. Much of its main habitat, the banks of the Mekong river, will be completely destroyed over the next few years by the construction of eight dams that will flood large areas. This may be your last chance to aquire seeds of this beautiful wild form and save it from extinction.