Chamaerops ritchieana Griff.
Nannorrhops arabica Burret
Common Name: Mazari Palm
Nannorrhops ritchieana is a clump-forming evergreen palm producing a cluster of stems up to 8 metres tall and 60cm in diameter, though the stem is sometimes short and subterranean. Each stem is topped by a cluster of fan-shaped leaves. Inflorescences up to 250cm long are produced, after which an individual stem will die, though it usually produces offsets. The plant can form large colonies[
The plant is a very important traditional crop, being harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. It is still widely utilized in northern Pakistan as a source of materials for weaving mats, baskets, shoes and a wide range of other goods - these are both for personal use and also for trade in local markets[
]. The plant is often grown as an ornamental in the more arid regions of the temperate zone.
W. Asia - southern Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Arid, open areas, often on limestone soils, at elevations up to 1,500 metres[
]. Open, sparsely vegetated semi-arid desert regions where there is a water table close enough to the surface to provide a continuous supply of moisture[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Semi-cultivated, Wild
Nannorrhops ritchieana is a plant of arid and semi-arid regions often with very hot summers. It can experience very cold winters in its native habitat, with temperatures falling as low as -15°c, possibly a bit lower, though this is often accompanied by heavy snow which acts to insulate the plant from the extremes of cold. The plant is far less tolerant of cold in moister climates, where it can be killed by just a few degrees of frost. In moist, almost frost-free climates such as southern Florida, however, the plant will often thrive.[
Requires a sunny position in a very free-draining soil. Tolerant of poor, dry, infertile soils. Established plants are very drought tolerant. Prefers a pH in the range 6.1 - 8.5.
Growth is usually very slow, though it can be sped up considerably with good cultivation and some feeding.
This is one of the very few species of palm that can produce aerial branches.
Palms usually have deep penetrating root systems and generally establish best when planted out at a young stage. However, older plants are substantially more cold tolerant than juvenile plants[
]. In areas at the limit of their cold tolerance, therefore, it is prudent to grow the plants in containers for some years, giving them winter protection, and only planting them into their permanent positions when sheer size dictates[
]. Palms can also often be transplanted even when very large. Although the thick fleshy roots are easily damaged and/or desiccated, new roots are generally freely produced. It is important to stake the plant very firmly to prevent rock, and also to give it plenty of water until re-established - removing many of the leaves can also help[
Young leafs and buds[
]. No more details are given.
].No more details are given.
]. The yellowish-brown, globose fruit is up to 20mm in diameter[
The leaves are purgative[
]. They are used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery[
]. Yes, both these reports come from the same source, without further explanation[
]. The plant is chiefly used in veterinary medicine[
An extract of the fresh leaves (tea?) is used for treating stomach problems[
The leaves are intensively used as a source of fibres and weaving materials for making ropes, mats, brooms, bags, pots, sandals, and many other items[
]. Slippers are also made and known locally as 'Saplay'[
The leaves are sometimes used for thatching roofs[
The hard-coated seeds are used as beads in rosaries etc and by children as marbles[
The reddish moss-like wool of the petioles is sometimes utilized as tinder[
The dried leaves, stems, and peduncles are used for fuel[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a warm greenhouse at not less than 24°c[
]. Stored seed germinates very slowly and sporadically. Pre-soaking the seed for 24 hours in warm water prior to sowing may shorten the germination time. Plants form a long tap-root some time before forming a shoot and so should be sown in fairly deep pots. Germination of fresh seed usually takes place in 3 - 4 months at 25°c[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first two winters. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division of a clump can be successful.