ARECACEAE Bercht. & J. Presl.

Family comprised of about 185 genera and about 2,520 species of trees, rarely shrubs and lianas, distributed in tropical and subtropical regions around the globe. In North Africa it is represented by 4 genera: Chamaerops, of Mediterranean distribution, Phoenix and Medemia of Saharan distribution, and Hyphaene, more widely distributed, from the tropics of W Africa to the Arabian Peninsula.

Numerous native species of this family are protected in the different countries of North Africa. In Mali they are all included in its List of species that need authorization for commercial use (Decree 07-155/P-RM of 2007).

Key to genera

1 Leaves pinnate, with leaf blade far longer than wide Phoenix

1 Leaves palmate, with leaf blade about the same in length than in width 2

2 Trunk (stipe) branched dichotomously Hyphaene

2 Trunk (stipe) single (not branched) 3

3 Leaves up to 1.5(-2) m, leaf blade glaucous and petiole yellow. Drupes 6-7 cm,purple-black when mature. Tree up to 4 (-7) m in height Medemia

3 Leaves up to 1 m, green or glaucous. Drupes 1-4 cm, red-brown whenmature. Tree up to 10 m in height Chamaerops

Updated by: B. Valdés & J. Charco.